Princeton Heads to Yale for Needed Victory in Hunt for Ivy League Title

Mark BatorAnalyst IINovember 9, 2012

21 Nov 1998:  General view of the Harvard Crimson defensive line (left) lined up against the offensive line of the Yale Bulldogs during the game at the Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Bulldogs defeated the Crimson 9-7. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello  /Allsport
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Yale Bulldogs play host to a desperate Princeton squad this weekend, as the Tigers come off another tough loss in the see-saw season for head coach Bob Surace's team. Despite the fact that the Bulldogs are 2-6, an Ivy League opponent can never be taken lightly as the rivalries of the Ancient Eight are long and memorable.

Averaging about 16 points per game on offense, Yale will have a tough time against a stingy Princeton defense. The Bulldogs will no doubt look to run the ball against the Tigers, with RB Tyler Varga (839 yards), RB Mordecai Cargill (448 yards) and QB Eric Williams (179 yards) leading the way.

Besides figuring into the rushing offense, Eric Williams (112-of-184 for 1,056 yards) has had a good season throwing the ball, with a completion percentage of 60.9 with six TDs. Averaging nearly 151 yards a game passing, Williams' downfall this year has been the interception, having thrown 14 already in the 2012 campaign.

Williams' favorite receivers are Cameron Sandquist (40 receptions) and Grant Wallace (20 receptions), but Tyler Varga is an available option out of the backfield, as well. Varga is also a threat on special teams, where he averages nearly 24 yards per kickoff return.

On defense, the Tigers will need a game plan against Beau Palin (four sacks) and Chris Dooley (three sacks) in order to keep pressure off of QB Connor Michelsen. Last week, Michelsen's interceptions changed the tenor of the game with Penn, but not one of the defensive backfield for Yale has more than one interception this year.

Princeton may have given away a victory last week against the Quakers, but more importantly, may have given away their chance at the Ivy League crown. Princeton now trails Ivy League leader Harvard by two games with just two to play. The lack of a star running back this year has been a detriment to the club, but the team has shown the most progress under Bob Surace this season since his arrival. Combined, their four losses this year have been by a total of only 14 points.

Game Time: 12 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, Yale Bowl, New Haven, CT. Television: YES Network.