The Redshirt Senior: A Look Back at Dartmouth’s Big Win on Homecoming
After walloping Yale, the Big Green looks ahead to fierce competition in Harvard and Princeton. These teams, along with the Big Green, currently sit atop the Ivy standings.
Homecoming weekend has come and gone, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on how perfect the weather was that weekend. As far as I can remember as a sixth-year (yeah I’m old), this is the only time Homecoming has aligned so perfectly with the changing leaves. It’s important to take a moment to reflect on what’s important to you and take time to ensure your mental health is in order. I recently caught up with an old friend of mine in the Class of 2018 who made it up for Homecoming, and it was refreshing to have a conversation with her outside the realm of the Dartmouth bubble. Take the time you need to ensure that you’re happy — that’s all that’s important.
Now that I’m done waxing poetic about happiness in a sports column, let’s talk about what happened in Hanover over Homecoming weekend. Well, the Dartmouth football team held up on its home turf against the Yale University Bulldogs in a match that featured two teams in the upper echelon of the Ivy League (and a game which I did not attend). Dartmouth beat Yale 42-10. This win was also fitting to have happened on Homecoming weekend, as it was Buddy Teevens’ 100th win as the Big Green’s head coach. Going into this matchup, both Dartmouth and Yale were undefeated and Yale was also named the favorite to win the Ivy League in this year’s Ivy League preseason poll. The stage was set for a high quality matchup, but after the first quarter it seemed like just another game for the Big Green.
Dartmouth jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Quarterback Jared Gerbino ’20 connected with wide receiver Drew Estrada ’20 on a 75-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game. Then Gerbino ran for a six-yard touchdown in addition to quarterback Derek Kyler ’21 running for a two-yard score after an interception by Quinton Arello ’23 to put the Big Green up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. Hunter Hagdorn ’20 would then put up another touchdown to secure a 28-3 lead for the Big Green at halftime. Dartmouth would do the opposite of the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl and would keep the lead throughout the game, only allowing the Bulldogs one touchdown by Yale’s Darrion Carrington with only 47 seconds to play.
The state of the Ivy League after this weekend leaves three undefeated teams in conference play: Dartmouth, the Princeton University Tigers and the Harvard University Crimson. Harvard has one loss outside of conference play to the University of San Diego, but then went on to defeat Brown University, Howard University and Cornell University to reach 3-1. Princeton University is 4-0 on the year with only one conference win against Columbia University, but the reigning Ivy League champions have some play makers to make another run for the title. In the Tigers’ most recent win against Lafayette College, running back Collin Eaddy ran the ball 17 times for 89 yards and three touchdowns to help the Tigers win 28-3. Princeton’s winning streak is currently at 14 games including the Tigers’ undefeated season last year. Also, Princeton and Dartmouth are the only Ivy League teams currently ranked in the FCS Top 25 poll, clocking in at numbers 16 and 21, respectively. If Dartmouth wants to make a run at the Ivy League title this year, the upcoming neutral site matchup against Princeton at Yankee Stadium will be the game to watch.
Harvard has some play makers to worry about as well. In Harvard’s most recent victory this past weekend over Cornell, quarterback Jake Smith threw for three touchdowns in Harvard’s 35-22 victory. Harvard is currently averaging 40.5 points per game, which is good for most in the Ivy League ahead of both Princeton and Dartmouth. What Dartmouth does have going for it is the best defense in the Ivy League, giving up an average of just over eight points per game in its four contests. Dartmouth plays Harvard in Cambridge the week before the Princeton matchup at Yankee Stadium, so if the Big Green can win the away matchup against Harvard that week, it’ll be a good sign going into the matchup against Princeton. It doesn’t help that the matchup against Princeton was supposed to be a home game this year due to the alternating scheduling, but now the game is at a neutral site which makes the matchup that much tougher. Here’s hoping the matchup turns out well.