Athletics

Looking Ahead: Amherst vs. Tufts Preview

Mottau
Chris Mottau grabbed two interceptions in last year's game against Tufts.

Amherst College (4-1) vs. Tufts University (4-1)
October 27, 2007 * Zimman Field

MEDFORD, MA * 1 p.m.

THE SERIES
From the inaugural match-up in 1877 to the 12-2 Tufts victory in 1960, the Lord Jeffs posted a 16-11-3 record against the Jumbos, as the two schools were involved in a relatively even NESCAC rivalry. Amherst began a stretch of dominance in 1961, however, beginning a 15-game unbeaten streak with a lopsided 40-6 win. Balance was restored to the rivalry in 1976, as Tufts has won 14 meetings since then and Amherst has won 17. From 1999 to 2004, the largest margin of victory for either team was eight points, including a 27-24 overtime victory for Amherst in 2002 and a 24-17 overtime win for Tufts the following year. In the past two seasons, however, the Jeffs have outscored the Jumbos 61-12.

SCOUTING AMHERST
Amherst has controlled the tempo of its games throughout the season, having racked up an average of 185.2 rushing yards per game while allowing an average of just 64.4. The Amherst defense has been solid as a whole, holding teams to a NESCAC-best average of 229.4 yards of total offense per week while totaling nine interceptions on the year. The Jeffs are allowing a mere 9.4 points per contest to mark the conference’s best scoring defense to go along with their 25.2 points per game.

SCOUTING TUFTS
Tufts was the NESCAC’s only undefeated team heading into last weekend’s games, but a 37-14 loss to Williams resulted in four teams entering this weekend at 4-1. The Jumbos feature a well-balanced offense, as they are averaging 187.8 passing yards and 116.4 rushing yards per game. Tufts also features the conference’s best red zone offense—in 13 appearances in the red zone, the Jumbos have scored 11 touchdowns and been intercepted twice for a conversion rate of 84.6%. On the other side of the ball, Tufts’ opponents are converting on only 58.3% trips to the red zone, marking the NESCAC’s second lowest average.

LAST MEETING
Amherst’s defense looked as though it might struggle against the Tufts running game, but the Jeffs clamped down and the offense came from behind with 24 unanswered points to earn a 24-6 win on Family Weekend. Following a first-quarter interception, Tufts strung together a 15-play, 89-yard scoring drive that featured the one-two-three running punch of Will Forde, Brian Camuso and Brendan Georges. The trio of Tufts backs combined for 181 yards on 42 carries for the day. Amherst looked like it had its hands full, but the early Tufts score was the last time the Jumbos hit paydirt.

From the opening whistle of the second quarter, the Jeffs ran wild on the Tufts front line. Aaron Rauh ’10 led the charge and finished the day with a career-high 133 yards on 14 carries. Rauh couldn’t find the end zone, but Eric NeSmith ’09 punched a touchdown home for the Jeff backfield. NeSmith was Amherst's second-leading rusher, racking up 113 yards of his own on 14 carries. Quarterback Nick Kehoe ’07 also dove into the end zone from three yards out for a rushing touchdown of his own. Utility-back Mark Hannon ’07 finished with over 100 all-purpose yards, catching two critical passes for 67 yards and returning three punts for another 46 yards.

The top-ranked Amherst defense faced a test in the Jumbos' 262 yards of total offense, but the Jeffs came together to quiet the Tufts threats. Mike Salerno ’07 posted a season-high 17 tackles in the game, while three other Jeffs finished the game with nine tackles each and defensive back Chris Mottau ’08 grabbed two interceptions during the bout.


AMHERST LAST TIME OUT
The Amherst College football team controlled the tempo in its game with Little Three rival Wesleyan University by rushing for 256 yards on 50 attempts, as the Lord Jeffs picked up a 28-9 victory over the Cardinals on Amherst’s Homecoming. Junior Eric NeSmith carried the ball 22 times for 144 yards, while sophomore Aaron Rauh had 103 yards on 20 carries to go along with his pair of touchdowns. The Jeffs took a 25-3 lead into halftime and held Wesleyan to -15 yards rushing on the day.

TUFTS LAST TIME OUT
The Tufts football team set school records for passing attempts, completions and yards against Williams College last week, but it wasn't enough as the Jumbos were defeated for the first time this season, 34-13, in Williamstown, Mass. The Ephs dominated early, scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions to lead 28-0 halfway through the second quarter. Senior quarterback Matt Russo tied the Tufts record for pass completions, connecting 30 times in 45 attempts for 308 yards. Tufts out-gained the Ephs 425 to 347 and earned a 27-16 advantage in first downs.

Team
Four NESCAC teams enter this weekend with a 4-1 record, but only two can improve to 5-1.

2007 AMHERST SCHEDULE/RESULTS
9/22 - @ Bates (W 24-0)
9/29 - BOWDOIN (W 30-6)
10/6 - MIDDLEBURY (L 19-16)
10/13 - @ Colby (W 28-13)
10/20 - WESLEYAN (W 28-9)
10/27 - @ Tufts (1 p.m.)
11/3 - TRINITY (1 p.m.)
11/10 - @ Williams (Noon)

2007 TUFTS SCHEDULE/RESULTS
9/22 - @ Hamilton (W 24-7)
9/29 - @ Bates (W 35-20)
10/6 - BOWDOIN (W 21-13)
10/13 - TRINITY (W 16-10)
10/20 - @ Williams (L 34-13)
10/27 - AMHERST (1 p.m.)
11/3 - @ Colby (12:30 p.m.)
11/10 - MIDDLEBURY (12:30 p.m.)

AMHERST PROBABLE STARTERS
LORD JEFF OFFENSE
QB –
Lucas Loeffler – 9
FB – Chris Gillyard – 34
RB – Aaron Rauh – 11
WR – Mike Myers – 4
WR – Jim Eckenrode – 1
TE – Matt Dunleavy – 83
LT – Sam Rudman – 79
LG – Wyatt Moss – 57
C – Justin Wiley – 72
RG – Tim Rose – 54
RT – Dan Guariglia – 66
PK – Matt Eberhart – 43
P – Keith Erzinger – 32

LORD JEFF DEFENSE
NG – Greg Smith – 50
DT – Jon Attridge – 98
DT – Eric Pender – 92
OLB – Guy Matisis – 45
OLB – Jack Ewen – 37
ILB – Nick Boehm – 29
ILB – Preston Puryear – 53
CB – A.J. Scola – 13
CB – Chris Mottau – 7
SS – Rob Grammer – 8
FS – Chris Govey – 10

PR/KR – Taylor Brown – 2

TUFTS PROBABLE STARTERS
JUMBO OFFENSE
QB – Matt Russo – 9
TB – Will Forde – 19
FB – Kevin Anderson – 10
WR – David Halas – 8
WR – Asmerom Adhanom – 85
TE – Kevin Gleason – 11
LT – Geoff Kramer – 77
LG – David Libardoni – 67
C – Thomas Ames – 50
RG – Dan Walsh – 63
RT – Adam Wueger – 56
PK – Greg Stewart – 13

JUMBO DEFENSE
DE – Derek Miller – 42
DT – Christopher Seufert – 76
NT – Jeremiah Lechleiter – 57
DT – Pete Christensen – 58
DE – Stephen Albertine – 24
LB – Ryan Crisco – 6
LB – Tyson Reynoso – 55
CB – Nathan Scott – 3
SS – Tom Tassinari – 21
FS – Andy Henke – 27
CB – J.B. Bruno – 4
P – Stephen Black – 89

AMHERST Statistical Leaders
PASSING
Lucas Loeffler (52-of-115/607 yds/4 TD/3 INT)
RUSHING
Aaron Rauh (99 att/427 yds/6 TD)
Eric NeSmith (89 att/415 yds/3 TD)
RECEIVING
Brandon Bullock (13 recs/164 yds/3 TD)
Mike Myers (9 rec/102 yds)
Jim Eckenrode (7 rec/127 yds)
DEFENSE
A.J. Scola (5 INT/1 TD/13 tackles)

TUFTS Statistical Leaders
PASSING
Russo (79-of-149/869 yds/7 TD/6 INT)
RUSHING
Forde (78 att/199 yds/5 TD)
Guild (41 att/197 yds/1 TD)
RECEIVING
Halas (25 rec/367 yds/2 TD)
Gleason (9 rec/104 yds/2 TD)
DEFENSE
Tassinari (4 INT/1 TD/33 tackles)

2007 TEAM STATISTICAL COMPARISONS
Rushing Yards/Per Game
A: 926 yds/185.2 avg.
T: 582 yds/116.4 avg.

Passing Yards/Per Game
A: 621 yds/124.2 avg.
T: 939 yds/187.8 avg.

Total Offense/Per Game
A: 1,547 yds/309.4 avg.
T: 1,521 yds/304.2 avg.

Total Points/Per Game
A: 126 pts/25.2 avg.
T: 109 pts/21.8 avg.

Rushing Allowed/Per Game
A: 322 yds/64.4 avg.
T: 562 yds/112.4 avg.

Passing Allowed/Per Game
A: 825 yds/165.0 avg.
T: 1,024 yds/204.8 avg.

Total Offense Allowed/Per Game
A: 1,147 yds/229.4 avg.
T: 1,586 yds/317.2 avg.

Total Points Allowed/Per Game
A: 47 pts/9.4 avg.
T: 84 pts/16.8 avg.

THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC
Wesleyan @ Bowdoin (12:30 p.m.)
Trinity @ Middlebury (1 p.m.)

Hamilton @ Williams (1 p.m.)
Bates @ Colby (1 p.m.)

Amherst @ Tufts (1 p.m.)

2007 NESCAC STANDINGS
T1. Amherst (4-1)
T1. Middlebury (4-1)
T1. Trinity (4-1)
T1. Tufts (4-1)
T5. Wesleyan (3-2)
T5. Williams (3-2)
7. Hamilton (2-3)
8. Bowdoin (1-4)
T9. Bates (0-5)
T9. Colby (0-5)

LAST 10 MEETINGS
1997 Amherst 16 Tufts 6
1998 Tufts 30 Amherst 16
1999 Amherst 10 Tufts 7
2000 Amherst 8 Tufts 0
2001 Amherst 14 Tufts 10
2002 Amherst 27 Tufts 24 (OT)
2003 Tufts 24 Amherst 17 (OT)
2004 Tufts 10 Amherst 3
2005 Amherst 37 Tufts 6
2006 Amherst 24 Tufts 6