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.