#34 Princeton FCS Football 2022 Preview

Princeton Tigers
Overall Rank: #34
#3 Ivy League
 Princeton Logo
Princeton won a share of the Ivy League title in 2021. They started the campaign 7-0, which included a thrilling 18-16 five overtime thriller over Harvard. Their first, and only, loss came at Dartmouth by a score of 31-7. Coach Bob Surace has some big holes to fill, but there is younger talent who should be ready to step up and fill the holes and keep the Tigers competitive in the Ivy League.
2021 Record: 9-1, 6-1
2021 Postseason: None
Coach: Bob Surace (65-45 at Princeton, 83-48 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Willis
Defensive Coordinator: Steve Verbit
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Ja’Derris Carr, RB, 119 yards
Passing: Blake Stenstrom, QB, 44 yards
Receiving: Andrei Iosivas, WR, 703 yards
Tackles: Matthew Jester, LB, 30
Sacks: Cole Aubrey, LB, 6.0; Uche Ndukwe, DL, 6.0
Interceptions: Michael Ruttlen, DB, 2
Other Key Returnees: WR Dylan Classi, TE Carson Bobo, OL Henry Byrd, OL Connor Scaglione, DL Carter Christopher, DL James Stagg, P Will Powers
Key Losses: QB Cole Smith, RB Collin Eaddy, WR Jacob Birmelin, OL Reily Radosevich, OL Nikola Ivanisevic, DE Sam Wright, LB Jeremiah Tyler, LB James Johnson, LB Daniel Beard, DB Delan Stallworth, DB Trevor Forbes, DB Christian Brown
Quarterback Cole Smith had an impressive senior season, completing 67 percent of his passes for 2,570 yards and 14 touchdowns. Blake Stenstrom was his backup last season and figures to step into the starting role in 2022. Stenstrom, a transfer from Colorado, attempted just five passes in 2021. He will have plenty of talented receivers to work with. Andrei Iosivas and Dylan Classi were both big play receivers last season, combining to catch 76 passes for 1,324 yards and eight touchdowns. Those two will continuously spread the field, while tight end Carson Bobo will be a reliable target underneath. The bigger concern could be on the ground. Collin Eaddy and Smith accounted for a huge chunk of Princeton’s carries. Now the Tigers will have to find a back or two who can at least take advantage of what should be a strong passing attack.
Princeton ranked sixth in the FCS in total defense and were absolutely dominate at times. It took ten quarters into the season before anybody even scored against the Tigers defense. The problem now is that there are a lot of holes to fill. The top five tacklers are gone and there are some big holes to fill all over the field. The defensive front has quite a bit of experience with Uch Ndukwe, Carter Christopher and James Stagg. Linebackers Matthew Jester and Cole Aubrey are solid options to build around. Aubrey is a fine pass rusher and tallied 6.0 sacks and an additional 5.0 tackles-for-loss. The most experience in the secondary comes with senior Michael Ruttlen.
The Bottom Line:
Once again Princeton starts off their season with games against Stetson and Lehigh. Last year they opened the 2021 season against those two and outscored them 95-0. The big game against Harvard this year is on the road on Friday October 21st. The Crimson will certainly be looking for revenge after that five-overtime loss. Two weeks later they host Dartmouth in a game that could again decide the Ivy League title.
Projected Postseason:  None
2021 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 126.9 (85th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 265.5 (20, 2)
Total Offense: 392.4 (38, 3)
Scoring Offense: 33.4 (16, 1)
Rushing Defense: 73.2 (2, 2)
Pass Defense: 200.9 (33, 3)
Total Defense: 274.1 (6, 2)
Scoring Defense: 17.4 (12, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.30 (39, 3)
Sacks: 3.30 (7, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 3.50 (113, 8)