Thursday, November 1, 2012

What Princeton Must Do to Beat Penn


1) Have Caraun Reid and Mike Catapano.  Likely All-Ivy defensive tackles were wearing yellow (no contact) vests Wednesday, not what you want to see with first place on the line.

Caraun Reid '13
 2) Block Brandon Copeland.  “He’s in a class with our defensive linemen,” said Bob Surace. “Very difficult to block, throws guys around.”

3) Block Taylor Brown.  Nose guard is “matching Copeland as an elite player,” said Surace, who believes Princeton offensive line had its best game last week at Cornell. It will need something even better this week against a more formidable front.

Connor Michelsen '15
4) Stop Billy Ragone.  After being hit for 35 points by Harvard’s Colton Chapple and 39 by Cornell’s Jeff Mathews, this is the third straight week the Tigers face an elite quarterback. Ragone doesn’t have NFL prospect receiving weapons that Chapple and Mathews do. So it’s time to make those dominating defensive performances against Columbia, Lafayette and Brown not seem like such a long time ago.  

5) Pass the ball.  Running game took a back seat again last week because Cornell dared the Tigers to throw and Connor Michelsen did for 390 yards.  Two interceptions, -- only the fourth and fifth for the first-year starter in seven games –- hurt, so ball possession remains a key.  But even likely return of Akil Sharp will not make Princeton a ground and-pound team this season.  Michelsen’s confidence (40-for-52 for 543 yards and four TDs in the last five quarters) is surging. Roman Wilson has seven catches last week, Shane Wilkinson and Matt Costello had six last week and five more receivers had at least one. They will make the Quakers choose their poison.