Athletics

Week 6 Football Preview: Amherst vs. Tufts

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Contact: Ben Badua

Amherst College (4-1) vs.
Tufts University (0-5)

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
Pratt Field
* Amherst, Mass. * 1 p.m.

Jeff Report - Week 6

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LIVE COVERAGE
Saturday's game will feature live statistics and a webcast.

THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC
Middlebury @ Trinity (12:30 p.m.)
Tufts @ Amherst (1 p.m.)
Bowdoin @ Wesleyan (1 p.m.)
Williams@ Hamilton (1 p.m.)
Colby @ Bates (1 p.m.)

THE SERIES
Amherst holds a 51-26-4 edge in 81 meetings dating back to 1877. Clinging to a 6-5-2 margin over the first 13 matchups, the Lord Jeffs enjoyed their most dominant stretch from 1961-75, going 14-0-1 during that span. The Jumbos responded by taking 11 of the next 17 showdowns from 1976-92, which included a pair of four game win streaks from 1978-81 and 1989-92. Amherst has since regained control, posting a 15-4 record against Tufts since 1992, winning four straight while outscoring their rivals 137-69 during that stretch.

LAST MEETING
Amherst held a 246-20 edge in the run game en route to a 30-0 win at a windy and rain-soaked Ellis Oval/Zimman Field. The Jeffs dominated the first-half statistics, outgaining the Jumbos 217-66 and racking up 13 first downs.

After recovering a Tufts fumble, Brian McMahon ’12 ran a naked bootleg untouched into the end zone from 26 yards out to put the Jeffs up 7-0 with 11:15 to go in the first quarter. Forcing a three-and-out, Amherst added to its tally when McMahon capped an 11-play, 63-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Ben Kettering ’12. Eric Bunker ’12 put the Jeffs up three scores with a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:15 to go before the intermission.

The visitors continued to stay aggressive during the second half, rushing for 115 more yards. Steven Jellison ’14 picked up 58 yards on a third quarter drive that led to a Matt Rawson ’12 24-yard field goal, before Bunker closed out the scoring with a two-yard touchdown rush just 53 seconds into the fourth quarter.

McMahon finished 11-of-16 for 99 yards, while Matt Pieterse ’13 led the Jeff defense with eight solo tackles. Max Dietz ’14 intercepted a pass, while Max Lehrman ’15 accounted for 1.5 of Amherst’s four sacks.

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AMHERST LAST TIME OUT
James Durham ’13 turned a screen pass into a 64-yard touchdown, while the Amherst defense came up with a pair of fourth quarter interceptions to power the Jeffs to a 17-9 win over previously unbeaten Wesleyan. The Cardinals outgained Amherst 356-303, which included a 136-131 advantage on the ground.

Steven Jellison ’14 led the Jeffs’ rushing attack, with 36 yards on 11 carries (3.3 ypc), while quarterbacks Jonathan Pieterse ’16 and Max Lippe ’15 combined for 56 rushing yards. The duo also went 9-of-22 for 172 yards and two touchdowns through the air as the Amherst passing game outgained the run game for the first time in 2012.

Capitalizing on a Michael Aldo ’13 forced fumble early in the second quarter, Jake O’Malley ’14 turned a simple bubble screen into a 30-yard touchdown to put Amherst up 7-0. Piecing together an 18-play, 92-yard drive, Wesleyan got on the board with a 24-yard Sebastian Aguirre field goal just before the half.

Trailing 10-3 after a Jake Schmidt ’14 33-yarder with 5:21 left in the third, Wesleyan came right back as quarterback Jesse Warren hit Josh Hurwitz on a 62-yard strike down the right sideline. Hoping to tie the game, the Cardinals lined up for the extra point, but Aguirre’s try rattled off the upright to keep it at 10-9.
Facing a second-and-29 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the fourth, Durham broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage before outracing a Wesleyan defender 64 yards to the end zone.

From there the Amherst defense took over, recording a pair of interceptions before forcing the Cardinals to turn it over on downs to end the game. Ned Deane ’15, Sam Clark ’13, Danny Chun ’14 and Travis Dickenson ’13 each had nine tackles, while Aldo and Chris Tamasi ’15 accounted for the Jeffs’ two picks.
    
TUFTS LAST TIME OUT
Tufts fell to 0-5 on the year with a 25-7 home loss to Williams. The Jumbos outgained the Ephs 240-223, in the passing game, but three interceptions and a lost fumble helped seal Tufts’ fate. Williams opened up scoring just five minutes in with a Joe Mallock 43-yard field goal. Tufts answered with a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 13-yard John Dodds ’13 touchdown pass to Marty Finnegan ’13. Williams answered with a long drive of its own, going 69 yards in nine plays before Tom Wohlwender punched it in from three yards out. Less than two minutes later, Tom Murphy hit Greg Payton on an 82-yard touchdown pass as the Ephs took a 15-7 lead into the intermission.

Extending the lead early in the third, Wohlwender bookended another long Williams drive with his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon. Mallock later capped off the scoring with a 19-yard field goal less than five minutes into the fourth quarter. Dodds finished 25-of-45 for 215 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions, while Finnegan pulled down seven catches for 91 yards and a score.

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SCOUTING AMHERST
Surrendering a league-low 12.0 points per game, a stout Amherst run defense has limited opponents to a conference-best 77.8 yards per outing. Travis Dickenson ’13 has led the charge up front all season, leading the NESCAC in tackles for loss (11). Danny Chun ’14, who sits second on the squad in tackles (32), has also made himself comfortable in opposing backfields, tying for the second-most sacks in the league with three.

While the Jeffs rank in the middle of the conference pack against the pass, the Amherst secondary has done a good job causing turnovers of late, amassing six takeaways over the last two weeks. Robbie Heflin ’13 was named the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week after picking off three passes against Colby, while Michael Aldo ’13 was named to this week’s honor roll after forcing a fumble and pulling down his first career interception against Wesleyan. Chris Tamasi ’15 also had a pick against the Cardinals, as the Amherst defense came up with a pair of big fourth quarter interceptions to help seal a 17-9 win.

One of just three teams in the NESCAC averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground, the Jeff rushing attack has continued to produce despite the absence of regular starter Ryan Silva ’14. Relying on a running back-by-committee the last two games, Steven Jellison ’14 led the way against Colby and Wesleyan, averaging 59.0 yards on 30 carries (1.9 ypc). Tyler Jacobs ’15 and Kenny Aboagye-Adinkra ’16 have also helped carry the load, combining for 49.5 yards per game.

Averaging just 133.2 yards through the air, Amherst’s passing game has lacked big play ability but got several long catch-and-runs against Wesleyan. Jake O’Malley ’14 and James Durham ’13, piled up the yards after catch, turning in a pair of 30 and 64-yard touchdowns off screen passes. Gene Garay ’15 also helped stretch the field against the Cardinals, hauling in 31-yard catch as the passing game outgained the running game for the first time in 2012.

SCOUTING TUFTS
Tufts dropped to 0-5 on the season with a 25-7 loss to Williams last Saturday. Giving up 29.6 points per game, the Jumbos’ defense has allowed the second-most yards per game (393.8), despite ranking third against the pass (154.4). Part of Tufts’ struggles have stemmed from a porous run defense that has surrendered 239.4 yards per game. Linebacker Tommy Meade ’15 leads the team with 40 tackles (31 solo), while two-time All-NESCAC defensive back Sam Diss ’13 has made 37 stops (29 solo), with one interception.

Boasting the league’s second-best passing attack (214.8 ypg), the Jumbos have yet to gain traction on the ground, sitting last in the conference with just 49.4 yards per game. Tufts quarterback John Dodds ’13 ranks among the conference leaders in passing, averaging 202.6 yards through the air, while going 118-of-226 (52.2 percent) with four touchdowns and six interceptions. Wide receiver Pat Nee ’14 leads the squad in receiving yards, averaging 47.8 per game, while tight end Nick Kenyon ’13 has caught a team-high 23 passes, with a pair of touchdowns.

PROBABLE STARTERS

AMHERST OFF.
QB - M. Lippe
RB - R. Silva
WR - W. McNamara
WR- J. O'Malley
WR - J. Durham
TE - T. Holahan
LT - R. Wasielewski
LG - J. Reynolds
C - J. Ceccio
RG - S. Mergner
RT - J. MacLennan
K - J. Schmidt

AMHERST DEF.
N - M. Sponheimer
DT - L. Jacoubs
DT - T. Dickenson
ILB - N. Deane
ILB - S. Clark
OLB - C. Tamasi
OLB - D. Chun
SS - M. Aldo
FS - M. Dietz
CB - R. Heflin
CB - K. Callahan
P - J. McGonagle

TUFTS OFF.
QB - J. Dodds
RB - J. Weaver
WR - M. Finnegan
WR - J. Cooleen
WR - D. Haas
TE - N. Kenyon
LT - A. Rayner
LG - L. Davis
C - S. Stone
RG - K. Duke
RT - A. Farmer-Michos
K - C. McDavitt
TUFTS DEF.
DE - Z. Kline
DE - C. Yancy
DT - C. Burns
DT - J. Brao
LB - S. Harrington
LB - T. Meade
LB - W. Hartmann
SS - S. Diss
FS - T. Castle
CB - V. Lee
CB - A. Crittenden
P - M. Finnegan











STATISTICAL LEADERS

AMHERST

Passing
Max Lippe (50-of-84/547 yds/5 TD/1 INT)

Rushing
Ryan Silva (71 att/390 yds/1 TD)
Steven Jellison (52 att/235 yds/2 TD)

Receiving
Wade McNamara (19 rec/231 yds/2 TD)
Jake O’Malley (13 rec/120 yds/1 TD)

Defense
Sam Clark (35 tackles/21 solo/1.5 TFL/1 INT)
Travis Dickenson (34 tackles/18 solo/11.0 TFL)
Danny Chun (32 tackles/4.5 TFL/3.0 Sacks)


TUFTS

Passing
John Dodds (118-of-226/1,013 yards/4 TD/6 INT)

Rushing
Justin Weaver (41 att/140 yds/1 TD)
Zach Trause (21 att/68 yds/0 TD)

Receiving
Nick Kenyon (23 rec/187 yds/2 TD)
Dylan Haas (22 rec/158 yds/1 TD)

Defense
Tommy Meade (40 tackles/31 solo/1 BrUp)
Sam Diss (37 tackles/29 solo/1 INT)
Sean Harrington (33 tackles/20 solo/1 FR)

 










STATISTICAL COMPARISON

RUSHING OFF.
A: 203.6 avg.
T: 49.4 avg.
TOTAL OFF.
A: 336.8 avg.
T: 264.2 avg.
RUSHING DEF.
A: 77.8 avg.
T: 239.4 avg.
TOTAL DEF.
A: 267.8 avg.
T: 393.8 avg.
PASSING OFF.
A: 133.2 avg.
T: 214.8 avg.
SCORING OFF.
A: 20.6 avg.
T: 12.2 avg.
PASSING DEF.
A: 190.0 avg.
T: 154.4 avg.
SCORING DEF.
A: 12.0 avg.
T: 29.6 avg.