BATTLE OF UNBEATENS NAMED FCS GAME OF THE WEEK, PENN AT CORNELL ON ESPNU
PRINCETON, N.J. -- No. 20/24 Dartmouth visits No. 14/18 Princeton in just the sixth all-time meeting of unbeaten Ivy League teams with seven-or-more wins. The head-to-head meeting of 2-of-4 FCS unbeatens will be the last potential meeting of unblemished teams outside of the College Football Playoff or the FCS Playoffs. Penn (5-2, 2-2 Ivy) at Cornell (3-4, 2-2 Ivy) will provide the weekend appetizer at 6 p.m. Friday on ESPNU. The Quakers and Big Red are part of a three-team tie for third in the Ivy League standings behind undefeated Dartmouth (7-0, 4-0 Ivy) and Princeton (7-0, 4-0 Ivy). WHAT TO WATCH FOR
BATTLE OF THE UNBEATENS — There are just eight unbeaten programs in all of NCAA Division I football, and the Ivy League is the lone NCAA Division I conference that can claim a pair of those unbeaten teams. No. 14/18 Princeton and No. 20/24 Dartmouth will settle the score on the field at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, in the last potential meeting of unbeatens outside of the College Football Playoff or the FCS Playoffs.
FCS GAME OF THE WEEK — The aforementioned battle of the unbeatens is 1-of-2 Top 25 matchups in the FCS this weekend and was designated as the FCS Game of the Week. It is just the sixth game in Ivy League history between two unbeaten teams with at least seven wins—the last being Harvard’s 28-21 victory over Penn on Nov. 10, 2001. Dartmouth has beaten Princeton in six of the last seven meetings.
PLAY AS A UNIT — Known for its defensive prowess, Dartmouth ranks fourth in the FCS in scoring defense (10.7 points per game) and eighth in total defense (270.1 yards per game) and leads the nation with a +15 turnover margin. Princeton’s offense has been the story for the Tigers this season, leading the FCS in scoring offense (50.7 points per game) and total offense (549.3 yards per game). Perhaps this biggest question mark will be if Dartmouth’s offense—led by the quarterback tandem of Jared Gerbino and Derek Kyler—can keep pace with the Tiger attack when it faces off against the largely overshadowed Princeton defense that ranks second in the FCS in scoring defense (9.1 points per game) and seventh in total defense (269.0 yards per game)—slightly ahead of the vaunted Big Green unit in both categories.
PLAYERS PLAY — Who will be the difference maker in Saturday’s battle of the unbeatens? Princeton senior quarterback John Lovett is second in the nation with 22.3 points responsible for per game and shares the wealth with senior running back Charlie Volker (3rd, 13 rushing touchdowns) and senior wide receiver Jesper Horsted (6th, 9 receiving touchdowns). Dartmouth sophomore quarterback Derek Kyler leads the FCS with a .737 completion percentage. On the defensive side of the ball, Dartmouth junior defensive back Isiah Swann paces the FCS with seven interceptions—one ahead of Princeton junior defensive back TJ Floyd. Big Green senior defensive lineman Rocco Di Leo leads the Ivy League with 9.5 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks.
LEADING THE NATION — For the second-straight season, the Ivy League posted an FCS-best .750 non-conference winning percentage (18-6). This mark trails only the SEC’s .878 non-conference winning percentage (36-5) in NCAA Division I.
IVY LEAGUE ON ESPN — This weekend’s four football broadcasts will air on ESPN+ (3), ESPNU (1), NBC Sports Philadelphia/Boston (1) and NESN (1). For more information on the Ivy League’s relationship with ESPN and to sign up for an ESPN+ subscription, click here.