by Brett Anker
In the second round of the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup, BYU will travel to Hanover, NH to take on Dartmouth. BYU put up a century mark last week in Arizona and will be looking to continue the momentum in the northeast.
BYU and Dartmouth last met in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Varsity Cup. Dartmouth frustrated BYU for most of the first half in that contest and only trailed 15-3 at the break. The Cougars surged in the second half, however, winning 70-15.
The Big Green will take on BYU in the second round once again. Dartmouth will look to surprise once again after shocking Penn State last week. The Ivy League played a strong game and executed its game plan to near perfection in last weeks win over Penn State. Coach Gavin Hickie indicated that his team may not be able to fly under the radar again and will expect BYU to provide a stern test.
“We know where we are nationally despite what subjective rankings around the country say. We are pretty comfortable with where we are nationally.” Hickie said of Dartmouth. “We are not quite at BYU’s level yet but any opportunity we get to play them we will gladly accept that challenge.”
The Big Green needs to play a near perfect game to challenge the three time defending Varsity Cup champions. The Ivy school has is giving up a lot of size but that is no different than most other games. For Dartmouth, it is about finding unique ways to exploit space.
“We have got to be clinical in our execution… We have got to be clinical with any offloads and in the contact area. We know they are going to be huge, physical, so we have to be bottled up in that area and find the space wherever that my be. We have got to get a game plan and execute it properly, “Hickie added.
The Cougars are coming off their 20th victory of the season and are playing incredibly well this season. After traveling to Arizona last weekend, BYU will make the trek to the east coast to play. Despite a lot of travel, the BYU coaching staff believes the boys will ready to play from the get go.
“It will be a challenge for us. We have got to travel quite a bit to get there but our boys will be ready to go either way,” BYU assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti said of the Cougars.
Despite having been unbeaten since 2014, BYU takes nothing for granted. Knowing the tough time the Big Green gave the Cougars in the first half a couple of years ago, the Utah school is not taking Dartmouth lightly.
“Dartmouth is and has been a well coached school for a number of years Gavin Hickie is a really good coach. He will have his boys ready to play us up there this weekend. We are just going to go up there and hopefully play well enough to play again the following weekend,” Tarawhiti said.
The game kicks off at 1:30 EST.