Connor Michelsen '15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Last year, Princeton football made headlines for lining up its three quarterbacks on the field at the same time, alternating who took the snaps. As unusual as the strategy seemed, it paid off—the Tigers led the Ivy League in yards per game and rushing yards last season. Of that trio, then-junior Quinn Epperly was the most familiar face on the field. The 2013 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year topped the conference in both rushing and passing touchdowns, leading the nation in points responsible per game.

But as Ivy football rolls into its midpoint this season, Princeton saw a change of scenery in its quarterback spot during a 27-16 victory over Brown. Senior Connor Michelsen, taking over for his injured classmate Epperly, looked comfortable in the pocket throughout the game, throwing for 367 yards and two touchdowns to keep Princeton perfect at 2-0 in Ivy play (3-2 overall).

On Saturday, there was no trace of the sluggish starts that plagued the Tigers last season. Princeton sealed its victory early, scoring on each of its first four drives to the Brown end zone. Kicker Nolan Bieck ’16 converted on a 26-yard field goal to start things off, bringing him to twelve consecutive conversions since last season. Michelsen later connected with Matt Costello ’15 for a 49-yard touchdown, moving the seasoned wide receiver into sixth place on Princeton’s all-time receptions list.

Connor Michelsen ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)
Connor Michelsen '15 (Office of Athletic Communications)
It wasn’t a record day for just the Tigers though. Brown’s quarterback Marcus Fuller set an Ivy League record, attempting 71 passes and completing 29, throwing for 454 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Epperly, sidelined with a foot injury, could only watch and be reminded of last year’s game against Cornell, when he threw 42 fewer passes to make 29 straight completions, setting an FCS record. In a demonstration of Princeton’s own depth at the position, Michelson completed more passes on fewer attempts, throwing 33 for 45. Defensively, Rohan Hylton led the team with nine tackles (with two for loss) in addition to 1.5 sacks, and safety Matt Arends finished the game with eight tackles.

With Princeton in a three-way tie with Harvard and Dartmouth at the top of the Ivy standings, and an injured Epperly, the Tigers’ depth at quarterback could be critical this week when Princeton and Harvard will play to stay in first place on Saturday. The rivals have played nothing short of thrillers in their last two matchups, with the most recent game ending in a 51-48 Tiger victory in triple overtime.

Quick Takes

Princeton found success around the boathouse at this weekend’s Head of the Charles competition in Boston. The men’s lightweight crew repeated as champions of the varsity eight with a time of 15:02.302, while the women’s lightweight crew finished first in the lightweight four with coxswain. The men’s heavyweight crew raced to fifth place among collegiate teams in the varsity eight with a time of 14:41.033, and both boats that the women’s open team sent to Boston finished in the top 15. The Head of the Charles, one of the sport’s largest events, kicks off Princeton rowing’s short fall season; the competition continues next weekend on home waters at the Princeton Chase.

Men’s soccer was able to duke out a tie with Columbia this weekend, as senior Joe Saitta knocked his second straight goal in Ivy play in response to a 4th minute score form the Lions. Both teams scored within the first 20 minutes of the match and played a midfield heavy game for its remainder. The Tigers—who have now hit 1-1-1 in Ivy League play—will attempt to tarnish Harvard’s unbeaten conference record on Saturday as they host the Crimson.

Women’s soccer was dealt its first Ivy League loss by Columbia in Manhattan on Saturday night, unable to reply after the Lions scored with 21 minutes remaining. The defeat ends Princeton’s five-match unbeaten streak and puts the Tigers in a second-place tie with Columbia. Princeton has the opportunity to break free from the Lions against first-place Harvard in next week’s game against the Crimson at Roberts Stadium.