Read the full story, published Dec. 1 by Dartmouth Athletics.
This fall, Big Green linebacker Will McNamara ’16 led the team in tackles as Dartmouth led the nation in scoring defense at 10.1 points per game, allowing fewer points than any Big Green squad since the advent of the 10-game season in 1980. (Photo by John Risley)
The Ivy League unveiled its offensive and defensive finalists for the Bushnell Cup on Dec. 1, and Dartmouth linebacker Will McNamara ’16 was one of the two chosen on defense. He was joined by Penn linebacker Tyler Drake, while the offensive finalists are Harvard quarterback Scott Hosch and Penn wide receiver Justin Watson.
A native of Chicago, McNamara once again led the Dartmouth defense to new heights as the Big Green earned a share of the Ivy League title for the first time in 19 years. The tri-captain led the team in tackles for a second straight year, ranking fifth in the Ivy League with 7.7 stops per game (8.3 in league play alone), 3.5 of which went for a loss including a sack in the 35-3 win over Yale. A two-time unanimous All-Ivy League First Team linebacker, McNamara was also second in the conference with four interceptions, two of which came in the showdown against 15th-ranked Harvard, while another went for a touchdown in the season opener at Georgetown. He also broke up four other passes to rank among the league’s top 10 in passes defended.
Not only did McNamara pick off two Crimson passes on Oct. 30, he also recorded a game-high 14 tackles, one of which concluded the incredible goal-line stand in the fourth quarter that kept Harvard from scoring on five tries from the one-yard line. On 12 occasions, he made a play on third or fourth down that left the opponent short of a first down, while ending four other drives with his interceptions. In the season finale, with Dartmouth needing a victory to earn a share of the Ivy crown, he came through with 10 more stops, his eighth career game in double figures.
McNamara led the team in tackles five times this fall (13 times in his career) as Dartmouth led the nation in scoring defense at 10.1 points per game, allowing fewer points than any Big Green squad since the advent of the 10-game season in 1980. In addition, the Big Green ranked first in turnovers gained, second in red zone defense, third in pass efficiency defense and fourth in rush defense.