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We break down the Princeton game – and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.
It’s rare that I talk about last week’s opponent in this space, especially when the focus should really be on how to beat Princeton. But Penn’s 24-13 win over No. 4 Villanova was so stunning to this reporter and such a great thing for head coach Ray Priore‘s Quakers that it’s worth mentioning here.
It was a result that seemed to even stun Penn’s head coach, who earned a whopper of a first win thanks to winning the time of possession battle (holding onto the ball for more than 39 minutes on offense), benefiting from Villanova miscues (a roughing-the-punter call kept one Penn drive alive that ended in a touchdown) and making huge plays (as the Wildcats were driving to score, Penn LB Tyler Drake strip-sacked Villanova’s quarterback, leading LB Donald Panicello to scoop and score a 92 yard touchdown return).
“Wow, just wow,” Priore said after the game. “You know, you keep trying and trying and praying and praying. It had to happen sooner or later, right?”
We break down the Princeton game – and we give our fearless prediction below the flip.
Though I didn’t get much help from the Ivy League website, doing the Princeton preview is always pleasant because I have a network of people that make it that way.
And Princeton’s game notes themselves are also, as expected, top notch. It’s a pleasure to read lead-ins like this:
There is a reason why mid-terms are in October and finals are at the end of the semester. Students do the work class after class, week after week, and then get challenged afterwards.
Imagine getting your syllabus, having a couple weeks to do some reading, and then taking a major test during your first class.
That’s what you, as well as a nationwide audience on the NBC Sports Network, will see Saturday night at 6 pm. The Princeton football team is walking into the classroom for the first time, and it may see the highest-ranked opponent it will see in all of 2013.
But that is the way head coach Bob Surace wants it. After a big step forward last season, he wants to see just how far his team has come in nine months. After all, the next 10 weeks have the potential to be something pretty special.
Princeton has waited long enough. So have you. Let’s go.
Indeed. Let’s go.
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Last season, as he does for the Sports Network every year, Craig Haley gave his predictions for the Ivy League.
Haley, who used to work for Princeton, made a bold prediction: that the Tigers would climb out of the Ivy League cellar after a 1-9 season, saying, for good measure, that “it seems time for the Tigers program to win more often. At least that’s what everybody thinks.”
Like some people, I chuckled to myself. Princeton? Out of the cellar? Really? (Jake Novak, of the Roar Lions blog, noted about his prediction: “Actually, NO ONE thinks that. Princeton is picked last in every other poll.”)
As it turns out, Haley’s prediction came out looking pretty good, making me very glad that I didn’t put my own reservations about Princeton’s chances in writing. (Or put Haley’s face with the caption, “What’s he smoking?” underneath it, like Roar Lions did.)
The Tigers confounded their last-place expectations and instead finished with an extremely satisfying 5-5 record, showing, for the first time, glimmers of hope that the Prince Town Tigers will finally be back in competition for the Ivy League title in 2013.
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