What Princeton Must Do to Defeat Butler

  • September 14, 2018

1) Cover Pace Temple. Senior receiver had 14 receptions at Youngstown State. “He is physical, catches everything, a precise route runner, one of those guys who just makes plays.” said Coach Bob Surace. Sophomore corner Delan Stallworth, essentially the only new first team player in the secondary (one start at the end of last season), probably will be the first guy Butler tests but Bulldogs may quickly begin to look elsewhere. Stallworth had an excellent camp, has a chance to be outstanding.

2) Pressure Will Marty. It is ever thus.  Time for the quarterback means everything. Marty, a senior, makes good decisions and so far, has been well protected. Primarily a pocket thrower but has escapability.

3) Block. It’s not just the minimal eight sacks allowed all last year that gives three new starters on the Princeton offensive line big shoes to fill. Penalties also were at a minimum.  Butler will selectively blitz, so protection is the responsibility of the running backs, too.

4) Be balanced. Every receiving and running threat of a record-breaking offense returns and quarterback John Lovett’s running adds one more huge dimension.  Butler can play its safeties like linebackers, but can the Bulldogs afford to stack nine in the box with Jesper Horsted and Stephen Carlson on the field?  If Lovett, a fulltime quarterback for this first time in his career, continues to be as accurate as he has been in practice, the next big Princeton play can come from more sources than the two big wideouts.

5) Stay the course. Tigers scored on two of the first three possessions in last year’s opener against San Diego and also killed an early drive with a red zone fumble recovery, the best start you could hope for against a good team that already had played two games.  If things don’t come as quickly this time, panic and turnovers will become the only pauses for concern.  Some mental cobwebs are inevitable. Can’t undo mistakes with three scores on one drive.

Jay Greenberg