Saturday, December 27, 2008

Culbreath's Day Was Elias-Esque

Jordan Culbreath rushed for 276 yards against Dartmouth, giving him a pretty nice end to a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League season that saw him finish with 1,206 rushing yards. His 276 yards against Dartmouth added up to the second highest single-game total in school history.

His efforts against Dartmouth made his performance the No. 5 event of the Princeton athletic year on; he was named the No. 6 athlete in the countdown.

The top single-game rushing effort was by Keith Elias, who ran for 299 against Lafayette in 1992. In its 27 years of watching Princeton athletics (26.5 of which were in the pre-TigerBlog era), TigerBlog hasn't seen too many Princeton athletes like Elias, on the field or off. For those who never got to see Elias play, he was a threat to break one every single time he touched the ball. It was more of a surprise when Elias didn't go for at least 10 or 20 yards or more than it was when he did.

Culbreath had that kind of day against Dartmouth. His performance in piling up the big yardage was almost effortless, and it was a typically Elias outing. It was almost the same exact feeling watching Elias; it was a shock when Culbreath was stopped.

Culbreath is the opposite of Elias in personality. The current Tiger doesn't say much, whereas Elias ranks as one of the great interviews of all time. Elias, in fact, is the only Princeton coach or athlete who has rivaled Pete Carril in terms of charisma; when Elias walked into a room, all conversations immediately stopped and he became the focal point, just as it remains to this day with Carril.

So what if Culbreath doesn't quite have that part of Elias' game down. The parts he has are pretty good.

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