Football Preview: Bobcats look to make it two straight vs. Polar Bears
|Myles Walker '11, the NESCAC's leading tackler, leads a surging Bates defense looking for the Bobcats' second straight win against rival Bowdoin.|
The 10th-oldest rivalry in college football extends to its 113th meeting on Saturday, when Bates (1-5) meets Bowdoin (1-5) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Bowdoin's Whittier Field. Both teams seek their second win this season, having both defeated Tufts. Bates is looking for its second straight win over Bowdoin after last year's 28-24 win at Garcelon Field.
A LOOK AT THE BOBCATS
Bates' triple-option offense has allowed the team to gain a foothold in the running game this season: at 104.8 rushing yards per game, Bates ranks fifth in the conference. On the flip side, while John Squires ranks eighth in the league in receiving yards per game, at 62.2, Bates is 10th in the conference in passing offense, at 107.0 yards per game.
The Bobcats remain solid at defending the run, and currently rank fifth in the NESCAC in that category at 136.0 yards allowed per game, as well as seventh in the NESCAC in total defense (403.3 yards allowed per game). Senior Myles Walker is the league's leading tackler, with 11.0 takedowns per game, and 39 solo tackles on the year. Junior Kevin Helm is fifth in the league at 9.3 tackles per game.
A LOOK AT THE POLAR BEARS
Bowdoin's offense ranks eighth in the NESCAC, but has struggled with turnovers, owning a minus-12 takeaways-to-giveaways ratio. Pat Noone is second in the league in receptions (7.0/game) and all-purpose yards (151.2/game). The Polar Bear defense has allowed 31.5 points and over 450 yards per game thus far, ranking last in the NESCAC in both categories. Kevin O'Connor is fourth in the league with four sacks.
A year ago in Lewiston, in the Bobcats' home season finale, Bates defensive end Tyler Kuehl intercepted a pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown to give the Bobcat football team their first lead of the game with 9:39 remaining in a thrilling 28-24 win over Bowdoin. It was the first win for the Bobcats over the Polar Bears since 2003.