Saturday, September 29, 2012

Football: Ivy League Week 3 Preview

Pennsylvania (0-2) at Dartmouth (2-0)
Following the graduation of all-time great running back Nick Schwieger (as well as 15 other starters) expectations for Dartmouth this year were tempered.  Despite that, the Big Green have started their season 2-0, blasting Butler 35-7 before squeaking by Holy Cross 13-10 on the road last week.  Dominick Pierre has picked up where Schwieger left off, running for 255 yards and three touchdowns so far.  Penn, meanwhile, has started 0-2 for the fifth time in six years.  Quarterback Billy Ragone, who was first-team All-Ivy as a sophomore, is not obviously the Quakers' starter at this point; fellow senior Andrew Holland has attempted 60% of the team's passes so far (with only two interceptions to Ragone's five(!)).

Colgate (1-3) at Yale (1-1)
The Raiders' only win this year came two weeks ago against the terrible Sacred Heart Crusaders.  Jordan McCord leads a strong ground attack, averaging better than 136 yards/game so far.  Colgate's rush defense is as porous as their offense is potent, having been gashed for 230 yards/game so far.  There might be room to run for Bulldog freshman back Tyler Varga, who has almost 200 yards in his first two games.  The young Elis have generally been good at moving the ball, but have been killed on turnovers--they've surrendered the ball nine times already.  The Raiders' Gavin McCarney might not torch Yale like Cornell's Jeff Mathews did last week, but he should hold onto the ball better than his freshman counterpart Eric Williams.

Princeton (0-2) at Columbia (1-1)
Princeton used a fumbled punt to pull close to 13th-ranked Lehigh two weeks ago, but couldn't complete the comeback, losing 17-14.  Last week things were even closer, as they lost 21-20 on a last-minute Georgetown field goal.  They may have found an answer at running back in freshman Di Andre Atwater, who accumulated 92 yards on just 15 carries.  That said, the Tigers have been outgained in both games, and need Conner Michelson to be something more than a warm body at quarterback.  The Lions, meanwhile, have opened with a 10-9 win over Marist and a 20-13 loss at the hands of Fordham.  Apart from Marcorus Garrett's 140 yards/game on the ground, I'm not sure Columbia is all that good at anything.  Still, the Tigers are in the same boat, and the game is in Manhattan.

Brown (1-1) at Georgetown (3-1)
Following a 24-21 win over Holy Cross in their opener, Bruno couldn't keep up with the Crimson last week,  falling 45-31.  Spiro Theodhosi has rushed for at least 85 yards in both games so far, and senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly has been extremely efficient.  Georgetown, meanwhile, is already on their third Ivy League opponent of the year, including a 24-21 loss to Yale and the aforementioned win over Princeton.  The Hoyas are powered by a tough ground game on both sides of the ball, having more than doubled their opponents' rushing output so far (845 yards to 406).  Expect a big day from Donnelly, but a bigger one from the Hoyas.

Cornell (1-1) at Bucknell (1-2)
The Ivy nightcap features a Cornell team that flexed its muscles--specifically those involved with throwing a football--last week against Yale.  Jeff Mathews hit on 29-of-39 for 340 yards and three touchdowns in the 45-6 evisceration.  Cornell did lose their opener to Fordham, but that may not provide a blueprint for Bucknell to follow: Cornell only put up seven point in the first half due to a missed 26-yard field goal and two Big Red punts from the Fordham 38.  For the Bison to have a chance, they will likely need dual-threat quarterback Brandon Wesley to avoid turning the ball over.

Predictions About Which I Am Supremely Confident
Penn 27 - 23 Dartmouth
Colgate 23 - 20 Yale
Columbia 17 - 13 Princeton
Georgetown 31 - 27 Brown
Cornell 31 - 20 Bucknell

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Trevor Scales Named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week

Following his stellar performance in The Crimson's first game this past Saturday vs. The San Diego Toreros, senior running back Trevor Scales has been named the Ivy League Offensive player of the week. The Crimson won big with a 28-13 victory, in large part to Scales, who ran 19 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns on the day, averaging 9.1 ypc. His biggest play of the day a humongous 66-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Crimson, as well as Scales' place as an offensive powerhouse in the Ivy League this season.

Crimson Scales Past San Deigo

This past Saturday saw The Harvard Crimson open up their football season with a big, 28-13, win over the San Diego Toreros. With this victory, The Crimson looks to replicate its stellar 2011 season where they went undefeated in Ivy League play, and 9-1 overall.

Harvard entered the fourth quarter down 7-13, but was able to score three touchdowns to pull away
from San Diego and seal their 10th straight victory. This win came with some major help by Harvard's running game, who rushed a total of 195yds. vs San Diego's paltry 2yds. In the air, San Diego was a bit more dominant, the Toreros throwing for 354yds. vs the Crimsons 209yds. But in spite of this, the Crimson defensive line proved too wily, recording 7 sacks and 10 tackles, as well as stopping a key San Diego play late in the fourth that would have tied the game at 20.

Players of the game include Colton Chapple, who threw 16-of-29 pass attempts for a total of 209 yards and two touchdowns in the air, and Trevor Scales, who had a phenomenal game, rushing for 173 yards in 19 carries, averaging an astonishing 9.1ypc, and leaving the game with two touchdowns.