Football hosts final home contest
By Noah Reichblum, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, November 9, 2012
To win the Ivy League title, the Big Green (5-3, 3-2 Ivy) must win its two remaining games and get some luck from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, which are the only two teams ahead of Dartmouth in the league standings. The first portion of that task begins on Saturday against Brown University (5-3, 2-3 Ivy).
“We can’t control next week until next week, and what has happened we can’t change,” head coach Buddy Teevens said.
The coaches have urged players to remain concentrated on what they can control within the game and on each individual play.
“I know it sounds like coach-speak, but it’s something we’ve really tried to push with our players.” Teevens said.
In addition to Ivy League title implications, Saturday’s game is senior day — the last time the team’s seniors will take the field at home.
“Certainly with recent classes, Dartmouth had gone through a tough period in terms of opportunities for success,” Teevens said. “These guys have seen it through to where it is now — an expectation for success.”
While the seniors can be expected to deliver top-notch performances in their last home game, the Big Green will also lean on younger players to help carry the team. Last week, rookie quarterback Dalyn Williams ’16 stepped in admirably, racking up 160 passing yards, 96 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
“We’re a very deep team right now,” quarterback Alex Park ’14 said. “When you have guys like that who are willing to step up and older guys leading, it’s easy for us as a team.”
Park, who sat out last week with an injury, is expected to return this week, though the offense will continue to employ both quarterbacks, according to Teevens.
“Park has come along very rapidly,”Teevens said. “He’s a tough minded guy, and Dalyn performed really well, so we’ve been a two-quarterback system all season.”
The Big Green offense will try to exploit a Bears defense that has compiled 12 interceptions this season, the best in the Ivy League.
“It certainly puts pressure on the wide receivers — we need to be very effective in our execution of responsibilities,” Teevens said, noting that receivers cannot get bumped off their routes early and must be crisp in their footwork.
Dartmouth’s rushing attack, which propelled the team to a 44-28 win on the road over Cornell University last weekend, will face a tough challenge against Brown. The Bears have the second-best rushing defense in the league, allowing a stingy 110.4 yards on the ground per game.
On the defensive side for the Big Green, linebacker Michael Runger ’14 has emerged as a force to be reckoned with and leads the Ivy League with 78 tackles. On Thursday, Runger was selected as one of the Capital One Academic All-District football team finalists. Cornerback Mike Banaciski ’14 and linebacker Garrett Wymore ’13 were also named to the regional team.
As a defensive unit, the Big Green has surrendered the fewest passing yards and third-fewest total yards in the Ivy League.
Dartmouth will match up against a Brown offense whose greatest weapon is senior wide receiver Tellef Lundevall. Lundevall has racked up 59 receptions and 605 yards this season, and last week, he caught seven passes for 92 yards in a 20-0 victory over Yale University.
In the final home game of the season, all eyes will remain on Dartmouth’s 26 seniors.
“They’re a group that turned a program around appreciably,” Teevens said. “There’s great pride in the legacy they want to leave.”
The game will kick off at 1:30 p.m. at Memorial Field.
“It’s just being able to control things we can control,” Park said. “We can’t play the games for Harvard and Penn, and at this point, we just have to go out and win this weekend and next weekend at Princeton [University].”
Here is a look at what newspapers around the Ivy League are saying about the upcoming game.
Cornell Daily Sun: Dartmouth over Brown. Dartmouth’s offense is clicking with Pierre and Williams.
The Daily Princetonian: Dartmouth over Brown. Without much of a feel for this game, I’ll take the home team.
Columbia Daily Spectator: Brown over Dartmouth. This one is a toss-up, but I’ll go with Brown to pull off the mild upset on the road.
Brown Daily Herald: Dartmouth over Brown. The Bears’ defense won’t carry them through this one. Dartmouth has what it takes to throw Bruno’s offense into disarray, and the Big Green can put points on the board.
The Dartmouth: Dartmouth over Brown. On senior day, Dartmouth comes out firing and never slows down. Dartmouth 24, Brown 10.