Bowdoin College (0-5) will travel to play at Wesleyan (2-3) Saturday in a game scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. The Polar Bears are looking for their first victory of the 2006 campaign, while the Cardinals are looking to avenge last year's loss to the Polar Bears in Brunswick.
Fans can listen to Saturday's game live on the internet via Free Teamline. The audio-only webcast will be available at Wesleyan's Teamline Page shortly before gametime.
With the exception of last week's defeat at the hands of Amherst, the Wesleyan football team has played in tight games each week of the 2006 season. In the opening four weeks, the Cardinals played three games with a final margin of three points or fewer, and their other game was a one-touchdown victory over Hamilton (7-0). In addition to Hamilton, who Bowdoin lost 12-0 to, both teams have played Amherst with the Cardinals falling 23-0 and the Polar Bears losing 20-7.
Bowdoin senior linebacker John Regan has been a menace to the Wesleyan Cardinals in his career. A co-captain on this year's squad, Regan led the Polar Bears with 15 total tackles, including two for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble in last year's win over the Cardinals. In 2004, Regan made eight tackles and broke up two passes in Middletown. He leads Bowdoin and is fourth in the conference with 9.8 tackles/game in 2006.
BOWDOIN BY THE NUMBERS
Bowdoin's defense currently ranks 10th in the NESCAC in yards allowed and is allowing 21.8 points per game. The offense is seventh in the conference in total yards, but has scored just two touchdowns this year.
Individually, Jeff Smith is second in the league rushing standings with a 68.8 yards/game average. Doug Johnson is averaging five catches and 70.8 yards receiving per contest, both good enough for fifth in the NESCAC. Dave Donahue is right behind John Regan in tackles, posting a 9.4 average per game. He also is netting 35.7 yards per punt to stand third in the league.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
The Cardinals are a pass-heavy squad and are third among the league in pass yards per game (213.6) while standing ninth in rushing (54.0). The Cardinals are seventh in the NESCAC in total defense (284.8 yards/game) but have allowed just six touchdowns this year. In addition, Wesleyan is second-worst in the league in turnover-margin, with a minus-five margin this season.
Veteran quarterback Zach Librizzi is second in the conference in passing (218.2 yards/game), but has not tossed for a touchdown this year. Ryan Walsh (80.2 yards/game) and Mark Noonan (61.8) are Librizzi's top targets, while Quincy Francis leads the NESCAC in tackling (12.2/game).
Ricky Leclerc '07 tossed for a school-record five touchdowns, three of which went to Jeff Nolin, in a 35-10 victory for Bowdoin in 2005. Nolin's three scoring receptions also tied a Bowdoin mark for touchdown catches in a single game. The Polar Bears forced three Cardinal turnovers, including interceptions by Lamont White and Dave Donahue.
BOWDOIN vs. WESLEYAN
The Cards leads the all-time series 47-27-2 over the Polar Bears in one of the more bizarre rivalries in the school record books. In looking through history, Wesleyan-Bowdoin games have often been a statistical oddity.
The most fumbles ever committed by a Bowdoin team (10) came in a 1966 loss to the Cardinals, while the most fumbles ever committed by a Polar Bear opponent was Wesleyan's nine in a 1977 Bowdoin win. In the 1976 game, Bowdoin threw two passes- the fewest in modern Bowdoin history- in a 42-34 victory. In addition, the fewest yards gained in a game by the Polar Bears came in 1966 (23) against Wesleyan, while the fewest yards ever allowed by a Bowdoin defense (44) also came against Wesleyan in 1963.
Football vs. Wesleyan Game Notes