Did you miss us? We’re certainly glad to be back.
Four weeks ago, the Princeton football team opened its 2016 season on Powers Field at Princeton Stadium with a 35-31 victory over Lafayette, and then the Tigers began a three-week road trip that included an impressive 48-13 victory over Columbia in the Ivy League opener. They return to Powers Field Saturday to begin the most important stretch of the season, a six-game charge through the remainder of the Ivy League. Four of those games will take place in the friendly confines Princeton Stadium, where the Tigers have won five of their last six games.
The chase for the 51st Ivy League title is now in full force.
And we hope you’re here to enjoy every second of it.
|Week 5: Brown Bears (1-3, 0-1 Ivy) at Princeton Tigers (3-1, 1-0 Ivy)|
|Date • Time • Location||Oct. 15 • 3:00 pm • Powers Field at Princeton Stadium|
|Watch Live||Ivy League Digital Network|
|Tickets||Princeton Ticket Office l 609-258-4849 (4TIX)|
|Radio||103.3 FM l Listen Live on the TuneIn App|
|Game Coverage||Live Stats l @PUTigers l @PUTigers_Live l @PUTigerFootball|
|All-Time Series||Princeton leads 54-28|
|Last Meeting • Current Streak||BROWN 38, Princeton 31 (2015) l Brown 1 straight win|
|Princeton Information||Game Notes l Roster l Schedule l Statistics|
|Brown Information||Game Notes l Roster l Schedule l Statistics|
|Last Week||Princeton 31, GEORGETOWN 17 l Stetson 31, BROWN 21|
|Next Week||Harvard at Princeton, 1 pm (ILDN, ESPN3, WPRB 103.3 FM)|
Lights, Camera, Action
Saturday’s Ivy League showdown between Princeton and Brown will be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network, with Cody Chrusciel and Dave Giancola providing the call. You can also listen to the game live on WPRB 103.3 FM.
Of course, the best place to watch the game is inside Princeton Stadium; you can get tickets through GoPrincetonTigers.com or by calling 609-258-4TIX.
Princeton and Brown first met Oct. 20, 1898, with Princeton earning a 23-0 home victory. Today, 118 years later, the two teams will meet for the 83rd time, with Princeton holding a 54-28 all-time lead. The Tigers have won the last two meetings on Powers Field, including a 27-16 win during 2014, though Brown scored a last-minute touchdown to win a 38-31 shootout last year in Providence.
Home Sweet Home
After spending the last three weeks on the road, Princeton returns to Powers Field, where it will conclude the season with four home games over the final six weeks — all in Ivy play. The Tigers have won five of their last six home games, with the lone loss coming in the 2015 home finale against Yale. Princeton’s lone home game this season was a 35-31 comeback win over Lafayette during the opening weekend of the season.
Princeton will look to move to 2-0 in Ivy League play with a victory over Brown today. Both
Princeton and Brown were picked to finish in the middle of the league pack this year (Princeton 5th, Brown 6th), but Princeton could end today as one of only three Ivy unbeatens. Harvard, which plays a nonleague game, is 2-0 with wins over both Brown and Cornell, while Penn is 1-0 with a win at Dartmouth. The Quakers host Columbia Saturday afternoon.
Saturday’s game will feature a matchup between two of the Ivy’s top third-down units. Princeton ranks second in the Ivy League in third-down conversion offense (48.6%), while Brown has been the league’s stingiest third-down defense (30.2%).
One area that Bob Surace will be looking for significant improvement from last year’s Brown game is discipline. Since the start of the 2012 season — a span of 44 games — Princeton has only committed double-digit penalties once; the Tigers had 11 penalties for 94 yards in the 38-31 loss in Providence.
The last time Princeton played at home, Joe Rhattigan rushed for three touchdowns in the 35-31 victory over Lafayette. It seemed like a once-in-a-season accomplishment for a Tiger player. As it turns out, it’s been a once-a-week performance. Sophomore Charlie Volker rushed for three touchdowns in Week 2 against Lehigh, and junior John Lovett rushed for three touchdowns against both Columbia (Week 3) and Georgetown (Week 4), both of which helped Princeton to strong wins.
Lovett Or Leave It
John Lovett, who earned 2015 All-Ivy League honors despite playing less than 60% of the league games due to injury, currently leads all Ivy players with nine touchdowns scored this season, and he ranks fourth in the NCAA with nine rushing touchdowns. Lovett has also thrown for a touchdown in each of the last two weeks.
In case you were wondering, the Princeton single-season record for rushing touchdowns is 19, set by Keith Elias in 1993.
John Lovett, who rushed for two touchdowns and recorded his only career TD catch last year at Brown, was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week following Princeton’s win over Georgetown last weekend. He is Princeton’s first Ivy Offensive Player of the Week since Quinn Epperly, who won it after the Tigers’ Ivy-clinching win over Yale in Week 9 of the 2013 season.
Spreading The Love
Princeton completed passes to 14 different players, the most in a game under Bob Surace, last weekend at Georgetown. The passes were not only spread out among players, but also spread out among positions; five wideouts, four running backs, three quarterbacks and two tight ends all caught at least one pass.
Time, Time, Time Is On Our Side
Heading into the Week 3 game against Columbia, Princeton had not held the ball for more than 37:00 one time in 62 games under Bob Surace. Since then, the Tigers have done it twice in a row. Princeton controlled possession for 37:42 in its 48-13 win over Columbia; last weekend, Princeton held the ball for 37:01 in the win at Georgetown.
In last year’s loss in Providence, Brown held the ball for over 10 minutes longer than Princeton.
Over the last seven quarters, the Princeton defense has allowed only two touchdowns, and one came with all reserves on the field late in the 48-13 win over Columbia. The Hoyas only had one offensive score last weekend.
Princeton has the top-ranked rushing defense in the Ivy League and the seventh-ranked unit in all of FCS football. The Tigers are allowing only 89.0 rushing yards per game, and they have limited opposing rushers to 2.6 yards per carry.
Senior linebacker Rohan Hylton, a second-team All-Ivy League honoree in 2014, was on his way to a second straight honor last season when he suffered a season-ending injury in Princeton’s loss at Brown. He was able to return this season, and he ranks second on the team with 21 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, during the first four weeks.
Hylton was named to the Ivy League Honor Roll after recording three tackles, a sack and a pass breakup at Georgetown.
Senior Henry Schlossberg leads all Princeton defensive linemen in tackles (14), and he leads all Tigers in tackles for loss (4.0) and sacks (2.0). The 2015 All-Ivy League honoree had both of his sacks in Princeton’s Ivy-opening win at Columbia.
Shut It Down
Princeton had one of its most impressive defensive displays in years during its Ivy opener in New York City. Over a span of nine drives in the second and third quarters, Columbia gained a total of 24 yards. The Lions held the ball for less than one minute on five of the drives, and less than two minutes on seven of them. Princeton also forced two turnovers, including a strip-sack at the Columbia 6 that led directly to a Joe Rhattigan touchdown.
Scott Carpenter was recently named a semifinalist for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, one of the top scholar-athlete honors in college football. Candidates for the award must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.
Andrew Griffin, a wide receiver from Avon, Ind., and John Orr, a linebacker from Nashville, Tenn., are two of the five recipients — from a pool of more than 1.1 million high school football players — of the prestigious 2016 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards. Each of the five recipients is selected as the best of the best from his region of the country at the high school level. The five honorees, who are now playing college football after graduating high school in 2016, are being recognized solely for their accomplishments in high school.
Princeton is the only school to have multiple honorees of a 2016 National High School Scholar-Athlete Award, and it is the only Ivy League school to have an honoree. Among the other schools honored are Stanford and Michigan.
At halftime of Saturday’s game, Princeton will honor former head coach Bob Casciola, a former All-Ivy League player who played under Hall of Fame coaches Charlie Caldwell and Dick Colman during his Tiger playing days. He was a collegiate coach for 20 years, including a five-year run leading his alma mater (1973-77), and he eventually became the president of the National Football Foundation. Casciola was the 2004 recipient of the Distinguished American Award by the National Football Foundation.
Mike Catapano ’13, Caraun Reid ’14, and Seth DeValve’16 are each on NFL rosters this season, marking the first time three drafted Princeton players have all been on NFL rosters for the same weekend since the 1980s. Reid recorded his first sack for San Diego in the season opener, and he returned a fumble 61 yards for a touchdown at Indianapolis, while Catapano started at outside linebacker for the New York Jets. DeValve, who became Princeton’s highest-drafted player of the modern era (fourth round) last April, has seen time on offense for Cleveland.
The Crystal Ball
Princeton will remain home next weekend to take on reigning Ivy League co-champion Harvard during Alumni Weekend on campus. It will be another #OrangeOut at Princeton Stadium, and the first 2,000 fans at Princeton Stadium will receive an orange Princeton Athletics rally towel.
Kickoff is at noon, and tickets are still available through GoPrincetonTigers.com or 609-258-4TIX. If you can’t make it to the game, you can watch it live via the Ivy League Digital Network or ESPN3.
We Are The Champions
Princeton will honor the 2006 Ivy League title team at halftime of next Saturday’s contest. Ten years ago, the Tigers produced a 9-1 record — the program’s best since 1964 — and rallied for countless thrilling victories to earn Princeton’s first Ivy League title in 11 seasons.