Princeton vs. Columbia: Tigers Look for First Win Against Ivy League Rival

Mark BatorAnalyst IISeptember 25, 2012

Nov 20, 2010; Princeton, NJ, USA;  Dartmouth Big Green running back Nick Schwieger (22) carries Princeton Tigers defensive back Mandela Sheaffer (5) into end zone during the start of fourth quarter.  Dartmouth Big Green defeats Princeton Tigers 31-0. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Bob Surace needs to squeeze just a little more offense out of his team. With an 0-2 record, the Princeton Tigers have dropped two decisions on the season by a combined total of just four points. In the losses, the Tigers' defense has yielded an average of nearly 233 yards per game, with opposing quarterbacks averaging a 64 percent pass completion record.

By comparison, Princeton quarterback Connor Michelsen has struggled so far this season, with a 48 percent pass completion record (25-of-52). To his credit, Michelsen has not thrown an interception so far this year—but he hasn't thrown a touchdown, either. While the Tigers have spread the ball around to nine different receivers so far this season, none has more than six total catches.

The bright spots during the 2012 campaign have been in the running game, specifically Akil Sharp and DiAndre Atwater. The two backs have shown flashes of power and explosiveness, respectively. Sharp had the lone two Tiger touchdowns in Week 1, whereas Atwater broke away for a 53-yard touchdown romp against Georgetown.

This week the Tigers travel to New York City to take on the Columbia Lions, which marks the first Ivy League game this season for both clubs. The Lions (1-1) won their home opener 10-9 over Marist, but dropped a decision last week to Fordham, 20-13.

"We need to develop a level of consistency," said Columbia head coach Pete Mangurian after the loss to Fordham [as quoted by the Columbia University Athletic Department press release on]. "Until we do that, we will not be able to be the team we want to be."

This week's game marks the third consecutive home game for the Lions to start the season, whereas the Tigers' 2012 season has started with three road games in their first four.

Game Time: 12:30pm EDT, at Robert K. Kraft Field (Lawrence A Wien Stadium), September 29.