Wednesday, April 15, 2009

QB Quandry

Who will be the Tiger QB in 2009? Your guess is as good as any.

Princeton came in 5th in the Ivy standings in 2008, leading the second division with wins over Columbia, Cornell, and Dartmouth.

There are some decent arguments on all sides on the question of whether the Tigers will move up, fall down or stay put.

1) Who the heck is playing QB this season?

That's the $64 trillion qustion, (sorry, inflation), right now. Last season Princeton got lucky as first-time starter Brian Anderson, (he actually started one game going into 2008), had a very good year under center. But now he's graduated and the Tigers aren't touting any of his backups the way they promoted him last year during the offseason. And while it's not unusual to have to break in a new starter in college football, it doesn't seem like Princeton has anybody even groomed for the job right now. The school web site portrays the situation as an "open competition," which has a lot of Tiger fans fearing the worst.

And this is an offense that needs a shot in the arm. Princeton struggled to average about 18 points per game overall and less than that in the Ivy contests. All the key 2008 receivers, with the exception of the promising rising junior Trey Peacock, are also gone.

2) Are the other position situations as scary as the QB slot?

Absolutely not. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic thanks to a decent amount of very good returning players, especially on defense.

2/3 of the starting D-line is gone, but after that the defense remains mostly intact. The big stars are guys like Scot Britton, Cart Kelly, Steven Cody and Wilson Cates. The high-powered Brown Bears were the only Ivy team to crack the 30-point threshhold against the Tigers in 2008. So they have that going for them.

The offense brings back 2008 Ivy League rushing leader Jordan Culbreath and 3/4 of a starting offensive line that is probably the most experienced group in Ivy history. It's going to be a lot easier for the Tigers' new QB to get comfy with a supporting cast like that. There are a lot of Ivy teams that would be happy to get a starting tailback with HALF the yardage Culbreath put out last season.

3) Can Princeton Surprise?

I think the Tigers could be a 4-3 team in the league with a few good breaks, but better than that is a stretch. Getting lucky with a brand new QB, new receiving corps, AND mostly new defensive line is really asking too much. And if Culbreath gets hurt or suffers statiscally for whatever reason, Princeton could be fighting to stay out of the basement.

The bubble games for the Tigers are the home contests against Columbia in week 3 and Yale in week 9. I think Princeton can beat Cornell and Dartmouth, but will have a very rough time edging Harvard, Penn, and Brown, (all on the road). If they can beat the Lions and Elis, then the Tigers will go 4-3 and climb into the first division. A split, and they stay where they are. Get swept, and it's bottom feeding time.

Tomorrow's Quick Review/Preview: YALE


At Thu Apr 16, 03:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should take them this year.


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