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rice_tavish

Senior Tavish Rice.

Photo Credit: GoPrincetonTigers

This Saturday, Princeton football (1–0 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) will travel to Lewisburg, Pa., to take on Bucknell (0–3) where the Bison will be seeking their first win. The Tigers are looking to continue their early season superiority and continue dominating their non-conference schedule, in which their record is 12–1 since 2015. Princeton’s victory last week extended its winning streak, which dates back to last season, to 11 straight, the longest in program history since 17 between 1964 and 1965.

Coming out of last Saturday’s game against Butler University, senior quarterback Kevin Davidson was stepping into huge shoes to fill. Davidson did not disappoint, completing 18 of 21 passes for 341 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Davidson averaged nearly 20 yards per completion, stretching the Bulldogs’ defense. This passing attack was complemented by a rushing attack that racked up 195 yards, led by junior running back Collin Eaddy with 59 yards on 9 attempts.

The game also saw the emergence of sophomore wide receiver Andre Iosivas as a phenomenal threat. In the first half, he caught two touchdowns for 33 and 34 yards. Prior to this game, he had never caught a pass in Princeton colors. The leading receiver for the Tigers was junior Jacob Birmelin with 87 yards. No receiver for Princeton had more than four catches. Senior running back Ryan Quigley, along with six other receivers, had two receptions or more.

Looking at this week’s opponent, Bucknell has been relatively weak in its rushing defense, which could mean Eaddy and Quigley, Princeton’s second leading rusher against Butler, are posed for breakout games. The Bison have allowed 713 yards rushing accounting for nearly 45 percent of the total yards they’ve allowed this season and representing an average of 5.9 yards per attempt.

Bucknell’s offense has struggled this season, scoring 32 points in the three games it’s played so far. This could be an issue for the Bison going against a strong Princeton defense, who are returning eight of 11 starters and who only allowed the Bulldogs to gain 274 yards on offense last week. The Tigers added two forced fumbles, one sack, and one interception by junior defensive back Delan Stallworth. Most importantly, Princeton was able to get off the field on third down, holding Butler to four of 13 on third down. Bucknell has struggled in this area too, converting only 31 percent of its third downs so far this season.

The weekend result helped Princeton move up in the FCS Coaches’ Poll from No. 24 to No. 23, the highest ranked Ivy League team. Yale and Dartmouth are both receiving votes in the most recent poll from Sept. 22. Princeton reached a high point of No. 10 last season after its final game. The Tigers were not ranked last season until their emphatic win over Lehigh 66–7.

The Tigers’ game against Bucknell will be available for streaming through the Patriot League Network. Radio coverage is available on 103.3 WPRB, which can be accessed through TuneIn.com. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 3:30 p.m. at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

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