Date Posted:09/21/2006, 11:00AM
The Bowdoin College Polar Bears will open their 2006 campaign at Williams College on Saturday. The game will be the 68th meeting between the two teams, but the first since 2003. Due to the NESCAC's rotating schedule, the Polar Bears and Ephs have not been on the conference schedule in two years. The two teams posted identical 6-2 marks last season, tying for third place in the NESCAC.
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BY THE (2005) NUMBERS
Bowdoin and Williams posted equal 6-2 marks in 2005, but went about it in vastly different ways. Williams used a powerful offense to out-score their opponents, averaging 26.9 points per game (second in NESCAC), but allowed 19.1 points per contest (sixth in NESCAC). The Ephs were the only team in the NESCAC last year with a minus-turnover margin to post a winning record (-1 overall, 18 turnovers/19 takeaways) while finishing as the most-penalized team in the conference (60 penalties, 68.4 yards per game).
Bowdoin used a stingy defense (15.5 points allowed per game, 4th in NESCAC) and timely offense (16.4 points per game, sixth in NESCAC) to post their 6-2 mark. More importantly, the Polar Bears posted a +10 turnover margin in 2005, second in the conference, while leading the league in penalties against (27 penalties, 32.4 yards per game) less than half that of Williams.
In 2003, Williams scored 21 points in the second quarter, getting three touchdown runs from fullback Tyler Shea in a 24-13 win. Rob Patchett rushed for 121 yards for the Polar Bears, but the team could only muster 84 yards passing in the defeat. Then-first-year Brendan Murphy picked off two passes in the game and deflected two others in his collegiate debut.
BOWDOIN vs. WILLIAMS ALL-TIME
The Polar Bears and Ephs have played 67 times with Williams holding a 47-14-6 edge. The first contest was played in 1890 as the Ephs took a 50-0 victory. Bowdoin's first win in the series came in 1932 (a 7-0 win) and their last victory took place in 1979, capping a three-year winning streak over Williams (also with a 7-0 win). The teams have played 14 games since then, with Williams coming away victorious every time.