Polar Bears Look to Snap Two-Game Losing Streak at Wesleyan on Saturday

Zach Donnarumma had a career-best rushing effort in last year's win over Wesleyan
Zach Donnarumma had a career-best rushing effort in last year's win over Wesleyan

The Bowdoin College football team will look to get back in the win column this week as they travel to Middletown, Conn. for a showdown with Wesleyan University. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Andrus Field.

The Polar Bears have lost back-to-back games and stand at 1-4 this season. The Cardinals suffered their first loss of the campaign last week to Amherst are are 4-1 on the year.

Wesleyan University will provide live stats and live video webcast coverage of Saturday's game. Links are available above.

The Bowdoin defense again gave the Polar Bears a chance last Saturday against Trinity, allowing just 13 points through the first three quarters before a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns put the contest out of reach. Bowdoin ranks fifth in the NESCAC in total defense (346.4 yards/game) and sixth in scoring defense (23.0 points/game) but has allowed 17 points/game over its last three games.

The Polar Bears rank sixth in the league in total offense (295.0 yards/game) but have struggled in two key categories - in the red zone and turnover margin. Bowdoin ranks ninth in the league with a 64% red zone efficiency (9-14) and have scored only three touchdowns in 14 trips inside their opponents 20 this fall. Additionally, the Polar Bears are tied for last in the conference with a -7 turnover margin, committing 13 and gaining just six this year.

Griffin Cardew leads the way for the Bowdoin defense, ranking second in the league in total tackles with 55. Zach Donnarumma needs just one more game to qualify for the league leaders in per-game rushing but, despite missing two games, already boasts the fourth-most rushing yards in the conference (364). His 121.3 yards/game average would stand third in the NESCAC if it reached the 60% minimum for games played. Thomas Romero is sixth in the conference with 145.8 yards passing/game with his top target being David Black, who stands sixth in the league with 23 catches.

Wesleyan ranks in the top half of the league in offense and defense this year, averaging the third-most yards (380.6) and permitting the fourth-fewest (307.2). They have been especially tough against the run, ranking third in the league with a 105.0 yards allowed/game.

Sophomore Kyle Gibson (125.4 yards/game) is the league's second-best rusher this season and has surpassed the century mark in rushing yards on four occasions this year. Quarterback Jesse Warren (187.4 yards/game, 10 TD's) ranks third in the

conference in passing with receiver Kevin Hughes standing fourth in the league in receptions (24) and yards (327).

Defensively, the Cardinals have the second-most sacks in the league as a team and are led by Andy McKeon, who has a NESCAC-high 3.5 sacks on the year. Donnie Cimino is third in the conference with three interceptions.

Bowdoin and Wesleyan have three common opponents this fall. Both teams defeated Tufts and lost to Amherst. The Cardinals took a 34-14 win at home over Hamilton while the Polar Bears dropped a 14-13 decision on the road to the Continentals.

Last year in Brunswick, Zach Donnarumma racked up a career-high 158 yards rushing and Pat Noone (view video at right) returned a punt a school-record 85 yards for a touchdown as the Polar Bears defeated the Cardinals, 12-6.

Bowdoin held a ten-minute advantage in time of possession and limited a high-powered Wesleyan rushing attack to just 59 yards for the day.

The Cards leads the all-time series 51-29-2 but the teams have split the last four meetings. Bowdoin's last win in Middletown came in 2008 - a 17-10 victory- and will be looking to upend the Cardinals in consecutive years for the first time since1976-77.