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Yale - Columbia in Week 7 at the Bowl

Yale - Columbia in Week 7 at the Bowl

Battle of Blues on Class of 1954 Field

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale Football Team (3-3, 1-2 Ivy) hosts its nearest Ancient Eight rival in week seven at noon this Saturday at Yale Bowl on the Class of 1954 Field. The dark Blue Bulldogs and the light blue Columbia Lions square off in a contest that airs live on the YES Network and on the Yale Football Radio Network,  including flagship station WELI (960-AM).. This Saturday is also Heroes Day and Yale Employee Day at the Bowl.

Yale had won nine straight against Columbia until the Lions grabbed the 2012 meeting. The Bulldogs own a 68-19-2 lead in the series, its most commanding advantage over any league team. The Blue is 33-10-0 on the road and 35-9-2 at home against the Light Blue.

Tyler Varga rushed for 220 yards and three scores but couldn't run out the clock with a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter and Yale eventually dropped a 26-22 decision at Columbia. Varga, playing his first Yale game as a quarterback, fumbled after crossing midfield and gave the ball back to the Lions with 2:05 left. Less than a minute later the home team had the lead and held on with a great defensive stand. Yale had leads of four, nine and three points before allowing the final tally and the first Columbia win in the series since 2001.
Penn QB Ryan Becker threw two touchdown passes and his team forced four turnovers in a 28-17 win over Yale at Franklin Field last Saturday. Both teams were playing with backups at QB and RB, but the Bulldogs made more mistakes. Yale, however, turned a first-quarter Penn fumble into a 32-yard Kyle Cazzetta field goal and its only lead. Penn converted a muffed punt into its first touchdown, a 29-yard pass from Ryan Becker to Kyle Wilcox with 3:22 left in the first. The Quakers made it 14-3 just before halftime on another Becker toss, a 29-yarder to Conner Scott. That was the second of four straight Penn scores to put the game out of reach. The Quakers (4-2, 3-0) also got 129 rushing yards from Kyle Wilcox. The Bulldogs scored on the opening possession of the fourth quarter with QB Morgan Roberts hitting Grant Wallace (8 catches, 104 yards) on a short pass play. After Cole Champion forced a fumble that was recovered by Nick Okano, Roberts connected with Deon Randall on a six-yard TD pass and then found Sebastian Little over the middle for the two-point conversion that cut the lead to 28-17. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Elis, but Roberts first-down pass was picked off to end the Yale momentum.

Columbia, looking for its first win, is coming off a loss to Dartmouth at Hanover. Nobody anticipated this kind of season for the guys from New York. The Lions were hoping that Stanford transfer QB Brett Nottingham would be their guy to build the offense around in 2013, but he suffered a season-ending injury in the opener against Fordham and two backups have been taking all the snaps ever since. Trevor McDonagh has three starts at QB, while Kelly Hilinski has a pair. Other guys standing out for the Light Blue are RB Marcorus Garrett, who is averaging 5.0 per carry, and LB Zach Olinger, the team's leader with 60 tackles.

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 in 1966 (44-21 Yale win)... 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.

Winning teams take the ball away much more than they give it up. The young Yale team is a classic case of how this works. The Bulldogs won their first three games of 2013 and turned over their opponents nine times compared to three Eli turnovers. Over the last three losses, Yale has turned it over 11 (7 fumbles) times while forcing just six by opponents.  The Blue has one less (15-14) turnover than the opposition overall.

The only perfect overall record among Ancient Eight teams after five weeks didn't last into the sixth. Harvard fell in OT to Princeton last week and now only the Tigers and Quakers are 3-0 in Ivy play. The Big Green moved to 2-1 with a home win and are tied with Harvard for third. The Bears and Bulldogs, who meet on Nov. 9, are fifth with 1-2 marks. The two teams from New York are 0-3 in league action.

Deon Randall leads the Blue in all receiving categories including receptions (46) and TD catches (6). He entered the season without a TD at Yale Bowl and now has six in two games this fall. That was after he had nine catches for 60 yards and two scores against Fordham. Randall, ranked No. 6 in the FCS with seven grabs per game, scored four consecutive touchdowns in the second half of a 38-23 win over Cornell on Sept. 28 that earned him the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week and the Gold Helmet (top D1 player) by the New England Sports Writers.  Randall, a junior wide receiver who scored his first points at Yale Bowl that day, helped Yale break open a halftime tie with 28 second-half points in the Elis' league opener. Three of his scores came through the air, from eight, 23 and 44 yards. Randall, a San Diego, Calif., native who was All-Ivy in 2011, caught a career-high 11 passes for 148 yards and ran the ball three times for 18 yards and another score (10 yards) against the Red. The three TD receptions tied a school record, while the four scores were one shy of the Yale mark shared most recently by Mike McLeod against Holy Cross in 2007. Randall also saw his first collegiate snaps on defense and made one solo and broke up a pass.

Senior WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.), who is third on the team in receptions, sat out the Fordham and Penn games with an injury. He clinched the win at Cal Poly with a diving, 28-yard catch in the end zone on third down with 3:24 left in the fourth and Yale up by a touchdown. The 2011 All-Ivy League pick returned to the lineup after missing last season and has 16 catches for 182 yards and a 27.9 average on kickoff returns. He is Yale's career leader in kickoff return yardage with 1,691, while he sixth in receptions with 108. Smith's two returns for TDs at Brown in 2010 as a sophomore are an Ivy League record. Smith (in photo by had his best day receiving at Lafayette in 2011 with seven grabs for 174 yards.

Sophomore SS Cole Champion (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) leads the Blue with three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. He is second on the team in tackles and had his best day as a collegian in the win at Cal Poly; he led all tacklers with 14 (6-8) while recovering a fumble and picking off two passes. He had 23 yards in interception returns as the Yale defense held a high powered Mustang offense to 37 total yards in the second half while not allowing a point. For that performance, he was named FCS National Player of the Week by The Sports Network and, while also earning Ivy League co-Defensive Player of the Week. Champion had a career-high 10 solos and 12 overall stops against Cornell on Sept. 28. Champion earned a starting safety spot early in 2012 and was the leading returning tackler (46-25-71) from last fall. Champion, an all-state football linebacker and lacrosse midfielder at St. Thomas Aquinas High, is the school's career tackles leader and was part of two "national championships."

Senior Henry Furman (Portland, Ore.) has six rushing TDs this fall, five more than any teammate, despite sitting out the last six quarters. He is third among Ivy passers in completion percentage and fourth in completions per game. Furman had a unique start to the 2013 season, leading his team on scoring drives his first five series behind center while rushing for a TD on four of them. Furman set a school record on Sept. 28 against Cornell with an .805 (29-36) completion percentage while accumulating 353 yards and three scores. In the opener at Colgate, he scored three times (25, 1, 33) on four rushing attempts. He got the natural hat trick by making them consecutive scores, all in the first half. They were his first career rushing TDs; he had one receiving TD in 2012. The last Yale QB to run for three scores was Alvin Cowan in 2002 vs. San Diego. Furman, who also completed 11 of 17 passes for 129 yards at Colgate, was a JV quarterback in 2010 and 2011. He made a successful transition to receiver in 2012 and had nine catches, including a TD, as a backup. After three QBs went down in the 2012 Penn game, he jumped in and played the last four Saturdays. His first collegiate start at any position came at QB against Princeton when the former Lincoln High (Portland, Ore.) School star completed 18 of 28 passes for 184 yards and a score as Yale's most valuable offensive player. Furman, who worked at the Yale Alumni Magazine last summer, threw for 5,000 yards and 43 TDs before coming to Yale.

Sophomore QB Morgan Roberts (Charlotte, N.C.) got his first collegiate start at Penn and completed 20 of 34 passes for 193 yards and a pair of scores. This came after backing up senior Henry Furman the first five games and getting regular action. Roberts has two TD passes in each of the last two games. Roberts (16-33, 142, 2 TD), who has played in every game, made a successful debut at Colgate by engineering three scoring drives in the second half of a victory at Hamilton. Roberts played at Clemson last fall as a red-shirt freshman and was the No. 3 signal-caller.

Junior WR Grant Wallace (St. Louis, Mo.) is second on the team this fall in receptions with 22, including eight for 104 yards at Penn. He was second last fall with 35 grabs for 371 yards and three scores. He made the school's top 10 in single-game catches with 11 for 118 yards and a score at Harvard last November. Wallace, the son of former Bulldog Bob Wallace '78, had four catches at Dartmouth.
Junior All-America candidate Tyler Varga (Kitchener, Ont.), who sat out the Penn game with an injury, is second among Ivy runners and 10th in the FCS with 121 yards per game. He had a 236-yard rushing day (3rd best at Yale) at Colgate in the opener and then had 105 against Cornell.. For the Sept. 21 performance, he was Ivy Offensive Player of the Week and FCS Running Back of the Week. He led the nation with 199.4 all-purpose yards per game in 2012 and was the Ivy League leader with 119 rushing yards per game (10th in FCS). Varga rushed for over 100 yards in eight of his 11 Yale games. His 220 at Columbia in 2012 was sixth best for a Bulldog player and got him FCS national RB of the week from College Football Performance Awards. He was the first Yale newcomer to run for triple digits in his debut since Mike McLeod in 2005.  Varga, who played at the University of Western Ontario in 2011, also competed in track & field, swimming, basketball and baseball as a kid. Varga was a star regional sprinter and jumper, but injured his leg and was convinced by his coach to help the team by throwing the shot (45', 6.5") and javelin (110').
Junior Kyle Cazzetta (Slate Hill, N.Y.) had another excellent punting day against Penn with a 41.2 average on six attempts. Punters don't always get to blast the ball as far as they can, often having to do sky kicks, angle boots and other things to help in pinning teams. Cazzetta currently has a 38.8 average. Also the placekicker, he has connected on seven of his 10 field goal attempts and tops the Ivy League with 1.2 field goals per game. On Oct. 5 at Cal Poly, he landed three great punts inside the 10-yard line, including a 68-yarder. He averaged 44.8 on five punts and earned Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week. Cazzetta connected on both (46, 31) field goal attempts in week one, and the 46-yarder was the longest for a Yalie since Tom Mante split the uprights from 54 (Ivy record) in 2009. Cazzetta was named to numerous pre-season all-conference teams after averaging 40 per punt and landing 13 inside the 20 in 2012. His best outing was at Brown with a 46.1 average on seven kicks and four inside the Brown 20, including a 72-yarder (3 yards shy of school record). He is No. 16 (2nd in region) on Phil Steele's FCS pre-season national list of punters.

40 - PALIN (Captain)
Senior DE Beau Palin, a NFF Scholar-Athlete candidate and a semifinalist for the William Campbell Trophy, was elected captain of the Bulldogs at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Palin (Oconomowoc, Wis.), who is third on the team in tackles this fall, played TE his first two years before switching to defense in 2012. His five sacks were second on the team in 2012. His best day as a Bulldog was a six-solo performance in a win over Penn in 2012. Palin is also very involved in the Warrior-Scholar Project, which helps war veterans and non-commissioned officers who are leaving the service make the transition to college life. His brother, Drew, also played football at Yale.

Junior LB William Vaughan (South Orange, NJ) leads the team with 34 solos and 55 overall tackles. His career-best outing came at Hanover on Oct. 12. Vaughan made 20 overall tackles including seven solos, and he was credited with a sack when he chased down the Dartmouth QB and forced an intentional grounding late in the first half.

Two All-Ivy League seniors, a pair of juniors and a sophomore combined to prevent a sack in the first four games while playing almost every snap of the season on the offensive line.

Seniors: LT 79 Wes Gavin (6-6, 286, San Diego, Calif.), C 60 John Oppenheimer (6-0, 264, Menlo Park, Calif.)
Juniors: RT 70 Ben Carbery (6-5, 287, Oak Park, Ill.), LG 67 William Chism (6-3, 277, Ridgeland, Miss.)
Sophomore: RG 50 Luke Longinotti (6-4, 265, Burlingame, Calif.).

Here are some other notes on Yale offensive linemen.
LT Wes Gavin had numerous scholarship offers but came to New Haven and became Yale's freshman MVP in 2010 before getting All-Ivy honors in 2012… He 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. Both of Gavin's parents are under 5-foot-8… John Oppenheimer, who moved over from the defense his sophomore year and became an All-Ivy center in 2012, played both sides of the line in high school. An active member of the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale, he made a live-saving marrow donation last spring and went to Washington, D.C. this past summer to speak to members of congress about the need for funding. His father, Peter Oppenheimer, is Apple's senior vice president and Chief Financial Officer… LG William Chism owns a fire wood business back home in Mississippi. His father, Brad Chism, played football at Millsap College and was a Rhodes Scholar. He is President of Zata|3 Consulting, a Washington, D.C.-based direct voter contact firm. The younger Chism had offers from every Ivy school and several other FCS institutions… RG Ben Carbery was a National Merit finalist and the captain of his high school's Scholastic Bowl team, which finished 17th at the 2010 National Academic Quiz Tournament national championship (he was 8th in the individual competition). Carbery, who was Yale's freshman MVP in 2011, is the son of Paul '83 and Sherry '83 Carbery. His aunt, Patti Carbery '86, played basketball and softball at Yale. Luke Longinotti, who played in all 10 games last year as a newcomer, was a three-sport (thrower, basketball) athlete in high school. His father, Ron, swam at Stanford and his mom, Libby, was varsity golfer at Stanford. His sister was a volleyball player at Columbia.

Yale's fast start helped produce some nice individual honors and unique situations. The New England Football Writers pick a Division I Gold Helmet Award recipient each week, and the Elis have done well to get one in a season. Chris Smith had been the last Yalie to earn that in 2010 until WR Deon Randall (Cornell) and SS Cole Champion (Cal Poly) won it consecutively this fall. The win over then No. 18 Cal Poly helped the Blue take three (Champion - defense, PK/P Kyle Cazzetta – special teams, CB Spencer Rymiszewski - rookie) of the four Ivy League player of the week awards, a very rare occurrence. Meanwhile, Champion, who had two interceptions and a fumble recovery against the Mustangs, was selected as national defensive player of the week by The Sports Network. Yale has had five players earn league player of the week this fall.

Freshman DB Dale Harris, who missed the first five games with an injury, got his first collegiate action at Penn… Penn had the ball for almost nine more minutes than Yale but only had two more first downs… The Elis had their first two-point conversion of the year last week, a pass from Morgan Roberts to Sebastian Little in the fourth quarter.

There has never been more of a freshman impact on a Yale varsity team than in 2013. Four freshmen are starting on defense with six on the two-deep. CB Spencer Rymiszewski (West Chester, Pa.) blocked a punt and had six tackles at Cal Poly on the way to Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. FS Robert Ries (Cincinnati, OH), the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for Sept. 28, had 4-5-9 and an interception against Cornell. He also has two interceptions. DE Victor Egu (Concord, Calif.) had a sack and a forced fumble on the same play at Cal Poly. PK/P Bryan Holmes (Holland, Mich.) has been booming kickoffs and all four went for touchbacks at Dartmouth. CB Foyesade Oluokun (St. Louis, Mo.) made five solos and had seven overall stops on defense against Colgate. RB Candler Rich (Newnan, Ga.) had 159 rushing yards – including a team-high 58-yard run – and a TD against Fordham. WR Robert Clemons (Laguna Beach, Calif.) had his first collegiate touch against the Rams and went 64 yards on a kickoff return.

One hundred and nine former Yale students have become college football head coaches, though no Elis currently serve that role. However, the 2013 Vanderbilt University football team includes two coaches who are former Yale receivers. Bob Shoop '88, a 25-year veteran of college coaching, is the defensive coordinator. Chandler Henley '06, the captain of the 2006 Ivy Champions, is in his second year as an offensive graduate assistant coach. In addition, former Yale offensive lineman Kyle Metzler '03 is the offensive tackles/tight ends coach for Dartmouth. A.J. Haase, a tight end at Yale and a 2009 graduate, is the defensive line coach at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

 1        elected team captain (Palin)
 4        quarterbacks with collegiate starts (Furman, Roberts, Williams, Russell)
 5        All-Ivy players (Gavin, Oppenheimer, Randall, Smith, Varga)
13    sacks by the defense
20        seniors
25    points allowed per game
27    points scored per game
75    average plays per game
96        players on roster
99        current season of Yale football in the Bowl
424    average total offense per game
597        regular season games played in the Bowl

Dartmouth owns the most Ivy League titles since league play officially began in 1956. Yale and Harvard trail Penn by two for second.

No.      Team                               Last Title
17        Dartmouth                       1996
16        Penn                                2012
14        Yale                                 2006
14        Harvard                           2011
 9         Princeton                         2006
 4         Brown                             2008
 3         Cornell                            1990
 1         Columbia                        1961

Next season marks the 100th anniversary of Yale Bowl, which opened for the playing of the 1914 Harvard game. The cornerstone event of the season-long celebration is the Sept. 27 contest with Army, an old rival that helped fill the famous stadium on numerous occasions. Army and Yale last met in 1996 at West Point, the last game in New Haven was 1988. The Bulldogs have played 597 games and are 373-204-20 in the Bowl.

Yale has gone five straight seasons without a tie after regulation time. The Elis are 4-3 in OT games overall since its first, a 34-31 loss at Penn in 2003.The last OT game was a 26-20, triple-extra-session win at Penn in 2007.
Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, and some of his players are at world famous Mory's (306 York Street) every Tuesday (Sept. 17 through Nov. 19) at noon for the Dick Galiette Yale Football Media Luncheon. This event is limited to media only. Please contact Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn ( if you would like to attend.

Legendary coach Carm Cozza and Ron Vaccaro '04 call the action of Yale Football this fall on the flagship station – both ESPN Radio (AM 1300) and WELI (AM 960) – for the new Yale Football Radio Network. The broadcast can also be heard on Talk of Connecticut radio stations WDRC (AM 1360 Hartford), WWCO (AM 1240 Waterbury), WMMW (AM 1470 Meriden), WSNG (AM 610 Torrington) and WDRC (FM 102.9 HD -3 Hartford). You can also hear the games on iHeart radio and on Cozza, who handles the color commentary, is the career victory leader among Ivy League coaches and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. This is his 16th season in the booth after a 32-year head coaching tenure during which he led the Bulldogs to 10 Ivy League Championships. The play-by-play is done by Vaccaro (follow @yalevoice on Twitter for Yale football updates), entering his ninth season as the voice of the Bulldogs. He has been covering the team since his freshman year in 2000. Vaccaro has won five Emmy Awards for his work with NBC Sports and Olympics and is the editorial director for NBC Sports and the NBC Sports Network. He has covered a total of five Olympics. His TV on-air work includes the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2009 World Swimming Championships and college hockey.

The Fordham and Brown home games and all of the road league games except Dartmouth and Princeton can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network ( Cozza and Vaccaro call the games from the Bowl, while the home team announcers work Yale's away games.

The home or league road games not available on the digital network are on national TV or internet. Yale's Oct. 12 contest at Dartmouth aired on Fox College Sports. YES Network has this week, the Princeton game is on ESPN3, while NBC Sports Network has The Game on Nov. 23.  

A recent tradition continues with Yale football radio broadcasts in 2013. Every third quarter, Vaccaro and Cozza are joined by a former Yale player on the Yale Football Radio Network. Ex-Bulldog running back Bill Primps '71 was in the booth at Colgate. Doug Johnson '74, an ex-Eli guard and center, came up for Cornell.  Former Yale QB Chris Hetherington '96 (11 years in NFL) was at the Cal-Poly game, while record breaking WR Ralph Plumb '05 is set for Dartmouth. Ryan Fodor '09, a QB for the Blue, saw an undefeated Fordham team at the Bowl. Jim Dwyer '80, who played on two Ivy champs, talks Lions and Bulldogs. Jake Stoller '11, in the Steelers camp two summers ago, will see the Brown game. Keith Bassi '78, a two-time Ivy champion, will talk about the Tigers. QB Kevin Rogan, 40 years after leading Yale to a 35-0 victory over Harvard in 1973 to deny the Crimson a championship, comes to the booth for The Game.

The WYBC Sports Staff, led by director Evan Frondorf '14, covers all games on and on AM 1340. Their coverage includes a pre-game show 30 minutes prior to kickoff and interviews with Tony Reno and different players each week.
The Bulldogs, off on Mondays, are on the field from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through 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 is no student-athlete scheduling conflicts. All schedules are subject to change. Check with Steve Conn at least 24 hours in advance.

There are three 1 p.m. games confirmed for this fall: Yale beat Milford Academy on Oct. 20; the Elis have a Nov. 10 game at Brown and host Harvard on Nov. 22.

The Yale Bowl press box has a taste of New Haven with Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant serving slices, pasta and salad to the media on home Saturdays.

Pat Graham '01, a former Yale tight end and defensive lineman, is a defensive assistant coach for the New England Patriots. He is in his fifth season at Foxboro. Graham, a Waterbury, Conn., native, was a member of Yale's 1999 Ivy title team. Michael McDaniel '05 is in his seventh NFL campaign and third with the Washington Redskins. He also coached the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos.

"Inside Ivy League Football," a weekly online radio show dedicated to Ivy League football, returns for its third year for the 2013 season but now has a new home on The Ivy League® Digital Network. Airing Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and hosted by Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer, "Inside Ivy League Football" takes an in-depth look at all the on-field gridiron action and all the news and notes surrounding football in the Ancient Eight.   Each episode is packed with highlights, statistics and expert analysis in its 'Around the Ancient Eight' segment. With its interview segments 'Program Profile' and 'Alumni Spotlight,' the show visits with players, coaches and administrators who impact Ivy League football, both past and present in exclusive one-on-one conversations. Fans and alumni can engage with the show via Facebook ( and Twitter (@insideivyfb, #IvyFootball) and contribute content for its 'Social Media Mash' segment with chances to win prize packs courtesy of The Ivy League. Check each week for this season's episode schedule and guest lineups. Every episode from the first two seasons are also available on The Ivy League® Digital Network at

Be the first to know what's going on with the Bulldogs -- Follow @YaleAthletics on Twitter, become a fan of Yale Athletics on Facebook!. For more information on following specific Yale Athletics teams visit us online at

There are three significant changes in the Yale football program this season. One the fans will notice, the other two are less obvious. There are new Nike uniforms. The "Y-Dog" logo has been taken off the shirt and the stripe on the pants is nothing like the double blue stripes that ran the full length in recent years. The other two changes are in facilities. Clint Frank Field has a new FieldTurf surface, and the varsity strength & conditioning room at the Payne Whitney Gym has been completely renovated with an efficient training system and a synthetic turf track running through the middle of the room.

The following players were elected to the team's leadership council: seniors Beau Palin, John Oppenheimer, Cam Sandquist and Hank Furman; juniors Tyler Varga, Will Chism, Grant Wallace and Will Vaughn; sophomores Eric Williams, Cole Champion, Sebastian Little and Austin Reuland.

Yale's home opener vs. Cornell was Youth Day, Yale Family Weekend and Coach To Cure MD Day… The Fordham game was New Haven Chamber of Commerce and Walter Camp Football Foundation Day at the Bowl… Heroes Day and Yale Employee Day are the co-promotion when Columbia comes to town… The season finale against Harvard marks the "Fill The Bowl" campaign.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director -