Saturday is 128th Edition of The Game

Alex Thomas. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)
Alex Thomas. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)

Yale Looks To Spoil Perfection

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Ivy League title is not on the line in the 128th edition of The Game, but the Yale football team (5-4, 4-2 Ivy) has an opportunity to spoil a perfect league record and gain bragging rights against No. 14 Harvard (8-1, 6-0) in the season finale. The Game airs live on Versus and on WELI (960 AM) Radio.

The Bulldogs lead the Crimson 65-54-8 heading into the 128th meeting but Harvard has won nine of the last 10. Yale is 28-25-5 at Cambridge, 30-28-3 at home and 7-1-0 at neutral sites. There have been 55 shutouts since the first meeting in 1875, and the Elis are 28-20-7 in those contests. The Blue has outscored the Crimson 1,706 to 1,567. Yale is 11-14-1 against the Cantabs when The Game has league title implications. There have been 26 meetings where the result of The Game has impacted the Ivy League title for at least one side.

The idea that you can throw out the stats heading into a rivalry game like this might apply at times. On paper, Crimson looks better than Blue, but Yale may be able to paint a better picture. Harvard is nationally ranked and leads the Ivies in almost every offensive category while Yale's total defense ranks fourth among the eight. The Bulldogs rank among the top three in most offensive categories and face a defense that sits second. Special teams and turnover margin could become the story of this meeting, Harvard leads the Ivy in both.

QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) completed 26 of 33 passes for 379 yards and three scores as Yale beat Princeton 33-24 last Saturday in New Jersey. Witt and sophomore WR Jackson Liguori (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), who had 10 catches for 123 yards, helped the Elis rack up 500 yards of total offense and overcome a 178-yard rushing day by Princeton RB Chuck Dibilio.  Senior RB Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) ran 20 times for 90 yards, including a 62-yard score, while seniors LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) and DB Geoff Dunham (Dallas, Texas) registered 14 and 10 tackles, respectively.  

The Crimson ran for 204 yards and held the Quakers to 24 on the ground in a 37-20 Harvard win that clinched its Ivy title.  Zach Boden (11 carries for 86 yards) and Treavor Scales (10 for 70) scored TDs and averaged over seven yards per carry while QB Collier Winters, who had a scoring run, was 13-for-20 (132 yards) passing with one score. Josue Ortiz had a game-high 10 tackles, including 3.5 for loss and two sacks, and led a Crimson defense that limited the visitors to 219 total yards.

The Bulldog offense racked up 337 yards while the defense allowed just 54 rushing yards on 32 carries but it wasn't enough to propel Yale to a win at Boston last November in a 28-21 decision. The Crimson used a kickoff return for a touchdown and a pair of short touchdown drives in the second half to go up 28-14. The Bulldogs closed the gap with Alex Thomas' third touchdown run of the day, but Yale's final drive ended up nine yards short of a first down with 42 seconds to play in front of a sellout crowd of 31,398. On a sunny but cold and windy day, kicks wound up playing a big role in The Game. In addition to the 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by wide receiver Marco Iannuzzi at the start of the second half, the Crimson also had second-half touchdown drives that required just 23 and 36 yards because of special teams plays. One came after a blocked punt and another came after a short punt. The Bulldogs dominated the first half, outgaining Harvard 211-71, but only had a 14-7 lead to show for it.

The Yale-Harvard series has seen its share of last-second wins, comebacks, outstanding performances, firsts and freaky plays. Here are some of the most memorable meetings:

1881: Yale tries the first on-side kick ever in football during a scoreless tie
1946: Elis overcome a 14-0 Harvard lead to win 27-14
1952: Yale student manager Charlie Yeager catches a PAT pass in a 41-14 Eli win at Cambridge
1968: QB Frank Champi completes a TD pass and a conversion play with no time left as Harvard gains a 29-29 draw at Cambridge and shares the Ivy crown with Yale
1972: Yale overcame a 17-0 first half deficit to win 28-17
1974: QB Milt Holt scored on a 1-yard run with 0:15 left in a 21-16 victory that gave Harvard a share of the Ivy title with Yale
1975: Mike Lynch's 26-yard FG with 0:33 left gave Crimson a 10-7 win and sole possession of the Ivy title
1995: Crimson Eion Hu scored from 2 yards out with :29 left in a 22-21 win
1999: WR Eric Johnson (21-244) scoops up a Joe Walland (42-67, 437) pass with :29 left to send Yale to a 24-21 win and an Ivy title
2005: Clifton Dawson ends the longest game in Ivy history in the 3rd OT with a two-yard run to give Harvard a 30-24 win at the Bowl
2009: Harvard scored twice in the final 6:46 to take a 14-10 game at Yale Bowl.

The average crowd for the last six games against Harvard at the Bowl is 53,401. The 2007 game had 57,248, which was the largest since 59,263 saw the 1989 contest. If that trend continues, this Saturday's game could be the best attended contest in New England this year and among the biggest crowds in the northeast. Stadiums at Connecticut (40,000) and Boston College (44,500) hold less than the six-game average. The largest crowd in the northeast this fall was 107,903 for Nebraska at Penn State last Saturday.

The Game is responsible for a number of original events: Yale performed the first on-side kick against Harvard in 1881; Harvard's flying wedge was first seen in the 1892 contest; the first game in the Bowl was the 1914 meeting; the first crowd at an American sporting event over 80,000 was the 1920 game at the Bowl; and the first triple OT Ivy game happened in 2005 at Yale.

The Big Three is an old reference to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (a.k.a. H-Y-P), listed in order of origin (1636, 1701, 1746). Yale's last two Big Three titles came in 1998 and 1999.

A pair of starters who transferred to Yale in 2009 have brothers who played at Harvard. QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) and OL Gabriel Fernandez (Honolulu, Hawaii), have families sharing rooting interests Saturday. Witt, who played at Nebraska in 2008, followed his brother, Jeff (QB, class of 2009), into the Ivy League. Fernandez, a former UCLA walk-on, watched his brother, Frank (2007) become a first-team All-Ivy offensive lineman before becoming a pro player in Japan.  

There are six different high schools in five different states that have players from Yale and Harvard playing in this game.

Y - Stephen Shoemaker,  H -Elliott Bartsch (Bronxville NY - Bronxville HS)
Y - Geoff Dunham, H -Reid McCann, Ricky Zorn (Dallas TX - Lake Highlands)
Y - John Whitelaw, H -Rich Zajeski  (Hinsdale IL - Hinsdale Central)
Y - Max Fink, H -Dan Melow  (Miami FL - Gulliver Prep)

Y - Ryan Stanney, H - Nick Allain (Orlando FL - Bishop Moore)

Y - Nick LaTesta, H - Jack Holuba (Wood Ridge, NJ - Bergen Catholic)


The Yale and Harvard junior varsity squads square off Friday at 1 pm on Clint Frank Field.

Yale and Harvard's mutual respect make the rivalry so unique. The Walt Levering '33 Luncheon, held on odd years at Yale (it's the Tim Clark Luncheon even years at Harvard), is evidence of the shared admiration. This year's gathering of former combatants in The Game takes place on Friday in the Champions Room of the Kenney Center from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Yale is 10-5 against Harvard on the 19th of November, while the Cantabs took the first triple OT Ivy contest on that date in 2005. Here are other notable Nov. 19 events:

1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address
1892, the Flying Wedge was used for first time by Harvard
1928, "Time" magazine presents its cover in color for the first time
1962, Yale Magna Cum Laude Alumni Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is born
1969, Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean conduct 2nd trip to the moon and become 3rd and 4th humans to walk on the Moon

In the other games, Brown lost its chance to stay in the hunt for an Ivy title by falling to Dartmouth 21-16 at Providence, while Cornell and Columbia combined for 103 points in a Big Red, 62-41 win at Ithaca.

Brown takes on Columbia, Penn and Cornell square off and Dartmouth and Princeton tangle.

The play that put Yale ahead to stay in the first quarter was a pass intended for sophomore WR Jackson Liguori. The pass bounced off his hands (a Princeton DB had his hand on Liguori) and into the arms of classmate Cameron Sandquist (Redmond, Wash.), who was credited with a 59-yard TD hookup with Patrick Witt. Sandquist now has 15 career catches and four TDs.

Second-year receiver Jackson Liguori (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) enjoyed a career day with 10 catches (Yale season high) for 123 yards at Princeton Stadium last Saturday. Liguori played on the JV last year and has 17 catches for 201 yards and a score this fall.

Junior RB Mordecai Cargill (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) has been the starter since Alex Thomas was injured at Penn. Cargill got the nod last week and had 39 yards on 11 carries while catching two passes. He had a career-best eight receptions for 90 yards and a score against Brown. He earned Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week and the New England Football Writer's Gold Helmet Award for Oct. 29 when he rambled for 230 yards at Columbia, the fourth best performance by a Yale runner. He's the first Gold Helmet winner from Yale since Philippe Panico got it last October. His 42 carries were the most since Mike McLeod had 40 against Lehigh in 2007 and are the most (tie with Tyler Smith, Bucknell) by an FCS back this season. That total is four attempts short of the school record set by Rich Diana (46-222) against Princeton in 1981.

Junior WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.), who has missed three games this season with injuries, has distinguished himself as one of the top receivers ever in Yale football. He is the only Eli to have three straight 100-yard games, while his 322 yards over two (Dartmouth, Penn) and 422 over three (Lafayette, Dartmouth, Penn) are both Yale records. His four 100-yard games are the second most in the history of the program. Billy Brown '02 had all five of his in 2001, but Smith is the only Bulldog receiver to have a TD in every game he has gone triple digits. On Oct. 22 at Penn, he had a game-high 202 all-purpose yards and while scoring twice on pass plays.  His has 92 career catches are seventh at Yale. On Oct. 15 he earned the College Football Performance Awards National FCS Wide Receiver of the Week Honor with a career-high seven catches for 174 yards and one score. He also returned kickoffs for another 107 yards. He is the only Ivy player with four 100-yard receiving days this fall. 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), took over as Yale's career KOR king with a big day (93) against Brown on Nov. 5. His 732 yards in 2010 are a single-season record. Smith is also the only Yale player with two career kickoff returns for TDs.

86.0 ypg (4th Ivy, 20th FCS)
155.29 AP ypg (1st Ivy, 10th FCS)
4.0 rpg (10 Ivy)
281, 272 All-Purpose yards vs. Lafayette, vs. Georgetown (1st and 2nd most in Ivy 2011)
174 Receiving yards vs. Lafayette (3rd most in Ivy 2011)
163 KOR yards vs. Georgetown (2nd most in Ivy 2011)
4 - 100 yrd games (1st in Ivy 2011)

Yale will have the services of the most prolific passer in school history when it takes on Harvard in the 128th playing of The Game on Saturday. Senior quarterback Patrick Witt, who has completed more passes for more yards than anyone ever at Yale, has withdrawn his application for the Rhodes Scholarship and will be in New Haven on Nov. 19 to make his third start against Harvard.  "I will be playing in the Yale-Harvard game this Saturday. I have withdrawn my application for the Rhodes Scholarship. My focus this week is solely on preparing for the Game alongside my teammates and coaches," said Witt.
Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) now owns almost every major Yale career passing record after his 379-yard, three-TD day at Princeton. Here are Witt's Yale career numbers:
525 completions (1st)... 874 attempts (1st)... 5,807 yards (1st)... 36 TDs (3rd)

Witt will be in New York on Dec. 6 when the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame has its 54th annual awards dinner. He has been named one of the 16 scholar-athlete winners, which carries an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship, and is a finalist for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, the highest academic honor bestowed on a football player. Witt, picked among 127 candidates for NFF honors after nominations were taken in September, has a 3.91 GPA in history and has been Yale's starting QB the last three seasons.. The team's offensive leader is one of 11 Yale student-athletes ever to be honored at this NFF event. The last was defensive back Casey Gerald '09, who spoke on behalf of the 16 recipients at the event hosted by the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.  He was elected to the team's leadership council soon after becoming the first transfer (Nebraska) student at Yale to start immediately at QB since World War II (when transfers were common). Witt has written for the Yale Daily News, is a member of the Intercultural Affairs Council and has done some prison ministry work. Witt 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.

Three Yale senior DTs with uniform numbers in the 90s form an important Bulldog triumvirate. This trio is not only on the field often, they also serve a significant leadership role. No. 98 Jake Stoller (Shaker Heights, Ohio), No. 92 Pat Moran (Alexandria, Va.) and No. 93 Reed Spiller (Portsmouth, N.H.) are the gunners for the punt unit, line up next to each other on kick returns and rotate through the middle of the defensive line.  Stoller leads the team with five sacks. His father, James K. Stoller, a Yale medical school graduate, spoke at a Morse College Master's Tea in October. Dr. Stoller is Executive Director of Leadership Development and Head of Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Therapy; he is a member of the Staff in the Respiratory Institute and holds the Jean Wall Bennett Professorship in Emphysema Research at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Moran took last year off to recuperate from an injury and work on his father's (Jim Moran, Virginia) congressional campaign. Spiller, known as the quickest of the defensive linemen, was a three-sport captain at Portsmouth High School. His father played football at Georgetown.

As expected, senior captain Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) has been all over the field this year and is fifth among Ivy players with 8.8 tackles per game. He has 49 solos and 70 overall tackles. 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 represented the West as a National Football Foundation High School Scholar-Athlete. The political science and international studies major is the first Yale captain from the Golden State since Thorne Shugart (Los Angeles) led the 1954 Bulldogs.

LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) and QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) earned Capital One Academic All-District honors for their combination of work on and off the field. The District I distinction, announced on last Friday, puts them in the running for academic All-America honors.

Senior WR Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.) is Yale's career punt return yardage leader with 831, which is second among active FCS players. He was the Oct. 10 Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week after returning four punts for 106 yards in the win over Dartmouth. He is second in the Ivies with a 10.2 average, while his 106 return yards vs. Dartmouth are the most for an Ivy player this fall. Christodoulou is in the mix of talented receivers getting snaps but only has three catches this fall after having 38 for a team-best 563 yards last fall. He came back to Yale this fall using a medical hardship waiver from 2009. He also has 26 kickoff returns for 611 yards (10th on Yale career list).

Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.), nicknamed "Train," came back from an injury last week to run for 90 yards, including a 62-yard TD dash at Princeton. He is one of six players in the history of Yale football to run for more than 200 yards in a game. His career-high 204 (best day for a Yalie since Mike McLeod, 276 vs. Lehigh, 2007) yards on 30 runs against Penn was the first time a RB has run for more than 200 against the Quakers since 1997. Yale's active career rushing leader with 1,684 yards and seven 100-yard games, Thomas, who
has sat out two weeks with an injury, is also Yale's active career receiving leader (49) among the RBs. His 47-yard run at Cornell in 2010 was the longest run by a Bulldog last fall, while his 74-yard TD scamper vs. Dartmouth is the longest this season for Yale. 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.

Deon Randall (San Diego, Calif.) enjoyed his first two-TD day with six catches for 77 yards at Princeton last week. Both catches were with defenders draped all over him, and one required a very acrobatic maneuver in the end zone during the second quarter. Randall is listed as a RB on the Yale roster and a WR on the depth chart, but you could see him lining up at any skill spot. He leads the team with 41 catches while his 480 yards are second best. He had a career-best eight catches for 102 yards against Brown. Randall is third on the squad with 36 runs for 159 yards.
Senior FS Geoff Dunham (Dallas, Texas), Yale's active career leader with four interceptions, scored his only collegiate TD against Princeton last year at the Bowl on a fumble return. Dunham, who wears the same number (11) and has a similar body type to starting QB Patrick Witt, shares the team-high of two picks this fall. He is third on the squad with 40 solos and 49 overall tackles. One of the largest DBs in the Ivy League at 6-foot-3, 223 pounds, he started every game 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 but he also had 7-2-9 against Cornell this fall. A biomedical  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 an organic chemistry class.

The left side of the offensive line includes freshman T Ben Carbery (Oak Park, Ill., 6-5, 275) and senior G Colin Kruger (Sarasota, Fla., 6-3, 300). Senior G Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu, HI, 6-0, 273) and junior T Roy Collins (Carbondale, Ill., 6-5, 260) or sophomore James Talerico (Boca Raton, Fla.)  are on the right. Sophomore John Oppenheimer (Menlo Park, Calif., 6-0, 265) has been the starting center all season.  

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. LG Colin Kruger, who might be the strongest guy on the team, had offers to play at other 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 (2003-2007). His mother's cousin, Burgess Owens, played at the University of Miami and with the Jets and Raiders (1973-1982)… LT Ben Carbery captained his high school's scholastic bowl team at the national academic quiz tournament. He is following in the footsteps of his aunt, Patti Carbery '86, who was a four-year starter on both the Yale varsity basketball and softball teams…  RT James Talerico, who started the Cornell game at guard and then got injured, made his second start of the year against Columbia, this time at tackle. At Pope John Paul II High in Boca Raton, Fla., he captained two of the three sports he lettered in.

Junior PK Philippe Panico (pronounced pa-NEE-ko) leads the Blue with 48 points. He is 8-for-12 on field goals, including a career-long, 39-yard boot against the Hoyas and the Big Green, and is 24-for-30 on PATs. 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.

There are three Yale players from Massachusetts and two Harvard players from Connecticut:

Bulldogs From Bay State
86 Adam Conklin, TE, Dover, MA/Choate Rosemary Hall (CT)
16 Philippe Panico, K/P, Boston, MA/Buckingham Browne & Nichols
13 Derek Russell, DB, Newton, MA/Newton South

Crimson From Nutmeg State
63 Jim Deng, OL, Old Saybrook, Conn./Old Saybrook
70 Chris Valenti, OL, Bethel, Conn./Bethel  

There are three Crimson coaches with Yale connections. Kris Barber (Yale '97) is the only coach on either side to play (QB) for one and coach (Harvard WRs) for the other. Harvard offensive coordinator Joel Lamb played for the Crimson, coached at Yale (1997-2005) and then went back to his alma mater, while DBs coach Tony Reno coached at Yale (2003-08) for six seasons.

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… Senior LB Nick Schneider (Cincinnati, OH) is also part of ReadySetLaunch, a non-profit consulting organization that provides one-on-one college tutoring for underprivileged students. Schneider serves as director of external relations and manages relationships with potential donors in the community. His first year, he helped raise $50,000 in the Chase Community Giving Challenge.

Ivy League Offensive Player of Week
9/17        QB Patrick Witt (co) vs. Georgetown
9/24        QB Patrick Witt vs. Cornell
10/29        RB Mordecai Cargill vs. Columbia (FCS Players of Week)
9/17        QB Patrick Witt
9/24        QB Patrick Witt
10/8        RB Alex Thomas, DT Jake Stoller, PR Gio Christodoulou
10/15        WR Chris Smith (National WR of the Week)
10/22        WR Chris Smith, QB Patrick Witt, RB Alex Thomas
10/29        RB Mordecai Cargill (National RB of the Week)

Eight freshmen have seen action this season: P Kyle Cazzetta (Slate Hill, N.Y.), OL Ben Carbery (Oak Park, Ill.) and William Chism (Ridgeland, Mississippi), DE EJ Conway (Luthersville, Md.), DB Nick LaTesta (Wood Ridge, N.J.), RB Wynston Bouknight (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and LBs Tyler Manu (Meridian, Idaho) and William Vaughan (South Orange, NJ). 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.

Yale finished 1-2 against Patriot League opponents this fall, beating Georgetown (8-3) and falling at Lehigh (9-1) and Lafayette (4-6). Those three teams are a combined 21-10 this fall.

There are 17 seniors listed among the players on the offense/defense on the two-deep depth chart. Thirteen juniors and sophomores are included with just three newcomers. This does not include special teams.

Harvard won the JV and Varsity games last year by the score of 28-21… Alex Thomas' 62-yard   TD run last week was the longest for a Princeton opponent this year… Jordan Haynes' 14 tackles at Princeton were a Yale season-high… Freshman DE EJ Conway (Lutherville, Md.) equaled a Yale season-high with two TFLs at Princeton… Other season-highs at Princeton were 379 passing yards, three TD passes, three sacks… Yale finished 2-3 on the road.

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. 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 New England Patriots. Graham, a Waterbury, Conn., native, was a member of Yale's 1999 Ivy title team.

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 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 into your phone's browser or by typing "iheartradio" in the app search field on your phone and is free of charge.

Former Yale standout Hank Higdon '63 joins Vaccaro and Cozza in the WELI Radio booth this Saturday to help commentate on the third quarter of the game.

One of the officials working Saturday's game is calling it quits on a 30-year (20 doing collegiate games) career after the final whistle; West Haven native Steve Kirck is the side judge for The Game.

Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, and captain Jordan Haynes will be at world famous Mory's (306 York Street) this Tuesday 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 ( if you would like to attend.

All five home games this season are video streamed (pay per view) on 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 2011 included three (Columbia, Brown, Princeton) live broadcasts on the YES Network. This is the fourth straight fall the Bulldogs appear on the network home for New York Yankees baseball.

Yale football airs live on VERSUS three (Cornell, Penn, Harvard) times this fall, including The Game on Nov. 19. Randy Moss, a new member of NBC's award-winning horse racing coverage team and contributor to NFL Network, serves as the play-by-play announcer for all VERSUS Ivy League games and is joined in the booth by Ross Tucker as lead analyst.

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
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 press box has a taste of New Haven with Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant serving slices, pasta 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.

There is a new hot spot for having your photo taken at world famous Yale Bowl and the Class of '54 Field. A three-and-a half foot tall, 600-pound bronze statue of the original Handsome Dan now stands at the entrance of Jensen Plaza. The heaviest dog in town was part of the gift from the Jensen Family, including brothers Irving '54, Colin '57, Erik '63 and Mark '67..
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 (892) to catch up playing three or four games more than Yale (869) each season.

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 was on the practice squad until suffering an injury, 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 at San Luis Obispo. The only two games the Blue has played on the West Coast were against USD.

The Ivy League Office has a weekly online radio show, "Inside Ivy League Football," which takes 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 ( It's available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and   

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director