Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bob Surace has a rough job ahead

New Princeton Head Coach Bob Surace is going to have a lot in common with his starters in 2010... they'll be new on the job too.

Here's the starting lineup from Princeton's final game of 2009:

WR 19 Peacock, Trey*
LT 75 Paski, Mark
LG 65 Mills, Andrew*
C 78 Hauser, Andrew
RG 76 Daou, Marc
RT 72 Makrai, J.P.
TE 48 Flaherty, Harry*
QB 7 Wornham, Tommy*
TB 29 McCray, Meko*
FB 25 Zimmerman, Matt*
WR 9 Kerr, Andrew*


DE 92 Boyer, Matt*
NT 91 DeMaio, Kevin*
DE 85 Karacozoff, Joe
NLB 50 Callahan, John
SAM 56 Stetler, Brad
MLB 45 Oloffson, Jon*
WILL 51 Cody, Steven*
CB 3 Kelly, Cart
SS 17 Cates, Wilson
FS 18 Kopolovich, Dan
CB 23 Wakam, Glenn*

*=returning player

Having seven returning offensive starters and six returners on defense doesn't sound so bad right off, but then you have to focus on the specific starters Princeton is losing.

Four of the five starters on the offensive line are gone. And multiple sources now tell me at least one of the few remaining veteran offensive linemen has quit in a dispute with fiery new offensive line coach Eddy Morrissey.

The result is Princeton is in flat-out emergency mode when it comes to the most crucial unit on any football team. Tiger fans need to hope lightning can strike twice and the team can field a viable O-line staffed with four-to-five newcomers like it did in 2006.

I'm not putting too much stock in that happening.

The rest of the offense, an offense that managed to eke out just 12.5 points per game in 2009, is mostly back. That's not a complete piece of bad news though, because the offense did improve at the end of the season. In fact, I thought Princeton's wins in the last two games of 2009 would be enough to save ex-Coach Roger Hughes' job.

But they weren't enough.

Speaking of not being enough, the six returning players for the Tigers on defense do not include key 2009 stars like Cart Kelly, Wilson Cates, and Dan Kopolovich.

But the news isn't all bad.

LB and 2009 leading tackler Steven Cody is coming back as is DB Matt Wakulchik, who was Princeton's third leading tackler and basically an unofficial starter last season.

Getting back to offense, it won't hurt that QB Tommy Wornham returns this year. He was a better runner than a passer in 2009, but he definitely improved as the season went along. WR Trey Parker is a talented deep threat and should benefit from more practice time with Wornham in training camp.

But the facts in Old Nassau are cold and hard for 2010. Princeton enters the season with an unusual amount of missing links. The offensive line situation is particularly dire and even talented kicker Ben Bologna has graduated.

How a school with a storied athletic department like Princeton's could let its football team fall such victim to attrition issues is beyond me. But it better not be beyond Surace, who inherits a team much weaker than the one his predecessor took over ten years ago.


At Fri Jun 25, 07:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frosh bios now on football roster at website.

At Fri Jun 25, 08:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble reading the bios because they are cut off on the right side by the unleash the roar box. Is there a way to get rid of that box?

At Fri Jun 25, 09:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, now that the bios are published, I am looking forward to your detailed comments on the incoming class.

At Fri Jun 25, 10:27:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No question that this is Columbia's most athletic incoming freshman class since Marcellous Wiley's year and even that group didn't have the speed and athleticism of the new class. If the brief biographical information that has just been posted on the Columbia Athletics Website is correct, the new class includes one High School Track All American (Bruce Grant) and another ten or so very talented players at the skills positions. Our new running backs (Garrett, Lowry and Williams) all look very promising, the wide receivers (Andrada, DiNovo, Grant and Rothschild) were all very productive players in high school, and the defensive backs (Alston, Carter, Di Tomasso and Mingo) all have good size and speed. It will be a much faster group of Lions prowling the Ivy League this fall.

At Fri Jun 25, 12:27:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should inform the athletic department about that box that cuts off the roster bios...Jake?

At Fri Jun 25, 07:10:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger HBShannon said...

Who is #6 on defense. I only see 5 *.


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