Ivy Season Opens Saturday at Bowl

Chris Smith. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)
Chris Smith. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)

Yale Hosts Cornell at Noon


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale football team (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) began the season with a bang last week at home and returns to the Yale Bowl's Class of 1954 Field to open the Ivy League season this Saturday at noon. The Bulldogs host the Cornell Big Red (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) in an old rivalry game that can be seen live on Versus and heard live on WELI (960 AM, weli.com) Radio.

Yale leads the series with Cornell 43-28-2 heading into the 74th meeting. The series began in 1889 with a 60-6 Bulldog win at New Haven. Cornell has taken two of the last three meetings including a 14-12 win at the Bowl in 2009.

Both teams have big QBs who can really chuck it, and they combined for nearly 600 yards last week in simultaneous, season-opening home wins. Considering both defenses gave up more than 300 total yards, the Yale-Cornell contest could become an air show. However, both the Red and the Blue have big-play defenders who may rise to the occasion for the Ancient Eight opener. In addition, the dynamic duo of Yale running backs might have something to say about the outcome after a strong showing last week. Cornell's run game totaled just 50 yards against Bucknell, but the Red didn't allow (59 yds) the Bison to run either.


Offense                  Yale        Cornell
Rushing Yards        119.0        50.0
Passing Yards        280.0        332.0
Total Offense        399.0        382.0
Scoring                  37.0        24.0

Rushing Yards        125.0        59.0
Passing Yards        268.0        267.0
Total Defense        393.0        326.0
Scoring                   27.0        13.0

Ivy League co-Offensive Player of the Week Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) threw three TD passes and ran for another as Yale opened the 2011 season with a 37-27 win over Georgetown at home last Saturday. Witt threw for 280 yards while completing 23 of 31 passes as the Bulldogs broke open a one-point (21-20) halftime lead with 16 straight points including a 10-yard pass to WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) and a four-yard run by Yale's senior QB. Smith, who had two TD catches and 272 all-purpose yards, was the other home team standout on offense with five catches for 104 yards, five kickoff returns for 163 yards and one rush for five more. Junior RB Mordecai Cargill chipped in 92 rushing yards and a pair of TDs (one receiving). Yale senior LB Jordan Haynes led all Bulldogs with eight solos and 11 overall tackles, while senior LB Wes Moyer (6-1-7) had a team-high two tackles for lost yardage. The Hoyas (2-1) had leads of 14-7 and 17-14 in the first half thanks to the passing of Isaiah Kempt (16-24, 115). He took a hit in the second half and was replaced by Scott Darby (16-26, 135), who caught an 18-yard scoring pass in the first quarter before throwing for one in the fourth.

Jeff Mathews threw for 332 yards and two scores as Cornell opened at home with a 24-13 win over Bucknell. The Red were held to less than two yards per carry but found success through the air. Connecticut native Kurt Ondash (New Canaan) made his only grab a big one, connecting with Mathews on an 87-yard scoring play to put the game away. WR Luke Tasker led Cornell with four catches for 102 yards. CB Rashad Campbell led the Red with seven solos and 11 overall tackles and helped the home team overcome a three-point, third-quarter deficit.

Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) rambled for 124 yards on 18 carries (6.9 avg.) to help Yale beat Cornell 21-7 in the Ivy opener for both schools before a homecoming crowd of 16,026 at Schoellkopf Field. The Elis, who outgained the home team in total offense 443 to 270, broke open a 7-7 game in the third with a pair of TDs to end a two-game skid against the Big Red. Yale drove the ball 93 yards on its second possession to take a 7-0 lead. Patrick Witt (18-32, 232, 1 TD) hit WR Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.) over the middle and the speedy senior broke two tackles and outraced a defensive back to the corner pilon for a 69-yard scoring play at 6:01. A pair of interceptions by Big Red DB Emani Fenton prevented the visitors from adding any points in the first half. Cornell QB Jeff Mathews found TB Nick Booker-Tandy open in the right flat late in the first quarter on an 11-yard pass play to even the score. The Bulldogs capitalized on Adam Money's interception on the opening drive of the second half to take the lead again. Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) led Yale with 10 (5-5) total stops while DB Geoff Dunham (Dallas, Texas) had six solo tackles and DE Allen Davis (Grand Prairie, Texas) notched his first two collegiate sacks.

Yale's longest scoring drive against the Hoyas was seven plays (71 yards) in 2:38. The five other scoring drives combined averaged 3.8 plays and were all under two minutes.

A no-TV timeout game took 3:13 to play in part because Yale and Georgetown combined for 22 penalties for 202 yards. Other factors, like 64 points and two teams that like to throw the ball, impact elapsed time. Last year's opener with the Hoyas was 3:06 with 14 penalties and no TV, while the 2010 Cornell contest went 2:36 (without TV) with 11 infractions.

Opening day against a team playing its third game can do this to you. The Bulldogs had 13 infractions for 118 yards, both numbers just short of school records. Here are the undesirable Yale standards: 14 penalties  vs. Columbia, Oct. 28, 2006 (105 yards); 135 penalty yards  at Columbia, Oct. 21, 1989 (13 penalties).

Yale led the nation in 2010 with better than 24 yards per return on kickoffs thanks to a huge (2 for TD) day at Brown by Chris Smith. The junior WR didn't score twice on kicks (he had 2 TD catches) last Saturday, but he did open the game with an 82-yard return and added a 49-yarder later in the game. The Bulldogs currently lead FCS with a 32.0 average.

Senior QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) is moving up the school's career records lists. His big day last Saturday put him sixth with 23 TD passes, third with 373 completions and fifth with 3,995 yards. He was a 2010 second-team All-Ivy selection who led the league in passing yards (2,216), yards/game (246.2), completions (212) and attempts (351) and was the only QB to complete more than 60% of his passes (60.4%). Witt, the largest starting signal caller in the Ivy League, was seventh in the FCS in completions/game (23.56) and 15th nationally in passing yards/game (246.22) last year. Elected to the team's Leadership Council, Witt became the first transfer (Nebraska) student at Yale to start immediately at QB since World War II (when transfers were common). He is also an outstanding student (3.91 GPA) who has written for the Yale Daily News, is a member of the Intercultural Affairs Council and has done some prison ministry work. Witt, Yale's candidate for National Football Foundation & Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete honors, has been endorsed by his school as a 2011 Rhodes Scholar candidate and a Mitchell Scholarship candidate. He also won the Francis Gordon Brown Prize, one of the school's highest undergraduate accolades, awarded to the student in the junior class in Yale College who most closely approaches the standards of intellectual ability, high manhood, capacity for leadership and service to the University set by Francis Gordon Brown, who captained Yale Football's "Team of the Century" in 1900.

Witt's Numbers
Year    GP    EFF    COM    ATT    INT    PCT    YDS    TD    LG    AVG/g
2009    8    109.59    138    241    11    57.3    1449    8    41    181.1
2010    9    117.88    212    351    12    60.4    2216    12    69    246.2
2011    1    175.55      23      31      1    74.1      280      3    38    280.0    
Career    17        373    623    24    59.8    3955    23    69    232.6

A pair of receivers has joined the group of the most prolific return men in Yale history. Senior Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.) and junior Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) had strong outings against the Hoyas. The Virginian had 272 all-purpose yards (KOR, rec, rush), while the Florida native chipped in 48 yards on punt returns. Christodoulou has 40 career punt returns for 653 yards (2 TDs), which ranks third at Yale. He also has 23 kickoff returns for 553 yards (just shy of 10th). Smith, the first player in Ivy history to run back a pair of kickoffs for TDs in the same game (last year at Brown, span of 2:23), ranks fourth in Yale career KOR yards with 992. His 732 yards in 2010 are a single-season record. Smith is also the only Yale player with two career kickoffs for TDs.

Junior PK Philippe Panico (pronounced pa-NEE-ko) had a career-long, 39-yard FG and connected on four of five PATs against the Hoyas. The Boston native connected on 17 of 18 PATs and six of 14 field goals in his first year of varsity kicking in 2010. His three-pointer with no time left at Dartmouth was the game-winner, while his 36-yard boot in the fourth quarter at Brown gave the Elis a three-point win. Panico, who had a 47-yard FG in the 2011 pre-season scrimmage, also swings a golf club well, playing for the Yale team as a freshman and leading his foursome to the lowest score at Yale Football Association Golf Outing in August. He had his photo taken with 2011 U.S. Open Champion Rory Mcllroy when the Yale team was at this year's New Haven Open tennis tournament.

As expected, senior captain Jordan Haynes was all over the field last Saturday on his way to a team-high eight solos and 11 overall stops. Last year he led (102) the Elis and was second among Ivy players in tackles from his linebacker position. The 2010 first-team All-Ivy and All-New England pick has 143 career tackles. The National Football Foundation High School Scholar-Athlete from Folsom, Calif., is the first Yale captain from the Golden State in 56 years. Haynes scored Yale's first TD of 2010 on a four-yard fumble return late in the first quarter on Sept. 18 against Georgetown.

Senior Geoff Dunham (Dallas, Texas), one of the largest DBs in the Ivy League at 6-foot-3, 233 pounds, started every game at FS last year and was third on the team with 31 solo tackles and 47 overall. His best day was 7-2-9 vs. Penn in 2010, and he scored the first TD of his football career on a fumble return against Princeton. A biomechanical engineering major, Dunham interned in cancer research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2007 and 2008 and spent some of a summer at Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla., doing the same thing. He stayed on the Yale campus last summer to take organic chemistry class.
Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.), nicknamed "Train," is Yale's active career rushing leader. Despite working within a rotation of backs for the last two-plus seasons, Thomas has accumulated 1,022 yards on 244 carries with four 100-yard games in his career. His career-high is 137 (best day for a Yalie in 2010) yards on 19 runs (7.2), including a 42-yard TD, against Columbia. He is also Yale's active career receiving leader (42) among the RBs. His 47-yard run at Cornell in 2010 was the longest run by a Bulldog last fall. Thomas, a former Ansonia High School star, is the most prolific (8,279 yards, 114 TDs) runner in Connecticut High School history. The nickname stems from his "train" tattoo, a word based on scripture verses that refer to training both physically and spiritually.

RB Deon Randall (San Diego, Calif.) caught a team-best six passes (59 yards) while running five times for 11 yards last week. His 5.3 average per carry was a team-high last fall. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound athlete also returns kickoffs and punts.

John Powers (Hamden, Conn.) grew up around Yale and played Saturday mornings on a hill overlooking Yale Bowl. Last Saturday

he was making the biggest hits of the game as a special teams standout on kickoffs. As a Hopkins QB, he passed for 2,050 yards and ran for 1,250 with 50 TDs in the Fairchester League. Powers, now a backup DB, was the Eli who took the pitch and rambled for 15 yards on the 4th-and-22 fake punt against Harvard in 2009 as a freshman.

DE Austin Pulsipher (Temecula, Calif.) has accomplished more than the average college senior. After playing on the 2006 JV team, he spent two full years (2007, 2008) in greater Taipei, Taiwan on a Mormon mission where he became fluent in Mandarin Chinese and served in many leadership roles. Pulsipher, whose father played football at BYU, organized and taught a drug rehabilitation program while managing the finances of over 150 missionaries. He is also the only married member of the Yale football team; he arrived a few days late for football this summer because of the wedding (Aug. 13th in Newport Beach, Calif.). Sebastian Swett '09, was one of the groomsmen and the honeymoon was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Pulsipher, 23, the oldest player on the roster, had 10 tackles as backup last year with his first varsity letter.

The left side of the offensive line includes sophomore T Wes Gavin (San Diego, Calif., 6-5, 275) and G Colin Kruger (Sarasota, Fla., 6-3, 300). G Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu, HI, 6-0, 273) and T Roy Collins (Carbondale, Ill., 6-5, 260) are on the right. John Oppenheimer (Menlo Park, Calif., 6-0, 265) played DT as a freshman last fall before switching to center in the spring.

They don't want their names called on the PA system on game days, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve recognition. Here are some notes about Yale's starting five offensive trench guys. LT Wes Gavin's father, Bob, ran the two-mile event at the Missouri High School State Championships and the marathon during the 1975 Kansas Relays. He and his wife are under 5-foot-8. Their son was named scholar-athlete by the San Diego chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame while also throwing the shot and discus in high school. He had offers from SDSU, Portland State, the military academies and the rest of the Ivy League … LG Colin Kruger, who might be the strongest guy on the team, had had offers to play at other FCS schools including Stanford… RG Gabe Fernandez, a mechanical engineering major who transferred from UCLA after his first year, was a very good soccer player in high school. His senior year's soccer team won the DII state title before he gained 30 to 40 pounds for football. His brother played offensive guard at Harvard… C John Oppenheimer, who moved over from the defense last spring, played both sides of the line in high school. His father, Peter Oppenheimer, is Apple's senior vice president and Chief Financial Officer… RT Roy Collins, who was a prep star at Choate Rosemary Hall, came to Yale as a TE. He was in the New Haven chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame. His first cousin, Gerome Sapp, played at Notre Dame and then with the Colts and the Ravens (2003-2207). His mother's cousin, Burgess Owens, played at the University of Miami and with the Jets and Raiders (1973-1982).

That's the 2011 team slogan and what is printed on the backs of the team t-shirts this fall.

Brown is at Harvard Friday night to kickoff league play, while Yale and Cornell is the only other Ivy contest this weekend. The media prediction for the final standings is almost the exact order of finish from the 2010 standings. Yale, which received one first-place vote, is third behind Penn (12) and Harvard (2) in the 2011 Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll. The Bulldogs, picked fourth last fall by the Ancient Eight media, are coming off a 7-3 campaign and a second-place tie with the Crimson (5-2). Brown (6-4, 5-2) rounded out the top half of the poll in fourth with the remaining two first-place votes, followed by Dartmouth (6-4, 3-4) and Columbia (4-6, 2-5). Cornell (2-8, 1-6) and Princeton (1-9, 0-7) were tied for seventh.

QB Patrick Witt and LB Jordan Haynes were honorable mention selections on the Consensus Draft Services 2011 FCS Pre-Season All-America team. They were also selected as a preseason All-American by the FCS Senior Scout Bowl committee.  Haynes was a first-team North squad pick while Witt was HM. The FCS Senior Scout Bowl is a post-season all-star game showcasing senior players from the FCS.  This game, presented by the Collegiate Development Football League (www.playCDFL.com), is held Dec. 1 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Thirty-one members of Yale's Class of 2015 joined the Bulldogs this summer. The newcomers, representing 15 different states, include 15 defensive players, 16 on offense and a number who have played on both sides during their high school careers. The offensive linemen and defensive backs (6 each) outnumber any other position recruited in this class. The Class of 2015 is spread evenly across the U.S. with California (4) having the most. Connecticut has three, which does not include the Elis who attended Choate Rosemary Hall after growing up outside the Nutmeg State.

All Yale staff, faculty and retirees are invited to Yale's 15th annual Employee Day this Saturday when the Bulldogs take on Cornell to open Ivy play. Complimentary food will be served in the Yale Hospitality Village (near Gate E) prior to kickoff.

Alex Thomas wasn't the game's top ground gainer but he may have had the best run of the day. On third and two deep in his own end late in the third quarter, he looked stopped behind the line of scrimmage but broke free, put a move on a defender and zipped past the first down marker for a three-yard rush… Georgetown had six more first downs than Yale but the Elis had a 6-yard edge in total offense… Freshman P Kyle Cazzetta (Slate Hill, N.Y.) had five attempts for a 36.0 average, while one of his boots went inside the 20... Yale did not register a QB sack… Former Yale punter Tom Mante '09 is currently on the Omaha (UFL) Nighthawks' roster and had five punts (3 inside the 20) in a season-opening loss last Thursday… Will McHale (Greenwich, Conn.) is a third generation Division I linebacker. His father, John McHale (Executive VP of Major League Baseball), and grandfather played at Notre Dame.

Two former Bulldogs are coaching in the NFL this season. Dick Jauron, who has spent 33 years in the NFL, playing and coaching, is the new defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns (1-1). Last year he coached the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive backs. Jauron was the 2001 AP Coach of the Year with the Chicago Bears and his most recent head coaching gig was at Buffalo. Pat Graham '01, a former Yale tight end and defensive lineman, is an assistant coach for the 2-0 New England Patriots. Graham, a Waterbury, Conn., native, was a member of Yale's 1999 Ivy title team.

Patrick Graham '01, a coaching assistant with the New England Patriots the last two years, was named linebackers coach for 2011 by head coach Bill Belichick. Graham served as a defensive assistant coach last season. After a playing on the defensive line at Yale, he served as a graduate assistant at Wagner (2002-03) and then spent three seasons at Richmond, serving as the defensive line coach in 2004 and the tight ends coach in 2005 and 2006. He was a graduate assistant at Notre Dame in 2007 and 2008 prior to joining the Patriots.

Two juniors, a pair of sophomores and a freshman on the Cornell roster come from Connecticut: Kurt Ondash, Jr, WR, New Canaan High School; Peter McDonough, FR, S, Darien High School; Justin Strid, So., LB, Northwest Catholic High School; John Begley, Jr., OL, Shelton High School; Nick Baccile, So., WR, The Brunswick School.

For the 14th consecutive season, all 10 Yale Football games can be heard live on New Haven's News/Talk 960 WELI-AM and free online at 960WELI.com. Ron Vaccaro '04 (play-by-play) and Carm Cozza (color) have the call, which can be heard on AM radio throughout Connecticut and across Long Island Sound, for their seventh season together. WELI's broadcasts can now also be accessed for free via the "iheartradio" application available on most "smart phones". It can be downloaded either by typing www.iheartradio.com into your phone's browser or by typing "iheartradio" in the app search field on your phone and is free of charge.

Every third quarter this season, a different former Yale player joins the WELI Radio broadcast.  Dr. Ken Burkus '75, who is being inducted into the New Haven Gridiron Club Hall of Fame on Sept. 22 at Cascade in Hamden, will join Carm Cozza and Ron Vaccaro '04 in the booth this Saturday. Burkus, who played for Cozza, is a world-famous orthopedic surgeon who works in Albany, Ga.

Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football at Yale, is in his third season at Yale and his third as a head coach overall. Williams is 12-9 overall with the Bulldogs and 1-1 against the Big Red. He came to New Haven after two seasons as an assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars and is in his 14th season of college coaching. Williams has worked at his alma mater, Stanford, Hawaii, Washington and San Jose State. He has been part of four Bowl Game appearances and two Bowl victories.

There was a time not too long ago that you could find a half dozen Yale football players who were also varsity baseball players. There might also be six competing in track & field, a few playing lacrosse and a guy or two rowing for the heavyweight program. For many reasons, those days are long gone. The current Yale football roster includes just one player, L.J. Hunt (Stratford, Conn.), who is on another team roster. Hunt, a DB, was the captain of the St. Josephs lacrosse team and will play for Eli head coach Andy Shay.

Dartmouth owns the most Ivy League titles since league play officially began in 1956. Yale trails Penn by one for second, one championship in front of Harvard.

No    Team            Last Title
17   Dartmouth    1996
15   Penn             2010
14   Yale              2006
13   Harvard        2008
 9    Princeton      2006
 4    Brown          2008
 3    Cornell         1990
 1    Columbia     1961

Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, and some of his players are at the world famous Mory's (306 York Street) every Tuesday (Sept. 13 through Nov. 15) at 2 p.m. for the Dick Galiette Yale Football Press Conference. This event is limited to media only. Please contact Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn (steven.conn@yale.edu) if you would like to attend.

All five home games this season are video streamed (pay per view) on yalebulldogs.com through Yale's All Access with Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza providing the call.

The Bulldogs, off on Mondays, are on the field at 7:30 a.m. (until approx. 9:30) Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday behind the baseball stadium. Fridays are walk-through days either at Yale Bowl or on the road and times vary. Players and coaches are available for interviews with working media following the practice if there are no class conflicts. All schedules are subject to change.

Yale on YES includes three broadcasts this fall on the YES Network. The YES games are Saturday, Oct. 29 (Yale at Columbia), Saturday, Nov. 5 (Brown at Yale) and Saturday, Nov. 12 (Yale at Princeton). All three games begin at noon ET. This is the fourth straight fall the Bulldogs appear on the network home for New York Yankees baseball. YES broadcaster Chris Shearn handles the play-by-play, with color commentary coming from former Ivy League and National Football League lineman Ross Tucker and former Yale defensive back Jack Ford '72, a well-known author and TV personality.

Yale football airs live on VERSUS three times this fall. The next one is when Yale travels to Franklin Field to take on defending Ivy champions Penn on Oct. 22. Yale Bowl on Nov. 19 is the setting for the final VERSUS telecast and the 128th edition of The Game. All three contests are noon kickoffs. Randy Moss, a new member of NBC's award-winning horse racing team and contributor to NFL Network, will serve as the play-by-play announcer for all VERSUS Ivy League games and will be joined in the booth by Ross Tucker as lead analyst.

Senior DT Reed Spiller, nicknamed "Speed Riller" because he so fast for a 290-pounder, works with a program called Ready, Set, Launch, which helps underprivileged kids and guides them on the college application process… Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) and Ansonia native John Coughlin (Yale Football Office) have visited the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley's Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse in Ansonia to help kids learn the importance of eating healthy and staying fit. They have also visited schools in the valley... Senior CB Drew Baldwin (Alexandria, Va.), co-chair of the Yale Black Men's Union Community Outreach Committee, is in his fourth year of outreach work. Baldwin is responsible for creating the lesson plans and the calendar of events, working to promote personal growth and development through educational activities. Classmate Jordan Haynes works closely with Baldwin on the project.

The annual survey of Bulldogs produced the anticipated results; Yale is a team full of leaders who produced as much off the field as they did on it. Here is the 201 breakdown.
77         players were captains of their high school football team
52        players were captains of another sport in high school
62         players were a national honors society member
 8         players were class president at their high school
 9       players were student body president at their high school
 9       players were class valedictorian at their high school
 4      players were class salutatorian at their high school

The following Yalies have distinguished themselves according to a vote by their teammates.

DB Josh Grizzard (Sr, Zebulon, N.C.)… most humorous
DB Geoff Dunham (Sr, Dallas, Texas)… most intelligent
DL Jake Stoller (Sr, Shaker Heights, OH)… most vocal leader (not captain)
DL Pat Moran (Sr, Alexandria, Va.)… most likely to be U.S. President
DB Dez Duron (Jr, Shreveport, La.)… most interesting activity (musician) & best singer
RB Alex Thomas (Sr, Ansonia, Conn.)… strongest player (pound-for-pound)
DB Drew Baldwin (Sr, Alexandria, Va.)… most involved in community outreach

"Hawaiian Fridays" are the rule in the Yale Football Office. Show up without a Hawaiian shirt and you risk a fine. Three coaches (Tom Williams, Ikaika Malloe, Doug Semones) have worked in high school, college or pro football on the island while three players, Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu), Kolu Buck (Kaneole) and Jake Semones (Haleiwa), grew up there.

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.

The Ivy League is sometimes referred to as the "Ancient Eight" because its members are among the oldest schools in the country. The nicknames within the league include four animals (Bulldogs, Lions, Tigers, Bears), three colors (Red, Green, Crimson) and the Quakers.  Yale teams also use the nickname Elis (original benefactor Elihu Yale).

Soon, everyone coming to the Bowl will know Yale's primary (Bulldogs) nickname.  A three-and-a half foot tall, 600-pound bronze statue of Handsome Dan will be placed outside in the Jensen Plaza and serve as the top spot to have photos taken around the famous venue. A slightly smaller bronze dog, which first appeared in 2010 in the Kenney Center where Yale players could touch it before heading to the field, now sits in the lobby of Payne Whitney Gym.

Yale was the first football team of any type to reach 800 wins when it beat Dayton 42-6 on Sept. 16, 2000. It wasn't hard for Michigan (887) to catch up playing three or four games more than Yale (865) each season.

The Yale Junior Varsity has a six-game home schedule. The Elis play on Clint Frank Field across Derby Avenue from Yale Bowl. Here are the remaining games.

Date        Opponent        Time
Sept. 25        Army Prep        1:00
Oct. 9        Milford Academy        2:00
Oct. 30        Bridgton Academy    1:00
Nov. 18        Harvard            1:00

Nate Lawrie '04 (49ers), Shane Bannon '11 (Chiefs), Tom McCarthy '11 (Falcons) and Chris Blohm '11 (49ers) were in NFL camps this summer. All but Blohm saw action in exhibition games. Bannon, an HB who was drafted by Kansas City in the seventh round and is currently on the taxi squad, had the first and final carry of the opening pre-season contest in August. McCarthy, a free agent DL in the Atlanta Falcons camp, made two tackles in a pre-season game. Lawrie, a TE who has NFL experience but played in the UFL the last two years, signed with the 49ers in August and made a catch in their last exhibition game.

Jesse Reising '11, a starting LB for Yale last fall who was seriously injured at Harvard in the 2010 season finale, is still recovering from a collision with Crimson TB Gino Gordon that left the Bulldog with arm nerve damage. Reising's U.S. Marine Corps career is on hold, but the licensed pilot is still serving his country. He is currently in Afghanistan working as a contractor while he plans a non-profit organization with Yale classmate Nick Rugoff. "Operation Opportunity" will provide personalized prepatory services for the children of fallen service members.  "It's the means by which I hope to redirect the outpouring of support I have gotten since my injury towards the service members who are now serving in my place. I have been thinking, since all the e-mails and all the support started pouring in, how could I harness this support for some greater good."

Yale, which last played in the Golden State in 2005 at the University of San Diego, has another trip to California planned. On Oct. 5, 2013, the Bulldogs will play against Cal Poly Tech at San Luis Obispo. The only two games the Blue has played on the West Coast were against USD.

The Ivy League Office is launching a weekly online radio show, "Inside Ivy League Football." "IILF" will take an in-depth look at the action and the news and notes surrounding Ivy football. The 10-episode show airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com (blogtalkradio.com/insideivyleaguefootball). It will be available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and IvyLeagueSports.com. Fans and alumni will be able to interact with "Inside" via its social media platforms -- Facebook (Inside Ivy League Football) and Twitter (@insideivyfb) -- as well as provide ideas and content for the show's 'Twitter Talk/Facebook Fodder' segment. Selected episodes will feature Ivy football trivia with chances to win Ivy League-branded merchandise or a gift certificate to the League's official online store at shop.ivyleaguesports.com. The show will be hosted by two veteran Ivy broadcasters, Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer.  

Saturday is Walter Camp Day at the Bowl. The Walter Camp Football Foundation, in conjunction with the Yale-NH Hospital Auxiliary 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 12th year the Walter Camp Foundation has coordinated this toy drive and the third with event sponsor, the law firm of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. The Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary's Toy Closets program was developed to provide new, age-appropriate and educational toys to pediatric patients at the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. Founded in 1993 by Ann Nyberg, WTNH News Channel 8 anchorwoman, the Toy Closets help insure that pediatric patients come away from their hospitalization with a pleasant memory. In addition, the toys serve as gifts for special occasions such as birthdays and holiday celebrations for hospitalized children.

Coaches around the country are joining forces Saturday to support the coach to cure M.D. Program. All the Yale coaches will wear patches on their sleeves to raise awarness of doo-shin muscular dystrophy.  To donate $5 to coach to cure M.D. text the word "cure" to 90999. You can also visit www.coachtocuremd.org to make a donation.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director