Monmouth drops first-ever football meeting against Princeton
Princeton accumulated over 600 yards of total offense as they defeated Monmouth, 51-9.
Monmouth traveled to Princeton for their first-ever football meeting against the Ivy League contender. At 2-1, the Hawks was hoping to end a two-game road swing undefeated as it turned to Fall.
Unfortunately, that was not meant to be as Monmouth fell to Princeton, 51-9, in front of 11,068 fans at Princeton Stadium. This game was Monmouth’s nightmare as in every facet of the game the Hawks were outplayed and dominated. The game was over by halftime for all intents and purposes. Here are three bullet points for Monmouth’s loss to Princeton on the road.
The Offensive Line Absolutely Imploded
Monmouth’s offensive allowed five sacks of Kenji Bahar in Saturday’s game against Princeton. On top of that, the Hawks gained just 105 yards on 30 carries, 57 yards below their season average. If it weren’t for Pete Guerriero’s 71-yard run on Monmouth first play from scrimmage, the numbers would have been worse. The much-celebrated line that features four returning starters looked outmatched against the Tigers.
While this is one game, the game was against an in-state rival and a team that was picked to finish second in a competitive Ivy League. After a demoralizing loss like this, it will be important for the offensive line to chalk this up to not being ready in this game. Going forward, it will be up to those five men to get it back in gear and rebound against Wagner. The O-Line was supposed to be a strength of this team. On Saturday, it was a detriment.
Monmouth’s Defense Was Outplayed
Princeton (2-0) finished with 283 yards on the ground against Monmouth (2-2). While the offensive line was supposed to be the strength of the squad, Monmouth’s defense would be a work in progress and something that would have its ups and downs. Saturday was a big down as the Hawks allowed 615 yards of total offense to the Tigers. It was a complete demolition of Monmouth’s defense and one that defensive coordinator Andy Bobik will not allow to be repeated.
Against Wagner and Bucknell at home, those will be the games where Monmouth will need to reconfigure their defense and fix the things that are broken. Their Big South opener against Campbell on Oct. 20th is when all issues should be taken care of because the Big South conference is full of teams just as good, if not better than Princeton. It’s time for Monmouth’s defense to step up and carry the load in games the offense doesn’t have it.
White Jr. Continues Assault on MU Record Book
Reggie White Jr. finished Saturday’s game with eight catches for 98 yards, but a milestone reception happened in the first half. White Jr.’s 19-yard reception gave the senior wideout 200 career catches. He is just the second Monmouth player to catch 200 career passes and is only four behind Neal Sterling, who holds the record with 212 career receptions.
For Kenji Bahar to have a receiver like Reggie White Jr. is a blessing. A surehanded receiver with the ability to break away after a catch is a luxury many quarterbacks do not have. White Jr. will go down as one the best players in Monmouth football history. He will also go down as one of the best wide receivers in Big South and FCS history as well.
The Hawks return to West Long Branch to begin the first of three consecutive home games against Wagener on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m. at Kessler Stadium.
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