There's nothing like playing Princeton to make a team feel good about itself. The Penn defense got a much-needed pick-me-up, dominating the Tigers offense from start to finish and keying the Quakers' 41-13 demolition of Princeton Saturday. In fact, Penn defensive back Kunle Williams put up more points himself than the Tigers did all day. Williams returned two interceptions for touchdowns, including an electrifying 100-yard dash that put a big exclamation point on the Quakers' defensive effort. With the game already well in hand, Princeton mounted a drive late in the fourth quarter. A pass interference call on fourth-and-10 gave Princeton a first down at Penn's 11-yard line. On fourth-and-seven, a roughing the passer call again extended Princeton's drive, setting the Tigers up with first-and-goal from the three-yard line. Princeton quarterback Jon Blevins was smacked by defensive lineman Mike Germino as he released a pass, which Williams picked off and ran a record-setting 100 yards to paydirt. "My heart was pounding pretty hard," Williams said of his run. "I was just hoping my teammates were there for me, and they came through." Williams' first pick came after Blevins came in for starter Tommy Crenshaw, who was knocked out of the game with a bruised elbow. On Blevins' first play of the game, Williams intercepted his pass and ran 41 yards for his first score. "[Blevins] stares at where he's going to throw it, so if we were to look at the quarterback we could pretty much tell where he was going," Williams said. The improved performance by the Penn secondary, which was torched for 440 passing yards against Brown two weeks ago, owed much to a relentless rush that spent most of the afternoon in the Princeton backfield. Penn linebacker and co-captain Jim Hisgen was all over the field, leading the Quakers with 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. Germino chipped in three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble, and hounded Crenshaw and Blevins all game long. "They're really a technically sound offensive line, but they're not aggressive at all," Germino said. "My thinking was just bull rush them as hard as possible, then after that make your move." The intense pressure did not allow either Princeton quarterback time to throw the ball and held the Tigers to a paltry 1.1 yards per rush. Princeton tailback Cameron Atkinson, who had come into the game averaging almost four yards per carry, averaged minus-0.8 yards a carry on Saturday. "They just beat us one-on-one on the line," Princeton wide receiver Phil Wendler said. "We weren't getting any time to throw the ball. What are you going to do when the quarterback's getting hit on every play?" With the offense only putting up two field goals by halftime, the defensive effort was especially important. The Quakers "D" kept the Tigers at bay until the Penn offense started to click against a tired Princeton defense. Penn forced five turnovers, giving its offense short fields to work with, and held Princeton to just four-of-17 on third downs. "If the offense is going four-and-out every time, it makes it really tough for [our defense] because they get no rest," Wendler said. "Basically our o-line's gotta give our quarterback some more time and open up some holes for our running game." Germino thought that prior to Saturday's pasting, the Penn defense had only played two solid halves all year -- the second half at Columbia and the second half at Yale. "We hadn't put a full game together," Germino said. "Today we came out and played a whole football game." It's just too bad for Penn's sake that they didn't schedule Princeton earlier than Week Eight.Comments powered by Disqus
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