Football Team Opens Heart Of Ivy Season With Brown Showdown In Providence On ILN
Princeton didn’t exactly get its 2017 Ivy League season off to a great start, and it hasn’t gotten its last few games at Brown off to great starts either.
Seems like a good time to deal with both, right?
Princeton will look to jump start its Ivy League title chase Saturday at 12:30 pm when it heads to Providence for its 84th meeting against Brown. While Princeton holds the all-time advantage in the series 55-28, the home team has won five of the last six meetings in the rivalry, and Brown has won six of the last seven home games against Princeton.
This one will mean plenty to both squads, especially after both dropped their Ivy League openers. One team will leave Saturday knowing it needs a lot of help to stay in the Ivy League race.
The other will feel like it has started a whole new season.
Lights, Camera, Action
Saturday’s game against Brown will be streamed live on the Ivy League Network, with Scott Cordischi and John Anderson calling the game. Fans can listen to Cody Chrusciel and Craig Sachson live on the Princeton IMG Sports Network (103.3 FM WPRB in Princeton) or through the TuneIn app (search “Princeton IMG Sports Network”). The RWJ Barnabas Health pregame show begins 30 minutes prior to kickoff.
On The Road Again
Princeton heads to Providence for its first Ivy League road game, as well as its first overnight road trip of the season. Brown has historically been especially strong at home — the Bears are 2-0 at Brown Stadium this season — and have been especially good there against Princeton. Since 2003, Brown has won six of seven home meetings against Princeton, including a last-minute 38-31 win during the 2015 season. Princeton’s only win during that stretch came in 2013, a 39-17 victory during the Tigers’ Ivy League championship season.
Princeton has put itself in early holes in its last three trips to Providence — and in some cases, really early holes:
2011 • Dan Smithwick returned an interception for a 36-yard TD 57 seconds into the game.
2013 • A blocked punt return highlighted a 17-0 Brown run to open the game.
2015 • Alex Jette returned the opening kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown.
Both Princeton and Brown dropped their Ivy League openers, and history hasn’t been kind to teams with two losses in Ivy play. The last time an Ivy League champion had a 5-2 record was 35 years ago (1982), when Harvard, Penn, and Dartmouth shared the title.
Both Chad Kanoff and Jesper Horsted rank among the FCS best in three offensive statistical categories through the first month. Kanoff ranks second in the NCAA in both completion percentage (73.2%) and completions per game (28), and he ranks ninth in passing yards (308.3); Horsted ranks second nationally with 8.8 catches per game. Defensively, Mike Wagner leads the nation with 1.63 sacks per game, while CJ Wall is eighth in the FCS with .8 interceptions per game.
Armed And Ready
Chad Kanoff moved to second on the all-time Princeton passing list last weekend, and he enters the Brown game with 5,269 career passing yards, 23rd-most in Ivy League history (he passed former Harvard standout and NFL veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the Georgetown game). Kanoff would need to average 337 yards over the final six games to catch Princeton passing leader Doug Butler, but he could surpass a pair of former Brown quarterbacks with a strong game Saturday.
IVY LEAGUE PASSING LEADERS
19. Mike Mitchell (Penn), 1999-03 • 5,547 (278)
20. Kyle Newhall-Caballero (Brown), 2008-11 • 5,520 (251)
21. Joe DiGiacomo (Brown), 2004-06 • 5,475 (206)
22. Alvin Cowan (Yale), 2001-04 • 5,453 (184)
23. Chad Kanoff, 2013-present • 5,269
Head Of The Class
Chad Kanoff 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, comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.
Junior Jesper Horsted ranks second in the FCS with 8.8 catches per game (35 in four games). He is right on pace to match the Princeton single-season record of 88 catches, set by Kevin Guthrie ’84 during his 1983 senior season.
There have been only three 1000-yard receiving seasons in Princeton football history, but two Tigers are in the conversation after three strong weeks. Stephen Carlson ranks third in the Ivy League with 379 receiving yards, while Jesper Horsted ranks fourth in the league with 374 yards. Both have caught five touchdown passes on the season, including one apiece during last week’s 50-30 victory over Georgetown.
Princeton ranks fifth in the FCS with a 51.8 third-down conversion percentage this season.
Princeton scored in the first 15 quarters of the season, a streak that ended after the Tigers hit the 50-point mark against Georgetown. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have scored in 32 of their last 34 quarters; the lone exception was the third quarter of a 31-3 win at Yale and the fourth quarter last week.
Princeton leads the Ivy League and ranks fourth in the FCS in rushing defense. The Tigers have allowed only 53.8 rushing yards per game this season, including 40 last weekend against Georgetown.
Junior Mike Wagner, who was recruited as a quarterback, has posted three straight multiple-sack games for Princeton over the last three weeks. His 6.5 sacks leads the Ivy League, and his 1.63 sacks per game leads the FCS.
A Kurt Response
With the graduation of several top defensive teammates last season, and the early-season injuries to both Jake Strain and Mark Fossati, All-America senior Kurt Holuba has drawn the majority of the opposing attention this season. He has still managed a pair of sacks, including one for a safety last weekend, a trio of quarterback hurries and nine tackles this season. He was a finalist for Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year honors last season, and he had both a sack and an interception against Brown last season.
CJ Wall earned his second Ivy League Rookie of the Week award following a standout effort against Georgetown, which included a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown. Wall, the Ivy League leader with three interceptions, is fifth on the team with 21 tackles and has started every game. He is the first Princeton player to win the Rookie of the Week honor multiple times since 2012, when another rookie cornerback began turning heads in the Ivy League. Anthony Gaffney won the award following Weeks 3 and 5 of the 2012 Princeton season. The previous season, Chuck Dibilio earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors six times.
Junior LB Thomas Johnson, who is tied for third in the Ivy League with 32 tackles this season, is the eldest of three Johnson family members on the team. His cousin Sam Johnson is a sophomore projected to be the backup tight end, while Thomas’ younger brother James is a freshman battling for a spot in the linebacker/special teams rotation.
Sophomore Will Johnson, who moved from wide receiver to cornerback in the offseason, is not related.
Stay In Your Lane
Junior Simeon Lane moved into the starting lineup at nose tackle following the injury to Jake Strain, and he recorded Princeton’s first blocked field goal in since Week 2 of the 2016 season last weekend.
Princeton has shown impressive discipline this season, especially considering the number of young players finding increased roles. The Tigers rank second in the FCS with only 3.3 penalties per game, and their average of 35.8 penalty yards per game ranks sixth best in the nation.
Princeton head coach Bob Surace ’90 is the reigning Ivy League Coach of the Year, and he is a three-time finalist for FCS National Head Coach of the Year honors. Last weekend, he earned a win over former teammate and close friend John Garrett ’88, who is in his first year as the head coach at Lafayette.
Princeton has had three players selected in the NFL Draft over the last five years (Mike Catapano ’13, Caraun Reid ’14, and Seth DeValve ’16). Both Reid and DeValve have scored multiple touchdowns in their young NFL careers, and DeValve has ranked among the NFL’s top tight ends through the first month of the season.
The Crystal Ball
Princeton returns to New England six days after the Brown game, though it will head a bit more north. The Tigers will head to Boston for a Friday night game at Harvard, which will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network. That will be the first Ivy League road night game in Princeton history.
Princeton Football • By The Numbers
1 • latest Princeton ranking among universities by U.S. News & World Report
6 • televised Princeton games this season; eight of the 10 games will also be shown on the ILN or ESPN3
9 • Princeton football players who have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships
11 • Ivy League Championships won by Princeton since the league officially formed in 1956
15 • Princeton players picked in the NFL Draft; three were taken in the last five years
22 • career interceptions by Dean Cain, former “Superman” star; total remains an Ivy League record
26 • Princeton players and coaches who are in the College Football Hall of Fame
28 • national titles won by Princeton; no college football program can claim more
42 • number worn by 1951 Heisman Trophy recipient Dick Kazmaier; no Princeton player has worn the number since
43.7 • points per game scored by the Ivy champion 2013 Princeton Tigers; total remains an Ivy League record
72 • Princeton’s total first-team All-America honorees; John Lovett (2016) is the most recent
153 • points Princeton scored during its last four must-win games of the 2016 title season; the opposing teams combined for only 31
193 • career receptions for Kevin Guthrie, the all-time Princeton leader
1869 • the year of the first college football game, played between Rutgers and Princeton
1878 • Princeton’s first “Big Three” title; the University celebrates with a bonfire on Cannon-Green when the Tigers sweep Harvard and Yale
4,208 • career rushing yards for Keith Elias, the Princeton record holder
27,800 • seating capacity at Princeton Stadium, which celebrates its 20th year in 2017, and where our tradition continues this season
|Week 5: Princeton (3-1, 0-1 Ivy) at Brown (2-2, 0-1 Ivy)|
|Date • Time • Location||Oct. 14, 2017 • 12:30 pm • Brown Stadium • Providence, RI|
|Watch Live||Ivy League Network|
|Tickets||Brown Ticket Office|
|Radio||103.3 FM l Listen Live on the TuneIn App|
|Game Coverage||Live Stats l @PUTigers l @PUTigerFootball|
|All-Time Series||Princeton leads 55-28|
|Last Meeting • Current Streak||PRINCETON 31, Brown 7 l Princeton 1 win|
|Princeton Information||Game Notes l Roster l Schedule l Statistics|
|Brown Information||Game Notes l Roster l Schedule l Statistics|
|Ivy League||Standings l Statistics l Weekly Release|
|Last Week||PRINCETON 50, Georgetown 30 l STETSON 17, Brown 13|
|Next Week||Oct. 20: Princeton at Harvard (7:30 pm • NBC Sports Network)|