Princeton Rush vs. Yale
Princeton employs a one-two punch at running back. Running backs Jon Veach and Branden Benson are both in the top 10 in rushing yards per game in the Ivy League. Stopping Veach and Benson is important, but Yale absolutely cannot forget wide receiver Greg Fields. Fields has rushed 21 times this season and averages almost six yards per carry. Fields has scored twice on reverses for the Tigers and he has three rushing touchdowns on the year. While quarterback Matt Verbit is not a major running threat, he can certainly not be ignored. Yale is second to last in run defense, and Princeton has the third most prolific rushing attack in the Ancient Eight.
Princeton Pass vs. Yale
Verbit has passed NFL signal-caller Jason Garrett on Princeton’s all-time passing list. Verbit needs just 156 more yards through the air to become the 12th player in league history to record over 5,000 passing yards in a career. But Princeton is last in the Ivy League in passing offense. Fields leads the team in receiving yards, and he averages only 44 per contest. While Yale’s pass defense is roughly in the middle of the pack, defensive end Brandon Dyches ’06 is fifth in the Ancient Eight in sacks and can put pressure on Verbit. Verbit throws his share of interceptions, and if defensive back Fred Jelks ’05 — who is tied for the league lead in interceptions — can grab one, the Elis will be in very good shape.
Yale Rush vs. Princeton
As I’ve said all season, tailback Rob Carr ’05 has played a terrific senior campaign. Carr leads the Ivy League in all-purpose rushing yards by a comfortable margin, and he is fifth in Div. I-AA in that category. Not too many other guys get a whole lot of carries for the Elis, but Princeton’s run defense is far from stellar. Linebackers Zak Keasey and Justin Stull are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in tackles in the Ancient Eight, but I think that must be because no one on their defensive line ever makes a stop.
Yale Pass vs. Princeton
Yale’s passing offense has steadily climbed the Ivy ranks. It is now the third most productive, and efficiency-wise it is second.
Though quarterback Alvin Cowan ’05 did throw an uncharacteristic number of interceptions last week, it was also his first game over 300 passing yards this season — and he threw for 419.
Wide receiver Ralph Plumb ’05 had one of the greatest catching days in the history of Ivy League football. Plumb caught 18 balls, second best in Ivy history, for 258 yards. With that receiving yards total, Plumb set Yale receiving yardage records for both a single game and in a career.
Unfortunately, Princeton has one of the better pass defenses in the Ivy League. The Tigers are second both in pass defense and pass defense efficiency.
With such evenly matched teams, Yale gets the nod on account of home-field advantage. This will be the last game at the Bowl for the 2005 Elis that have broken numerous Yale records.
Yale 24, Princeton 21