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Football Game 6 Preview: Colby visits for Homecoming Weekend

Trevor Smith gets his first start at quarterback this season, although he has thrown 38 passes in three games.

Game Notes

Colby College Mules (2-3) at Bates College Bobcats (1-4)

October 30, 2010 at 1 p.m.

Garcelon Field, Lewiston, Maine

Live Video Webcast (Free)

Live Stats

The Series

In what is truly a historic rivalry, Bates and Colby will meet for the 112th time in football on Saturday, with the Mules holding a 63-42-6 edge in the all-time series. The last victory in the series for the Bobcats came in 2008, when they took a 28-7 halftime lead en route to a 31-21 victory at home on Garcelon Field.

The CBB

The Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Championship (CBB) initially began as The Maine State Championship Series in 1895 and included four competing schools: Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, and the University of Maine. After Maine moved to Division I in 1964, the championship was renamed the CBB. In the early years the Bobcats dominated this championship, winning four years in a row from 1897 to 1900. Last year there was a three-way tie for the top spot. The last outright CBB title for Bates came in 2002, when the Bobcats topped Colby 19-14 and Bowdoin 48-28.

Last Meeting

Despite three Bates fourth-quarter touchdowns, and a record-setting performance from quarterback Trevor Smith ’13 (Malvern, Pa.), Colby survived and pulled out a 34-27 victory in Waterville, Maine, on Halloween last year. Trailing 21-0 at halftime and 27-7 as they took over on their own 37-yard line with 2:23 to play in the third quarter, Smith engineered three impressive scoring drives of 63, 66, and 69 yards to get Bates back into the game.

Smith completed 31 of his 51 pass attempts for 361 yards and three touchdowns, setting Bates single-game records for both completions and passing yards. Smith’s primary targets were 2009 All-NESCAC receiver Tom Beaton ’10, who caught 10 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, 2009 All-NESCAC tight end Sean Wirth ’10, who chipped in with six catches for 81 yards, and Matt Gregg ’10, who added eight receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. Bates finished the game with 25 first downs to 18 for Colby and outgained the Mules offensively, 378 yards to 355. The Bobcat defense was led by end Tyler Kuehl ’12 (Plymouth, N.H.) who recorded five tackles for loss, while linebackers Myles Walker ’11 (Needham, Mass.) and Brett McAllister ’12 (Exeter, N.H.) added 10 tackles apiece.

Last Weekend for Bates

Trailing 10-0 after one quarter the Bobcats rallied to pull within one at 10-9, but Middlebury was able to hold them off for a 22-9 victory in Vermont last Saturday. Late in the first half, McAllister intercepted a pass from 2009 NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year Donald McKillop and returned it 29 yards to set up a 27-yard field goal from senior kicker Gavin Segall-Abrams (Greensboro, N.C.) for Bates’ first score of the game. Two possessions later it was Kuehl’s turn, as he a picked off McKillop and ran it back 15 yards for a touchdown.

Other notable efforts on the defensive side came from junior linebacker Kevin Helm (Norwell, Mass.) and Walker, who had 15 tackles each, and junior defensive back Cam Evans (Norwell, Mass.) and senior linebacker Ted Durkin (Rye Beach, N.H.), who added 12 and 11 tackles, respectively.

Last Weekend for Colby

Trailing 7-6 at halftime, Colby lit up the scoreboard for 29 second-half points as they routed visiting Hamilton 35-7 for their second win of the season last weekend in Waterville. Colby defensive back Richard Newton had two interceptions, one of which he ran back 64 yards for a score, and quarterback Nick Kmetz overcame an interception of his own to finish an efficient 14 of 22 for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the lopsided score, Colby outgained Hamilton offensively by a slim 255-244 margin, and Hamilton dominated time of possession 34:35 to 25:25.

Scouting the Bobcats

Bates will look to come out this weekend and get its triple option offense going against a Colby defense that is giving up an average of 24.8 points per game. Expect Smith, who is making his first start of the season, to continue to share snaps at quarterback with junior Ryan Katon (Durham, Conn.), and both players will certainly be tested by a Colby team ranked first in the conference in defending the pass. The primary target for both Smith and Katon should continue to be junior John Squires (Swampscott, Mass.), who has caught three touchdowns and is ninth in the conference at 60.8 receiving yards per game. Sophomore Teddy Downs (South Boston, Mass.) who is a big play threat running to the outside, is making his second start at running back, and will share the carries with sophomore Patrick George (Gloucester, Mass.) and senior Jared Jammal (Concord, Mass.), not to mention the two quarterbacks. Freshman Shawn Doherty (Mansfield, Mass.) is out with an injury.

Defensively look for linebackers Walker, ranked second in the conference with 57 tackles, and Helm, sixth overall in the conference with 47 tackles, to continue their outstanding play, and create turnovers against a Colby offense ranked next to last, ahead of only Bowdoin, with 14 turnovers through their first five games.

Scouting the Mules

The Colby offense enters the game ranked sixth in the conference averaging 20.4 points per game, and they are sixth and eighth, respectively, in pass and rush offense with a per game average of 210.6 pass yards and 99.6 rush yards. Quarterback Kmetz enters the game having completed 88 of 169 passes on the season for 1014 yards and nine touchdowns to go with seven interceptions. Kmetz has connected most consistently with receivers Patrick Burns (four TDs) and Connor Walsh (two TDs), and his 111.8 passer efficiency rating is fifth-best in the NESCAC. The Mules are led defensively by linebacker Tom Duffy, who has 48 tackles on the season.