FCS team of the week: Dartmouth on a mission

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(STATS) – Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens may have given himself time for a post-game handshake or hug to celebrate his 100th win with the Big Green, but by the news conference after a 42-10 rout of Yale on Saturday, he said, “No. 101 is more important right now.”

Sure, the milestone was nice, but winning the Ivy League title is the Big Green’s goal. Beating the Ivy League’s preseason favorite in a matchup of unbeatens was just the next step for the STATS FCS Team of the Week.

Drew Estrada caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Jared Gerbino on Dartmouth’s second play to sparkl the surprising rout. The Green (4-0, 2-0) only ran 45 offensive plays yet racked up 433 yards for a 9.6-yards-per-play average. Estrada also caught a 61-yard scoring pass from Gerbino and finished with 203 yards on five receptions.

Safeties Niko Mermigas and Quinten Arello both had first-quarter interceptions to set up Big Green touchdowns. Also, the defense stopped Yale three times on fourth down in the second half.

“They are a great team and they showed it in every area today,” Yale coach Tony Reno said.

Teevens’ focused coaching style reflects on Dartmouth, which is all about winning, including a 21-3 record since the start of the 2017 season. The Big Green went 9-1 a year ago, but the loss was to Princeton’s perfect team and they had to settle for second place for the second consecutive season.

The Big Green don’t have a player averaging even 50 rushing yards and they’ll utilize three quarterbacks, with Gerbino, Derek Kyler, Jake Pallotta combining for 11 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 201.7 passing efficiency. Opponents have held the ball on average for five-plus more minutes per game and run 48 more plays, but the Big Green have outscored them. 143-34.

Oh yes, Teevens is four wins shy of Bob Blackman’s all-time Dartmouth coaching record. If the Big Green remain unbeaten, Teevens would try to match it on Nov. 9 against Princeton at Yankee Stadium as the teams continue to celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football.

HONORABLE MENTION: Elon (42-7 win over No. 15 Delaware); Florida A&M (42-38 win over South Carolina State); Fordham (30-27 win over Georgetown); Sacramento State (34-21 win over No. 6 Montana State); San Diego (37-17 win over Davidson)

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