Virtual Matchup: Dartmouth Vs Bowling Green

Since Ivy League champion Dartmouth didn't enter the D1AA fall playoffs, and had a legit shot at winning said playoffs, we wondered if maybe we could speculate on whether Dartmouth could actually get there.

So let's imagine that Dartmouth made the final against Bowling Green. Could the Big Green have toppled the Falcons? Let's look at it:


Bowling Green StrengthsDartmouth Strengths
Fast Back RowField and game management
FitnessAerial skills
Defensive PressureKicking from hand
Execute at Set PieceTeamwork on attack
GoalkickingGoalkicking
Midfield AttackSpeed




Bowling Green WeaknessesDartmouth Weaknesses
Lack of major paceWeak schedule
Defense high-riskSpeed in pack
Aerial skills


It's easy to assume that an Ivy League school doesn't have athletic players. But it's worth noting that Eagle Nate Brakeley (who is 6-5 at least) went to Dartmouth, and in fact their back row (Struan Coleman and Fuller Winton), and their midfield (Jasper Green) are big bodies. So if you think those big, bad Midwestern boys are going to pummel the blue bloods, then, no, it won't work out that way.

At the same time, Dartmouth had one really challenging game this season, a 32-25 loss to Army at the beginning of the fall. There's no replacement for tough games. Bowling Green had Western Michigan, Ohio State, Davenport, Kentucky, and Mary Washington.

Where Dartmouth Will Be Better Than St. Joe's

It's a case of matchups. Against Bowling Green, St. Joseph's tried to sidestep their way around the Falcon blitz, and failed, finding themselves shifting left and right only to get flattened by another defender.

And that was partly due to Bowling Green's tackling accuracy.

Dartmouth would likely approach this differently, and instead would have Pat Sheehy or Mike Weir sit back and pop a kick to the corner. Then it would be a case of contesting at the lineout and looking for short-range scoring opportunities.

Where Bowling Green Will Still Be Good

Ryan Steinmetz still has a blinder. He was blitzing on defense in minute 1, and also in minute 80. He intercepted a pass for a try, and blocked a kick that set up a try. You can't predict if these things would happen against Dartmouth, but it's fair to say that he would still have had an impact, and with all the kicking we'd imagine Dartmouth would do, one of those bad boys could be knocked down.

In addition, Bowling Green's powerful and aggressive running, with Levi Muter and Joseph Johnson leading the way, wouldn't go away. 

How We See The Game

Dartmouth will get that early penalty that St. Joe's didn't get, and as a result might put the pressure on early. We're thinking the score could be 9-0 before Bowling Green gets rolling. But roll they will and by halftime, it's probably 10-9.

The second half sees Bowling Green extend the lead when a thundering double tackle from Steinmetz and Phil Bryant spills the ball, and Chris Labadie launches an attack that puts Tim May in at the corner.

Dartmouth rebounds, winning the restart thanks to Coleman going up to catch the kick. Quickly they snipe around the weakside, and then sling the ball back to Jasper Green, who sets up Jarrett Lewis for a try under the sticks. Sheehy won't miss and it's 16-15 Dartmouth.

In the closing 15 minutes the hits start to take their toll. Dartmouth takes a little longer to make those tackles and backs up a little. Then a box kick is partially blocked by Steinmetz, and after a mad scramble, Bowling Green gets a scrum deep in the Dartmouth 22. Muter picks up and targets Sheehy, who makes the tackle. But Muter is able to stretch over to touch down on the line. Labadie converted and it's 22-16.

Dartmouth has time, and Sheehy slots one more goal with the idea of setting up a chance to win. It never comes. The Bowling Green forwards grind it out 22-19.

The Results

The results this season tell us very little. Dartmouth played (and lost to) Army, a team that thrashed Air Force. Air Force also played Navy, and lost (but not by a lot). Navy lost by a point to Mary Washington, who lost by a point to Bowling Green.

That implies only that Dartmouth and Bowling Green are fairly equal. Bowling Green also lost heavily to Davenport, a team Navy beat comfortably. There are no close crossovers than that.

Ultimately, we think it's a shame Dartmouth wasn't in the mix. We're not even convinced the Big Green would make the final - there are a lot of strong D1AA teams out there. But if they had, the final would have been a lot of fun to watch.


So Long Samu

Samu Manoa Is Hot

Today, the man known for his hard hits delivered his biggest blow of late. 

Chicago Lions Start 2019 7s Off Right

The Chicago Lions kicked off their 2019 sevens qualifying campaign with a victory at Forest City 7s in Rockford, IL by defeating the Detroit Tradesmen 17-7 in the final. 

Bastareaud, Parra Miss Out on France World Cup Squad

Top 14 SF Highlights: Toulouse v La Rochelle

Experienced pair Mathieu Bastareaud and Morgan Parra missed out on France's 31-man World Cup squad, head coach Jacques Brunel announced on Tuesday.

Black Ferns Select Squad For Super Series

Black Ferns Raring To Go Against USA

New Zealand Women's National Team head coach Glenn Moore has selected 30 players to for the Women's Super Series kicking off June 28 in San Diego.

The Eagle Women 7s Are Much Better; Here's Why

USA Women's Sevens head coach Chris Brown won the Women's World Series Coach of the Year Award, and it was well-deserved.

More Ways To Watch FloRugby

null

Never miss a moment. 

Kaino Eyes World Cup Selection For Toulouse Teammates

Bounce Pass Sets Up Huget's Second

Toulouse captain Jerome Kaino believes the next challenge for his team is to get as many callups to this year's World Cup after France's most decorated side lifted their 20th league title on Saturday. 

Seattle Wins Second MLR Title On Last-Second Try

It's two for two for the Seattle Seawolves as the 2019 Major League Rugby season game to a close Sunday. 

USA Women Win Biarritz 7s

The U-Haul Workout

The USA Women’s Sevens team has made history, winning a Sevens World Series for the first time, as the Eagles beat Russia, Spain, and New Zealand to take home a tournament trophy in the final round of the 2018-19 season.

Atlanta Old White Wins First South Qualiflier

null

Atlanta Old White won the first qualifier of the South club sevens season, defeating Stormers 24-21 in the final.