Football Heads To Hampton To Open Challenging Three-Game Trip
Princeton will conclude its home-and-home series with Hampton Saturday afternoon at 1:00 before moving into the heart of its Ivy League schedule. The meeting will be the first since a wild 48-27 Pirate victory in Princeton during the 2007 season.
|Date/Time||Oct. 8/1 p.m.|
|Radio||GoPrincetonTigers.com/WPRB 103.3 FM|
|All-Time Series||Hampton 1-0
|Last At Site||none|
|Last Five Years||Hampton 1-0
|Current Streak||Hampton 1
Game Notes • Week 4
A Few Fast Facts To Get You Ready…
On The Road Again
After three straight weeks at home to open the season, Princeton will play its first road game of 2011 Saturday afternoon at Hampton. The last time Princeton opened its season with three straight home games was 1999; the next weekend, a Brown offense led by current Tiger offensive coordinator James Perry scored 53 points, the most scored against Princeton in three decades.
Saturday’s game begins a three-game road trip that will continue with Ivy matchups at both Brown (Oct. 15, 12:30) and Harvard (Oct. 22, 1). Between the three weekends, Princeton will travel more than 1,600 miles before returning to Powers Field at Princeton Stadium for an Oct. 29 home game with Cornell.
Saturday’s meeting is the second game in a home-and-home series with Hampton. The first game was played in the 2007 season, when the Pirates rallied from a 27-14 deficit in the second half with five unanswered touchdowns for a 48-27 win.
Saturday will be Princeton’s second game ever against a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). An Ivy League team has competed against an HBCU only once prior to the 2007 Princeton-Hampton game, a 41-0 victory for Yale over Morgan State in 1984.
Back On Track
After losing a program-record 10 straight games between 2010 and Week 2 of this season, the Princeton football team picked up its first win of the season last weekend with a 24-21 win over Columbia. It was Princeton’s first Ivy League win since the 2009 season finale, when the Tigers defeated Dartmouth 23-11 in Hanover.
First And Foremost
Despite its struggles in the first two weeks of the season, Princeton enters Week 4 in a four-way tie for first place in the Ivy League with Harvard, Penn and Yale. Both Harvard and Yale play Ivy League games Saturday; the Crimson will travel to Cornell, while Yale will host Dartmouth.
This is Princeton’s first winning record in the Ivy League since Week 3 of the 2008 season, when the Tigers defeated Columbia 24-21. In the 20 Ivy League games before that meeting, Princeton went 13-7. In the 20 that followed, it went 5-15. The Tigers will be looking to get back to their mid-2000s success when it resumes league play next weekend.
This will be the Tigers’ last chance for a non-Ivy win after early-season losses to both Lehigh and Bucknell. Princeton hasn’t gone 0-3 outside of Ivy League play since the 2003 season. Since then, the Tigers have gone 11-15 outside of the league, including the 2007 loss to Hampton.
With non-league powers Colgate and Hampton occupying this spot on the schedule, Week 4 has been unkind to Princeton recently. The Tigers haven’t won in Week 4 since 2006 (27-26 overtime win at Colgate), and it has only won twice since 1999. That means that Princeton has gone into its Week 5 game against Brown on at least a one-game losing streak nine of the last 11 seasons.
Princeton has had several special teams highlights through the first three games, including:
• Joe Cloud leads the Ivy League with a punting average of 45.7 yards per punt; he was a
second-team All-Ivy pick last season after leading the Ivy League in punting average.
• Patrick Jacob leads the Ivy League with 1.7 field goals per game. He is the reigning first-team All-Ivy placekicker and made 14 field goals last season. For his career, he is 19 for 24 in field goals (79.1%), and he has never missed two kicks in one game, or two kicks in a row.
• Ivan Charbonneau ranks second in the Ivy League with a 29.5-yard average on kickoff returns. He has the league’s only touchdown return, which came on a 92-yard score against Lehigh.
• Caraun Reid blocked a field goal attempt in the season opener against Lehigh.
Princeton was picked to finish in a tie for seventh with Cornell in the 2011 Ivy League
preseason poll; the Tigers have never been picked below sixth in the poll. The last two times Princeton was picked sixth were 2010, when the team finished last in the league, and 2006, when the team finished first.
Princeton radio voice Dan Loney is part of the new “Inside Ivy League Football,” an in-depth look at both the on-field action and all the news and notes surrounding Ivy football. The 10-episode show airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com, and features interviews with players and coaches, as well as analysis on each of the Ivy teams.
This week’s show includes an interview with Princeton head coach Bob Surace ’90, who will talk about the Ivy League-opening victory against Columbia, the Hampton game, his days as an All-Ivy center on the Princeton football team and the state of the team during his second season as coach.
Fans can follow Princeton via social media on Facebook through facebook.com/
PrincetonUniversityAthletics, and on Twitter through @PUTigers or @PrincetonFBall.
The Crystal Ball
Princeton will head to Providence, R.I., to take on Brown next weekend. Princeton has lost four straight games in this series, though none were as close as last season’s 17-13 loss. The Tigers jumped out to a 13-0 lead before halftime, but starting quarterback Tommy Wornham broke his collarbone in the first half and was lost for the season. Princeton recorded only one first down in the second half and ultimately gave up the lead in the fourth quarter.
Princeton’s next home game will be a 1 p.m. start Oct. 29 against Cornell. The Tigers have won three of the last four against Cornell, although the Big Red used a late interception last season to come away with a 21-19 victory. Princeton has won four straight home games against Cornell, although the last three have been decided by a grand total of 10 points. The game will be streamed live on GoPrincetonTigers.TV.
A Princeton Win Would …
• give Princeton its first back-to-back wins since the final two games of the 2009 season (24-17 over Yale and 23-11 over Dartmouth).
• even the series against Hampton at 1-1, which began with a 48-27 loss in 2007.
• be Princeton’s first road win since 2009.
• give Princeton at least one victory outside of the Ivy League for the eighth consecutive season.
• be Princeton’s first Week 4 win since 2006 and its third since 1999.
Offensive Notes and Anecdotes…
It’s Been A While
Sophomore Brian Mills rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown in Princeton’s 24-21 victory over Columbia last weekend. He recorded Princeton’s first 100-yard rushing game since Kenny Gunter ran for 173 yards in the 23-11 win over Dartmouth in the 2009 season finale.
Rushing To Judgment
As a team, Princeton rushed for 227 yards in the victory over Columbia. That was the most rushing yards for Princeton in a game since it ran for 238 in the 2009 season finale. Dating back to 2008, Princeton has won five of six games when it has rushed for at least 200 yards.
Last weekend’s win over Columbia also featured a two-yard rushing touchdown for Brian Mills. That was Princeton’s first rushing touchdown since Mills scored on a two-yard run in the fourth quarter of the Week 7 loss at Cornell last season.
Fresh New Faces
A pair of Princeton freshmen have made quick impacts on the 2011 football season. Wideout Matt Costello has caught eight passes over the last two weeks and is averaging a team-best 17 yards per catch. He would have had his first touchdown reception last weekend, but it was called back after a holding penalty.
Fellow freshman Chuck Dibilio rushed for 86 yards on 14 carries and scored on a 26-yard reception in the fourth quarter of Princeton’s opener against Lehigh. His performance earned him Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. Dibilio currently ranks fifth in the Ivy League with 58.7 rushing yards per game. Mills averages 73.0 yards, but he didn’t qualify for the Ivy leaders because he missed the season opener.
In A Hayes
Junior tight end Mark Hayes caught his first career touchdown pass last weekend in the win over Columbia. His 5-yard catch was Princeton’s first touchdown by a tight end since Bill Mitchell caught a one-yard touchdown pass in the 2008 season finale.
Senior Tommy Wornham became the eighth Princeton quarterback to throw for more than 3,000 yards in his career when he completed a 15-yard pass to Akil Sharp during Princeton’s opening possession of the Bucknell game.
Wornham currently has 3,335 passing yards in his career; he is 111 yards behind David Splithoff ’04 for seventh on the Tiger passing chart and 289 yards behind Robert Holly ’82 for sixth.
The Starting Blocks
Princeton showed more efficiency in the first three quarters last weekend than it did in the opening two games of the season. After averaging six points in the first three quarters against both Lehigh and Bucknell, Princeton scored 24 against Columbia.
One positive trend continued last weekend; Princeton has scored first (a field goal each time) in all three games of the 2011 season.
Defensive Notes and Anecdotes…
Sparks By Starks
Junior linebacker Andrew Starks has led Princeton with nine tackles in each of the last two games. After leading all Ivy League underclassmen in tackles last season, he leads Princeton with 26 tackles through three games. He currently ranks ninth in the Ivy League with 8.7 tackles per game.
Princeton ranks second in the Ivy League in third-down defense, allowing teams only a 30% success rate (12 for 40) through three games. In its win over Columbia last weekend, Princeton stopped the Lions on 13 of 15 third-down opportunities.
Last season, teams converted on 44% of their third-down opportunities.
Reid It And Weep
Junior Caraun Reid, who played only one game in 2010 before suffering a season-ending injury, leads all Princeton defensive linemen with six tackles per game. His production can be seen throughout the stat sheet, though; Reid has recorded two sacks, a pass break up, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick this season.
Princeton ranks second in the Ivy League in rushing defense after allowing only 114 yards per game over the first three weeks. Columbia was held to only 87 yards rushing last weekend, the second-lowest total for a Princeton opponent over the last two seasons.
What Can Brown Do For You
Cornerback Khamal Brown became the first Princeton freshman to start on the defensive side of the ball this season. He started for the injured Phillip Bhaya against Lehigh and recorded a career-best eight tackles last weekend against Columbia. His performance earned him a spot on the weekly Ivy League Honor Roll.
After not forcing any turnovers over the first two weeks of the season, Princeton forced a fumble and recorded an interception in the win over Columbia last weekend. The interception, the first in the career of senior Harrison Daniels, came on Columbia’s final drive of the game and clinched the Princeton win.
Last Week: PRINCETON 24, Columbia 21
They came into the game answering questions about losing streaks and confidence. They left with momentum and an unblemished record in the Ivy League. Led by 117 yards rushing by sophomore Brian Mills, the Princeton football team won its first game of the 2011 season 24-21 over Columbia last Saturday night.
Mills became Princeton’s first 100-yard rusher since the final game of the 2009 season when he rushed 26 times for 117 yards, including a two-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. Princeton’s other two touchdowns came on the arm of senior quarterback Tommy Wornham, who connected with both tight end Mark Hayes and wideout Tom Moak on the first touchdown receptions of each player’s career.
The 12-yard touchdown to Moak came with 3:52 remaining in the third quarter and gave Princeton a 24-14 lead. Columbia would cut the deficit to three points midway through the fourth, but an opportunistic Princeton defense made sure the Lions would get no closer. A fourth-down tackle by
Wornham ended the game 19 for 28 with 194 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Freshman Chuck Dibilio rushed six times for 70 yards, including a 45-yard rush that set up the Moak touchdown. As a team, Princeton rushed for 227 yards, which nearly doubled its average in the first two games.
The defense continued its strong play over the last two weeks, limiting Columbia to 87 yards rushing and forcing its first two turnovers of the season. The Tigers held Columbia to two conversions in 13 third-down opportunities and recorded three sacks.
Starks led Princeton with nine tackles, while freshman cornerback Khamal Brown added eight tackles. Junior defensive lineman Caraun Reid added six tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, while both Mike Catapano and Matt Landry also added a sack apiece.