Given that the Dartmouth football team enters the 2009 season winless in their last campaign, it's difficult to pinpoint which areas need improvement with its season beginning Saturday against Colgate.
The best place to start is at the beginning.
And in Ivy League football, that means running the football and playing lock-down defense.
Dartmouth's rushing ineptitude was no more evident than in their Proxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0
-10 loss to Penn last October.
The Quakers' resounding home victory, the first of their 2008 season, illustrates where Dartmouth must improve.
In a game that started with strong stops from both teams, the Big Green collapsed defensively in the second half and mustered just five net rushing yards the entire game.
Poor second-half defense and 42 rushing yards for loss spelled the Big Green's demise.
And it appears that this year's offensive backfield may be even weaker than that of last year.
Nick Schwieger, a sophomore running back from Norton, Mass., is Dartmouth's leading returning rusher with eight games played, 27 carries and a grand total of 81 yards.
That's three yards per carry and 10.1 yards per game.
Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens shouldn't expect his team's running game to improve; Schwieger is the best he's got.
Clearly the Big Green has trouble running the football, but a strong defense has been known to save many a low-scoring team.
Unfortunately for Teevens, who could not be reached for comment, his defense last season was poor at best.
Last year, the Big Green allowed at least 21 points in every game and surrendered 34 or more on seven occasions.
Teevens' team allowed an average of 31.9 points per conference game, while only scoring 11 per Ivy contest.
Clearly, Dartmouth has a lot of problems that need to be addressed before they can even consider winning a game, much less contending for an Ivy title.
But there's at least one ace that Teevens and his boys hold up their sleeve: they've got nowhere to go but up.Comments powered by Disqus
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