The Tigers (5-4 overall, 4-2 Ivy League) are officially out of Ivy title contention after losing 44-30 to Yale this weekend. While already at a disadvantage, with their fate in Harvard’s hands after a loss on Homecoming weekend, the Tiger loss this weekend ended any hope of recovering to earn a share of the title.
Saturday’s matchup with Yale featured two potential Ivy League Offensive Players of the Year in Princeton quarterback Quinn Epperly, who earned the honor last season, and Yale running back Tyler Varga, who is a strong candidate for the honor this year. Both led their respective teams in rushing yards on the day, but while Varga had 138 yards on 26 attempts, Epperly had only 38 yards on 12 carries, as the Princeton defense could not contain the Yale offense. Epperly ran for three of the Tigers’ four touchdowns, with senior quarterback Connor Michelsen completing the fourth touchdown to sophomore wideout James Frusciante on the opening drive.
However, as head coach Bob Surace ’90 noted after the loss to Harvard in October, you have to finish to win, and the Tigers could not finish on Saturday.
After trading the lead for the majority of the first half, a blocked Princeton punt recovered by Yale in the endzone for a touchdown late in the first half gave the Bulldogs a lead they would maintain for the rest of the day. They threw for over 400 yards against the Tiger defense in the victory, while the Tigers had only 256 passing yards between Epperly and Michelsen.
Senior linebacker Mike Zeuli led the Tiger defensive effort with 12 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss. Junior safety Matt Arends added 10 tackles, an interception and a pass breakup.
Though the Tigers are no longer in contention for a title themselves, they will attempt to keep Dartmouth from a share of the championship when they host their final game of the season next Saturday. Harvard clinched a share of the title this weekend with a win over Penn, and Yale will have the opportunity to earn a share of the title with a win over Harvard next weekend. Dartmouth is still in contention with a win of their own over Princeton, pending a Yale win over Harvard.