And we’re back! Back to stuffing our noses in books and our mouths with late night Moe’s, scribbling illegible notes while listening to fast-talking professors, never getting enough sleep….
Welcome back and Happy New Year, fellow Jumbos!
Though being back at Tufts warrants preparing yourself mentally for all that spring semester is going to throw at you, it’s also incredibly nice to curl up with some Hodgdon hot chocolate for therapy sessions with your roommate in your cramped yet comforting dorm room. Even though winter break was very much needed, I certainly missed Tufts more than I thought I would. I even missed the consistently late Joey and the reassuring notion that I would probably lose feeling in my hands sometime during the chilling day. iSIS, however, will never reap the benefits of my adoration.
My usual routine was thrown to the wayside during break, seeing as I spent most of my time living out of my suitcase: Los Angeles to Albuquerque, Albuquerque to Cancun, Cancun back to Albuquerque. I spent a good deal of my time waiting in security lines and making sure my passport was inseparable from my person. However, through all the airports and miscellaneous traveling woes, I managed to find time to squeeze a smidge of theatre in. With auditions looming over me, I’ve read a few plays in the search for audition material. I had the chance to see some pretty magnificent theatre on the West Coast and even was able to help with auditions for the theatre company I used to work for. I made a point of heading back to my high school and walking around backstage, remembering the endless memories of doing homework in my technical director’s office and eating early morning bagels during thespian meetings. It’s humbling to remind myself that this is where sixth grade Blair took a chance and auditioned for West Side Story. Not that I got in, but the next year, my luck proved a little better with Urinetown. Of course, my appreciation and passion for theatre has changed immensely since I was twelve, but going home reminded me again why I decided to declare my major so early and reaffirmed that I was making the right decision.
Winter break has been quite chill. Well, not literally chill considering all the places I visited during the last month were quite warm in comparison to the rest of the country (my condolences to those who had to live through the infamous Polar Vortex). Now, the only tan I’ll be getting is from the brightness of my computer screen while I struggle to finish a paper at some ungodly hour of the night. Regardless, I’m excited to see what this next semester will bring.
Tufts football is on the bus to Wesleyan for the first-ever night game between two NESCAC teams. The Cardinals are the heavy favorites to win at Andrus Field, the oldest continually used college football field in the country. Kickoff is at 6pm.
For the Jumbos to vie for an upset, they will have to do these five things:
1) Slow down LaDarius Drew
The junior is the X-factor for the Cardinals and could compete for NESCAC Player of the Year if he stays healthy. In last season’s opener at Zimman Field, he and classmate Kyle Gibson wore down Tufts’ defense en route to a 35-14 win.
The Jumbos are young in the secondary and on the defensive line, which leaves a lot of weight on the shoulders of their experienced linebacking corps. Junior Tommy Meade and senior Sean Harrington, two of the three captains, will need to make big plays to contain the Wesleyan ball-carriers.
2) Execute the no-huddle offense
Tufts ran a no-huddle offense frequently last year with John Dodds (LA ’13) at quarterback, but this year the offense will huddle even less often and move even faster. In the preseason, the Jumbos typically took about 22 seconds between plays, relying on the backup QBs to relay signals from the sideline.
Junior Jack Doll is today’s starter and will try to keep the offense under control while still moving quickly. He’ll likely rely on screens and short routes to keep the ball moving, targeting either the middle or outside of the field depending on how many players the Cardinals put in the box.
Look for freshman slot man Ben Berey to be a factor in his first collegiate game.
3) Stay on the field
The downside of the no-huddle offense is that, if it fails, it fails quickly. A three-and-out possession could last less than a minute for Tufts’ pass-heavy attack.
Doll’s job is to string together completions, whether they go to Berey or junior tailback Zack Trause or fifth-year tight end Nick Kenyon. If he can do that, Trause could find openings on the ground, while Doll could be able to look downfield to a wideout like junior Greg Lanzillo.
Three-and-outs, on the other hand, would put Tufts on its heels, tire out the defense and spell trouble for the Jumbos.
4) Force turnovers
More than one, ideally.
Junior quarterback Jesse Warren threw nine interceptions last season and the Cardinals fumbled 11 times. Wesleyan is going to move the ball; it’s inevitable with Warren, Drew, Gibson and receivers like Jay Fabien and Kevin Hughes on the field. But if the Jumbos strip the ball, tip passes and pressure the quarterback — hey, you never know.
Keep an eye on No. 83, sophomore defensive end Pat Williams, who looked great at the end of last season and even better in the preseason.
5) Seize the moment
We all know that throwing and catching and tackling win football games, not “seizing the moment.” Still, anyone who’s played high school football (or watched Friday Night Lights) in front of a big crowd knows it’s possible to conjure up a little something extra in a big moment.
The Jumbos will help make NESCAC history in front of a packed house at Corwin Stadium that fully expects Wesleyan to win by a wide margin.
While Tufts is a long shot to snap its 23-game losing streak tonight, there would be no better time to do it.
For updates throughout the day, follow @TuftsDailySport on Twitter. You can also watch the game on WesCast at http://www.wesleyan.edu/wescast/.
Posted by Aaron Leibowitz on September 20, 2013 under Sports | Comments are off for this article
In the NESCAC, football season lasts eight weeks, shorter than anywhere else in the country. There are no byes and no playoffs. Each team gets eight chances to prove itself, meaning one sleepy Saturday can cost a team the title.
The Jumbos, who are looking to snap a 23-game losing streak, have seen their share of missed opportunities. Tomorrow at Wesleyan marks a fresh start and a shot at redemption.
Every year, injuries and incoming freshmen change the storyline of the NESCAC season. Still, looking at past performance, who’s returning and who’s graduated, the Daily broke down the eight teams Tufts will face in 2013.
This past weekend, the new dance meme trend known as the Harlem Shake hit Tufts. A group of students gathered Friday afternoon on the Rez Quad to film their own version of the video which has already garnered over 4,000 views on YouTube. To find out more, see this week’s episode of The Jumbo Report where the Daily goes further behind the scenes with event organizer Ali Jutha.
Youtube star and all around funny-man Bo Burnham was the lead comedian this weekend at Tufts Entertainment and Lecture Board’s fall comedy show. The Daily was lucky enough to sit down with Bo for an interview to hear about his creative process, favorite comedians, and – of course Halloween plans. Listen to our exclusive interview with Burnham and check out these photos from his kooky opening routine!’
The Daily talked with gospel choir director David Coleman after the choir’s spring concert “For You,” which capped off a successful semester that included a spring break service trip to New Orleans. This video is part of a faculty profile series that aims to engage professors outside of the classroom.