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Staff Picks: Men’s Football at Dartmouth

Associate Sports Editor Hayk Yengibaryan ‘26, alongside contributors Harrison Blank ‘26, Peter Wang ‘27, and Alex Beverton-Smith ‘27 made their predictions for this weekend’s Ivy League contest.

The Princeton Football team runs out of the tunnel for the start of their game against Cornell last Saturday.
With a win on Saturday, the Tigers have the chance to take sole possession of first place in the Ivy League.
Photo Courtesy of @PrincetonFTBL/Twitter.


The men’s football team (4–3 overall, 3–1 Ivy League) will take on Dartmouth (3–4 overall, 2–2 Ivy League) on Friday evening in their fifth Ivy League matchup of the season. The Tigers will take on the Big Green at 7 p.m. in Hanover, N.H., with streaming available via ESPNU.

Given Princeton currently sits tied with Harvard atop the conference standings, this game has massive implications for both sides; all Ivy League teams but Columbia have a chance to take first place by the end of this weekend.

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The Tigers are coming off of a big win against Cornell last Saturday, where Princeton let up only a single field goal in the 14–3 victory. As for Dartmouth, they will look to turn things around after a 17–9 loss to Harvard on Saturday, when their offense was unable to score a single touchdown.

In each of the last six matchups between Princeton and Dartmouth, the home team has prevailed. The last time the Tigers won at Memorial Field was in 2009.

Associate Sports Editor Hayk Yengibaryan ’26, Staff Sports Writer Harrison Blank ’26, Sports Contributor Peter Wang ’27, and Sports Contributor Alex Beverton-Smith ’27 made their predictions for this weekend’s contest.

Hayk Yengibaryan, Associate Sports Editor: Princeton 17, Dartmouth 16

The Tigers have made me believe in them once more. After stellar defensive performances and convincing wins against Harvard (21–14) and Cornell (14–3), I believe head coach Bob Surace’s team can win the Ivy League title. However, the game on Friday will by no means be easy for the Tigers.

In their last 12 matchups against the Big Green, the Tigers have won a disappointing three to Dartmouth’s nine. Dartmouth has been one of the most successful teams against Princeton, and I believe this game will go down to the final possession.

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Princeton has impressed this season, holding strong as one of the top defenses in the FCS. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has not impressed in any category, but has not disappointed either. Both their Ivy League losses to Yale and Harvard have been one-possession losses.

In order for the Tigers to win this game, they need to control the game defensively and give themselves as many offensive possessions as possible. Princeton simply will not enter the Granite State Friday night and put up more than 23 points, meaning that senior linebackers Ozzie Nicholas and Liam Johnson will have their work cut out for them defensively.

When you are at the top, teams will try to knock you down. I believe that the Big Green will frustrate the Princeton offense and force them to play from behind. However, in crunch time, I expect senior quarterback Blake Stenstrom to orchestrate a game-winning drive that ends with junior kicker Jeffrey Sexton making a field goal.

Harrison Blank, Staff Sports Writer: Princeton 24, Dartmouth 10

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Princeton football takes on the Big Green after a dominant win over the Big Red last Saturday. Look for the Tigers to impose their will for a third straight week on their Ivy League opponent and leave New Hampshire with a three-game win streak.

Princeton’s defense has been absolutely dominant since the start of last year. Dartmouth will be stalled by a Tiger linebacking corps led by seniors Ozzie Nicholas and Liam Johnson, which paralyzes opposing offenses week in and week out. The Tigers’ defense might give up an early touchdown to a Dartmouth offense that has shown the potential to score, but points will be hard to come by all game for the home team.

The Tiger offense has yet to find the firepower it possessed in past years, so expect to still see some miscues from the offensive line and skill positions. However, wide receiver AJ Barber will get back on track this Saturday and break one hundred yards for the third time this year, adding a touchdown to top it off. A steady performance from the Tiger offense will pilot the Tigers to another Ivy League win.

After last week’s conference results, the Tigers stand atop of the Ivy League alongside Harvard, but five of the six other teams have records of 2–2. The Tigers will get a much-needed road win to keep the distance between themselves and the pack.

Peter Wang, Sports Contributor: Princeton 13, Dartmouth 6

In a battle between two stout defenses, the Princeton football team will come out on top in a tough, scrappy victory over Dartmouth. Princeton’s defense ranks first in the conference and top three in the FCS in fewest points and yards allowed, and will likely have a field day against Dartmouth’s quarterbacks. 

The Big Green comes into this matchup after a 17–9 loss to Harvard last week, where quarterbacks Dylan Cadwallader and Nick Howard combined for 242 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and an interception. Dartmouth’s defense proves to be its strong suit, however, and may cause some troubles for Princeton’s offense, led by senior quarterback Blake Stenstrom. 

Stenstrom has been on a roll the last three weeks, throwing for two touchdowns in each game. However, Stenstrom also took multiple sacks, which could happen again against Dartmouth, whose linebackers and defensive linemen combined for four takedowns against Harvard’s Charles DePrima.

Look for the Tigers’ defense to grind out another victory for the Tigers, putting them at 4–1 in the conference and in a great position against Yale the following week.

Alexander Beverton-Smith, Sports Contributor: Princeton 17, Dartmouth 7

Princeton will come into this game on strong form, having beaten Harvard 21–14 and Cornell 14–3 in their past two games. Particularly impressive has been the continued presence and impact of Princeton’s defense, which limited the high-scoring Cornell offense to just three points from a field goal last Saturday. 

Dartmouth, meanwhile, has been in mixed form as of late. They have excelled in neither offensive nor defensive stats, finding themselves sixth and fifth respectively in terms of points scored or conceded per game. I would expect the talented Princeton defense, under the stewardship of senior linebackers Liam Johnson and Ozzie Nicholas, to allow them only one touchdown, if that.

Princeton’s offense has been consistent in providing the points to win them the game, but this week they will no doubt hope to build on their average points haul of just 16.7 per game. Nevertheless, Dartmouth’s defense is capable enough to restrict them somewhat. It will depend on key Princeton players such as senior quarterback Blake Stenstrom and junior wide receiver AJ Barber to be the standouts once again.

Hayk Yengibaryan is an associate editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

Harrison Blank is a staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

Peter Wang is a contributor to the Sports section of the ‘Prince.’

Alex Beverton-Smith is a contributor to the Sports section of the ‘Prince.’

Please send corrections to corrections[at]princeton.edu.

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