Date Posted:09/23/2004, 1:00PM
BOWDOIN vs. MIDDLEBURY
September 25, 2004 - 1:30
RADIO BROADCAST: WRMC- Middlebury College Radio- on the web HERE
- The Bowdoin College Polar Bears will face the Middlebury College Panthers on Saturday in both team's season openers. The rivalry is the shortest of any of Bowdoin's NESCAC foes, as the teams have only played 16 times in their history. Middlebury holds the edge in the all-time series, 9-5-1.
- The teams are headed by former teammates, as Bowdoin head coach Dave Caputi (Middlebury '81) and Middlebury head man Bob Ritter (Middlebury '82) shared the field in their collegiate playing days.
- Bowdoin (0-8 in 2003) is looking for a fresh start, as the squad was hampered by numerous injuries last season. The Polar Bears have lost 12 straight overall, dating back to a victory at Hamilton on October 12, 2002. The Polar Bears lost four games last season by a total of 14 points, including one-point defeats to Hamilton and Colby.
- Middlebury (4-4 in 2003) won their final two games of the 2003 campaign in much different manners. They took a 55-31 shootout against Hamilton in week seven before finishing up with a defensive-dominated 10-6 victory at Tufts to close out the year.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Middlebury's offense ranked fourth in the NESCAC last year, gaining an average of 323.1 yards/game, while Bowdoin was eighth with an average of 235.0. In total defense, Bowdoin allowed 403.8 yards/game (seventh in NESCAC), while Middlebury allowed 355.6 (fifth in NESCAC).
- Middlebury excelled in their passing game in 2003, placing second in the league with 206.4 yards through the air per contest. The Polar Bears favored the run, averaging 115.2 yards on the ground last year.
- Bowdoin tailback Rob Patchett (pictured, right) led the NESCAC in all-purpose yardage in 2003, averaging 163.2 yards per game. He was also fourth in the league with 106.5 yards rushing per game. Defensively, linebacker Shaun Kezer was second in the NESCAC with 12.1 tackles per game and defensive back Mike Minogue intercepted four passes- tying him for fifth in the conference.
- Middlebury's Mike Keenan was second in the NESCAC at 199.5 yards passing per contest in 2003, and had a second-best 118.5 pass efficiency rating. On defense, the Panthers were led by rookie defensive back Scott Secor, who intercepted three passes and was fifth in the league with 9.1 tackles per game.
BOWDOIN vs. MIDDLEBURY SERIES HISTORY
- The teams have not played since 2001, due to the NESCAC's schedule rotation. In that game, the Panthers took a 21-7 victory, as they scored on their first offensive play of the season- a 74-yard scamper by running back Bill Lazzaro.
- Middlebury has won the last six meetings, dating back to 1992. Bowdoin's last victory came in 1991- a 27-22 victory. The Polar Bears won the first meeting between the teams in 1916, 7-0, and the teams did not play again until 1976,
- The most unusual Bowdoin-Middlebury game was perhaps the 1996 contest, as Polar Bear Steve Lafond set a school record by blocking two punts- both of which were recovered for touchdowns. Despite the effort, Middlebury took a 34-28 victory.