Monday, October 26, 2009

Stat Lines And Sprint Football

There's a guy who works in the business office named Ryan Yurko who looks 1) about 15 years old and 2) exactly like Chuck Yrigoyen, who used to work here at TigerBlog HQ back in the 1980s before moving on to the Ivy League office and finally on to the become the commissioner of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

As an aside, TigerBlog misses Chuck, who was about as universally liked as anyone TB has ever met. Not sure how he pulled it off; maybe it was just a lot of smiling.

Anyway, Ryan Yurko sent TigerBlog a link this morning to the box score for the game between his alma mater Ball State and Eastern Michigan this past Saturday. The stat line for this game is ridiculous, particularly:
* two players Ball State who rushed for at least 200 yards, including one who had 301 yards
* the winning points coming on a fourth quarter safety
* the fact that both teams were winless prior to the game
* the winning quarterback was 2 for 10 for one yard and one interception

Also, the AP recap is supposed to be pretty straight-forward, but hey, can there be some acknowledgement that it was a wild game? And maybe the mention of the fact that two players on the same team reached at least 200 rushing yards in the same game for the fourth time in Division I history and that a team had one 300-yard rusher and one 20o-yard rusher in the same game for the first time ever?

TigerBlog then forwarded that to TB-Baltimore, a big fan of stat lines, and he sent back the Navy-Wake Forest box. Navy, TB's favorite FBS team, won the game 13-10. The Mids ran 64 plays, all rushes, for 338 rushing yards. Navy did not attempt a pass.

The two box scores got TB thinking about great stat lines in Princeton history, of which there are so many. Perhaps TB's favorite was the men's basketball game against Niagara in 1997-98 when Princeton had 21 assists on 21 baskets. Or Nate Walton's line against Penn in the 2001 Ivy clincher: nine points, eight rebounds, seven assists, six steals. Or Mason Rocca against Georgetown in the 1999 NIT: six points, 18 rebounds.

In football, there was Michael Lerch's game against Brown in 1991, where he caught nine passes for 370 yards, with touchdowns of 64, 79, 90 and 45 yards.

TigerBlog also thought back to a sprint football game against Army a few years ago, and after a quick search on, he found the recap from that night, complete with the headline "Army Tops Sprint Football 35-0 In Bizarre Game."

Bizarre? How about these numbers?:
* Princeton had a 42:17-17:43 edge in time of possession
* Princeton ran 94 plays; Army ran 37
* Army scored five touchdowns, all on plays of at least 66 yards

TigerBlog was at Princeton Stadium Friday night for the sprint football game against Mansfield. That game itself offered an amazing statistical background: After Mansfield had defeated Princeton 33-0 in the opener for both, the teams were a combined 0-8 against the other four teams in the league, having been outscored 352-7 during that time.

Princeton led the game Friday night 7-0 in the second quarter and 14-7 in the third. Had two plays gone differently (a fumbled punt and a third down conversion that went against Princeton), the game might have marked the end of Princeton's now-54 game CSFL losing streak.

It can't be easy to be a sprint football player, knowing that the odds are stacked against you off the bat by the presence of two service academies and the two Ivy schools with the largest enrollments, not to mention that addition of Mansfield, which appears to have a strong institutional commitment to fielding a competitive sprint football program.

Still, TB was impressed by how hard Princeton played Friday night, or indeed how hard Princeton plays every time he sees the sprint team. In all the years that TigerBlog has gone to sprint games, he's never seen a team going through the motions or a team that has given up, or even a team that isn't playing to win.

Sadly for the Tigers, they fell short 26-14 Friday night. TigerBlog would say that in the wake of a season in which Princeton has lost games by scores of 33-0, 57-0, 57-7, 44-0 and 42-0, the game Friday night offered the team a chance to walk off the field with its collective head held high.

But the sprint team does that after every game. Somewhere in what those guys go through is a lesson on character and the importance of sports. TB hopes that along with those two things, the sprint team can also get a win one of these days. They certainly deserve one.


Jon Solomon said...

...or that Ball State coach Stan Parrish had not won in the last 30 college football games he coached before last weekend!

Anonymous said...

TigerBlog Alum's favorite stat from his time at HQ was also from that 1999 NIT game with Georgetown.

Total substitutions...

Georgetown: 55
Princeton: 0

Princeton OAC said...

TB-Two Door's Down remembers a Princeton baseball game at North Carolina that the Tar Heels won 11-4 on the strength of 20 hits, all singles.