October 12, 2007

From the Broadcast Booth: Inside the Numbers

Oct. 12, 2007

by Ron Vaccaro '04

I'm usually not one for numbers. I think stats are highly overrated, used as a crutch by those who don't know the game to make it seem as if they do. That said, there are a few statistics right now that do shed some light on just how dominant the Bulldogs have been in their first four games.

Consider:

  • Yale has scored 167 points while allowing only 53. That is a differential of 114 points, or more than 4 touchdowns (28.5 points) per game! The next best Ivy team in terms of point differential is Harvard -- the Crimson has scored 14 more points than its opponents through the first four.

  • Mike McLeod's season speaks for itself. He's clearly the class back in the league. Get this, though. His 719 rushing yards put him one shy of Princeton's 720 as a team -- and Princeton is in second place in team rushing, behind Yale's whopping 1,214. McLeod has gained 200 more yards than half of the Ivy League teams! The Elis are averaging 5.6 yards per rush -- no other Ivy school has cracked 4 yards per carry. (Thanks to Sam Rubin '95 for first pointing this out last week, when McLeod was actually ahead of every other team).

    This is a look at the Ivy League Team rushing standings:

    Rk. Team Yards
    1. Yale 1214
    2. Princeton 720
      McLeod 719
    3. Harvard 549
    4. Penn 541
    5. Brown 520
    6. Dartmouth 516
    7. Cornell 493
    8. Columbia 380

  • The Bulldogs have been remarkably efficient in the redzone. In 23 trips inside the 20-yard line, Yale has scored 22 times, 16 of which were touchdowns. The only failure to score came on a missed field goal -- there have been no interceptions or turnovers. On several occasions Yale's defense has handed the offense a short field, and it has not gone to waste. This is the type of characteristic that makes a good team into a great one.

  • Speaking of turnover margin, Yale is a +8 (11 takeaways, 3 giveaways). Harvard is second-best at +3. The Bulldogs are averaging +2 turnovers per game. If that number stays this way for the rest of the season, there could be a lot of opposing head coaches searching for pain relievers.

Should be a fun one tomorrow with Lehigh coming to town. Remember, the last two Bulldogs-Mountain Hawks games were decided in overtime.

Live team coverage of tomorrow's game begins at 11:30 on News/Talk 960 WELI-AM and online at 960WELI.com, with Carm Cozza and I calling all the action. Kickoff is set for 12:30. Bring your radio to the Bowl!

Ron Vaccaro '04 is the voice of Yale Football on News/Talk 960 WELI-AM

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