TWO SHADES OF BLUE CLASH IN BIG APPLE
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs are back on national TV this Friday night in the Big Apple for an Ivy League game. Yale takes on Columbia (2-4, 1-2 Ivy) at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium at 7 in a contest airing live on the NBC Sports Network and on AM 960 WELI.
Yale, which has taken 11 of the last 13 games, leads the series 69-20-2, its most commanding advantage over any league team. Columbia won the 2012 meeting in New York, but the Blue is 34-10-0 on the road and 35-10-2 at home against the Light Blue.
An 80-yard punt return touchdown by Jason Alessi, the third-longest in school history, was Yale's only TD in a 17-7 loss to Columbia at New Haven last October.
The first night game at Yale Bowl did not go well for the home team last Friday night. Alex Torgersen and Justin Watson, who had 10 catches for 166 yards, connected on three scoring passes as Penn remained undefeated in Ivy League play with a 42-7 win over Yale. The Elis ran for 136, thanks to rookie Alan Lamar's 118-yard night, and passed for 93 in an offensive effort that produced 18 first downs.
Three Oren Milstein field goals and a stellar Columbia defense proved to be the difference as the Lions registered a 9-7 come-from-behind win over Dartmouth last Saturday at rainy and windy Robert K. Kraft Field on Homecoming Day.
GAMES OF NOTE
The Lions did not allow Yale to complete a pass in a 1954 game but still lost 13-7... Columbia blanked a Yale team in 1961 (11-0) that was coming off an undefeated campaign. It was the fourth and last shutout of the Bulldogs by the Lions... Columbia QB Marty Domres, a future NFL QB, threw for 326 yards in 1966 for the Lions in a losing (44-21) effort... Yale QB Pete Doherty '67 connected on a school-record five TD passes in 1966 (44-21 Yale win)... Yale and NFL great Dick Jauron '73 scampered 87 yards late in the fourth for the deciding score in a 28-14 win over Columbia in 1972... Ryan LoProto '02 scored on two interceptions, including one from 67 yards, as Yale won 41-0 in 2000… Kahlil Keys '15 broke the Yale record for the longest run from scrimmage with a 94-yard dash at the Bowl in 2013.
Freshmen were the brightest spots on offense for the Blue last week. Alan Lamar, who sat out last week with an injury after rushing for 180 against Dartmouth, slashed his way to 118 yards, while his five-yard TD catch in the third quarter was the game's final tally. Two other newcomers combined for seven catches. Receivers Reed Klubnik (4-29) and JP Shohfi (3-27), who had the best block of the day on a Jason Alessi punt return, were the busiest of the Bulldogs.
Dale Harris has been playing corner, tailback and special teams. He's been making impact hits for three different units. Last week he led the team with eight solos and 12 overall tackles. The week before at Fordham he started at corner while playing special teams and making a few runs at tailback when needed. Then Candler Rich, the only other healthy runner with experience, got injured in the second quarter. Harris stepped up and ran for 4 TDs and a two-point conversion while totaling 136 yards. He also finished with an important catch and three solo tackles in one of the most versatile performances in the long history of Yale football. The Brooklandville, Md., native has a team-high 239 yards (4.5 average), four TDs and 26 points while totaling 19-7-26 on defense.
DEBUT AT TAILBACK
The plan was to have three veteran backs handling the carries this fall with a talented newcomer getting touches on kickoffs. That plan didn't last long due to injuries. Freshman tailback Alan Lamar, getting his first collegiate snaps in the backfield, ran 23 times for 180 yards and touchdowns of seven and 43 yards on Oct. 8 in a win over Dartmouth. The Parade All-American from Mississippi finished five yards shy of Robert Carr's freshman school rushing record of 185 yards against Dartmouth on Oct. 7, 2007. Lamar got his first start vs. Penn and ran for 118 yards while catching a pass for a TD. He has also been one of two deep men on the kickoff return. Lamar earned STATS FCS (national) Rookie of the Week and Ivy co-Rookie of the Week for his Oct. 8 performance.
Sophomore Tre Moore, who became the third black quarterback to start a game for Yale on Oct. 1, did a great job of leading his team in a comeback attempt at Fordham with 102 rushing yards, was not as effective last week at home. Moore, despite three Fordham sacks, rushed for 102 yards and one TD while completing 13 passes to eight different receivers. Against Lehigh, he ran for two (14, 12 yards) TDs and threw for another (63-yarder) in his initial collegiate start. He was more efficient (21-33, 174) in relief at Cornell in week two, but he produced more points in his first start (Lehigh). Rufus Moore III, nicknamed Tre (the third), came to Yale from John Burroughs School in St. Louis, Mo, where he was a teammate of Eli defensive standout Foyesade Oluokun. He has played in all six games this season after not getting any varsity snaps in 2015.
NFF SELECTS LITTLE
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced this fall that Yale's Sebastian Little has been named one of the 156 semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation and is prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club. Little is a senior tight end from Cheshire, Conn., who has earned three varsity letters and has been among the team leaders in community outreach. He is the co-founder of Next Future Leaders (NFL), a student activities coordinator for Earn While You Learn, a member of the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Drive Committee and team ambassador for Team IMPACT. Little has 41 career catches including the game-winning TD against Cornell in 2015.
The team selected linebacker Darius Manora as its 2016 captain during a vote last November. Manora, a senior from Alexandria, Va., has 198 career tackles and has played in all 36 games. His most productive day as a Bulldog was 8 solos and 14 total tackles against Princeton in 2014, while his biggest play was plucking a Brown lateral pass – a flee flicker - out of the air and running it back for a score that same fall.
Junior defensive back Jason Alessi is Yale's Mr. Versatility, and he is the only player in school history to return two punts for TDs at 80 yards or more. He had an 80-yarder (4thd longest at Yale) at home against Columbia last year and then notched an 82-yard play (3rd longest) against Lehigh at the Bowl on Oct. 1. He is currently 8th in the FCS with a 16.4 return average. In addition to starting on defense and seeing time on multiple special teams units, Alessi is a standout member of the Yale lacrosse team, which has won consecutive Ivy League Tournament titles. On the gridiron, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., native had a career-high five solos and eight overall tackles at Maine last fall and finished the year with 39 stops.
Hayden Carlson (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), a junior safety, led the Ivy League in 2015 with 92 total tackles and a 9.2 average. He leads Yale this season with 37 solos, 58 total stops, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He began 2016 with a game and career-high 14 tackles and set up scores with an interception (48-yard return) and a fumble recovery against Colgate. He had eight stops, a fumble recovery and a solo tackle on a fake field goal attempt at Cornell. Carlson, whose interception against Dartmouth clinched the win on Oct. 8, has started every game this fall.
Junior Deshawn Salter, Yale's first 100-yard runner this season, had 151 yards and a 10.1 average against Lehigh before sitting out the last three games with an injury. Salter stepped in for Candler Rich in game three last year and rushed for 233 yards (5th best at Yale, most by an Ivy player in 2015) and two scores at Lehigh. The Syracuse, N.Y., native has a season-high 70-yard run against Lehigh.
THE ORIGINAL PLAN
If not for injuries, Yale would have a three-man rotation at tailback this fall. Senior Candler Rich (Newnan, Ga.) has a 5.4 average on 34 carries. Rich began 2015 as the top running back but missed most of the year with an injury. He averaged 7.5 per carry as a backup in 2014, which included a 202-yard day on 17 runs at Columbia. Senior Dale Harris (Brooklandville, Md.) volunteered to move from defense last fall when injuries ravaged the backfield. He started the first two weeks of 2016 (missed week three with injury) and then played on defense for game four. A three-year starter at cornerback, Harris ran for 177 yards (71-yard TD) at Princeton last November. Deshawn Salter, who has had a pair of monster days, is the other part of the veteran rotation.
Senior WR Myles Gaines (Tallahassee, Fla.), who had a career-high nine catches for 106 yards against Dartmouth and leads the team with 19 catches, is determined to change the way America—and maybe even the rest of the world—gets its nutrients by studying food policy and sustainable farming options. An environmental studies turned political science major, Gaines, who has 44 career catches over 20 (injuries the last 2 years) varsity games, hopes to combine these disciplines and work on the policy end of providing sustainable food, especially to black communities. He served as a Lazarus 2016 Summer Intern through the Yale Sustainable Food Program in New Haven after working at an oyster farm that practiced sustainable harvesting.
Sophomore kicker Alex Galland (Bakersfield, Calif.) has taken over the field goal and extra-point kicking. He split the uprights for three points twice in each of the first two games and is now four of six on field goals this fall with a long of 38 yards at Cornell. Senior Bryan Holmes (Holland, Mich.), an All-Ivy placekicker last fall, has done some punting and kickoffs this season, while junior Blake Horn (Davie, Fla.) has also been used on kickoffs.
A pair of newcomers, LG Dieter Eiselen (Stellenbosch, South Africa) and LT Sterling Strother (Moraga, Calif.) started the Dartmouth and Fordham games and helped the Elis produce 58 points. Junior Karl Marback (Birmingham, Mich.) moved over to center this fall and has started every game. Senior RT Beau Iverson (Lakewood, Wash.) and senior RG Mason Friedline (Seattle, Wash.) have also started every game. Senior left tackle Khalid Cannon (Gadsden, Ala.) is the most experienced of the Yale O-linemen, having started the last two seasons. He missed the Dartmouth and Fordham games with an injury but was back last week. Junior Jeho Chang (Suwanee, Ga.) had three starts at guard this fall.
Karl Marback (Birmingham, Mich.), a junior center who is a biomedical engineering major, is a member of the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA). As a sophomore, he helped build a rocket that climbed to 10,000 feet and collected microbes from the air to learn more about what is living in the atmosphere. That rocket was launched twice, first in Maryland and again in Utah for the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). The Yale entry took second place for payload design. Marback, who came over from the defense in 2015, is playing center for the first time as a Bulldog.
Friday night's game was the 614th Yale game in the Bowl… Yale trailed by just one score when senior Victor Egu made a great play to stop Penn TB Tre Solomon on a fourth-down run deep in the home end… P/PK Alex Galland had a 39.7 average punting against Penn and put two inside the 20… DE Kyle Mullen had four solo tackles and one sack.
BULLDOG CAPTAINS, COACHES
It's very rare to have an ex-Yale football captain on the coaching staff, but the Elis have two. Paul Rice '10 (outside LB, special teams), who joined Tony Reno's staff in February of 2013, became the first captain to return as a "full-time" or "primary" coach since Albie Booth in the late 1930s. Chandler Henley '07 (TEs), who led the Elis to a 2006 Ivy title as captain, came back to New Haven last spring.
YALE'S COLLEGE COACHES
One hundred and nine Yale graduates – far more than any other school - have become head coaches in college football. Six Yale grads currently serve on college coaching staffs, including Paul Rice and Chandler Henley. Bob Shoop '88 is defensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee. Dartmouth has Kyle Metzler '02, the running game and recruiting coordinator (OT, TE focus), while Josh Grizzard '12 is a graduate assistant (QB, quality control) at Duke. Matt Coombs '08 is a quality control GA at Boise State.
Two former Yale players are coaching in the NFL this fall. Pat Graham '01, a former Yale tight end and defensive lineman who won a Super Bowl ring in 2015 with the New England Patriots as a defensive assistant coach, worked seven seasons for Bill Belichick before taking a new job this fall with the New York Giants. Graham earned an Ivy Championship ring in 1999. Michael McDaniel '05 is in his 10th NFL campaign and second as offensive assistant with Atlanta. He has worked with Cleveland, Houston. Denver and Washington. The Yalie with the longest NFL tenure (player/coach) in Ivy history is Dick Jauron '73, who played eight seasons between two teams and then spent 32 years as a coach. His last was 2012 with Cleveland. Two former Elis are working for the Miami Dolphins: Max Napolitano '14 is a business analytics specialist while Grant Wallace '15 is a player personnel assistant. Brandon Etheridge '07, who had worked for the NFL Management Council, is now general counsel for the Baltimore Ravens.
Ten years ago this fall, a team led by captain Chandler Henley (current Yale coach) went 8-2 and earned an Ivy League title. The final win came at Harvard, a 34-13 decision. Many members of that team were back to celebrate the title on Sept. 17 at the Bowl.
The 40th reunion of Yale's 1976 Ivy League Championship gridiron squad takes place Nov. 12 as part of the Princeton weekend. The 76ers, captained by Vic Staffieri, won their last eight games, including a combined 60-14 score in victories over Princeton and Harvard, to finish 8-1.
Future Yale schedules include games with a new, Southern, flavor. One is in Georgia, the other Virginia. The Elis, who have a four-game series set with Mercer University, will play a school from Georgia (Macon) for the first time since playing the University of Georgia in 1929, the dedication game for Sanford Stadium. The Mercer Bears, a member of the Southern Conference, play at Yale on Oct. 13, 2018. The next meeting is Oct. 2, 2021 at Macon. The other two encounters come in 2022 (New Haven) and 2023 (Macon). The University of Richmond, a Colonial Athletic Conference and FCS power, is on Yale's schedule for 2019 (at Richmond) and 2020 (New Haven). The Bulldogs and Spiders have never met. The Elis have not played in Virginia since a game against William & Mary at Norfolk in 1983.
The Ivy League has an experimental rule for the 2016 football season that moves kickoffs to the 40-yard line and touchbacks to the 20-yard line in an effort to reduce concussions and further promote the safety and welfare of its student-athletes. The goal of the experimental rule is to limit kickoff returns, which account for 23.4 percent of concussions during games despite representing only 5.8 percent of overall plays. The League will evaluate the concussion and kickoff return data after the 2016 season.
891 or 892
Yale has 891 or 892 wins depending how you view things. The NCAA record books give the Bulldogs credit for games won on the field, which is 891. However, the Ivy League credits Yale with one more (892) victory from a 1997 (forfeit) game against Penn. Yale was the first to 800 wins but has been overtaken by schools playing a dozen or more games per year like Michigan and Notre Dame.
Yale is 6-3 in OT games including the win against Army in 2014. The Elis are 4-1 at home in extra sessions, the only loss against Harvard in triple OT in 2005. Yale has a pair of triple-session OTs (Penn, 2007) and a two double-dippers (Princeton, 2003; Holy Cross, 2008).
TUESDAYS AT MORY'S
Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, and some of his players are at world famous Mory's (306 York Street) every Tuesday at noon for the Dick Galiette Yale Football Media Luncheon. This event is limited to media only. Please contact Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to attend. Darius Manora, Robert Clemons, Rafe Chapple, Nick Crowle, Foyesade Oluokun, Tre Moore, Matthew Oplinger, Reed Klubnik, John Herubin and Mason Friedline have taken part so far this fall.
You can listen to legendary coach Carm Cozza, Ron Vaccaro '04 and Steve Conn call the action of Yale Football this fall on ESPN Radio1300 (AM 1300) or News Radio 960 WELI (AM 960), as well as iHeart Radio, espnradio1300.com. You can also see some broadcasts this season. Six (Colgate, Lehigh, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, Princeton) games air on the Ivy League Digital Network. Three games in 2016 can be seen on the NBC family of networks (Penn, Columbia on NBCSN, Harvard on CNBC). In addition, One World Sports (OWS) airs two games from the Bowl this fall, Colgate and Lehigh, that are also on the ILDN, now available on Apple TV and Roku.
TEAM OF LEADERS
The 2016 Yale football team includes 40 high school football captains and 24 guys who were captains of other sports before coming to New Haven. There are also 37 National Honor Society members.
filed by Steve Conn, Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director - email@example.com