Princeton Preview

The Yale Bulldogs host the Princeton Tigers on Saturday at the Bowl.  You can watch the game on ESPN+ at 12:30 PM ET.

Princeton enters the contest atop the Ivy League at 8-0 after a 14-9 victory over Dartmouth last week.  Senior QB John Lovett leads Princeton in both passing and rushing yards as he seeks to capture his second Ivy League MVP award.  Lovett has made significant strides in improving his passing skills since we last played against him in 2016.  He has completed 113 of 174 passes for 1433 yards, 14 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.  Lovett’s size (230 lbs.) and speed make him very difficult to tackle when he runs the ball.  He is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and has 10 rushing touchdowns on the season.  Senior running back Charlie Volker has continued to improve over his career and he is averaging a whopping 7.1 yards per carry.  If Volker is banged up, sophomore Colin Eaddy or junior Ryan Quigley will fill in.  Senior wide receivers Jesper Horsted and Stephen Carlson are the most dangerous receivers in the Ivy League.  They are both big targets that can routinely outjump defensive backs to snag the ball.  The Princeton offensive line is solid across the board and appears to be just a slight notch below Dartmouth’s offensive line in overall talent.

Princeton’s defense is led by linebackers Mark Fossati and Tom Johnson.  Fossati was injured last season, but bounced back this year with 54 tackles, 4 tackles for losses and 2 sacks.  Johnson was an All-Ivy linebacker last season and appears to be destined for that same distinction this season.  Mike Wagner plays Princeton’s rush linebacker position (OLB/DE) and has made life difficult for opposing quarterbacks.  Wagner has 4.5 sacks, while defensive linemen Samuel Wright, Jay Rolader and Joey Demarco have combined for 9 sacks.  Princeton’s secondary is the top unit in the Ivy League.  TJ Floyd is a ball hawk with 6 interceptions to date.  Safety Ben Ellis has been all over the field for Princeton with 42 tackles including 3.5 tackles for losses.

Princeton’s special teams units are average for the conference.  Punter George Triplett has only had to punt 17 times this season and averages just over 35 yards per punt.  Princeton kickers have made 7 of 9 field goals.  Tiger Bech and Austin Carbone have big play potential on punt and kickoff returns.


12 thoughts on “Princeton Preview”

  1. I rarely predict a Yale loss but I really have to this time. P 27, Elis 17. THE GAME? That’s a toss-up. I’d love to win but the big one will be back at the Bowl on November 23, 2019.

  2. The only way to stop Princeton is to contain and punish Lovett. Hopefully the staff has a plan to do so. Send our most athletic and best tackling linebacker after him on every play. I nominate freshmen Noaj Pope as Lovett tormentor.
    Our offense has shown that they can make plays on the slop of a field we have. Can we score 24 and hold Princeton to 21? It is possible if we stop the penalties and win the turnover battle.

  3. gentlemen; may i dare say there is this defense scheme that has a man called spy which should be utilized to bottle up the tiger signal caller otherwise it could be a long afternoon for our blue.

  4. Yale needs to play a complete game Without penalties and missed tackles to be competitive against Princeton. Have full confidence in Griffin O’Connor to lead the offense.
    We need both lines to play their best game of the year and make sure our db are up to the task of covering p ton wide receivers.
    Put your talent fourth and leave your hearts on the field BULLDOGS!! Feeding Princeton is within your grasp.
    Let’s go BLUE Time to break something tigers hearts.

  5. Why is it after I proofread my comments do they change after I post??
    Above comment should have read beating Princeton is within grasp. And time to break some Princeton hearts
    Beat Princeton!!Go BULLDOGS!!

  6. With two losses Yale may not be able to garner the Ivy crown but wins over Princeton and Harvard and a 7-3 record would still make this season highly satisfying.
    Beating the Tigers means stopping Lovett and Horsted or at least making them less productive – which no other Princeton opponent has done. Size matters, and these All Ivy players are simply bigger than our lbs and dbs. Solo tackling will not be sufficient to hold them down, just as it wasn’t against Dartmouth’s qb Gerbino. We don’t have Oluokun and Oplinger any more so I don’t think a single “rover back” tracking Lovett will work. Instead we will need a lot of gang tackling which requires our defense to swarm towards the ball carrier.
    We know how amazing O’Connor can be when he has time to pass. If the OL plays its best game against the vaunted tiger defense, I think the talent we have at qb, rb and receivers can score a lot of points. If our defense can do what Harvard did which kept Princeton to under 30 points Yale can pull the upset.
    No excuses if Yale loses a close game because of the continuing yardage give away from penalties or the missed PATs.

    1. Sorry, one more thing:
      Every possession, every down will be important so as much as we are all huge fans of Dudek, I hope Reno and his staff only utilize Zane if he is really capable of playing effectively. He clearly hasn’t been that in the games that he played since Holy Cross. Reno can’t waste a down against Princeton just to see how well he can play – coaches should already know. It was wise to keep him out of the Brown game and it is best to just let him recover completely even if it means not seeing his outstanding running abilities until next year.

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