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Princeton Visits Fisher Stadium on Family Weekend

Sept. 19, 2017

 Lafayette vs. Princeton
 Gameday Info  GoLeopards.com Gameday | Events & Promotions
 Date & Time  Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 - 6 p.m.
 Location  Easton, Pa. | Fisher Stadium
 Tickets  Lafayette Athletics Ticket Office
 Game Notes  Lafayette Get Acrobat Reader | Princeton Get Acrobat Reader
 TV  Lafayette Sports Network (RCN 4/8, 1004/608 HD, WBPH-60 HD)
 Play by Play: Gary Laubach
 Analyst: Mike Joseph
 Sideline: John Leone
 Live Streaming  GoLeopards.com
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Social Media  Twitter & Facebook


The Match-Up: Lafayette returns to Fisher Stadium to host Princeton on Saturday at 6 p.m. as part of Family Weekend. The Leopards (0-3) are searching for their first victory of the season, while Ivy League preseason favorite Princeton is coming off a 27-17 win over San Diego in the Tigers' opening weekend.

Familiar Foe: Lafayette head coach John Garrett is a 1988 graduate of Princeton University. Garrett and his brothers, Jason '89 and Judd '90, transferred there from Columbia in 1986. Garrett attended Princeton from 1986-88, playing one season (1987) of football for the Tigers alongside current Princeton coach Bob Surace. The two also worked together in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals in the early 2000s.

Familiar Foe No. 28: A familiar foe, Marvin Clecidor '09, is on the Princeton coaching staff. Clecidor, a three-year starter at cornerback, was a member of the Leopards' 2005 and 2006 Patriot League championship teams. The two-time All-Patriot League selection previously returned to Fisher Stadium with the William & Mary staff in 2015.

Streak Snapped: Senior WR Matt Mrazek's streak of 30 straight games with a completion came to an end at Villanova. The string dates to his freshman year of 2014 when he caught a pass in the final nine games. Prior to Villanova, the last time he was held without a catch was Sept. 13, 2014, week two of the season vs. Robert Morris.

50th Meeting: Lafayette and Princeton meet for the 50th time in a series that dates to 1883 (Lafayette's second season of football). Princeton leads the all-time series 42-4-3 and holds a 9-2-1 all-time record in Easton.

Freshman QB: Freshman Sean O'Malley was under center for the Leopards when the season opened. Since the Patriot League began play in 1986, the Leopards had never started a freshman quarterback in the season opener. The Beverly Hills, Calif. native finished his opening afternoon 27-of-42 for 262 yards with two TD's and two INT's. He threw on 70 percent of the Leopards' 67 offensive plays. In his second outing, O'Malley completed 25-of-44 for 276 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, earning him Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors on Sept. 11. In week three, he completed 15-of-29 for 84 yards and threw three interceptions.
O'Malley is replacing Drew Reed '17, who led the Leopards to their last Patriot League title in his freshman year of 2013 and graduated third in career passing yards (7,007) and completions (968) and second in career completion percentage (65.2) after playing in 36 games over four seasons as the starter.

Punting Prowess: Freshman Michael Turk has been solid in his first three games as the team's punter. He is averaging 41.9 yards per attempt (which would rank him second in single-season average at Lafayette) with a long of 64 yards and four punts of 50-plus yards. Turk honed his skills in 2016, training with his uncle Matt Turk, who was an NFL punter for 19 seasons.

Multiple Targets: In his first three career games, freshman QB Sean O'Malley has been able to spread the ball around. Versus Monmouth and Sacred Heart, he connected with seven different targets and found eight at Villanova.

Last Time Out: No. 7 Villanova lived up to its national ranking, handing Lafayette a 59-0 loss. The Wildcats scored five different ways (pass, run, field goal, interception and punt return) and led 49-0 at half time. The Leopards' offense managed 77 yards (89 in the air and -12 on the ground) while the defense surrendered 505.

The Garrett Era: John Garrett began his first head-coaching assignment on Dec. 21, 2016 when he was introduced at a press conference on the Lafayette College campus. Garrett, the Fred M. Kirby '42 Head Football Coach, brings more than 25 years of coaching experience at the NFL, NCAA FBS and NCAA FCS levels. His most recent stints included offensive coordinator gigs at Richmond and Oregon State. In his first season, Garrett is handling the offensive play-calling duties, taking over a Leopard squad that was 3-19 over the last two seasons.

Parham's Picks: Senior cornerback Phillip Parham has been a consistent performer for the Leopards in their first three games. The Lincoln Park, Mich. native has picked off a pass in each game and now has eight for his career.

Nationally-Ranked Opponents: Four of Lafayette's 2017 opponents have been ranked in the top 25. Week three opponent Villanova was No. 7 in the STATS poll and No. 8 in the FCS Coaches Poll when it played the Leopards on Sept. 16 and remains there in week four. Holy Cross cracked the top 25, residing at No. 25 in both polls after a win over New Hampshire in week three. Lehigh and Colgate have both spent time in the top 25 and Monmouth, Fordham, Princeton and Harvard are currently all receiving votes in at least one of the polls.

Tackling: The Leopard tackle numbers have been evenly divided in the defense's 4-3 scheme. Senior linebackers Brandon Bryant and Michael Root and have 30 and 26 tackles, respectively while sophomore safety Yasir Thomas has 21 stops.

The Opponent: Ivy League preseason favorite Princeton is coming off a 27-17 home win over San Diego in the Tigers' season opener.

Princeton was 8-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play in 2016, sharing the Ivy league crown with Penn. The Tigers return 46 letterwinners and eight starters (five on offense, three on defense).
Offensively, senior QB Chad Kanoff makes things go. He completed 32-of-43 for 352 yards and three TD's against San Diego. For his career, he has hit on 60 percent of his attempts for 4,388 yards with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Defensively, senior DE Kurt Holuba returns after his 2016 Third-Team All-America selection.
Head coach Bob Surace is in his eighth season and is one of only two Ivy Leaguers to win a league title as a player (1989) and a coach (2013, 2016).