This weekend, Princeton football (1–0) heads up to face non-conference opponent Lafayette (0–3) at Fisher Stadium with a kickoff set for 6 p.m. on Saturday. Last year, these teams played each other in the season opener, with the Tigers walking away victors after a crazy 35–31 comeback. In the 50th meeting between the two teams, Princeton will be hoping to repeat that success and continue its momentum after last week’s win over San Diego.
Both teams will be heavily reliant on their passing game if past trends are to be any sort of indicator. Last year when these teams went, the Leopards were able to scorch the Princeton secondary with two wide receivers, in particular, Rocco Palumbo and Matt Mrazek. Palumbo had more than 100 receiving yards when he played last and Mrazek was able to shake loose for two touchdown catches. First-year cornerback CJ Wall will play a pivotal role in defending this Lafayette pass attack. In his one game so far for the Tigers, Wall has earned a number of accolades including an interception and a fumble recovery. All told, Wall put in a performance that earned him the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. Not bad for the only member of the Class of 2021 to start on offense or defense.
When Princeton’s on offense, keep an eye out for senior quarterback Chad Kanoff to be slinging the ball around as he did last week. Against San Diego, Kanoff completed nearly 75 percent of his passes for 352 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. This performance moved Kanoff into third on the all-time passing yards list at Princeton. Next in his sights is Matt Verbit ’05, who is 814 yards ahead of Kanoff. One of Kanoff’s key targets for this weekend was one of the ball recipients during last week’s game, junior wide receiver Stephen Carlson who caught six passes for 94 yards and all three of Kanoff’s touchdowns.
One last level of intrigue heading into this weekend’s game is the personal relationship shared between the two teams’ head coaches. Princeton head coach Bob Surace ’90 and Lafayette head coach John Garrett ’88 have known each other for over 30 years since their time together as undergraduates at the University. They played together in the 1987 season, and would later rejoin each other for three years with the Cincinnati Bengals’ coaching staff.
If you are unable to make the trip out to Easton, Pa., for Saturday night’s game, there are a few other ways that you can watch the game. Lafayette Sports Network will be carrying it live and the Patriot League Network will have a free live stream. Radio coverage will be provided on 103.3 FM, which can also be accessed through the TuneIn App.