Yale Can't Overcome Obstacles in Hanover
HANOVER, N.H. – The Bulldogs ran into enormous obstacles today in a showdown of unbeaten Ivy League teams. The Yale football team faced the nation's second ranked defense and the FCS's No. 8 scoring offense while trying to overcome the losses of seven injured starters. The result was a 35-3 loss to Dartmouth, which thrilled its Homecoming Day crowd with 592 yards of offense, including some through the air with time running out in the fourth quarter.
"To beat Dartmouth, you have to score a lot of points. We just didn't make plays," said Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach. "It was uncharacteristic for us. Our mistakes cost us. We dropped balls. You can't do those things against Dartmouth."
The Eli defense kept the home team off the board until the 29-second mark of the opening quarter. That was the first of 21 straight points and a 21-3 halftime lead.
The visitors had plenty of opportunities to cut the margin substantially before the break but could not take advantage. Bringing heat on the Big Green passer was one of the ways they got the chances. The Blue sacked Dartmouth starting quarterback Dalyn Williams three times. However, sustaining the pressure any more than the defense did today was asking too much.
One of the sacks caused a second-quarter turnover. Junior linebacker Victor Egu caught Williams from behind and knocked the ball loose. Classmate Darius Manora scooped it up and got some good yardage deep in Dartmouth's end, but the Elis could not turn it into points.
One of the few bright spots for the offense was sophomore receiver Michael Siragusa Jr., who notched a career-high 12 catches for 132 yards.
Another bright spot was junior Bryan Holmes, responsible for the only Yale points on a 35-yard field goal late in the second quarter. He also had a career-high 11 punts for a 40-yard average that included three landing inside the 20.
The Yale offense, hardest hit by injury, never got going when the game was within reach. Most of its 244 passing yards came in the fourth quarter with the game out of hand.
Senior quarterback Morgan Roberts completed 29 of a career-high 58 passes but was intercepted and sacked three times.
"We are a good team that didn't play that way. And we are a young team that played very young today," said Roberts. "I am excited about the rest of the season. It was the worst game I've experienced at Yale. Hopefully we'll get some guys back next week."
The Elis get a chance to put this one behind them by traveling to Maine next Saturday.
"We never got down on ourselves today. We are not going to let this game define our season," said Siragusa.
Christopher Williams-Lopez made his varsity debut Saturday and caught seven passes for 30 yards. The sophomore WR from Duluth, Ga., missed the first three games of 2015 with an injury... Sophomore FS Hayden Carlson led the defense with six solos and nine overall stops... This was the first time four (Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton) Ivy teams began the season 3-0… Former head coach Jack Siedlecki, who coached or worked with three coaches on both the Yale (Tony Reno, Chandler Henley, Paul Rice) and Dartmouth (Keith Clark, Duane Brooks, Kyle Metzler) staffs, attended the game today… Today's game aired live on Fox College Sports (TV) Atlantic, the first of five straight Yale games on that channel or NBC Sports Network. Next week's 3:30 kickoff at Maine is on Fox, while the Friday night game at Penn's Franklin Field is on NBC.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director
Jack Warhola Image of Michael Siragusa Jr.