Amherst, Williams Set to Meet for 125th Time in Rivalry's History
Amherst College (6-1) vs. Williams College (7-0)
November 13, 2010 * Pratt Field
Amherst, MA * Noon
THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC
Hamilton (1-6) @ Bates (1-6) – 12 p.m.
Trinity (6-1) @ Wesleyan (4-3) – 12 p.m.
Tufts (1-6) @ Middlebury (3-4) – 12 p.m.
Bowdoin (2-5) @ Colby (4-3) – 12:30 p.m.
All Amherst College football games are open to the public and do not require the purchase of tickets. Directions to Pratt Field can be found here.
Known as one of the best places to tailgate for a football game, Pratt Field opens at 8 a.m. on Saturday for on-field parking. Tailgating areas will be clearly marked, and ushers will direct traffic. Please be aware that no oversize vehicles, such as recreational vehicles, motor homes or campers, are allowed inside Pratt Field. No kegs are allowed on the field, and no alcohol, banners or signs are allowed in the stands.
AMHERST COLLEGE HOMECOMING
Visit the Amherst College alumni website to see what other events are taking place on campus this weekend. Homecoming festivities will begin Friday, Nov. 12, and conclude Sunday, Nov. 14.
LIVE TELEVISION COVERAGE
The 125th edition of the "Biggest Little Game in America" will be televised live on New England Sports Network. Sportswriter and Boston Red Sox post-game analyst Tom Caron will once again provide the play-by-play. He will be joined by color commentator Steve DeOssie, a former NFL linebacker and special teams long snapper. Sideline interviews will be conducted by John Carchedi and Katy Fitzpatrick.
Alumni will be gathering at more than 50 locations around the world to watch the game live on NESN. For more information, visit the Amherst Alumni Association website. Those who are unable to attend an alumni viewing party but have access to a satellite dish service provider can watch the game at specific satellite coordinates.
A webcast will not be streamed live, but one will be made available immediately after the conclusion of the game. Fans can also listen to the game courtesy of WAMH, Amherst's student-run radio station.
Saturday will mark the 125th Amherst-Williams football game.
Fans can follow live statistics throughout Saturday’s game.
Williams boasts a 70-49-5 record against Amherst in what is one of the oldest rivalries in the history of college football. The Lord Jeffs got their first win in 1886 but would not get their second until 1892, as the Ephs took the inaugural 1884 meeting by a score of 15-2 en route to an 8-1-1 record through 10 games. The rivals were relatively even against each other until 1986, but Williams has taken charge by winning 18 of the past 23. The Ephs’ most dominant stretch came when they posted a 12-0-1 record against Amherst from 1987-99 after the Jeffs went 6-0 from 1981-86.
Williams jumped out to a 14-3 lead and seemed determined to spoil Amherst’s perfect season for an eighth time, but the Lord Jeffs scored the next 23 points of the game and held on for a 26-21 win. The teams were virtually identical in nearly every statistical category, but the Amherst defense intercepted three passes and returned a fumble for a touchdown to help the program secure its first 8-0 season since 1984. Quarterback Alex Vetras ’11 finished the day 20-of-35 for 290 yards, no interceptions and two touchdowns, including a 70-yard connection with Andrew Reed ’12 in the second quarter. Adding a touchdown reception for Amherst was Brian Murphy ’11, whose 10-yard grab made it a 26-14 game in the fourth quarter.
Alex Vetras '11 (above) and Pat Moffitt '11 (below) have been the NESCAC's two most efficient quarterbacks in 2010.
AMHERST LAST TIME OUT
Amherst jumped out to a 10-0 lead by scoring on each of its first two possessions and held a 13-7 advantage heading into the fourth quarter last week at Trinity, but the Lord Jeffs surrendered 21 unanswered points to the Bantams. With the 28-13 loss, Amherst’s winning streak was snapped at 14 games, which is tied for the longest in program history. Trinity earned its 39th consecutive triumph at home by racking up 405 total yards—251 on the ground—and surrendering only 210 yards to the Jeffs. The Bantams did not take their first lead until a touchdown with 6:05 remaining in regulation made it a 14-13 game, and they would add points with 3:11 and 00:13 remaining.
WILLIAMS LAST TIME OUT
Williams unleashed 402 yards of total offense, 22 first downs and six touchdowns in last week’s 45-7 win against Wesleyan, while the defense limited the Cardinals to only 60 yards through the air, forcing a fumble and intercepting a pass in doing so. Quarterback Pat Moffitt ’11, in what was possibly his most effective game of the year, threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns on 18-of-25 passing, also running for a score. Williams held a lead of only 14-7 with three minutes remaining in the second quarter, but the Ephs closed out the game with 31 unanswered points.
ON THE LINE
In addition to the usual bragging rights, the 2010 NESCAC title is still up for grabs. The Ephs are only one win away from the program’s seventh 8-0 season and first since 2006, but they have been denied a perfect slate by the Lord Jeffs four times, most recently in 2002. The Ephs have guaranteed themselves at least a share of the conference title, but they can win it outright for the third time since 2000 (2001, 2006) with a win over Amherst. Despite last week’s hiccup at Trinity, the Jeffs can still earn a share of the NESCAC crown with a win over Williams.
The Lord Jeffs were held to a season-low 13 points against the Bantams but are still on pace to set a program record for scoring average, as their conference-leading 38.6 points per game are ahead of the school’s previous mark (34.8 ppg, 1957). Amherst is also challenging the program record for total offense in a season (426.0 ypg), currently ranking second in the NESCAC at 423.3 yards per contest. A pair of individual records will be within reach on Saturday, as quarterback Alex Vetras ’11 needs only one touchdown pass to tie Amherst’s single-season high of 16, while Matt Rawson ’12 has already kicked eight field goals to match the program’s single-season mark.
Fans could be in for a treat when the NESCAC's two most explosive offenses clash this weekend.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Fans will be expecting a slugfest this Saturday when the NESCAC’s two most electrifying offenses take the field, as the Ephs and Lord Jeffs are averaging a combined 76 points and 897.2 yards per game. Leading their respective teams have been the conference’s two most efficient quarterbacks, whose impressive careers will come to an end this weekend. The Ephs’ Pat Moffitt ’11 leads NESCAC quarterbacks in efficiency (170.3) and touchdown passes (21), while Amherst’s Alex Vetras ’11 ranks second in both categories (130.1, 15). Moffitt holds the statistical edge, but Vetras has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 23 consecutive games and is 10-1 at Pratt Field as a starter. In two games against one another, Vetras and Moffitt have posted efficiency ratings of 117.6 and 120.4, respectively.
The quarterbacks might not put up career numbers against what have been outstanding secondary units, but both of them should maintain the efficiency fans have witnessed throughout the year. Williams is allowing a NESCAC-low 186.6 passing yards per game, while both teams have effectively prevented opposing quarterbacks from finding the endzone. The Ephs and Lord Jeffs have each come up with seven interceptions on the season and have allowed only 17 touchdowns combined (Williams 8, Amherst 9). Vetras and Moffitt have been the two most protected QBs throughout the year, with the Williams offensive line surrendering seven sacks (2nd fewest in the NESCAC) and Amherst’s line allowing only four.
Amherst and Williams have combined to deny each other a perfect season 11 times in the rivalry's history.
The teams’ running games are virtually identical, with Amherst averaging 186.3 yards per game (3rd most in the NESCAC) and Williams close behind at 175.4 (4th). The Ephs’ Ryan Lupo ’11 and Amherst’s Eric Bunker ’12 have each run for eight touchdowns while averaging roughly 90 yards per game as two of the top backs in the league. The second-string running backs are also quite similar, with Alex Scyocurka ’14 (56.5 ypg) of Williams and Femi Oyalowo ’11 (41.0 ypg) of Amherst accounting for three touchdowns apiece. Williams has been more effective at stopping the run this season, surrendering only 75.7 yards per game for the conference’s second best mark. The Jeffs are giving up an average of 110.9 yards on the ground, a number that jumped after Trinity ran for 251 yards last week.
With both teams displaying outstanding punching power and each of the past two meetings coming down to the final drive, Amherst and Williams will need to take care of the little things. One area in which the Lord Jeffs hold a significant edge is penalties. The Ephs have been the most penalized team in the NESCAC, totaling 53 infractions for an average of 73.9 penalty yards per game. Amherst, meanwhile, has committed only 29 penalties for an average of 41.4 yards per contest.
Amherst also features the better kicking game thanks to outstanding seasons from Matt Rawson ’12 and Philip Nwosu ’14. The Lord Jeffs lead the conference in punting average (34.4), field goal percentage (.900, 9-for-10) and PAT conversion rate (.943, 33-for-35), with Nwosu’s eight touchbacks leading the NESCAC by a landslide. The Ephs, on the other hand, rank ninth in punting (27.2), fifth in PAT percentage (.853, 29-for-34) and last in field goals (.429, 3-for-7).
QB - Alex Vetras - 12
RB - Eric Bunker - 14
TE - Charlie Pratt - 46
WR - Sean Legister - 22
WR - Brian Murphy - 4
WR - Andre Gary - 2
LG - Rick Morgan - 62
LT - Jack Reynolds - 51
C - John Ceccio - 54
RG - Marcus Richtel - 76
RT - Ian Mahoney - 70
SS - Evan Rosenstein - 23
FS - Kevin Heller - 10
CB - Nick Edwards - 25
CB - Landrus Lewis - 1
OLB - Sam Clark - 34
OLB - Jeff Katz - 98
ILB - Greg Kutzin - 33
ILB - Matt Pieterse - 42
DE - Brady Benelli - 55
NG - Matt Sponheimer - 50
DE - Kevin Ferber - 3
QB - Pat Moffitt - 5
RB - Ryan Lupo - 23
RB - Tom Wohlender - 33
TE - Jon Carroll - 86
RT - Graham McCullouch - 72
RG - Kevin Rose - 73
C - Vincent Nistico - 60
LG - Ryan Loughran - 79
LT - Steve Denza - 58
WR - Darren Hartwell - 1
WR - Bill Griffin - 4
CB - Tyler Cole - 3
S - Dan O'Mara - 21
DE - Dan Canina - 92
DL - Colin Curzi - 97
DL - Ben Halbower - 99
DE - Tim Kiely - 30
OLB - Chris Cameron - 7
ILB - Dylan Schultz - 55
OLB - Dan Johnson - 37
S - Chris Rudnicki - 24
CB - Ben Oliva - 12
Alex Vetras (156-of-262/1,659 yds/15 TD/2 INT)
Eric Bunker (111 att/626 yds/5.6 ypc/8 TD)
Femi Oyalowo (55 att/287 yds/5.2 ypc/3 TD)
Ryan Silva (42 att/187 yds/4.5 ypc/1 TD)
Andre Gary (32 rec/259 yds/4 TD)
Brian Murphy (32 rec/289 yds/3 TD)
Andrew Reed (18 rec/373 yds/3 TD)
Ben Kettering (23 rec/308 yds/1 TD)
Will Reed (11 rec/148 yds/1 TD)
Evan Rosenstein (56 tackles/31 solo/2 INT/2 FF)
Kevin Ferber (51 tackles/5.5 sacks/6 brups/2 FR)
Matt Pieterse (49 tackles/3.5 TFL/1 FR/1 TD)
Jeff Katz (46 tackles/7.0 TFL/3.5 sacks/2 FF)
Sam Clark (43 tackles/20 solo/5.0 TFL/1 INT)
Pat Moffitt (137-of-213/2,060 yds/21 TD/8 INT)
Ryan Lupo (166 att/645 yds/3.9 ypc/8 TD)
Alex Scyocurka (63 att/339 yds/5.4 ypc/3 TD)
Kristian Lapointe (21 att/82 yds/3.9 ypc/1 TD)
Darren Hartwell (28 rec/579 yds/9 TD)
Jon Carroll (16 rec/224 yds/4 TD)
Tomas Kearney (15 rec/259 yds/4 TD)
Bryce Bennett (16 rec/187 yds/3 TD)
J.C. Stickney (25 rec/375 yds/1 TD)
Dylan Schultz (58 tackles/37 solo/7.5 TFL/2 FR)
Pat Barren (53 tackles/38 solo/1 INT/3 FR/1 FF)
Dan O’Mara (39 tackles/25 solo/5.0 TFL/1 INT)
Chris Rudnicki (27 tackles/16 solo/4 brups)
Tyler Cole (23 tackles/17 solo/2 INT/5 brups)
A: 186.3 ypg
W: 173.3 ypg
A: 237.0 ypg
W: 300.6 ypg
A: 423.3 ypg
W: 473.9 ypg
A: 38.6 ppg
W: 37.4 ppg
A: 110.9 ypg
W: 75.7 ypg
A: 246.7 ypg
W: 186.6 ypg
A: 357.6 ypg
W: 26230 ypg
A: 18.3 ppg
W: 13.0 ppg