Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ready, Set, Relax

Pulling together this year's recruiting class something wild occurred to me. The players who arrive on campus next fall will be the first group not to overlap with That Certain '14 since the 2006 team. Players on the '07 team were seniors when she was a freshman, and the one-degree of separation thing will continue until last fall's freshmen graduate in 2017.

When all is said and done I will have been able to ask That Certain '14, "Do you know anything about so-and-so," for a full decade.

In case you are wondering, even though she was a varsity athlete for a couple of years, knows a ton of people on campus and even spoke to the football team last spring when she ran for student body president, I've never gotten much more than, "He's a nice guy," or, "He was in my such-and-such class."

An aside: Recently Mrs. BGA was a guest lecturer for a class and That Certain '14 sat in. I asked if any football players were in the class and she thought a bit and gave me the name of an injured player and another who retired. Nothing newsworthy there ;-)

But I digress.

Thinking about That Certain '14 got me reminiscing about Big Green Alert, which will kick off its 10th year this spring.

It was eight years ago this June that "Family BGA" loaded up our '84 VW camper bus and set off to see America! Check out this 2006 blog entry.

I vividly remember lugging my laptop around and updating the blog from Durango, Colo., Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Niagara Falls.

All of which is the long way around to telling you that while That Certain '14 and That Certain Nittany Lion are hitting the books this week, the two of us who are still here won't be. Here, that is.

We are heading out on our first vacation in five years, thanks to a very nice Christmas present from That Certain Sister.

We will be flying out to San Diego Tuesday morning and returning on Feb. 19. We've got a campsite reserved on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean for three days and plenty of books. Precisely where we're headed after the three days is to be determined but unlike 2006, I will not be lugging the computer with me. (I will have my iPod Touch, though, so if you have any ideas or want to meet up at Jack-in-the-Box for a burger and some football talk, email me ;-)

Here's the deal. While I'm away, I don't want you going away. Through the wonders of the Internet, there will be new postings on the BGA blog each and every day while we are on the Left Coast.

I've dug into the archives and pulled together something that I hope will be fun. Each day while we're away there will be one post recalling what I think was the most interesting, important or memorable game from each season of the first nine seasons of BGA, starting with the very first game in 2005.

And so, before I lose you completely, here's today's post:

Sept. 27, 2005, Hanover, NH – Dartmouth 26, Colgate 21

Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens’ first game on the Dartmouth sideline since a 31-13 victory over Princeton on Nov. 23, 1991 wasn’t exactly an artistic success but no one was complaining.

Colgate finished with 18 first downs to the Big Green’s eight, held the ball for almost 10 1/2 extra minutes and had 262 yards of total offense to Dartmouth’s 193 but the Big Green came out on top thanks in no small part to four Raider turnovers.

Trailing 7-0 early in the second quarter, Dartmouth exploded for 17 points to take a 10-point lead into the half. Linebacker Josh Dooley got the Big Green’s first score on a 29-yard return of a fumble forced by Mike Rabil. On the ensuing Colgate drive Steve Jensen picked off a pass at the Raiders’ 38 and returned it to the 3. Charlie Rittgers hit tight end Mark Brogna for a touchdown on the Big Green’s first play and Erik Hinterbichler added a 42-yard field goal to send Dartmouth into the locker room with a 17-7 lead.

After an interception set up a short Colgate scoring drive to make it 17-14 early in the third, Dartmouth answered with a short march also set up by an interception, this one by Kyle Cavanaugh at the Colgate 37. Jason Bash’s one-yard run gave Dartmouth a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Raiders closed to within three points with 9:40 remaining in the game but Dartmouth got a little breathing room when Hinterbichler’s punt was downed at the Colgate 1, and after Rabil and Rich Walton stopped a rush for no gain, Colgate quarterback Mike Saraceno slipped in the end zone for a safety on the next snap.

The Big Green held on for the win when Cavanaugh and Terry Cunningham teamed up to stop a Colgate fourth-and-one run at the Dartmouth 36 with 1:15 remaining.

Tomorrow: A Brown game to remember