|GAMEDAY INFORMATION vs. PRINCETON TIGERS
|Date & Time:||Saturday, November 22, 1 p.m.||Dartmouth||Stats||Princeton|
|Location:||Princeton, N.J. // Weather||7-2, 5-1||Record||5-4, 4-2|
|Stadium:||Princeton Stadium||Won 2||Streak||Lost 1|
|All-Time Series:||Big Green lead 46-43-4||30.2||Points/Game||30.8|
|Broadcast:||ESPN3 - Dave Leno (play-by-play) and Ken Dunek (analyst)||237.8||Passing/Game||266.9|
|Radio:||99Rock // WFRD 99.3 FM - Dick Lutsk, Wayne Young||167.6||Rushing/Game||157.6|
|Logistics:||Directions // Parking||401.6||Yards Allowed||347.7|
|Twitter:||@DartmouthSports // @DartFootball||22.2||Points Allowed||27.3|
|Dartmouth Links:||Home // Roster // Schedule // Stats // Teevens Teleteaser // Notes (PDF)||88.9%||Red Zone %||94.6%|
|Princeton Links:||Home // Roster // Schedule // Stats // Notes (PDF)||28:39||Time of Possession||31:03|
So You’re Saying There’s A Chance
For the first time in 17 seasons, Dartmouth enters the final day of the football season with a shot at earning at least a share of the Ivy League title.
It was a similar scenario in 1997 with Harvard sporting a spotless record and the Big Green with just one loss, that coming against the Crimson. The difference this year is that Yale is also in the hunt for the crown with its lone loss coming against Dartmouth, whereas 17 years ago, the Bulldogs had not defeated a single team in conference play.
Last year Harvard needed help from the Big Green to lay claim to a share of the top spot in the standings. Dartmouth did the Crimson the favor of toppling Princeton as Harvard knocked off Yale to tie the Tigers for the title. One would think the Crimson should return the favor, but despite being friends since childhood, that is something Harvard head coach Tim Murphy cannot willfully do for Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens.
There is another player in all of this, that being Princeton. The Tigers, although eliminated from the title chase last week by Yale, would like nothing better than to spoil Dartmouth’s chances by avenging last year’s 28-24 loss in Hanover.
Lest we forget, there are a pair of rewards on the line in this contest as the victor receives the Governor’s Trophy and the 1917 Sawhorse Dollar, the latter of which was added to the fray in 2004.
This past Saturday, the Big Green blew open a three-point game at the half into a 44-21 victory over visiting Brown. Senior wide receiver Ryan McManus scored the first three Dartmouth touchdowns, with an Alex Gakenheimer 30-yard field goal mixed in, and freshman Ryder Stone — who had touched the ball four times all year — provided the final three scores.
McManus caught a career-high 13 passes on the day for 154 yards, giving him 58 catches on the season (4th among Ivy receivers) for 783 yards (3rd), the most yardage at Dartmouth in over a decade. It was also his third 100-yard game of the season and fourth of his career.
Stone, meanwhile, was thrust into service when the team’s leading rusher, Kyle Bramble, was sidelined as were Brian Grove and Abrm McQuarters. The Canadian made the most of his opportunity with touchdown runs of one and four yards before capping his day with a 63-yard sprint to the end zone.
Those two performances overshadowed the terrific play of QB Dalyn Williams. All the junior did was complete 75.8 percent (25-of-33) of his passes for 248 yards three TDs, plus run for 100 yards on 18 carries for his second career 100-yard game. Williams enters this game second in the league in passing efficiency and total offense.
Meanwhile, the defense may have started sluggishly, allowing two Bear touchdowns on the first two possessions, but stymied Brown the rest of the game. The Ivy League’s leading tackler, LB Will McNamara, had 10 stops for the sixth time this year, plus picked off a key pass — the Big Green’s league-leading 12th of the year — at the outset of the second half to begin the rout. DE Cody Fulleton and DT A.J. Zuttah were especially effective at disrupting plays, and the latter is third among Ivy linemen in tackles this year.
Scouting the Tigers
Princeton had high hopes for the 2014 campaign with most of the key players returning this year after setting Ivy League offensive records last season and winning a share of the conference crown. But a pair of non-conference losses to San Diego and Colgate, coupled with defeats against Harvard and Yale have left the Tigers at 5-4 on the season and eliminated from the title chase at 4-2 in the league.
This is still a very dangerous team with the dual quarterbacks of Connor Michelsen and Quinn Epperly. Michelsen is the better passer of the two with 1,427 yards and eight touchdowns while completing 66.3 percent of his passes. Epperly, on the other hand, has battled through some injuries after a breakout junior campaign, yet still has managed to run for 229 yards and 12 TDs while throwing for 958 yards and four scores at a 58.5 percent clip.
Aside from Epperly, the Tigers have an effective running duo in the backfield in DiAndre Waters and Will Powers. Waters gobbles up 7.4 yards per carry and leads the team with 484 rushing yards, but Powers has attempted more rushes (74-65) with a solid 5.2-yard average and 386 yards with four TDs.
Princeton has a number of receiving weapons as well, led by Connor Kelley with 56 catches for 647 yards and four TDs. Matt Costello also has four scores among his 40 receptions for 468 yards. Throw in James Frusciante, Seth DeValve and Scott Carpenter each catching 2-3 passes a game, and the Dartmouth defense will have its hands full covering all of the potent Tiger options.
The defense has been very effective against the run, but yielded more passing yards than any other FCS team in the country — over 300 per game. Free safety Dorian Williams leads the Tigers with 73 tackles and seven passes defended with an interception. But linebackers Mike Zeuli (71 tackles, 14.5 TFL) and Rohan Hylton (65 tackles, 10.5 TFL) are the stars of the defense, and each has 4.5 sacks to boot.
Princeton has one of the Ivy’s best placekickers in Nolan Bieck, who is 12-for-13 on field goals with a long of 46 and a perfect 29-of-29 on PATs. The punting game is headed by Tyler Roth and his 39.7-yard average per kick, second in the league.
Broadcasting the Final Game
Dartmouth finishes the season by playing Princeton in a game streamed on ESPN3 with Dave Leno and Ken Dunek calling the action. And as always, fans can tune into 99Rock, WFRD 99.3 FM out of Hanover or listen online at wfrd.com or the Ivy League Digital Network to hear Dick Lutsk and Wayne Young ’72 describe the action.
In Search of a Milestone Win
Now in his 24th season as a head coach, is knocking on the door of his 100th career victory. Of his first 99 triumphs, 30 have come in the past five seasons as he has returned Dartmouth football to the first division in the Ivy League.
More Players of the Week
While Dartmouth has had at least one Ivy League Player of the Week after every game save one this season, it had more than one for the first time following the 44-21 victory over Brown on Nov. 15. Senior WR shared the Offensive Player of the Week honor, his second of the season, while freshman RB received a share of the Rookie of the Week award. McManus set career highs with 13 receptions — the third most in Big Green history — and three touchdowns while amassing 154 yards. Stone matched those three TDs with runs of one, four and 63 yards while piling up 114 yards on the ground on just 10 carries.
Other Player of the Week performances this year:
- QB (Offense) on Nov. 10, 24-34 passing for 381 yards, 4 TDs, school-record 443 total yards at Cornell.
- LB (Defense) on Oct. 27, game-high 11 tackles, interception at Columbia.
- NB Frankie Hernandez (Defense) on Oct. 20, 8 tackles, interception vs. Holy Cross.
- WR (Offense) on Oct. 13, 12 receptions for career-high 188 yards, 1 TD, 245 all-purpose yards, 60-yard punt return for a TD at Yale.
- NB (Defense) on Oct. 6, game-high 11 tackles, 2 PBUs and a fumble recovery vs. Penn.
- KR Kirby Schoenthaler (Special Teams) on Sept. 29, 7 kickoff returns for a school-record 198 yards including a 92-yard return at #4 New Hampshire.
- QB (Offense) 14-24 passing for 216 yards, 3 TDs, 11 rushes for 75 yards and a TD vs. Central Connecticut State.
Back-to-Back 40-Point Games
In each of the past two games, Dartmouth has topped 40 points and combined for 86. The last time the Big Green scored that many points in consecutive contests was against the same two teams — Cornell and Brown — in 2007 when they put a total of 94 points on the board. But Dartmouth had not had consecutive 40-point games since 1992 against Bucknell (44) and Holy Cross (48). To find the last time the Green accomplished the feat against Ivy League teams, well, don’t bother looking. It previously had never happened. Since the first Ivy football season in 1956, Dartmouth had done it just that once until the last two weeks. How about three consecutive 40-point games? Try 1935 against Vermont (47-0), Bates (59-0) and Brown (41-0).
Junior QB posted a career high in completion percentage when he connected on 75.8 percent (25-of-33) of his passes against Brown on Nov. 15. Add in the one throw Alex Park completed and Dartmouth had its best team percentage (.765) since converting 77.4 percent of its throws (24-of-31) against Cornell 20 years ago.
Trio of Touchdowns
When senior WR collected three touchdown receptions against Brown on Nov. 15, he became the first Big Green player with at least three in a game in 25 years. Tom Parker ’90 was the last to do it when he set a school record with four to account for every Dartmouth touchdown in a 28-27 win over Boston University on Sept. 23, 1989. And McManus’ 13 catches last week are the third most in school history.
Stone Piles on the Yards, TDs
Freshman RB needed just one half of football and 10 carries to amass 114 rushing yards in a 44-21 win over Brown on Nov. 15. He is the first freshman to hit three digits running the ball since Dominick Pierre ’14 ran for 110 against Sacred Heart back in 2010. But if he had played the entire game and equaled that total in the first half, Stone still would not have matched the rookie single-game rushing record of 243 yards set by Greg Patton ’13 against Cornell in 2009.
Stone also became the second Big Green player to rush for three touchdowns in a game this season, joining QB who did it against Penn back on Oct. 4.
100-Yard Rushing Duo
Not only did freshman RB top 100 yards on the ground against Brown on Nov. 15, QB did as well, hitting the century mark on the nose. It was the first time in seven years that a Dartmouth duo ran for 100 yards in the same game. Nate Servis amassed 130 yards against Columbia, while Rob Mitchelson pitched in 105 of his own in a 37-28 win at Memorial Field on Oct. 20, 2007. In addition, the Big Green had 266 rushing yards, their most against the Bears since a 51-28 win in 1992.
Three Named Academic All-District
Dartmouth had three of its starters named to the Capital One Academic All-District I Football Team — junior RB , junior LT Jacob Flores and senior RG Ben Spiritos. Bramble is an engineering major with a 3.43 GPA, Flores a religion major with a 3.48 GPA and Spiritos is studying economics and sports a 3.41 GPA.
It had been 17 years since Dartmouth had seven wins in a season, but with the 44-21 triumph over Brown, the Big Green are back in seventh heaven. The team actually won eight games in that 1997 campaign, one of just 15 times Dartmouth has attained that total in the first 132 years of the program. A win over Princeton would make it 16 in 133 years, not to mention give his 100th career win.
McNamara Doubles Up Again
Junior LB had his string of five games with at least 10 tackles come to an end at Cornell, but he got back to his double-digit ways against Brown with a team-high 10 stops. The Ivy League’s leading tackler has 78 on the season despite missing the first game. He also picked off a pass against the Bears for his second interception this season and fourth of his career, but first against a team that doesn’t rhyme with Morumbia.
In the Flo of Things
With another sack against Brown, sophomore LB Folarin Orimolade (Flo for short) now leads the Big Green with 3.5 on the season, even though he has just 15 tackles in the nine games. And his 4.5 tackles for a loss are second only to junior DE Cody Fulleton, who has 5.5.
McManus vs. McManus
With one game left in the season, senior has 58 catches for 783 yards. His older brother, Tim ’11, caught 60 passes for 637 yards, so Ryan has already surpassed Tim’s yardage and needs just three receptions to move past him into fifth place on the Big Green’s single-season list. As for career totals, Ryan jumped up to eighth in both receptions (115) and yardage (1,574). He would need to break a school record in this game to catch Tim’s 134 catches, but needs just 60 more yards to move ahead of his brother into seventh on the career list.
Williams Closing in on 2,000
Only five quarterbacks in Big Green history have thrown for 2,000 yards in a single season, but junior is on the verge of joining the elite group. Entering the Princeton game, he has 1,814 yards to his credit, and considering the Tigers allow an average of over 300 yards per game, he is a good bet to get to 2,000. Williams also needs three more touchdown tosses to become the second Dartmouth QB with 20 in a season; Jay Fiedler ’94 did it twice.
Fiedler on the Roof
Former NFL QB Jay Fiedler ’94 still owns the most accurate passing season by a Dartmouth quarterback at 64.1 percent (175-of-273) back in 1992. But is threatening to beat that mark as he enters the final game at 64.8 percent (151-of-233) and is coming off his two most accurate games ever — 70.6 percent at Cornell and 75.8 percent against Brown. When it comes to career percentage, only two Big Green QBs with 2,000 yards are above 60 percent, and both are currently active — Williams (.606) and (.622).