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Big Green Coming to Bowl

Tyler Varga. (photo by Jack Warhola)
Tyler Varga. (photo by Jack Warhola)

Yale Back In Ivy

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two teams trying to avoid a second league loss clash in the Bowl Saturday at noon. T he Yale football team (1-2, 0-1 Ivy) returns to Ivy League play for a week by hosting Dartmouth (2-1, 0-1). The game airs live on WELI (AM-960,, Yale All Access and


This is the 96th meeting between the Elis and the Big Green with Yale leading the series 53-36-6. Dartmouth played at Yale Bowl for 46 consecutive years (1924-1970) because the crowds at New Haven made it more profitable for both schools and there was no major highway connecting the two. Twelve of the first 15 contests ended in shutouts for Yale, but Dartmouth has had its share of success. The Green took nine straight from 1990 to 1998. The Blue has had the recent upper hand by winning the last nine.



Tailbacks Alex Thomas and Mordecai Cargill combined for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Yale won last October at the Bowl, 30-0. The Yale defense limited the Ivy League co-MVP Nick Schwieger to 39 yards on 16 carries.



QB Gavin McCarney ran for four touchdowns and threw for two others as Colgate beat Yale 47-24 at Yale Bowl last Saturday. McCarney (17 of 22, no int.) threw for 275 yards and ran for 85 on a day the Raiders (2-3) rolled up 544 total yards. They also got help from RB Jordan McCord, who had 138 yards and a score. The Bulldogs also had some offensive highlights with RB Tyler Varga leading all players with 275 all- purpose yards. He rushed for 125 and a TD on 21 attempts, while catching three passes for another score. WR Cameron Sandquist's 10 catches for 76 yards and a score led the Elis. He was the main target for Yale freshman QB Eric Williams (21 of 40, 3 int.), who ran for 114 yards and threw for 171.



The Big Green erased a 20-0 halftime deficit and put a scare into Penn before the Quakers held on for a 28-21 win at Hanover last week in a game aired live on NBC Sports Network. Alex Park threw for 279 yards and two scores, while RB Dominick Pierre at 93 yards and a TD for Dartmouth. Michael Reilly led the home team with seven catches for 115 yards and a score. Reserve DB Mike Banaciski had a team-best seven solos and 10 overall stops to lead the Dartmouth defense.



Dartmouth won its first two games of the season for the first time since 1997 under head coach John Lyons… Junior LB Michael Runger leads the Ivy with 11 tackles per game… The Big Green leads the Ivy in kickoff and punt returns… There are six players from Connecticut on the roster, but none are listed as starters.



Both Yale and Dartmouth show balanced offensive attacks putting points on the board against some pretty good defenses. The difference has been on the other side. The Big Green are allowing just 15 points per game, while the Elis have allowed 37.  Both sides have dangerous kick return weapons.



Here are some memorable Yale-Dartmouth games…


-Yale allowed the most completions for a Big Green offense with 38 in 2001.
-The Elis surrendered the most passing yards ever by a Big Green offense with 419 in 1992.
-Yale's five TD passes in 1968 were the most ever scored on Dartmouth.
-Dartmouth notched a school record with six fumbles recovered against the Blue in 1953.

-The Big Green tossed a school-record nine interceptions against Yale in 1939.

-The most points given up by a Dartmouth football team were 113 in a shutout loss to Yale in 1884.


Colgate won the game because it went 5-for-5 in the red zone while Yale was 3-for-7, including a crucial miss early in the second half after recovering a muffed kickoff. The Bulldogs have converted seven of 12 chances in three games.



After giving up 35 points in the first half last week, the Eli defense blanked the Raiders in the third and allowed the offense to get them back in the game.



Senior LB Will McHale (Old Greenwich, Conn.) leads the Blue with 16 solo and 30 overall tackles. McHale, who has started 23 straight games since his sophomore year, has 163 career tackles and three interceptions. He was second-team All-Ivy last fall. The 6-foot-1, 236-pound defensive leader with Sunday football potential comes from a college football family. Both his father and grandfather played at Notre Dame.



Yale freshman running back Tyler Varga (Kitchener, Ont.) is averaging 106 yards per game and has scored three rushing TDs. He had 275 all-purpose yards (125 rush, 119 KR, 31 Rec) against Colgate and ranks fourth among all FCS players with 183.50 per game. He earned the first Ivy League Rookie of the Week award after galloping for a game-high 103 yards and two scores in a win at Georgetown on Sept. 15. He is the first freshman to run for triple digits in his Yale debut since Mike McLeod in 2005.  Varga, who played at the University of Western Ontario in 2011, scored the first points of the Yale season on a two-yard run in the first quarter at D.C. before adding the winning points in the third with a nine-yard burst. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound back was a star track & field (sprinter, triple jump, thrower) athlete who also competed in swimming, basketball and baseball. 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'). He excelled at both.



Cameron Sandquist leads the team with 21 catches and 272 yards this season after a career-best outing last week: 10 catches and a TD. He entered the season with 21 career grabs. In the opener, he and QB Eric Williams (Portland, Ore.) connected on a school-record, 98-yarder in the second quarter at Georgetown. Sandquist, who has six career TD grabs, scored on his first two collegiate receptions as a freshman in 2010 against Columbia. He is equally famous for his role as shortstop on the 2004 Little League World Series Northwest (Redmond LL) Team.



Senior RB Mordecai Cargill (Cleveland, Ohio) sat out the Colgate game with an injury, which got sophomore Kahlil Keys (Petaluma, Calif.) more snaps… The 71 points last week were the most a Yale team has combined for since the 2010 season opener against Georgetown…  DE Beau Palin (Oconomowoc, Wis.) leads team with 1.5 sacks.. CB Collin Bibb (San Antonio, Texas) has Yale's only interception this season… LB Brian Leffler (Skillman, NJ) blocked a PAT against Colgate.


Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow'54 Head Coach of Yale football, is in his first head coaching position after cutting his teeth in the Ivy League the last nine seasons. He was a Bulldog assistant under Jack Siedlecki (2002-08) and coached for the Crimson the last three falls. This isn't the first time an Italian-American, former Bulldog assistant in his mid 30s took over the Yale program.  Carm Cozza did it in 1965 and amassed an Ivy record 179 wins 32 years later.

The Yale roster included 111 names when players reported to campus on Aug. 15. Fifteen Elis have dropped off that roster since, primarily due to injury. Yale's 95 players are tied with Columbia for the fewest on an Ivy League roster this fall. 



Each week the Yale football team elects someone to be its "team leader" for that Saturday. Senior RB Mordecai Cargill earned that honor at Georgetown, while classmate Collin Bibb, a CB, went out for the coin toss at Cornell. FS John Powers (Hamden, Conn.) earned that role against Colgate.



Freshman Eric Williams (Portland, Ore.) rushed for 114 yards and threw for 171 last week. He is the first Yale QB to rush for 100 yards since Sept. 21, 2002, when Alvin Cowan had 114 against San Diego. Williams has completed better than 62 percent of his passes for 632 yards in three games. He has a 109.61 efficiency rating heading into his fourth collegiate start. Williams, the brother of Yale football players Scott '13 and Sean '11, and the son of former NFL player, Larry (Browns, Patriots, Saints, Chargers), became Yale's first freshman starter behind center since Mike McClellan '01 in the 1997 season opener at home against Brown (McClellan was the first Eli rookie QB to start a varsity game since World War II). Williams was the starting QB at Jesuit High School in Portland for two years before his family moved, and he spent his senior campaign at St. Ignatius near Cleveland. One of the assistant coaches on the St. Ignatius team was former Yale captain Rory Hennessey '05.


Williams by Game

                                    Com.   Att.      Yds     TD       Int.

Georgetown                19        30        250      1          3

Cornell                          27        37        211      1          2

Colgate                        21        40        171      2          3

Total                            67        107      632      4          8


Seven players have seen most of the action, including one senior, three juniors, two sophomores and a freshman. The senior is RT Roy Collins (6-5, 266, Carbondale, Ill.). The juniors are LT Wes Gavin (6-6, 286, San Diego, Calif.), C John Oppenheimer (6-0, 264, Menlo Park, Calif.) and LT Kyle White (6-7, 268, Pompton Plains, NJ). The sophomores are RG Ben Carbery (6-5, 287, Oak Park, Ill.) and LG William Chism (6-3, 277, Ridgeland, Miss.), while the lone newcomer was RG Luke Longinotti (6-4, 265, Burlingame, Calif.). Gavin and Carbery combined to win freshman MVP honors the last two years.


The starting QB is a newcomer and the top two ground gainers are also freshmen. Seventeen of the team's 67 receptions are from rookies. While the class of 2016 has only 16 of the 242 Yale tackles this fall, you can still say the Bulldog frosh have made a major impact. There are an unprecedented eight freshmen on the Yale two-deep depth chart, including six on offense. Fifteen newcomers were on the travel squad last week, and there have been times with four freshmen on offense at the same time.



Senior WR Derek Russell (Newton, Mass.) has been a patient a loyal Bulldog as he waited for a chance to make an impact for the varsity. Russell, who passed for 2,100 yards and 21 TDs his senior year at Newton South High, has bounced around different positions at Yale before settling into his first collegiate varsity role this fall as the top holder and a backup receiver. At Cornell he caught three passes for 27 yards.


Harvard slipped past Holy Cross at Boston 52-3 last Saturday as Ancient Eight teams went 3-1 against Patriot League foes. Brown beat Georgetown, 37-10, at D.C., while Cornell won (15-10) at Bucknell. Ivy teams are 9-7 out of the league this fall. Crimson RB Treavor Scales leads the league in both rushing and scoring, while Big Red QB Jeff Mathews is way up on everyone in most of the passing stats.



All of Yale's non-league games are against Patriot League squads this fall. The Blue beat Georgetown (3-2) and lost to Colgate (2-3) with Lafayette (3-1) left to play. The Leopards fell, 31-28, against Robert Morris last week.


Senior Philippe Panico (Boston, Mass.) can throw the football 60 yards, but he is not one of the Yale QBs. The Bulldogs' top place kicker, who interned at ESPN last summer, is strong-armed and can often be seen launching spirals on the practice field. Panico, who has handled almost all the PK and kickoff duties the last two years, has made two field goals this fall.



Three Bulldogs were honored after week one of the season, one from the Ivy and the other from the website


Ivy League:     RB Tyler Varga (Sept. 15), Rookie of the Week

CFPA:             LB Will McHale, WR Cameron Sandquist (Sept. 15)

                        RB Tyler Varga (Sept. 29)

Yale Football has a new player lounge on the third floor of Ray Tompkins House replete with couches, tables, desks, games, TVs and life-sized images on the walls.

The Yale helmets have a slight "retro" look this fall with a change in the "Y" on the sides. Instead of having the "Y" outlined with a white line and then an outer blue edge, a thinner blue "Y" now stands alone, showcasing the look from the late 1960s through the 1980s.



The 100th anniversary of Yale Bowl will be celebrated during the 2014 season. Planning for the celebration has just begun. The bulk of the activity will take place on Sept. 27 when the Bulldogs host Army for the first time since 1988 (last meeting was 1996).

For the second straight fall, the Elis host Dartmouth and play at Columbia. According to the league, the Ivy schedule format changed in 2008. In order to make the necessary changes and follow the scheduling parameters, these two game sites had to remain for a second straight year.

There are 3,543 names of Yale football players listed on 345 stones in Jensen Plaza outside Yale Bowl. The names include the first Bulldog squad in 1872 through the class of 2012.


Former Yale QB Stone Phillips '77, who anchored NBC's Dateline for 15 years, launched a new website this fall, Ex-Eli captain Rory Hennessey '05 is the founder of Altum Athletico, LLC, a U.S. shoe company that has a "barefoot" design... Two former Yale receivers are coaches on the 2012 Vanderbilt University football squad. Bob Shoop '88, a 24-year veteran of college coaching, is the defensive coordinator. Chandler Henley '06, the captain of the 2006 Ivy Champions, is a graduate assistant coach… 2009 Yale captain Paul Rice '10 is a graduate assistant football coach at Georgia Tech… Former OL Kyle Metzler '03 is the tight ends coach for Dartmouth... Former Eli QB Bob Verduzco '90 is a first-year offensive coordinator for the Galesburg-Augusta (Mich.) High School football team that ended a 32-game losing streak on Sept. 20.

The Yale JV has three games left this fall: Oct. 28 vs. Bridgton Academy; Nov. 4 at Brown and Nov. 16 at Harvard. All games are 1 p.m., while home contests are played at Clint Frank Field.

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

No        Team                    Last Title
17        Dartmouth            1996
15        Penn                     2010
14        Yale                      2006
14        Harvard                2011
 9        Princeton               2006
 4        Brown                    2008
 3        Cornell                   1990
 1        Columbia               1961


Yale has gone four 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 the world famous Mory's (306 York Street) every Tuesday (Sept. 11 through Nov. 12) 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. Here's who has joined Coach Reno this season: Chris Dooley, Mordecai Cargill (Georgetown); Eric Williams, John Powers (Cornell) and Allen Davis, William Chism and Cole Champion (Colgate).

Yale's marketing director Pat O'Neill is very busy every home Saturday with special events:  Sept. 29 (Youth Day); Oct. 6 (Chamber of Commerce Day); Oct. 13 (Parent's Weekend); Oct. 20 (Heroes Day, Air Force fly-over); Nov. 10 (Fill The Bowl).

All five home games this season are video streamed on through Yale's All Access with Ron Vaccaro (follow @yalevoice on Twitter for Yale football updates)
and Carm Cozza providing the call for both All Access and WELI Radio. All home games are live broadcasts except for Penn on Oct. 20 (NBC Sports Network).



A recent tradition continues with Yale football radio broadcasts in 2012. Every third quarter, home and away, Vaccaro and Cozza are joined by a former Yale player on WELI. Here's who has been on this fall: Dave Sheronas '93 and Dan Urban '93 (Georgetown), Gary Wilhelm '74 (Cornell) and Jake Stoller '12 (Colgate). Rory Hennessey '05 is scheduled to be part of the Oct. 6 broadcast. Kevin Callahan '91 (Lafayette) and Chris Denny-Brown '07 (Penn) will follow.


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.

Yale on YES includes three broadcasts this fall on the YES Network. The YES games are Columbia, Brown and Princeton. This is the fifth 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 Yale defensive back Jack Ford '72, a well-known author and TV personality, and ex-National Football League and Princeton lineman Ross Tucker.

Yale football airs live on NBC Sports Network three times this fall. The Cornell, Penn and Harvard games will be shown by the TV group previously branded as VERSUS. The studio team of Liam McHugh, Doug Flutie and Hines Ward provide pre- and post-game coverage on NBC and/or NBC Sports Network every Saturday of the college football season. The NBC Sports Network has televised 17 Ivy League football matchups featuring all eight schools over the past four (2008-11) seasons.



While schools are getting away from producing "media guides," both printed and digital, most of the information you once got with the Yale media guide is still available upon request or by looking on Click Yale Football History to get the following links.


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.

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 (896 wins) to catch up playing three or four games more than Yale each season. The Bulldogs are second with 870 victories.

Shane Bannon '11 (Chiefs) and Jake Stoller '12 (Steelers) were in NFL Camps right up to the start of the 2012 regular season. Bannon, an H-Back on the Kansas City practice squad in 2011, suffered an injury midway through this year's camp before being released. Stoller, a defensive lineman, made it all the way to the final day of teams reporting their regular-season rosters.

Three former Bulldogs are coaching in the NFL this season. Dick Jauron '73, who has spent 34 years in the NFL as a player (25 interceptions, Detroit & Cincinnati) and coach, is in his second year as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. He has also coached in Jacksonville, Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo and Philadelphia. Jauron, the 2001 AP Coach of the Year with the Bears, was an NFL head coach three times, most recently with the Bills (2006-09). 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 fourth season at Foxboro. Graham, a Waterbury, Conn., native, was a member of Yale's 1999 Ivy title team. Michael McDaniel '05 is in his sixth NFL campaign and second with the Washington Redskins. He also coached the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos.

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 Elis are home for a third straight week hosting their last non-league game, a noon kickoff against Lafayette that airs live on ESPN3.


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 2012 breakdown.
50         players were captains of their high school football team
35         players were captains of another sport in high school
41         players were a national honors society member
 4         players were class president at their high school
 4         players were student body president at their high school
 5         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.

OL William Chism (So, Ridgeland, Miss.)… most humorous
TE Michael Leunen (Jr, Portland, Ore.)… most intelligent
TB Mordecai Cargill (Sr, Cleveland, Ohio)… most vocal leader (not captain)
DB John Powers (Sr, Hamden, Conn.)… most likely to be U.S. President
DE Beau Palin (Jr, Oconomowoc, Wis.)… most interesting activity (Capt. America, water skiing)  
DE Allen Davis (Sr, Grand Praire, Texas)… best singer
DB Collin Bibb (Sr, San Antonio, Texas)… strongest player (pound-for-pound)
DE Beau Palin (Jr, Oconomowoc, Wis.)… most involved in community outreach

"Inside Ivy League Football" runs all 10 Wednesdays of the season at 7 p.m. on ( ivyleaguefootball). It will be available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and Fans and alumni can 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 The show will be hosted by two veteran Ivy broadcasters, Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer.  

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


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director