Bulldogs Look For Momentum in Stretch Run
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale football team (3-3, 1-2 Ivy) kicks off the Yale on YES package with a 1 p.m. game this Saturday against Columbia (2-4, 1-2) at Lawrence Wien Stadium. The YES Network is found on many cable systems, DirecTV (631) and Verizon's FiOS service. The Bulldogs-Lions clash can be heard on WELI (AM-960, 960weli.com) and WYBC (AM-1340, wybc.com).
Yale, with a current, seven-game win streak, holds a commanding lead in the series at 65-18-2. The Elis' .744 winning percentage against the Lions is their highest among Ivy opponents. The Blue is 34-9-2 at home against the Light Blue, while Columbia has scored the fewest points against Yale of all Ivy opponents. The Lions have never won by more than 12 points, while the Bulldogs have won 47-0 in 1986 and 93-0 (most points ever allowed by Columbia) in 1883.
Yale's defense, which has given up one TD in the last three games, faces a Columbia offense that is averaging over 21 points. The Lions' defense, which gives up better than 21 per game, takes on a Bulldog offense looking for its first offensive score in eight quarters.
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 that day... Yale and NFL great Dick Jauron '73 scampered 87 yards 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.
YALE ON YES TEAM
Chris Shearn returns for his second year of play-by-play work on Yale on YES and is joined again by former Princeton and NFL lineman Ross Tucker. Former Yale defensive back Jack Ford '72, a TV broadcaster who has appeared on all the major networks, joins them in the booth for all three Yale on YES games this fall.
DEFENSE SHINES IN LOSS AT PENN
Last Saturday's 9-0 loss at Penn was determined in a span of less than two minutes late in the first quarter with a field goal and an interception return for a touchdown. On the series after a 35-yard FG, the Quakers' Jared Sholly intercepted a short screen pass and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown (failed on PAT). Penn had more offense (271-163) than the Bulldogs on a rainy day at Franklin Field, and most of what Yale got came after sophomore QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) came off the bench to complete eight of 15 passes for 82 yards in the fourth quarter.
LIONS SLOWED BY WATER, GREEN
Nick Schwieger rushed for 242 yards and helped the Green end their 17-game losing streak with a 28-6 win over Columbia at Hanover. Dartmouth forced three turnovers and never trailed. The Green had more total offense (354-271). Columbia QB M.A. Olawale was 12-for-32 for 89 yards with two interceptions while rushing for a team-high 82 yards. Lions' DB Adam Mehrer led all players with 16 tackles. WR Austin Knowlin finished with five grabs for 40 yards, moving him within 95 of Columbia's career receiving record.
LAST YEAR AT THE BOWL
RB Mike McLeod '09 scored on runs of one, two and eight yards and his defensive teammates recovered two fumbles and picked off a pass as Yale beat Columbia 27-12 before 11,870 last year. The Lions had the edge in total offense (316-269) and first downs (15-14) and cashed in on all three trips to the red zone, but the Bulldogs made a few big defensive stands and held onto the ball for all but 2:45 of the fourth quarter. DT Kyle Hawari '09 had two sacks and two forced fumbles, LB Bobby Abare '09 had a sack and LB Paul Rice intercepted Columbia on its first offensive play.
Andrew Samson's FG in the first quarter at Penn ended Yale's span of 94:01 without allowing a point, dating to the third quarter of the win over Dartmouth two weeks before. Yale has not allowed an offensive TD since the win over the Green. The Blue was able to continue the streak without the services of injured senior DB Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.). The Yale defense is ranked No. 1 in FCS scoring defense with an 11.83 mark. The Blue allows 252 total yards per game, which is fifth in the nation. Yale's rushing defense is 22nd (99.5), its pass defense (92.6) fifth.
Ten Yale defensive players have double-digit solo tackles. Fifteen Yalies have combined for 26 total tackles for lost yardage. Six different Bulldogs have combined for 10 QB sacks this fall; senior DT Tom McCarthy (Chester, NJ) leads the Blue with three. Four different Elis, from three classes, have interceptions. Senior LB Tim Handlon (Valparaiso, Ind.), who leads the Blue with 35 total tackles, junior DB Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) and sophomore DB Drew Baldwin (Alexandria, Va.) have two picks each. Senior LB Max Newton (Great Meadows, N.J.) intercepted the first pass of his career at Penn. McCarthy (field goal) and LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.), who got his hand on a Penn punt last week, have the two Yale blocked kicks.
YALE'S MOST PRODUCTIVE ROOKIE
Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.), who is Yale's top punt (3.1) and kick returner (23.3) and is second on the team with 18 catches, is among the top newcomers in the Ivy League this fall. He led all players with five catches for 56 yards in tough conditions at Penn. He no longer seems like a freshman after six games of regular duty. The freshman is fourth in the Ivy among kickoff return guys, while he ranks fifth in league punt returns.
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.
Saturday's game features the matchup of the Ivy League's first two black head football coaches. Norries Wilson, 0-3 against Yale, became the first when he took the Columbia job in 2006. Tom Williams followed him into the Ancient Eight last January. The two coaches have never worked together nor coached against each other.
WILLIAMS AFTER LAST SATURDAY
"It's a disappointing loss. Penn did a nice job of making plays. We didn't make enough of them. We played with great intensity, but that's not enough. All the credit goes to them."
Tom Williams takes part in three media events each week. 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 are at the Yale Bookstore every Tuesday at 2 p.m. for the Dick Galiette Press Conference, which can be seen a few hours later on sportingnewsct.com.
Tom Williams, off to a 3-3 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.
3 STARTS EACH
Sophomore Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) started the first three games at QB, while junior QB Brook Hart (State College, Pa.) has been behind center the last three. Hart, who has one more TD (5) and one more interception (4) than Witt, provided great fourth quarter relief in a loss to Lafayette at the Bowl. Witt, who went 22-for-27 with two TDs at Georgetown, did the same at Penn last week as the backup. Hart's career-best outing came in the win over Dartmouth when he completed 28 of 40 passes for 390 yards (6th best at Yale) and three TDs. He started the last five games of 2008 while establishing a Yale record, 62.1 completion percentage.
3s, 9s IN YALE-PENN
Last year Penn beat Yale 9-7 at the Bowl with three Andrew Samson field goals. This year at Penn, Bulldogs' PK/P Tom Mante missed the mark on three FG attempts in a 9-0 loss.
BULLDOGS DON'T SCARE EASILY
Yale has played 18 games on Halloween and is 12-5-1 overall. The Elis won their first nine on Oct. 31 but have lost the last two, both at Penn.
ON THE GROUND
Four different Elis have led Yale in rushing this fall; senior RB Jordan Farrell (Orland Park, Ill.) was the leader in the first three, while Yale's leading rusher at Penn was QB Brook Hart (13-24). Farrell leads Yale with 59 runs and 226 yards.
NEWCOMERS MAKING THEIR MARK
It's unusual for a Yale football team to have so many newcomers making an impact, but it's happening in 2009. Five members of the class of 2013 are on the two-deep offensive depth chart, while two are on the defense. A pair of freshmen receivers have a combined 25 catches in six games, by far the most ever for a Bulldog squad. To show how significant that offensive production is, consider Yale's career reception leader Ralph Plumb '05 had two total catches his freshman season while former NFL player Eric Johnson '01 caught four balls his rookie year. Allen Harris (Detroit, Mich.) established a Yale record for catches by a freshman in a game with five against Dartmouth and has seven this fall. Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) is second on the team with 18 grabs after equaling the Yale record with five grabs at Penn.
Despite rough conditions the last two Saturdays, senior P/PK Tom Mante (Westford, Mass.) managed to turn punts over through the rain at Lehigh and Penn and now leads the Ivy with a 40.2 average. Mante did not fare as well with his field goal attempts, missing all three at Penn and having one blocked at Lehigh. He was Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week two of the first three weeks of 2009. He tied the Ivy League record with a 54-yard FG against Cornell on Sept. 26, while Mante had a 50-yard FG at Georgetown the week before. Mante now shares the league long FG 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. Mante, an NFL prospect, also has punts of 73 and 65 yards and he recovered one of his own on-side kicks. Mante was an All-Ivy selection at both positions last fall.
Tom Williams taped an interview from Yale with CNN last week that will air some time in November as part of the show "What Matters"... 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... Student assistant coach Isaiah DeLeon-Mares, who worked at the Warrick Dunn Foundation, also worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last summer.
Yale senior Isaiah DeLeon-Mares has been a student assistant coach ever since he recovered from the post-concussion syndrome that ended his football career as a sophomore. DeLeon-Mares has taken "coaching" to a new level with his outreach efforts for the Black Men's Union. He developed the curriculum, prospected at local high schools and devised a plan to recruit and train good mentors who would help area youth. "We hope to use our position, our lives and our influence to help mold these young men. We push them to be better in all aspects of life," said DeLeon-Mares, who also worked on the September presidential motorcade in New York City and got to meet President Obama.
Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio), a senior LB who leads the team with 25 solo tackles and six TFL, is the 132nd Yale football captain. He earned Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game honors at Lehigh after his 40-yard run with a fake punt turned into the game's only points. He came to Yale as a talented RB but moved to defense when asked to his freshman year. Rice, who has 148 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.
OTHER IVY GAMES LAST WEEK
Buddy Farnham had nine catches for 207 yards and two scores as Brown beat Cornell 34-14 last Saturday. Harvard's top three running backs -- junior Gino Gordon, senior Cheng Ho and freshman Treavor Scales -- combined for 31 carries for 216 yards (6.96 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in a 37-3 win over Princeton.
SNAP WITH SPIRAL
Senior DT Matt Kelleher (Southington, Conn.) has handled all the long snapping with great accuracy and timing this year. Kelleher, the former Connecticut State Player of the Year as a QB, moved to defense his third year at Yale after injuries prevented him from taking any offensive snaps. He was a starter on defense last year but an injury this fall has limited him to snapping duties.
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. Week three and four went to QB Brook Hart (State College, Pa.), who came off the bench to complete 13 of 17 passes against Lafayette before throwing for 390 yards in his first start of 2009 against Dartmouth. Captain Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) earned the honor at Lehigh with the game-winning TD and five tackles. Tim Handlon (Valparaiso, Ind.) made 11 total tackles, forced a fumble and broke up a pass to get the nod at Penn.
Eight 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, Oakland assistant Don Martin '71, 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.
H-BACK AND A TIGHT END
Six-foot-2, 235-pound senior John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.) leads the team with 36 catches and 340 yards and is 22nd in the nation with six grabs per game. Sheffield can be found in the backfield, in the slot, next to a tackle on the line or split out wide. He has often been referred to as an H-Back (don't confuse it with HB for halfback), also known as a power back, which is a hybrid combining the TE and FB positions. Sheffield has 101 career catches (6th at Yale), while his one rushing attempt was a lateral pass that turned into a seven-yard TD against Penn in 2008.
BULLDOGS LOVE BOWL
Yale is 364-192-26 overall in 582 games played at the Bowl. The Elis are 124-74-4 in Ivy games. Yale has had seven perfect and 11 undefeated seasons in the Bowl since it opened in 1914.
Three members of the Yale coaching staff have ties to Hawaii, and Tom Williams has instituted Hawaiain Fridays in the football office. Any staffers caught without a Hawaiian 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 is part of a young offensive line.
SCOTT ON PATH
Yale senior RB Brandon Scott (Chatsworth, Calif.), a biomedical engineering major, has enjoyed his first varsity snaps this fall with five carries for 17 yards. Scott has also enjoyed working on his career over the summer. This past break he worked at a drug delivery research lab that specialized in researching anti-cancer drugs.
OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN
Junior LB Jesse Reising (Decatur, Ill.), who has been out with an injury in recent weeks, took part in officer candidate school with the U.S. Marine Corps last summer and plans to join the marines after graduation. He lost 20 pounds during the grueling training. Reising, who played in all 10 games last fall, was class valedictorian at Eisenhower High School.
A survey of this fall's squad revealed interesting character traits. Here are the results of the player voting:
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.)
The Yale junior varsity plays Bridgton Academy on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 1 p.m. at Clint Frank Field before finishing against Harvard on Nov. 20 at home.
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 gathers the team under the Walter Camp Field Memorial to remind the Bulldogs of their proud heritage before they walk with the Yale Band and Bulldog fans to the Bowl. 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.
Alex Faherty '05, a four-time letterman tight end for the Bulldogs, will join Carm Cozza and Ron Vaccaro in the WELI radio booth for the third quarter this Saturday at Columbia. John Pagliaro '77 (Georgetown), Greg Burkus '83 (Cornell), Will Conroy '04 (Lafayette), Tom Doyle '75 (Dartmouth), Chandler Henley '06 (Lehigh) and Stephen Schmalhofer '08 (Penn) have all been guest commentators this fall.
YALE-BROWN VIDEO STREAM
Fans outside the footprint of YES Network can see a live stream of the Yale-Brown game at Yale Bowl on Nov. 7 on yalebulldogs.com. The stream includes audio from WELI's broadcast.
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."
BULLDOGS AT YORKSIDE
Yale coaches and athletes will frequent Yorkside Restaurant (York Street, New Haven) Monday nights from 8-9 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.
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. The call is for working media, who can contact Steve Conn for the pass code.
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
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.
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.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director