Week 2 Preview: Amherst vs. Bowdoin

Amherst College (1-0) vs. Bowdoin College (1-0)
October 3, 2009 * Pratt Field
Amherst, MA * 1:30 p.m.
Aaron Rauh (#11) has rushed for four touchdowns and 338 yards in three games against Bowdoin.

Amherst's home opener will feature live video and audio courtesy of JeffCast. Live statistics will also be available.

Tufts @ Bates (1 p.m.)
Wesleyan @ Hamilton (1 p.m.)
Colby @ Middlebury (1:30 p.m.)
Bowdoin @ Amherst (1:30 p.m.)
Williams @ Trinity (1:30 p.m.)

Amherst holds a 67-17-2 all-time series lead over Bowdoin College. The Jeffs have defeated the Polar Bears in 14 of the past 16 meetings, including eight of the nine meetings since 2000. In 2005, the Polar Bears picked up a 16-13 win at Amherst for their only win in the rivalry this century. The Lord Jeffs rebounded from the ’05 loss with three straight wins, outscoring the Polar Bears 81-37 over the past three seasons.
Last fall Amherst held on for a 31-24 win at Bowdoin in Week 2 to improve to 2-0 on the season. Three Lord Jeff running backs combined for 278 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Leading the Amherst offense was the one-two punch of Aaron Rauh '10 and Eric NeSmith '09. Rauh finished the day with a game- and season-high 121 yards on 25 carries with a touchdown. NeSmith just missed the 100-yard mark with 95 yards on just 15 carries, adding one touchdown. Femi Oyalowo '11 mixed into the ball-carrying scheme nicely with 53 yards and a score on a dozen touches.

Amherst held a 24-7 lead going into the final quarter but saw Bowdoin rumble back with a pair of quick scores surrounding a Lord Jeff three-and-out. With the lead down to three points, Amherst put together a decisive 10-play, 67-yard drive, capped by a four-yard Oyalowo touchdown run up the gut. Bowdoin added a field goal with three minutes to play but ran out of gas after a sack by Jake Spadafora '09 and Brandon Quinn '11 helped force a turnover on downs. The Amherst defense gave up 24 points on the day, including 17 in the final quarter, but picked up a crucial stand when it mattered most. Mike Taylor '10 led the unit with seven tackles and an interception. Both A.J. Scola '09 and Fran Florio '10 performed well in the secondary, grabbing six solo tackles apiece.

Junior quarterback Alex Vetras threw for 273 yards and three touchdown passes to lead Amherst to a 21-12 win over Hamilton College last week. Senior defensive lineman Edwin Urey had four sacks to lead an Amherst defense that allowed just 247 yards of offense, including 40 on the ground. The Jeffs took the lead for good early in the second quarter when Vetras capped a 14-play, 62-yard drive with an 11-yard scoring toss to junior wideout Andre Gary. The extra point by sophomore Matt Rawson was good, and Amherst led 7-6 with 9:57 left in the half. The Jeffs opened up a 21-6 advantage with 14 points in the third quarter en route to their ninth consecutive victory over Hamilton.

Bowdoin College totaled 515 yards of offense and outscored Middlebury 19-0 in the fourth quarter last week to win its season opener, 50-35. In a classic quarterback duel, Oliver Kell tossed for 374 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Polar Bears, while David McKillop threw for 420 yards and three scores in defeat for the Panthers. Bowdoin trailed 28-24 at halftime and each team scored seven points in the third period, but only the Polar Bears would add to their total in the final quarter. Two Bowdoin players had at least 100 yards receiving, with Pat Noone catching 12 balls for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

Amherst returned several key players from last year’s squad, many of whom have picked up right where they left off a year ago. Quarterback Alex Vetras ’11 threw for three touchdowns against Hamilton last year during his collegiate debut, a performance he matched last Saturday with another three scores. As one of this year’s captains, Vetras is expected to once again lead the Lord Jeff offense after he finished his sophomore season with 13 touchdowns and 1,869 yards. Brian Murphy ’11 led Amherst with 318 receiving yards and two touchdowns a year ago, and he is off to another good start after catching seven passes for 75 yards and a touchdown last Saturday. Although the rushing tandem of Aaron Rauh ’10 and Femi Oyalowo ’11 combined for only 45 yards last week, both backs are expected to put up big numbers this season. An All-NESCAC First Team selection a year ago, Edwin Urey ’10 seems to be back in top form after his eight total tackles and 4.0 sacks led the Jeffs’ defense against Hamilton. Mike Taylor ’10, who led Amherst in total tackles as a junior, is right back at the top of the leaderboard after recording nine takedowns last weekend.

Bowdoin returns the services of quarterback Oliver Kell, who set a school and NESCAC record with 2,263 yards of total offense in 2008. The owner of several Polar Bear records, Kell added a monumental mark to his list during last weekend's 50-35 shootout win over Middlebury College. With 374 passing yards in the victory, Kell became Bowdoin's all-time leader in pass yards. His four touchdown passes in the victory leave him just six shy of the school’s career record.

Defensively, Bowdoin returns linebacker Kevin Zikaras, who led the NESCAC with 91 total tackles last season. Entering the season, Zikaras had 163 career stops and is within shouting distance of the Bowdoin career mark of 259 held by Dave Best ’96. Junior lineman Dominic Ridgard was second in the league with 6.5 sacks in 2008. The Polar Bears finished the 2008 season ranked fourth in the NESCAC in scoring offense (25.6 ppg) and eighth in scoring defense (24.6 ppg), averages that are much higher this season due to last week’s 50-35 result. A win over Amherst would get Bowdoin off to its first 2-0 start since 2005, when the Polar Bears won their first four games and finished with a 6-2 record.


WR - Andre Gary - 2
WR - Sean Legister - 89
WR - Brandon Bullock - 21
TE - Dan Savage - 80
RB - Aaron Rauh - 11
LT - Wyatt Moss - 57
LG - Rick Morgan - 62
C - John Ceccio - 54
RG - Marcus Richtel - 76
RT - Ian Mahoney - 70
QB - Alex Vetras - 12
P/K - Matt Eberhart - 43
DT - Edwin Urey - 99
NG - Tom Grossi - 97
DT - Eric Pender - 92
LB - Mike Taylor - 40
LB - Brandon Quinn - 31
OLB - Jeff Katz - 98
OLB - Trevor Rappa - 47
CB - Nick Edwards - 25
CB - Fran Florio - 24
S - Chris Govey - 10
S - Fred Argir - 3
PR - Andre Gary - 2
QB - Oliver Kell - 16
TB - Nick Tom - 4
TE - Phil Tonucci - 99
WR - Pat Noone - 2
WR - Justin Starr - 20
WR - Jon Gren - 9
OT - Chris Grillo - 74
OG - Tom Flanagan - 65
C - Kyle Duncan - 67
OG - G. Easterbrook - 56
OT - Joe Smith - 75
P/K - Bill Donahue - 13
DL - R. Harasimowicz - 47
DT - Scott Roman - 48
DT - Dominic Ridgard - 95
DL - Laurence Duggan - 45
LB - Ian Vieira - 44
LB - Kevin Zikaras - 23
LB - Tyler Tennant - 37
CB - Bobby Welch - 21
CB - Mike Blouin - 34
S - Chris Martin - 22
S - Matt Leotti - 24
PR - Pat Noone - 2



Alex Vetras (23-of-44/273 yds/3 TD/0 INT)
Aaron Rauh (15 att/28 yds/0 TD)
Femi Oyalowo (8 att/17 yds/0 TD)
Andrew Reed (2 recs/81 yds/1 TD)
Brian Murphy (7 recs/75 yds/1 TD)
Mike Taylor (9 tackles/2 breakups)
Edwin Urey (8 tackles/4.0 sacks/4.5 TFL)

Oliver Kell (25-of-42/374 yds/4 TD/0 INT)
Nick Tom (12 att/74 yds/2 TD)
Pat Noone (4 att/27 yds/1 TD)
Pat Noone (12 recs/180 yds/2 TD)
Justin Starr (4 recs/129 yds/1 TD)
Kevin Zikaras (15 tackles/1 INT/3.0 TFL)
Ian Vieira (5 tackles/1.5 sacks/1 breakup)









Rushing Yards
A: 37 yds/37.0 avg.
B: 141 yds/141.0 avg.

Passing Yards
A: 284 yds/284.0 avg.   
B: 374 yds/374.0 avg.
Total Offense
A: 321 yds/321.0 avg.   
B: 515 yds/515.0 avg.

Total Points
A: 21 pts/21.0 avg.   
B: 50 pts/50.0 avg.
Rushing Allowed
A: 40 yds/40.0 avg.   
B: 75 yds/75.0 avg.

Passing Allowed
A: 207 yds/207.0 avg.   
B: 420 yds/420.0 avg.
Total Offense Allowed   
A: 247 yds/247.0 avg.   
B: 495 yds/495.0 avg.

Total Points Allowed  
A: 12 pts/12.0 avg.   
B: 35 pts/35.0 avg.