Early Deficit Too Much
ITHACA, N.Y. – The Yale defense did its job in the second half, holding an impressive Cornell offense to three points. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Big Red went into halftime with a 24-3 lead and then held on for a 27-13 victory before 15,493 at Schoellkopf Field.
The Elis (0-2, 0-1 Ivy) turned the ball over three times in the first half, and the Red (2-0, 1-0) jumped all over the opportunities to take leads of 14-0 and 21-3. That gave too much momentum to a Cornell team pumped up by a big Homecoming Day crowd.
"I have to give them [Cornell] a lot of credit. They played an exceptional football game," said Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach. "They were opportunistic on defense and they controlled the ball on offense. Cornell made more plays than we did."
Senior linebacker Foye Oluokun and junior defensive backs Hayden Carlson and Jason Alessi each had seven solo tackles as the Eli defense tried desperately to help the visitors climb back into contention.
The placekicker's first three-pointer, set up by some great Salter runs, cut the deficit to 14-3 and gave the visitors hope of making a comeback. The offense didn't click enough early on.
"My focus was to give some energy to the team late in the first half. I felt good out there and it was great to move the ball, but we needed more points," said Moore, who zipped passes all over the field and ran for yards when teammates were covered. "We just couldn't score enough points. We've got to re-group and go get Lehigh."
Moore also spread the ball around. Christopher Williams-Lopez (92 yards) and Robert Clemons III each had six grabs while seven other Elis hauled in passes. However, the 214 passing yards could not get the offense into the end zone.
The Elis kept having to make defensive stops to give its offense another shot at climbing back. The hill was just too tall.
"The turnovers really hurt us. And we didn't convert on our opportunities," said Reno.
Those Yale opportunities were afforded by a defense that bent more than it would like, but came out overall with an effort that could have produced victory with enough help from the other side.
Cornell quarterback Dalton Banks completed 22 of 31 tosses for 297 yards and two scores. The Bulldogs, who saw three different Big Red running backs move the chains, sacked Banks four times and recorded 13 tackles for lost yardage. All of those big plays came after the large deficit.
Moore ignited the Blue on the first possession of the second half with a 13-play, 84-yard drive that culminated with the Salter TD. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound quarterback completed six passes, including a 17-yarder to Williams-Lopez and a 13-yard connection with junior Ross Drwal.
The Elis could not get into the red zone again until Galland connected on his fourth field goal of the year, but that was with only 3:18 left in the game.
Yale has an opportunity to turn things around at home over the next two weekends with Lehigh and Dartmouth coming to the Bowl the next two Saturdays.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director- firstname.lastname@example.org