Week 3 Preview – Amherst at Middlebury

Week 3 Preview – Amherst at Middlebury

Amherst College (2-0) at Middlebury College (2-0)
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 * Alumni Stadium
Middlebury, Vt. * 1:30 p.m. 

LIVE COVERAGE
Saturday's contest at Middlebury will feature live stats and a webcast courtesy of the Northeast Sports Network (NSN).

THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC
Wesleyan @ Colby – 1 p.m.
Williams @ Bates – 1 p.m.
Trinity @ Hamilton – 1 p.m.
Amherst @ Middlebury – 1:30 p.m.
Tufts @ Bowdoin – 2 p.m.

THE SERIES
Amherst and Middlebury have met 41 times since 1908 with the Purple & White holding a 24-17 advantage. Amherst has won three straight meetings with the Panthers since 2013, and six of the last seven games since 2009. Middlebury last defeated Amherst in 2012 (24-3), and won three consecutive games against the Purple & White from 2006-2008. Trailing 7-3 after 15 minutes of play in last season's tilt at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium, Amherst scored 21 unanswered points to notch a 24-7 victory over the Panthers.

LAST MEETING (Box Score/Recap)
Amherst amassed 436 yards of total offense (246 passing, 190 rushing), and held Middlebury to 270 yards, including a mere 21 on the ground. The Purple & White picked off quarterback and 2014 NESCAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year Matt Milano twice and sacked him five times. Linebacker Jack Drew '16 forced a game-changing fumble in the fourth quarter during a Middlebury punt return, which was recovered by Jake Hines '18 at the Middlebury 3-yardline. Four plays later, Reece Foy '18 and Jackson McGonagle '16 connected for a two-yard touchdown to put Amherst ahead, 17-7 with 12:07 to play in regulation. 

Foy went 22-of-39 for 246 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for 34 yards on nine carries. Kenny Adinkra '16 ran for a game-high 62 yards, and scored a touchdown, while Jack Hickey '19 finished with 53 yards on 10 carries, including a 30-yard score. Devin Boehm '17 led the receiving core with 72 yards on six catches. Defensively, Evan Boynton '17 had a huge day for Amherst and finished with a career-high 12 tackles, including two sacks for a loss of 21 yards and an interception. Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn '16 broke up two passes and finished with eight tackles, and Parker Chapman '17 recorded six tackles and a sack.

SCOUTING AMHERST
Amherst enters Saturday's clash with Middlebury with a 2-0 record, and looks to start a season 3-0 for the fourth consecutive season. The Purple & White have been stellar this season on both sides of the ball, averaging 414.5 yards of total offense, while allowing a staggering 7.5 rushing yards and 5.0 points per game – both numbers lead the nation. Amherst downed Bowdoin last week, 31-10, and is now averaging 32.5 points per game. Amherst also extended its program-record winning streak to 21 games with its convincing win over the Polar Bears at Whittier Field in Brunswick, Maine, and will look to push that mark to 22 games with a victory at Alumni Stadium in Middlebury, Vt.

Against Bowdoin, quarterback Alex Berluti '17 was 20-for-26 for 187 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Nick Morales '19 completed seven of 10 passes for 102 yards and score. Bo Berluti '19 was on the receiving end of two touchdown passes and finished with seven receptions for 138 yards, while Nick Widen '17 hauled in seven passes for 49 yards. Devin Boehm '17 added six catches for 39 yards and a touchdown, while Jack Hickey '19 amassed 63 yards on 12 carries and found the end zone once to help seal the win.

Defensively, the Purple & White's stout defense held the Polar Bears to just nine net rushing yards, sacked Bowdoin quarterbacks three times, and forced a pair of turnovers as Jack Barrett '19 forced a fumble, while John Rak '19 picked off a pass.

SCOUTING MIDDLEBURY
Middlebury welcomes Amherst to Alumni Stadium boasting a 2-0 record of its own, and is looking to build on the tremendous play of back-to-back NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week Jared Lebowitz. The Panthers' quarterback has thrown for five touchdowns in each of the first two games this season, and he currently leads the NESCAC in completions (43), attempts (64), yards (689), touchdown passes (10), and passing efficiency (206.1).

Middlebury takes the field averaging 473.0 yards of total offense and 37.5 points per game, while the defense has also been a strong point for the Panthers this season allowing 219.5 yards per game, but just 8.5 points per contest. Conrado Banky and Ryan Rizzo have been Lebowitz's favorite targets through two games this season as both have made 13 receptions for 296 and 165 yards respectively. Banky and James Burke have pulled in three touchdown catches, while Rizzo has accounted for a pair of scores.

Defensively, Justin Fahey leads the team in tackles with 17 (13 solo) and forced a fumble, while John Jackson has notched 14 tackles (four for a loss). Clay Hunt and Kevin Hopsicker have each picked off a pass this season.

PROBABLE STARTERS

AMHERST OFF.
QB – A. Berluti
RB – J. Hickey
WR – N. Widen
WR – D. Boehm
WR – B. Berluti
TE – R. Thoma
LT – J. Tyrrell
LG – K. Sheehan
C – A. Park
RG – E. Zabludoff
RT – M. Arthur
K – C. Wall

AMHERST DEF.
DL – I. Holloway
DL – P. Johnson    
DL – N. Odewade
OLB – A. Yamin
ILB – J. Callahan
ILB – E. Boynton
OLB – P. Chapman
DB – J. Rak
DB – N. Tyrell
DB – S. Soucy
DB – D. Ward
P – A. Ferrero

MIDDLEBURY OFF.
QB J. Lebowitz
RB – D. Meritus
WR – C. Banky
WR – J. Burke
WR – R. Rizzo
TE – D. Fulham
LT – W. Homer
LG – C. Roche
C – C. McGuire
RG – A. Auwaerter
RT – A. Klarman
K – C. Gordon

MIDDLEBURY DEF.
DE – R. Wood
DT – H. Muter
DT – M. Williams
DE – H. Castillo
LB – W. Becton
LB – C. Hunt
LB – A. Pierce
CB – M. Daniel
SS – K. Hopsicker
FS – J. Fahey
CB – N. Leedy
P – M. Rye


2016 STATISTICAL LEADERS

AMHERST
Passing:

Alex Berluti (37-of-53/369 yds/3 TD/1 INT)
Rushing:

Jack Hickey (30 att/130 yds/4 TD)
Alex Berluti (13 att/61 yds/0 TD)
Receiving:

Devin Boehm (13 rec/152 yds/2 TD)
Nick Widen (9 rec/63 yds/0 TD)
Defense:

Parker Chapman (9 tackles/5 solo/1 FF)
Evan Boynton (8 tackles/5 solo/1 TFL)
John Callahan (8 tackles/ 5 solo/2 TFL)

MIDDLEBURY
Passing:

Jared Lebowitz (43-of-64/689 yds/10 TD/1 INT)
Rushing:

Diego Meritus (25 att/92 yds/0 TD)
Drew Jacobs (13 att/70 yds/0 TD)
Receiving:

Conrado Banky (13 rec/296 yds/3 TD)
Ryan Rizzo (13 rec/165 yds/2 TD)
Defense:

Justin Fahey (17 tackles/13 solo/1 FF)
John Jackson (14 tackles/8 solo/4 TFL)
Wesley Becton (12 tackles/9 solo/1 SCK)


2016 STATISTICAL COMPARISON

RUSHING OFF.
A:
160.0 avg.
M: 112.0 avg.

TOTAL OFF.
A:
414.5 avg.
M: 473.0 avg.

RUSHING DEF.
A:
7.5 avg.
M: 91.5 avg.

TOTAL DEF.
A:
150.0 avg.
M: 219.5 avg.

PASSING OFF.
A:
254.0 avg.
M: 361.0 avg.

SCORING OFF.
A:
32.5 avg.
M: 37.5 avg.

PASSING DEF.
A:
142.5 avg. 
M: 128.0 avg. 

SCORING DEF.
A:
5.0 avg.
M: 8.5 avg.