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Football Hopes for UMass Win

Beavers Plan to Break Dartmouth Offense, End Losing Streak

By Spencer Cross

TEAM MEMBER

This weekend, the MIT football team is looking to end its two game losing skid by beating UMass Dartmouth in a conference league game.

This will not be an easy task as UMass Dartmouth is coming off of a big win over Mass. Maritime, and wants to keep the momentum flowing. On the other hand, the Beavers are looking to create a little momentum of their own.

The Beavers are in good spirit after the last two losses to Curry and Salve Regime (both of whom are undefeated.) In fact, there is a growing feeling among the team that this weekend could be the game in which MIT’s season is turned around. This feeling is more then just words, though, as the practices have been reflecting the combative nature of the team. Rarely does a play in practice go by without players encouraging each other on in preparation for this Saturday.

“The team is determined to do whatever it takes to turn the program around,” said outside linebacker Alexander T. Karnal ’04. “Expect nothing less on Saturday.”

Defensively, the Beaver are preparing for the passing attack of UMass Dartmouth led by John Falcone. Falcone is ranked third in passing in the New England Football Conference and he will be looking for his star receiver Joe Sabina, who averages 5.7 catches per game and has 272 yards this season.

Falcone and Sabina will be facing stiff competition, however, from MIT cornerbacks Yoshitaka Nakanishi ’02 and Corey D. Carter ’03. Along with Brian D. Hoying ’03 at free safety, MIT has had a stingy passing coverage that has been able to adapt on a week-by-week basis to prevent opposing teams from quickly moving the ball in the air. This week should prove to be no exception.

On the run attack, the MIT linebackers have had a good year at stuffing the run, and are ready for whatever UMass Dartmouth runs at them.

Offensively, the Beavers are trying to keep the momentum from last games second half. While it struggled in the first half against Curry, the offense was able to explode in the second half with key receptions by Robert R. Owsley ’02 and Gregory N. Nelson ’02. When not in the air, the ball was in good hands, with exceptionally talented running backs given running lanes by a tenacious offensive line. If they keep it together, the Beaver offense can it make a long day for the UMass Dartmouth defense. Either way, expect the Beavers to challenge the Umass Dartmouth offense and make them work for every yard.