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 Game Day Central

Date & Time: Saturday, November 8, 12:30 p.m. Dartmouth Stats Cornell
Location: Ithaca, N.Y. // Weather 5-2 Record 0-7
Stadium: Schoellkopf Field Lost 1 Streak Lost 7
All-Time Series: Big Green lead 56-40-1 26.6 Points/Game 13.7
Tickets: Information 363.7 Total Yards 261.4
Broadcast: Ivy League Digital Network 214.1 Passing/Game 176.1
Radio: 99Rock // WFRD 99.3 FM - Dick Lutsk, Wayne Young 149.6 Rushing/Game 85.3
Live Stats: 429.1 Yards Allowed 432.3
Logistics: Directions // Parking 24.6 Points Allowed 33.3
Twitter: @DartmouthSports // @DartFootball 89.7% Red Zone % 68.8%
Dartmouth Links: Home // Roster // Schedule // Stats // Teevens Teleteaser // Notes (PDF) 28:53  Time of Possession 30:54
Cornell Links: Home // Roster // Schedule // Stats // Notes (PDF) 49.8 Penalty Yards

Regrouping After First Ivy Loss
Dartmouth’s fate in the 2014 Ivy League standings is out of its hands for the first time this year due to a 23-12 loss to the 18th-ranked Harvard Crimson on Saturday, ending a four-game Big Green winning streak. But the team does not have time to wallow in self-pity as there is still work to be done to remain relevant in the quest for its 18th league title.

This week Dartmouth looks to take care of business at an improving — but winless — Cornell squad that is coming off its best offensive output of the season in a 38-27 loss at home to preseason favorite Princeton. The Big Green have won each of the last five meetings in the series, which is the second longest continuous series (96 years) among the FCS schools;  Only Lafayette-Lehigh is longer at 124 years.

Against the Crimson, Dartmouth fell victim to a stout defense that forced three turnovers (half of the season total before the game). Harvard entered the day as the Ivy’s stingiest defense at 10.5 points allowed per contest and lived up to the billing by holding the Green to a season-low 12 points.

After sitting out the Columbia game the week before, junior QB Dalyn Williams returned to the field to throw for 210 yards on 16-of-26 passing. But with rain falling from the skies throughout the event, Williams ditched his protective visor only to get poked in the eye on Dartmouth’s first play of the fourth quarter while trailing by eight, 20-12. He valiantly tried to continue, taking two more snaps, before leaving for good with his vision impaired.

Senior Alex Park replaced Williams and connected on 7-of-11 passes, but they only went for 46 yards as the Harvard defense protected against big plays. A fumble and an interception in the final six minutes of action kept Dartmouth from thrilling the rain-soaked crowd of nearly 6,000 with a comeback.

The Big Green running game was held to just 94 yards with junior RB Kyle Bramble providing 42 of them on 10 carries, including the lone touchdown on a two-yard run late in the first quarter. But Bramble also led the team in receiving with six catches for 75 yards, and he is second in the league in combined rushing and receiving yards with 780.

When it comes to receiving, senior Ryan McManus is the top target this year, ranking fourth among Ivy wideouts with 43 catches and third with 579 yards. He has caught at least four passes in six of the seven contests to date and with his last haul against the Crimson became the 11th receiver in program history to snare 100 passes in a career.

The defensive line was busy with juniors Cody Fulleton and A.J. Zuttah recording career highs with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively. The conference’s top tackler, junior LB Will McNamara, also had 10 stops, giving him five consecutive games in double figures. In the secondary, senior safety Troy Donahue picked off another pass, his league-leading fourth of the year.

Sophomore Alex Gakenheimer extended his streak of successful field goal attempts to 12 by converting from 30 and 22 yards and is tied with Bramble for the team scoring lead with 48 points.

Scouting the Big Red
Cornell is enduring some growing pains under second-year head coach David Archer, who was the youngest leader of a Division I program when he was hired last year. Underclassmen litter the field for the Big Red as Archer works on rebuilding his squad following the graduation of Ivy record-setting QB Jeff Mathews.

The Big Red have been outscored by an average of nearly 20 points per game and have tried four different quarterbacks throughout the season — two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. The sophomore, Robert Somborn, has enjoyed the most success. Last week he led Cornell to its best offensive output in a 38-27 loss to Princeton, throwing for 315 yards on 23-of-40 passing with two TDs.

Back at tailback is Luke Hagy, a junior who has started since arriving on campus. He averages about 60 yards a game on the ground (4.0 per carry), and owns the lone rushing touchdown Cornell has produced this year. No one else on the roster has run for even 100 yards.

The top receiver for the Big Red is a senior, however, in Lucas Shapiro with 26 catches for 307 yards and 3 TDs. Sophomore Collin Shaw is right on his heels with 22 receptions for 306 yards and a pair of scores. A total of 15 players have caught at least one pass for Cornell this year.

Dartmouth will need to keep an eye out for linebacker Miles Norris who leads the Big Red with 60 tackles and 4.5 sacks. As a team Cornell has 13 sacks but surrenders 432.3 yards per game. While that total is similar to what the Big Green yield (429.1), the average per play is nearly a full yard more than Dartmouth.

The kicking game is led by punter Chris Fraser, last year’s Ivy Rookie of the Year, and his 41.6-yard average. Placekicking has been a different story as Cornell has converted just 2-of-5 field goals with the longest from 27 yards and both coming in the first game.

Archer, a 2005 graduate of Cornell, served as an assistant coach at his alma mater for six years, including acting as the recruiting coordinator since 2009. A three-year starter and a senior captain on the offensive line for the Big Red, Archer began his coaching career as an assistant at Fairleigh Dickinson in 2006.

Can McManus Catch McManus?
With three weeks left in the season, senior Ryan McManus has 43 catches for 579 yards. His older brother, Tim ’11, caught 60 passes for 637 yards, so Ryan is poised to beat Tim’s yardage and needs to continue to average six catches a game to move past him into fifth place on the Big Green’s single-season list. As for career totals, Ryan just became the 11th receiver in Dartmouth history with 100 receptions, still well behind Tim’s 134. But with 264 more yards, Ryan will pass him on the career charts into seventh place.

Lots of Play Up Front
Last year, DE Cody Fulleton had a career-high nine tackles at Harvard. Fast forward one year and the junior topped that mark with 11 stops to lead the Big Green. Another lineman, junior DT A.J. Zuttah, also had a career-high 10 tackles. In all, the defensive line accounted for 28 of the team’s 76 tackles.

Player of the Week Streak Ends
Dartmouth had received at least one Player of the Week honor from the Ivy League office for eight consecutive weeks dating back to last season, but after the 23-12 loss to 18th-ranked Harvard on Nov. 1, that streak came to an end. The longest previous streak had been four weeks, accomplished several times.

Look at You Troy Donahue
Dartmouth leads the Ivy League with 10 interceptions with 40 percent of that total provided by senior strong safety Troy Donahue. His fourth pick of the year came against Harvard in the third quarter to thwart a Crimson drive in Big Green territory, and he is fourth in the nation with 0.6 interceptions per game. The school record by an individual is seven, set by Lloyd Lee ’98 in 1996.

Double Duty for Bramble
Well, not on both sides of the ball. But junior RB Kyle Bramble led Dartmouth in both rushing and receiving against 18th-ranked Harvard on Nov. 1 with 42 yards on the ground and 75 through the air. For the season he leads the squad with 552 rushing yards on 116 carries and is second with 25 receptions and 228 receiving yards, not to mention his team-best four TDs catching the ball. Combined with his four scores off of handoffs, Bramble has 48 points, tying him for fourth in the Ivy League.

Tackling Opportunities
Junior LB Will McNamara has recorded double-digit tackles in each of the last five games and leads the Ivy League with 10.7 stops per game. That average also ranks 11th among FCS players.

Gakenheimer On Target
Since taking over field goal and PAT duties late last season as a freshman, Alex Gakenheimer has proven to be quite accurate. While he has missed three PATs out of 32 attempts (two of which were blocked), he has converted all 12 field goal attempts with a long of 41 yards against Penn. He is third in scoring among kickers in the Ivy League with 48 points and just one of six FCS kickers with at least one field goal per game and nary a miss.

5,000 Total Yards, 1,000 Rushing
Against Holy Cross on Oct. 18, QB Dalyn Williams ran for 64 yards on 14 carries, vaulting him past Jon Aljancic ’97 as Dartmouth’s all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks. The junior had originally broken the record two weeks earlier, but then lost enough yards later in the game to push him back behind Aljancic. Williams has 1,111 rushing yards to his name, and also just surpassed 5,000 total yards (5,043) to rank third. He is also on the verge of 4,000 passing yards, needing just 68 more to reach the mark.

Playing a Ranked Opponent
The showdown with 18th-ranked Harvard marked the second time Dartmouth clashed with a ranked opponent, and those two contests are the only losses for the Big Green this year. The other defeat came against then-fourth-ranked New Hampshire (now second in one poll). But one only has to go back to the season finale of 2013 to find the last time the Green defeated a ranked team when they beat 19th-ranked Princeton at Memorial Field, 28-24, handing the Tigers their only league loss and forcing them to share the Ivy title with Harvard.

Park Passes 2,000 Yards
The last time senior QB Alex Park started a game, it was Nov. 3, 2012, and he threw for 310 yards against Harvard. But he was knocked out of that game, and Dalyn Williams took over the job and started the next 18 contests. With Williams dealing with some nagging bumps and bruises, Park once again got the nod at Columbia on Oct. 25, almost two years since his last start. Entering the game 0-for-3 passing on the season, all he did was complete a career-high 29 throws for 268 yards and a pair of touchdowns. And after adding 46 more yards on 7-of-11 passing against Harvard, Park now has 2,015 yards through the air, placing him 18th on the all-time list among Big Green QBs (including head coach Buddy Teevens). He also owns the best completion rate in program history at 62.4 percent.