What Princeton Must Do To Defeat Dartmouth

  • November 18, 2016
BY JAY GREENBERG

1) Start Well.

Tiger focus has been nearly perfect over the last three weeks but this is the game of a lot of players’ lives and there are going to be some nerves. An early lead always calms the jitters. The Big Green, forced to play catch-up repeatedly, has outscored teams 71-9 in fourth quarters. You don’t want Dartmouth hanging around.

2) Block Folarin Orimolade.

Linebacker plays inside, then goes to outside in blitzing situations, has 13.5 tackles for losses and probably is the leading candidate for defensive Asa S. Bushnell trophy.

3) Arms Up.

Quarterback Jack Heneghan has been sacked only nine times, but that is partly a manifestation of a game plan of short drops and quick outs. There may not be sacks to be had this week, but hurries and line of scrimmage deflections will be a must. Because Dartmouth has scored touchdowns on only 54 percent of trips into the red zone, big plays for a score would be Tigers’ worst nightmare. Eyes in the secondary have to be right. Undoubtedly, Dartmouth will take some shots.

4) Defend Hunter Hagdorn.

Miles Smith has averaged 5.8 yards-per-carry and is the Ivy’s leading rusher in league games, but Tiger run defense has been superlative all season. Pass defense has come a long ways. Nevertheless, wide out Hagdorn is quick and elusive on intermediate patterns and Princeton’s biggest defensive problem.

5) Hawk the ball.

Princeton’s plus-minus is best in the league. Dartmouth had 615 yards of offense against Brown, but turned the ball over five times and lost. This is a more talented Big Green team than the 1-5 Ivy record indicates, but it is injury-compromised, playing more underclassmen in key spots than is Princeton and is likely to make more mistakes.