Hanover — Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens reacted to the news that today’s game at Columbia will be televised with a slight slump of the shoulders and a grimace. Count the Big Green bench boss among those who find these contests something of a slog.
Last week’s victory over visiting Towson was just the second game this season that wasn’t nationally televised in some form and the teams finished up in a refreshing 2 hours, 40 minutes. The week before at Yale took 3:18, the Pennsylvania clash used up 3:03, the Holy Cross contest clocked 2:49 with a local television broadcast and the opener with New Hampshire took 3:25.
“I’m not a fan at this point,” said Teevens, whose team is 3-2 overall and 0-2 in Ivy League play. “It prolongs games and the rhythm and the continuity (is affected). I feel bad for the people in the stands.
“The league has done a good job working to get (televised) opportunities, but sometimes you feel like taking a knee because it just stretches forever.”
The coach pointed out that having a game televised was a much bigger deal before they were almost all live-streamed on the internet. Landing a spot in ESPN’s lineup is still something of a coup, but moving a contest’s day and/or starting time for the likes of One World Sports — which is airing today’s game — or Fox College Sports Atlantic is increasingly less compelling.
Dartmouth safety Charlie Miller said he doesn’t enjoy watching a televised game in person, but that he and his teammates like the lengthy breaks during games in which they play.
“I was more tired last week,” Miller said. “You get more chances to catch your breath and adjust things when a game’s televised. But it’s definitely annoying as a fan, when you just want things to keep on rolling.”
Speeding Safety: A product of suburban Minneapolis, Miller is having a standout senior season, his first one starting for the Big Green. He filled that role late last season when Troy Donahue was hurt, then ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash last spring in front of NFL scouts during Dartmouth’s Pro Day.
“He has a good sense for the ball, good awareness and reaction time,” Teevens said of a player who has 21 tackles and an interception. “He’s put on weight, so he’s 190 pounds and he can (hit) too, although you might not look at him and think that. He’s a very secure tackler who runs people down and gets them on the ground quick.”
How does Miller’s speed help him on the field?
“I never think I’m out of a play,” he said. “My first start at Harvard last year, they had a guy running up the opposite sidelines and I came all the way across and hit him. He thought he was going to score and then I came out of nowhere, which I enjoyed.”
Miller didn’t play for the varsity as a freshman, saw action during half its games as a sophomore and had 29 tackles and an interception last fall. He’s one of many Dartmouth players who have had to wait their turn.
“You’ve got to stay hungry and not go in the bin, as they say,” Miller said. “You’ve got to show coach what you can do every day in practice.
“The biggest change for me has been getting back to enjoying football. You come in expecting to play, and then you don’t and it’s easy to get away from loving the game.”
Thin Men: Attending Dartmouth’s Wednesday practice were former defensive linemen A.J. Zuttah and Cody Fulleton, each of whom looks considerably slimmer than during their playing days. The pair are among several 2015 seniors who are completing their degree requirements.
“It’s good to see guys strip weight,” Teevens said, mentioning linebacker Zach Slafsky as another example. “Guys who move on sometimes get forgotten, but this is a life lesson for them.”
Teevens promotes a “Biggest Loser” campaign for his seniors after each season. The one who drops the largest percentage of body fat by the following spring is rewarded with a new suit. Offensive tackle Josh Clark earned such threads this year.
“We talk about nutrition and weight all the time when they’re here and now they don’t need to weigh 315 pounds anymore,” the coach said. “You want them to lose it progressively and logically and it encourages guys and they’ve followed through.”
Notes: Miller’s great uncle, Rusty Ingersoll was a Dartmouth hockey standout, and 1960 graduate. His great grandfather, John Carney, was a 1934 graduate. … Starting center Patrick Kilcommons didn’t practice this week and said his sophomore season might be finished after he suffered a foot injury against Towson. … Senior cornerback Danny McManus, who started the first three games before requiring surgery on a bone between his thumb and wrist, said he hopes to be granted a fifth season of eligibility by the Ivy League and to use it next fall. … Dartmouth has beaten Columbia seven consecutive times. The Lions (1-4, 0-2) have lost by four or fewer points three times.
Tris Wykes can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3227.