Remember that one time Dartmouth was selected to finish sixth in the Ivy League, then rocked the entire league with a dominant road win at Yale?
I do. It was last Friday.
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Big Green is up to its old tricks again, as a perennially underrated Dartmouth team dominated Yale in New Haven last Friday night, shaking up the Ivy League power structure in the process. Dartmouth led 27-10 at halftime and coasted to a 23-point win. The final score was 41-18.
Even early in the season, there were warning signs for Yale. The Bulldogs blew a two-touchdown lead and lost to Holy Cross in overtime, 31-28, in its Sept. 15 season opener. The Bulldogs played a closer-than-expected game with Cornell last month, too. Even still, few could have expected the reigning champs to look so meager in a home game with another Ivy League contender.
But Dartmouth's status as a real contender was not always so firmly agreed upon. The Big Green started the season with plenty of doubt surrounding their returning cast. With more than a dozen starters gone from last year's runner-up team, Ivy League coaches slotted Dartmouth to finish sixth, ahead of only Cornell and Brown.
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By now, this is old hat for Dartmouth, which was slotted in the back half of the conference in 2017, too. Despite the absence of any preseason fanfare, the boys up in New Hampshire can notch another top finish in the Ivy by following their well-established formula: dominate the line of scrimmage with a powerful, consistent run game. Through four games, the Big Green rank 15th in FCS Football with 245.8 yards per game. As a team, Dartmouth is averaging more than five yards per carry, thanks in part to All-Ivy Returning linemen Matt Kaskey and Patrick Kilcommons.
Dartmouth still has a tough test ahead. It has to play Princeton in New Jersey on November 3. That game will almost certainly play a major role in deciding the Ivy League champion this season.
For now, Dartmouth should enjoy the spoils of another preseason poll successfully flipped on its head.
The HERO Sports FCS Podcast has more on Dartmouth, as well as other great storylines from FCS Football. In our Week 6 recap, we address the predictable resurgence of Dartmouth, as well as how its dominant win over Yale changes the landscape of the Ancient Eight.
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