This weekend, Princeton football (5-3 overall, 2-3 Ivy) returns home after a tough stretch to take on Yale (7-1, 4-1) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. The game will prove incredibly important. Not only is the game Senior Day for Princeton because it’s the last home game of the season, it’s also the highlight of homecoming weekend. The Bulldogs are currently atop the Ivy League, and a win will clinch them a share of the Ivy League Title. On the other hand, the Tigers are playing for their Ivy League title hopes, needing a win to have a chance at the title at all.
Yale’s running game will be a big focus for Princeton’s defense to contain. Yale freshman running back Zane Dudek is having an all-time great season, having already racked up 889 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns so far this season. In Yale history, this is the best for a freshman ever, and the most since Levi Jackson had more than 800 rushing yards in 1946. Dudek was put on the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award Watch List, an award given to the top rookie in the FCS. He’s racked up a number of awards so far this season, including four Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards and the FCS National Rookie of the Week award.
For Princeton, the story is the same it has been all season; it’s all about senior quarterback Chad Kanoff. Kanoff has had a historic season so far, ranking first in FCS completion percentage (74.4 percent) and fifth in passing efficiency (166.6). Kanoff has also broken a number of records this season; but, with two weeks left, the one left that he’s closing in on is the single-season passing record held by Doug Butler ’86, who threw for 3,175 yards in the 1983 season. Kanoff so far has thrown for 2,576 yards through eight games, meaning that an average of 300 yards per game over the last two games would be good enough to break Butler’s record. So far this year, Kanoff has averaged 325.8 yards per game. While this could be good enough to break Butler’s single-season record, to break Butler’s career passing record of 7,291 yards, Kanoff would have to average close to 340 yards per game.
As mentioned before, Princeton is still mathematically able to win a share of the Ivy League Title. In fact, the Tigers are a part of a potential seven-way tie to share the title. This is possible largely because there is no tie-breaker for Ivy League titles; winning the title is based only on regular season record. With two weeks left in the season, there is one scenario that could see this result with the title being shared among the seven three-loss teams and just Brown missing out at 0-7. Obviously, as a part of this scenario, Princeton would have to win both of its remaining games against Yale and Dartmouth, but this alone would not be good enough to guarantee Princeton a share of the title. No two-loss team has claimed a share of the Ivy League title since 1982, so this would be a truly rare feat.
If you are unable to make the trip down to Powers Field on Saturday afternoon, there are a few other ways that you can watch the game. Eleven Sports will be carrying it live and the game will be streamed on the Ivy League Network. Radio coverage will be provided on 103.3 FM, which can also be accessed through the TuneIn App.