Elis Look To Rebound from Home Opener
For the first time in 19 seasons, the Lafayette football team is coming to West Haven to take on Yale. The Bulldogs, who opened Ivy League play with a 14-12 loss to Cornell at the Bowl, and Leopards can be seen live on the Lafayette Sports Network (LSN) and heard on WELI (AM-960, 960weli.com) and WYBC (AM-1340, wybc.com). This Saturday's kickoff at the Bowl is at noon.
CATCHING THE TV BROADCAST
LSN is on RCN-4 and WBPH-60 covering all of Eastern Pennsylvania. RCN subscribers in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. can watch on RCN-8. Beyond the region, LSN is available on DIRECTV (640) and DISH Network (432) via the Mid Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).
It's the first meeting at Yale Bowl since 1990, but Yale and Lafayette met in 2006 at Easton, a 37-34 Eli win. The Blue has won all seven games dating to 1912 including four straight shutouts to start the series.
Yale turned Lafayette over on four of the first six Leopard possessions on the way to a 37-34 win at Fisher Stadium. Bulldogs' RB Mike McLeod '09 rushed for 172 yards and three TDs, but WR Chandler Henley '06 had to recover an on-side kick to clinch the victory.
BULLDOGS COME UP SHORT IN IVY OPENER
The Yale defense held Cornell to three first downs and 166 yards of total offense -- and only 85 after a long scoring pass play on the visitor's first play from scrimmage -- but the Big Red got on the board first and held on for a 14-12 win at the Bowl. Yale sophomore QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) dove into the end zone from a yard out as time expired to set up a two-point attempt on the game's last play. Witt tried to find an open receiver over the middle, but the pass fell incomplete to give Cornell its second straight win over the Blue and its first at the Bowl since 1996.
LEOPARDS BITE QUAKERS
David Rodriguez kicked two FGs, including a 28-yarder in OT, as Lafayette beat Penn 20-17 Saturday night at Fisher Stadium. The Quakers overcame a 17-0 deficit to tie the game and force the extra play. Lafayette totaled 304 yards in a statistically balanced game that had just one turnover. Rob Curley completed 18 of 27 passes for 208 yards, including eight to Lafayette receiver Mark Layton, who had a 19-yard TD catch. LB Michael Schmidlein, who averages better than 10 tackles per game, led all players with 16 (13-3) against Penn.
The Yale defense allowed just one TD for the second straight week, but this time the Bulldogs did not bend much. Georgetown managed to pass the ball well outside the red zone, but Cornell picked up only 85 yards after scoring on an 81-yard pass play off a lateral on the Red's first play. The Cornell offense had 166 yards of total offense and was 2-for-18 on third downs. Senior LB Tim Handlon (Valparaiso, Ind.) had the only Yale interception (3rd career, 2nd of 2009), while senior captain and LB Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) led the Blue with six solos. Junior DT Joe Young (Shrewsbury, Mass.) registered his team-best second sack of the year. He and junior DT Patrick Moran (Alexandria, Va.) had the only Bulldog sacks.
MANTE GETS 2ND IVY HONOR
Senior P/PK Tom Mante (Westford, Mass.) was named Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this fall. He opened the season by hitting a career-long 50-yard FG at Georgetown, booming punts of 73 and 65 yards and recovering his own on-side kick. Last week he tied the Ivy League record with a 54-yarder against Cornell. His long boot came on the final play of the first half and brought Yale to within a point of the Big Red. Mante now shares the league mark with five others, but no kicker had reached from that distance since 1976. In addition, no Ivy kicker has hit 50-yard field goals on consecutive Saturdays. Otis Guernsey drop kicked a 54-yarder for the Bulldogs in 1915. Last week against Cornell, he had a school record 12 punts, including six inside the 20, and earned the Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game. Mante, whose interview with Ron Vaccaro '04 on WELI radio airs at halftime this Saturday, was an All-Ivy selection at both positions last fall.
TOUGHING IT OUT
Sophomore QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) overcame three interceptions and a 21-for-54 day (180 yards) to bring the Blue to within a play of sending the Ivy opener to overtime. After taking numerous hits that would have knocked some QBs out of a game, Witt drove Yale 47 yards in 1:35 before diving in from a yard out as time expired. The last time a Yale QB attempted 54 passes was in 2005 against Holy Cross when Jeff Mroz '05 went 33-for-56 with 333 yards in a 22-19 loss.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Patrick Witt, a Bulldog newcomer who transferred last summer from Nebraska, is also a writer. He penned an editorial in the Sept. 18 Yale Herald about President Obama's stimulus package stating that the "package has failed to stimulate anything." He may not need an audible for that call.
When Yale's top return man WR Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.), who had two catches and a 19-yard kick return, left the game with an injury, freshman WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) provided solid relief. Smith returned seven punts, caught three passes (32 yards) and took one kickoff 33 yards. He had to do the same thing when Christodoulou had to leave the Georgetown game.
The five Bulldogs' starters listed on the current depth chart average 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds. There are four juniors and one senior, none of whom were starters before 2009. Some were backups with limited varsity snaps in 2008 while others played exclusively with the JV. Backup RT Cory Palmer (Wooster, Ohio) started six games last fall at RG.
Yale led the FCS in fewest turnovers in 2002 and 2003, while the Elis have been among the top 10 in turnover margin the last five seasons. The first two games of 2009 are a different story. The Bulldogs lost two fumbles at Georgetown and threw three interceptions against Cornell. Both opponents returned turnovers for scores. The Elis have picked off three passes but have yet to grab an opponent's fumble this fall.
Yale had two scoring plays with no time left on the clock and the end of a half last week... The three Cornell first downs were not the least allowed by a Yale defense. The Elis held Princeton (1945), Bates (1951) and Lafayette (1952) to one... Yale and Cornell combined for 27 punts... Lafayette has two players from Connecticut, senior OL Brian Wycinowski (Cheshire) and junior FB Mark Hall (Groton).
Senior DB Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.) leads the Blue with 10 solos and 16 overall stops. He picked up where he and his brother left off last fall. Larry made a game-high seven solos and 12 total tackles in the win at Georgetown. His twin, Bobby '09, an All-America LB, is now a graduate assistant coach for the LBs at Wagner College (2-2, 1-0 NEC).
After rushing for two scores and 91 yards in his first career start in week one, senior RB Jordan Farrell (Orland Park, Ill.) had eight more attempts (25) for 74 yards against the Big Red. The 5-foot-10, 220-pound back, who missed 2008 with an injury, earned Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game honors at Georgetown.
Tom Williams was named the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football last January and came to New Haven after spending two seasons as an assistant for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams has 11 seasons of college coaching experience. He is the 33rd Yale head football coach but just the third in the last 44 years.
WILLIAMS AFTER LAST SATURDAY
"We had our opportunities, we just couldn't capitalize," said Tom Williams, Yale's Joel E. Smilow ‘54 Head Coach of Football, who was making his Yale Bowl debut. "We had guys open, we had opportunities in the run game, and there was a time where we were getting four or five yards per play. But then we'd shoot ourselves in the foot with a penalty [Yale had seven] or a turnover [Yale had three]. They [Cornell] had been a man-to-man team, especially in the red zone. We had a rub route called [for the last play of the game] with the opportunity to get the guy open in the flat. We had what we wanted, we just didn't execute."
Williams can be heard Monday nights on WYBC (AM-1340) from 8 to 8:30 on the Yale Sports Monday Show. The Yale segment of the weekly Ivy League media teleconference is 11:53 AM on Tuesdays, while he and some of his players will be at the Yale Bookstore every Tuesday at 2 p.m. for the Dick Galiette Press Conference.
Tom Williams, off to a 1-1 start, begins his Yale career following a full spectrum of success in debut seasons. The best debut campaign for a Yale head coach was the first, Walter Camp (13-0 and National Champs) in 1888. The next 20 coaches enjoyed comparable success in the early years of the sport. However, wins for new coaches in the later part of the 20th century did not come so easily. Two of the five Eli mentors since 1950 had better than .500 marks, Jordan Olivar (7-2 in 1952) and John Pont (6-3 in 1963). Herman Hickman went 4-5 in 1948, Carm Cozza was 3-6 in 1965 and Jack Siedlecki was 1-9 in 1997.
WILLIAMS "ON THE AIR" IN 2009
Day Time Venue Event
Mondays 8 pm WYBC Radio Yale Sports Monday at Lansdowne
Tuesdays 11:53 am Ivy Teleconference Media Call-in with questions
Tuesdays 2 pm Yale Bookstore Galiette Press Conference
Two Yale assistant coaches spent time last summer at NFL training camps as intern coaches. Kefense Hynson, who works with Yale's receivers, was with Oakland. Ikaika Malloe, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Defensive Coordinator, worked with Jacksonville... Mike Sanford, the mentor for the Yale TEs and a former Boise State QB, is the son of UNLV football head coach Mike Sanford. The Rebels are 2-2 after falling to Wyoming last week... Student assistant coach Isaiah DeLeon-Mares, who worked at the Warrick Dunn Foundation, also worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last summer.
Harvard edged Brown 24-21 last Friday night at Boston. The Bears recovered an on-side kick and drove deep into Harvard territory before the Crimson batted down a final pass... No. 6 New Hampshire beat Dartmouth 44-14 at Durham... Columbia led 13-0 over Central Connecticut before falling 22-13 at New York... A 77-yard interception return led Princeton in a 17-14 win at Lehigh... Penn erased a 17-0 deficit but fell 20-17 in OT at Lafayette... This week's league games are Penn at Dartmouth and Columbia at Princeton.
Jim Fuller, the New Haven Register's Yale football beat reporter, will begin a series of Yale football chats on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. The chats will happen every Wednesday at that time. The address is nhregister.com/chat.
FATHER OF FOOTBALL
For the 10th straight season, the Walter Camp Football Foundation honors Yale's game MVP as the Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game. This award is handed out both at home and on the road. Walter Camp (class of 1880), commonly known as the father of American football, captained two Yale teams and coached five others. He compiled a 67-2-0 record and won three national titles as coach. Senior RB Jordan Farrell (Orland Park, Ill.) earned the first award in 2009 with a 5.4 average per carry and two scores at Georgetown. Week No. 2 went to senior PK/P Tom Mante (Westford, Mass.), who tied the Yale record with a 54-yard FG and punted a Yale record 12 times with six inside the Cornell 20-yard line.
WALTER CAMP DAY
This Saturday is Walter Camp Day at the Bowl. The Walter Camp Football Foundation in conjunction with the Yale-NH Hospital Auxilary's Toy Closets Program is asking fans to bring a new unwrapped toy to support the cause and in return, receive a free general admission ticket to the game. Toys can be dropped off at the Hospitality Village on Central Avenue, which is located near Gates D & E. This is the 10th year the Walter Camp Foundation has coordinated this toy drive and the first with event sponsor, the law firm of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C.
Yale has an 84-21-3 record against Patriot League teams. The Elis have played Bucknell (3-1), Colgate (25-10-3), Fordham (4-1), Georgetown (3-0), Holy Cross (27-4), Lafayette (7-0), Lehigh (14-5) and Towson (1-0).
Seven former Yale football players are working in the game this fall, either in the college or pro ranks. Mike McCaskey '65, chairman of the Chicago Bears, Buffalo head coach Dick Jauron '73, Bob Wallace '78 (Executive V.P. and General Council, St. Louis Rams) and New England assistant coach Pat Graham '01 are the Bulldogs in the NFL. Bob Shoop '88, defensive coordinator at William & Mary, Merchant Marine Academy offensive coordinator Kyle Metzler '02 and Bobby Abare '09, linebackers coach at Wagner, work at colleges.
Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio), a senior LB who is second on the team with 13 total tackles, is the 132nd Yale football captain. He came to Yale as a talented RB but moved to defense when asked to his freshman year. Rice, who has 128 total career tackles and six interceptions, started at CB the last three years before moving to LB this season. His father, Lou Rice, played defense for Harvard.
Six-foot-2, 235-pound senior H-B John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.) leads the team with 13 catches and 97 yards. Media preparing to cover Yale games always ask where he typically lines up. Sheffield can be found in the backfield, in the slot, next to a tackle on the line or split out wide. An H-Back (don't confuse it with HB for halfback), also known as a power back, is a hybrid combining the TE and FB positions. Sheffield has 78 career catches, while his one rushing attempt was a lateral pass that turned into a seven-yard TD against Penn in 2008.
NO. 28 WATCHING
When freshman RB Mordecai Cargill (Cleveland, Ohio) got his first collegiate carry, a 10-yard run in the first half, he probably didn't know the significance of the moment. Cargill, who wears No. 28 and earned a shot at varsity playing time with a great pre-season camp, didn't know who wore that number until one of his teammates told him. Mike McLeod '09, who owns every Yale rushing record wearing the same number, was two rows from the surface of Multi-Sport Field watching his first game as an alum. "I learned of my jersey number the same time the rest of the freshmen did. The first thing Lou Scigliano (assistant equipment director) said was that I have big shoes to fill," said Cargill. "I found out who wore No. 28 on my recruiting visit, and I'm honored that the coaches' expectations of me are high enough for them to give me this number. My expectations of myself are higher still, and with due respect to Mike McLeod, I look forward to creating my own legacy with No. 28."
Sophomore LB Austin Pulsipher (Temecula, Calif.) came to Yale three years ago and was part of the 2006 Ivy League co-championship team before heading to greater Taipei, Taiwan for a two-year Mormon mission. He became fluent in Mandarin Chinese, served in many leadership roles and taught a drug rehabilitation program while managing the finances of over 150 missionaries.
BULLDOGS LOVE BOWL
Yale is 363-191-26 overall in 580 games played at the Bowl. The Elis are 123-74-4 in Ivy games. Yale has had seven perfect and 11 undefeated seasons in the Bowl since it opened in 1914.
A survey of this fall's Yale squad revealed interesting character traits about its members. Here are the results of the voting on Bulldog players:
Most Humorous: H-B John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.)
Most Intelligent: QB Rich Scudellari (Saratoga, Calif.)
Most Vocal: DB Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.)
Most Likely to be US President: DL Patrick Moran (Alexandria, Va.)
Unusual Hobby: RB Rodney Reynolds (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), gospel-rap singing
Best Singer: WR Lars Knudsen (Whitefish Bay, Wis.)
Strongest: RB Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.)
Three members of the Yale coaching staff have ties to Hawaii, and Tom Williams has instituted Hawaiin Fridays in the football office. Any staffers caught without a Hawaain style shirt on a Friday on the third floor of Ray Tompkins House is subject to a one dollar fine. Sophomore OL Gabriel Fernandez (Honolulu) is the first Yale football player from Hawaii in 10 years. WR Jimmy Bennett '00 (Honolulu), who played on the 1999 Ivy League championship squad, was the last Eli from the 50th state.
Seven current Bulldogs have brothers who play or played Yale football. Current Yale football brother combinations include junior OLB Sean and freshman QB Scott Williams (Portland, Ore.) and junior DB Marcus and senior OLB Jack Wallace (Germantown, Wis.).
COUNTRY BOY WITH GIFT OF GAB
Can you picture a 290-pound guy in bib overalls running an auction? If you could, it might be freshman OL Jeff Marrs (Garden Prairie, Ill.), who grew up on a farm of about 2,000 acres near Rockford, Ill. Marrs, his brother and grandfather are all auctioneers. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound former all-state lineman made his collegiate debut last Saturday.
DOGS WELCOME AT LANSDOWNE
A dog-friendly bar is open in New Haven this fall. Yale coaches and athletes will frequent Lansdowne Bar & Grill (179 Crown Street) Monday nights from 7-9 for WYBC Radio's sports lineup. At 8, Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, makes a weekly appearance on "Yale Sports Monday" with Anthony Brooks'03 MM and Sam Purdy ‘10. Athletes and coaches from all sports, including football, will be interviewed each week on "Yale Sports Monday" from 8-9. From 7-8 Michael Dunn '10 and Sam Levander '10 host "Cover 2 Sports," a comprehensive national sports talk show.
YALE JV BEATS MILFORD ACADEMY
Freshman RB Taylor Stibb (Scottsdale, Ariz.) caught a 40-yard TD pass in Yale's 8-0 junior varsity win over Milford Academy on Sept. 27. That was the first of six Yale JV games. The only road contest is on Oct. 4 at Brown. the only non-Sunday afternoon game is the Friday, Nov. 20, showdown with Harvard.
TRUE BLUE ROSTER
The 2009 Yale football roster includes 60 high school football captains and 41 captains of other sports. The Elis also list 52 National Honor Society members, six student body presidents, six valedictorians and three salutatorians.
Yale may be the only football team in America to have had a state holiday decreed because of its visit. In 1929 (80 years ago this fall) when Yale visited the University of Georgia to be its dedication opponent for the opening of Sanford Stadium, the governor issued a proclamation making the day a legal holiday in honor of Yale University and of the Yale men who founded the state university in Georgia.
YALE ON TV
Eight Yale football games will air live on TV this fall, including four of five home games. Yale on YES is back for a second season with three straight Ivy League games (Columbia, Brown, Princeton) on the network of the New York Yankees. The YES Network, available nationally on DirecTV, Verizon's FiOS service and on select cable systems, is the country's No. 1 regional sports network. Two contests (Cornell, Harvard) will be broadcast on Versus, the national cable home of the National Hockey League that is in more than 73 million homes. Other Yale games aired in 2009 include Penn (Comcast), Lafayette (RCN) and Lehigh (Service Electric 2).
The Bulldogs have begun a tradition befitting the school responsible for shaping the game of football. Prior to every home game, Coach Williams will gather the team under the Walter Camp Field Memorial (see photo) to remind the Bulldogs of their proud heritage. Walter Camp '1880, who coached the Blue (67-2) for five seasons and was instrumental in shaping the rules as we know them, is commonly referred to as the father of American football.
NEWS/Talk 960 WELI broadcasts all Yale football games on AM (960) and online at weli.com. Yale football coaching legend Carm Cozza, a 2003 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, is in his 12th season as the color commentator for WELI broadcasts. Ron Vaccaro '04 returns for his fourth year as play-by-play announcer. Vaccaro is a two-time Emmy Award winner for his work with NBC Olympics, his primary employer since 2004. His on-air resume also includes the 2008 Beijing Olympics for NBC and the 2009 World Swimming Championships for Universal Sports. Sideline reporter Alex Goldberger '08, engineer Tom Ivanovich and spotter Kevin Guarino add the finishing touches to the broadcasts.
CONROY BACK IN THE BOOTH
Former Yale center Will Conroy '04, an attorney in Tampa, Fla., will join Cozza and Vaccaro in the WELI booth for the third quarter this Saturday to share his thoughts. Conroy, a former member of the WYBC Radio sports team, commentated on Yale sports while also working the NCAA Women's Frozen Four. He has already worked with Vaccaro on WELI broadcasts of Yale football.
WYBC (AM 1340) also covers each game. WFAN Radio personality Bob Heussler, WYBC's Director of Football Radio Broadcasts, and Anthony Brooks '03 MM, the station's sports coordinator, lead a talented group of Yale students who can also be heard on wybc.com. Yale football is also included in WYBC's Monday night sports lineup from Lansdowne Bar & Grill (179 Crown Street). At 8 pm, Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, makes a weekly appearance on "Yale Sports Monday."
Another way to listen to Yale games live is by calling TEAMLINE at 800.846.4700 and using Yale's code 5682.
BULLDOGS AT BOOKSTORE
The Dick Galiette/Yale Football Press Conference has moved from the Course at Yale back to campus with the first edition on Sept. 15. The new location is the Yale Bookstore, which will host this event for 10 Tuesdays at 2 p.m. Coach Williams and a selection of players will take part in the press conferences that are streamed live by Sportingnewsct.com. They will take place on the second floor where all the book signings are done. The press conferences are open to the public, but questions for Williams and his players are limited to the working media. The Yale Bookstore is also the sponsor of the Yale Sports Hotline (203.432.YALE), where Yale fans get game-day scores without going to their computers.
Ron Vaccaro '04 hosts a series of video netcast interviews, which will include the Yale football team and other Yale athletics content, on yalebulldogs.com. Vaccaro also has a set of audio netcasts featuring the team for Apple iTunes users at itunes.yale.edu.
YORKSIDE AT BOWL
Media take note... The Yale Bowl may be in West Haven, but the press box has a taste of New Haven with Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant serving slices and salad on home Saturdays. Rather than interrupting your work with a lunch at halftime, the food is now served on its arrival before kickoff.
IVY WEEKLY TELECONFERENCES
The Ivy League will hold a weekly football coaches' teleconference every Tuesday during the 2009 season beginning September 15 and running through November 17. Each teleconference will begin at 11 a.m. ET. Each coach will be available for a seven-minute window to preview his team's upcoming opponent and answer questions from the media. A replay of the teleconferences will be made available on www.IvyLeagueSports.com. To access the call, use the following (877) 548-7906 and Passcode: 9204583.
Ivy Teleconference Schedule
11:04 am Phil Estes, Brown
11:11 am Norries Wilson, Columbia
11:18 am Jim Knowles, Cornell
11:25 am Buddy Teevens, Dartmouth
11:32 am Tim Murphy, Harvard
11:39 am Al Bagnoli, Penn
11:46 am Roger Hughes, Princeton
11:53 am Tom Williams, Yale
THE GAME IN IMAX
A documentary film titled GameDay that will include footage from the 2009 Yale-Harvard game will appear in IMAX 3D theatres around the country later this fall. The film will provide an all access pass to college football focusing on the preparation, traditions, rivalries and pageantry.
100 YEARS AGO
This November the Yale/Harvard contest in the Bowl will mark the one hundredth anniversary of the historic National Championship Game of 1909.The 1909 Yale-Harvard game, an 8-0 Bulldogs win, featured two undefeated teams (the next matchup of undefeated squads in The Game was in 1968). Yale won the national championship and preserved its unbeaten, untied and unscored on marks. Three future members of the Football Hall of Fame suited up for the game. For Yale: fullback Ted Coy and end John Reed Kilpatrick and for Harvard: tackle Hamilton Fish. A reunion of family members is planned for this November's game.
Image: LB Sean Williams makes a tackle against Cornell last week (Jack Warhola)
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director