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In the 2018 season, Princeton football (10–0, 7–0 Ivy) won home games and road games, narrow thrillers and blowouts, offensive shootouts, and defensive struggles. The constant? It won games. On Nov. 17, the team won for the 10th time in 10 games, defeating Penn (6–4, 3–4) 42–14 to win the Ivy League title outright and claim its first undefeated season since 1964.
The Princeton Tigers (9–0 overall, 6–0 Ivy) look to cap their undefeated season with a win against the Penn Quakers (6–3 overall, 3–3 Ivy) on Saturday at Powers Field.
On a cold, windy, and even snowy Saturday afternoon at the Yale Bowl, Princeton picked off Yale — literally — to clinch a share of the 2018 Ivy League title and the first bonfire since 2013. Three Princeton players rushed for more than 100 yards, the defense forced four interceptions, and Princeton cruised to a 59–43 win over Yale, the highest score ever for the two teams in their historic rivalry.
At the Yale Bowl in New Haven, CT, football is one half away from its first bonfire since 2013. Princeton (8–0, 5–0 Ivy) leads Yale (5–3, 3–2) at halftime 42–14.
It’s an exciting time to be a Princeton football fan. Last Saturday, Nov. 3, the Tigers took down Dartmouth 14–9 in a thrilling showdown of unbeaten teams. This Saturday, Princeton plays Yale for a chance to earn a bonfire and secure at least a share of the Ivy League title. Here’s a list of takeaways from the Dartmouth game and things to think about before the Yale game.
The Princeton Tigers (8–0 overall, 5–0 Ivy League) defeated the previously unbeaten Dartmouth Big Green (7–1, 4–1) 14–9 Saturday afternoon at Powers Field.
No. 17 Princeton’s (7–0 overall, 4–0 Ivy League) game Saturday against Cornell (3–4, 2–2) had the appearance of a classic “trap” game for the undefeated Tigers. Sandwiched in Princeton’s schedule between a hard-fought win against rival Harvard (3–4, 1–3) and a looming showdown against fellow Ivy unbeaten No. 20 Dartmouth (7–0, 4–0), Cornell entered the weekend playing better than their 3–3 record indicated, with losses against strong FCS opponents and stellar performances in recent weeks. It became quickly evident that Princeton would not fall for the trap. Instead, spectators saw the biggest blowout in a Princeton season full of lopsided wins. On a cold, rainy day, Princeton’s defense forced three interceptions in just the first quarter, its offense scored 45 first-half points, and the Tigers cruised to a 66–0 win.
The undefeated football team (6–0, 3–0 Ivy) will face Cornell (3–3, 2–1) in its return to Powers Field at Princeton Stadium tomorrow afternoon. The Tigers are coming off a 29–21 win over Harvard (3–3, 1–2 Ivy) in which senior quarterback John Lovett threw for 207 yards and senior running back Charlie Volker recorded two rushing touchdowns. The victory was Princeton’s first real test in a season that includes five blowout wins.
On Saturday, No. 18 Princeton (6–0 overall, 3–0 Ivy) faced an unfamiliar challenge this season: a close game. Princeton entered the game with an undefeated record and 43.4-point average margin of victory but needed all 60 minutes to put away Harvard (3–3, 1–2) in a 29–21 victory in Cambridge, Mass.
Tomorrow at noon, Princeton football (5–0, 2–0 Ivy) takes on rival Harvard (3–2, 1–1 Ivy) after traveling up to Cambridge on Friday. Normally, this game would be home for the Tigers, but due to the Ivy League’s changing schedule, Princeton will make the trip again. The Tigers will be looking to replicate their success from last year, when they won 52–17. In addition, this will be a chance for Princeton to continue climbing up the rankings. It has climbed to No. 18 in the AFCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. This is the team’s first time back in the top 20 since Princeton clinched the 2013 Ivy League title with a win over Yale and the highest it’s been since it was No. 15 on Oct. 23, 2006. The Tigers are also up to No. 23 in the STATS Football Championship Subdivision Top 25.
Throughout the season, Princeton (5–0 overall, 2–0 Ivy) has proved it can beat teams decisively, entering the weekend with four blowout wins in four games. This week, the team showed it could do the same without its star quarterback, with junior Kevin Davidson filling in for injured senior John Lovett at quarterback. Davidson threw for four touchdowns, and the Tigers put up 559 yards of total offense in a 48–10 “Alumni Weekend” win over Brown (1–4, 0–2 Ivy), earning its second Ivy League win and staying undefeated on the season.
Anyone who has paid attention to the start of the football season has noticed one major trend: Princeton’s offense has been good. For the first few weeks, many of us chalked it up to Princeton playing in a scheme it knew well, going up against a slew of teams that were struggling to find defensive identities. However, now four weeks in, it doesn’t look like the offensive production is a fluke. After dropping 66 points on Lehigh this past weekend — more points than the basketball team scored in 12 of their games last season — it is becoming more and more clear that this offense is the real deal. Beyond that, through the first third of the season, the Princeton offense is not just great, it is also trending in a historic direction.
It was a historic day for Princeton football (4–0 overall, 1–0 Ivy League) in its nonconference finale Saturday afternoon against Lehigh (1–3). Senior quarterback John Lovett accounted for 399 yards of offense, seven different players scored touchdowns, and Princeton scored its most points since 1950 in a blowout 66–7 win.
Tomorrow, Princeton football (3–0, 1–0 Ivy) hosts local rival Lehigh (1–3), last year’s Patriot League winner, in its last nonconference game of the year. The game will begin at 1 p.m. at Powers Field at Princeton Stadium. This will be the Tigers’ last chance to get it right before going into the rest of their conference play where they will strive to win another Ivy League title. This game will also have an important impact on Princeton’s place in the rankings. Princeton entered the AFCA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll last week as #25 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and is up to #23 after its 45–10 win over Columbia. This is the highest Princeton has been since Week 10 of its 2013 Ivy League championship season. The Tigers are also in the “Receiving Votes” portion of the STATS FCS Top 25, where they ranked #22 entering Week 10 in 2013.
A 2016 rule change in the Ivy League led to a significant reduction in concussions in conference football games, a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded.
Last year's Princeton team found itself the victim of some bad luck, losing several close games, including its Ivy League opener against Columbia. This year's team seems to have found an effective solution to that problem: Blow its opponents out. In their Ivy League opener Friday night, the Tigers (3–0 overall, 1–0 Ivy) dominated Columbia (2–1, 0–1) on the road, winning 45–10.
This Friday, Princeton football (2–0 overall, 0–0 Ivy) heads up the New Jersey Turnpike to New York City to take on Columbia (2–0, 0–0) at 6 p.m. in the Tigers’ first Ivy League game of the season. Since this is the first Ivy League game of the season for both teams, they’ll each be looking to get off to the right start in conference play.
Princeton's (2-0 overall, 0-0 Ivy League) home opener against Monmouth (2-2) began with a firework display above Powers Field as the Tigers ran out onto the field. Despite the early entertainment, the Tigers’ offense quickly took center stage. Senior quarterback John Lovett threw for 332 yards on 21-27 passing, senior wide receiver Jesper Horsted hauled in 3 touchdowns to set the Princeton record for career receiving touchdowns with 20, and the offense posted 49 points in a commanding 51-9 victory.
At first glance, Princeton football does not appear to be in a great position heading into the 2018 season. Not only are the Tigers coming off an underwhelming, second-to-last finish in the 2017 Ivy League standings, but they also graduated quarterback Chad Kanoff, now playing in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals, who in 2017 indisputably posted the most impressive season by a quarterback in Princeton history. Further examination, however, reveals the Tigers have good reason for optimism. Princeton will return several key players who missed most or all of the 2017 season, including the 2016 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, senior quarterback John Lovett, and senior defensive standouts linebacker Mark Fossati and defensive lineman Kurt Holuba. The Tigers will also benefit from an influx of young talent looking to make an immediate impact — their 2018 recruiting class was ranked as the best in all of Football Championship Subdivision football and includes a quarterback, Brevin White, who chose Princeton over football powerhouse Alabama.