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Downtrodden Defense

Dartmouth defensive coordinator Don Dobes' unit has struggled so far this season. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

Dartmouth defensive coordinator Don Dobes' unit has struggled so far this season. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

It was thought that the Dartmouth College football team’s defense would be stronger this season, but it hasn’t shown that so far. The Big Green has surrendered 480 yards at Butler in a victory and 525 against Holy Cross in a loss.

Dartmouth ranks 108th out of 122 NCAA Football Championship Series teams in total defense. Looking for a silver lining? The best we can give you is that Ivy League rival Columbia is 119th.

Dartmouth ranks 11th in total offense, which is obviously outstanding. But the cliche about how defense wins championships has a lot of truth to it. Trying to win shootouts every week is a tall order, especially as the weather gets worse.

Ancient Eight members Yale (4), Princeton (6) and Harvard (18) have potent offenses, albeit after only two games, and that may not bode well for the Big Green (1-1).

Pennsylvania, which looms on the horizon Saturday, is 93rd in offense and 63rd in defense. That’s enough numbers for now. Dartmouth just needs to get better at stopping the other guys if it’s to have any hope for an Ivy title.