Bulldogs Open Saturday at Noon

Patrick Witt. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)
Patrick Witt. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)

Yale Hosts 2-0 Georgetown


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The 138th season of Yale Football kicks off Saturday, Sept. 18, at noon, when the Hoyas of Georgetown (2-0, 1-0) come to Yale Bowl and the Class of 1954 Field. The game airs as a live video stream (pay per view) on yalebulldogs.com and can also be heard live on WELI Radio (AM-960), weli.com and wybc.com.

Yale has won all three meetings with the Patriot League's Hoyas. The first was a 28-14 game in 2007 in Yale's first trip to Washington, D.C. The Bulldogs opened the 2008 season at home with a 47-7 win before beating Georgetown 31-10 to open the 2009 campaign on the road. The Elis have now outscored Georgetown by a combined 106-31.

The Tom Williams era began with a bang in Yale's 2009 season-opening 31-10 win over Georgetown in front of a near-capacity crowd at Multi-Sport Field. The Bulldogs never trailed, but the game was not put away until a 12-play, fourth-quarter drive and a Jordan Farrell '10 (his second) TD run. The final stats were balanced. The Hoyas had 355 yards of total offense compared to Yale's 303, but the Bulldogs had more first downs (20-17) and picked off two passes.

Yale scrimmaged Union on Sept. 4 at Yale Bowl and outscored the Dutchmen 50-0. Six quarterbacks combined for a 27-for-40 day with 316 yards and five touchdowns, while the defense made six sacks, picked off two passes (Marcus Wallace, Brian Leffler) and blocked a punt (Chris Stanley). Rookies totaled 17 catches, 226 yards and three touchdowns led by WR Cameron Sandquist (4-26), RB Deon Randall (3-57), TE Keith Coty (3-36) and WR Brandis Yarrington (2-59).

Georgetown, 2-0 for the first time since 1999, is coming off a 28-24 win at Lafayette last Saturday night that snapped a 12-game league skid. The Hoyas trailed 24-14 at intermission and then scored twice in the third to hold on for the Patriot League win despite being dominated in total yards (509-265) and first downs (31-13). Scott Darby completed 18 of 32 passes for 172 yards and two scores at Easton. Keerome Lawrence led the team with six catches and a score. Georgetown, which turned Lafayette over four times to earn its seventh win in 49 all-time Patriot League games, opened the season with a 20-10 win at Davidson.

Yale's all-time September record is 108-34-2 while the opening day mark is 116-20-2. The Elis have won three straight openers since falling to San Diego in 2006. This is the fourth straight year the Blue has opened the season with Georgetown.

For the second straight summer Yale was picked fourth in the pre-season Ivy League Media Poll. The Bulldogs, with one first-place vote and 83 points, were slated behind Harvard (10, 128), defending champion Penn (6, 124) and Brown (95). Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth and Cornell rounded out the bottom half of the predicted finish.  The Elis went 4-6 last fall and finished tied for sixth (2-5) after being picked fourth in the 2009 Ivy Media Poll.

High on the facility wish list of Tom Williams was moving his team from multiple rooms at the Smilow Field Center to one large locker area. That wish came to fruition in the form of the Carm Cozza Complex. A dressing area designed by ProZone Lockers and meeting rooms for coaches and players highlight the complex that will also include a shrine to the hall of fame former Yale head coach.

Two seniors and three juniors are currently listed as the starters on the offensive line. Two of the juniors, both on the left side, tackle Jeff Fell (Garden City, N.Y., 6-5, 286) and guard Colin Kruger (Sarasota, Fla., 6-3, 300) would be making their first starts. Senior center Jake Koury (Dublin, Ohio, 6-2, 270), junior guard Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu, HI, 6-0, 273) and senior tackle John Pedersen (Great Falls, Va., 6-7, 280) all started games in 2009.

Four Bulldogs made the transition to the offensive line since last spring: Carter Deutsch (Houston, Texas) and Michael Anderson (Palo Alto, Calif.) came over from the defensive line while TEs Alex Birks (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Roy Collins (Carbondale, Ill.) also made the move.

Tom Williams (above photo), the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football at Yale, is in his second season at Yale and his second as a head coach anywhere. Williams is 1-0 against Georgetown and 4-6 overall with the Bulldogs. He came to New Haven after two seasons as an assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars and is in his 13th 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.

Freshman Trevor Peterson, who caught a 10-yard TD pass in the Union scrimmage, has a cousin who is a Princeton cheerleader… Former Yale offensive lineman and assistant coach Kyle Metzler '03, now handling the tight ends and recruiting, took the post formerly held by Mike Sanford, the new quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Western Kentucky University… Six Yale QBs took snaps in the Union scrimmage and 16 different players caught passes... Yale's three non-league opponents are a combined 4-2 after two weeks.

QB Patrick Witt, a backup at Nebraska in 2008, made his first collegiate start against the Hoyas in 2009 and completed 22 of 27 passes for 216 yards and two scores despite being sacked six times. The junior from Wylie, Texas, was seven for nine for 82 yards with two scores in the scrimmage against Union on Sept. 4. Witt started six games in 2009 and led the team with 1,449 yards and eight TDs. The other four starts went to senior Brook Hart (State College, Pa.), who completed five of six passes in the Union scrimmage and threw two passes against the Hoyas last year.

A few Bulldogs who have their names called often on the public address system are wearing different shirts this fall. QB Patrick Witt wore No. 10 last year but asked about getting his old number from high school. Witt now wears No. 11 along with junior DB Geoff Dunham (Dallas, Texas), who was No. 46 last year… WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) broke in with the Bulldogs as No. 4 last year but grabbed 3 this fall, which he shares with senior PK/P Alex Barnes (Chesterfield, Mo.).

Junior Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) started at RB and ran five times for 18 yards against Union. Sophomore Mordecai Cargill (Cleveland, Ohio) had eight carries and 20 yards, but sophomore Javier Sosa (Miami, Fla.) led all runners with nine for 51.

The Bulldog defense, which held the Dutchmen to one first down over the first two quarters and finished with six sacks, had its share of highlights. Senior DB Marcus Wallace (Germantown, Wis.) picked off a second quarter pass and raced 29 yards to the Union nine yard line to set up one Yale score. Sophomore LB Brian Leffler (Newtown, Pa.) had a diving interception, while senior DB Chris Stanley (Los Angeles, Calif.) blocked a second-quarter punt that went through the end zone for a safety.

Senior WR Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.) caught two balls for 25 yards, including a 19-yard TD, and returned two punts for 68 yards in the scrimmage. He has two career punt returns for TDs and ranks among the top 10 at Yale in career punt (398, 4th) and kickoff return (553, 10th) yardage.

Tom McCarthy '10 (Chester, N.J.) has been one of the leaders on the defensive line the last two years. The second-team All-Ivy pick last fall was Yale's MVP of the defensive line. McCarthy registered four sacks and eight tackles for loss. He earned a medical hardship from his freshman year and is now the fifth Yale captain since 2001 who has taken a fifth year of eligibility.

DT Tim Penna was the first captain (2001) in recent times to use the fifth year of eligibility. QB Alvin Cowan captained the 2003 Bulldogs and then used a medical hardship to play in 2004. QB Jeff Mroz '05 was out of school for a year but returned to become captain in 2005. WR Chandler Henley lost his true senior season to a pre-season injury in 2005 but became captain in 2006 and led the Blue to a championship. The first fifth-year captain since World War II was John Smoot, who led the 1975 Elis.  In the early years of the Ivy League, if you missed playing for any reason except military service, you were out of luck.

Senior Alex Barnes (Chesterfield, Mo.) and sophomore Philippe Panico (Boston, Mass.) are competing for the top PK duties. Both split the uprights on field goal attempts in the scrimmage and they combined for six perfect PATs. Senior Bryan Farris (Derry, N.H.) could be the top kickoff man after a strong scrimmage. Barnes and Greg Carlsen (Orlando, Fla.), who transferred from the University of Florida, are battling for the punting duties.

Newcomer Greg Carlsen, a punter, was a freshman at the University of Florida last year and did not try out for the football team. He began missing the game while attending UF contests. That's when he decided to send his video around to some schools and see if anyone was interested in his services. Carlsen, who was No. 1 out of 702 in his high school class, owns his school's record for most punts (67) and yardage (2,407) in a season. He was a first-team all-county and all-metro punter for a two-time regional champion and a state runner-up squad in the football crazy Sunshine State.  

Smith is the most common surname in America, so it's no surprise that Yale has three (Caleb, Chris, McConnell) from different classes on its roster. All three are on offense, two are WRs (Chris, McConnell) and Caleb is an end.

Senior PK/P Alex Barnes had an internship in the commissioner's office of Major League Baseball. While he was in Manhattan, Barnes used a connection to get to help with Barack Obama's motorcade. The Bulldog player got to hang with the President and talk Ivy football.

There are 1,946 living former Yale football players as of Sept. 1. The oldest living Bulldog is Robert Bubb '32 who turned 100 last winter. Bubb earned letters in 1929 and 1930.     

Dick Jauron '73, who has spent 32 years in the NFL playing and coaching, is the secondary coach for the Philadelphia Eagles… TE Nate Lawrie '04, who played with UFL Sacramento last year, signed with the Eagles on Aug. 9 but was released on Sept. 3... Jeff Mroz '05 played QB in one 2010 game for the AFL Alabama Vipers… Pat Graham '01 is an assistant coach for the New England Patriots… Michael McDaniel '06 is an assistant in the UFL for San Francisco.

For the 13th 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 sixth season together.

Every third quarter this season, a different former Yale player will join the WELI Radio broadcast this fall. The 2010 lineup begins with former receiver P.J. Collins '04 during the Georgetown game. A week later at Cornell, Rick Fehling '74, a former middle guard, will share his thoughts on the broadcast.  

All six home games this season will be video streamed live (pay per view) on yalebulldogs.com through Yale's All Access with Vaccaro and Cozza providing the call.

Three of Yale's seven league games will air live on TV. Yale on YES is back for 2010 with three (Fordham, Penn, Columbia) straight home games that can be seen live on many cable systems as well as DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS. The Yale-Harvard game on Nov. 20 at Boston is the Ivy League Game of the Week on Versus, the national sports cable TV company.

The Bulldogs, off on Mondays, are on the field at 7:30 a.m. (until approx. 9:30) Tuesday and Thursdays, and 7:00 on Wednesdays 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.

Broadcasts of Yale football, along with several other sports during the year, are available on the Yale student station, WYBC, and can be heard free on-line at wybc.com.

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. 14 through Nov. 16) 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.

Junior CB Drew Baldwin (Alexandria, Va.), co-chair of the Yale Black Men's Union Community Outreach Committee, is in his third 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. "We try to do this through exposing the mentees to new ideas and experiences and, most importantly, through building lasting relationships between mentor and mentee.  We work toward trying to help these high school kids become young men.  In the Black Men's Union we measure success by how many lives we impact.  Because our mentoring program puts us in a position to impact lives to a great extent, we take that responsibility very seriously," said Baldwin (31-8-39 last year with two interceptions), who has mentored over 30 kids.

Here's the JV schedule for this fall. All home games are played at Clint Frank Field.

Date          Opponent             Time
Oct. 3        Milford Academy    Noon

Oct. 31      Bridgton Academy Noon

Nov. 7       Army                      Noon

Nov. 19     at Harvard             1:00

The 2010 Yale Football Association Golf Outing, which honored former head coach Carm Cozza and was sponsored by Ken '75 and Greg Burkus '83, was sold out well in advance and had an overflow dinner crowd at the Course at Yale on Aug. 9.

Senior OLB Jesse Reising (Decatur, Ill.), who started at one of the LB spots in the scrimmage, was home for the summer taking classes to get his flight license before he completes Marine Corps Officer Candidate School next year. The class valedictorian at Eisenhower High School, he participated in various community outreach activities through his Yale fraternity, including events to raise money to fight prostate cancer, Relay for Life, and making care packages for Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. Reising (3.75 GPA, economics/political science), Yale's candidate for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award, recently spent time in Washington, DC, working closely with veterans' service organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans.

This season marks the 50th anniversary of Yale's last perfect football squad. The 1960 Elis, who shared the Lambert Trophy with Navy, were Ivy champions and ranked 14th in the final Associated Press poll, went 9-0. They will be honored during the weekend of the Princeton game at the Bowl.

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.

81     players were captains of their high school football team
55     players were captains of another sport in high school
57     players were a national honors society member
 8     players were class president at their high school
 8     players were student body president at their high school
11     players were class valedictorian at their high school
 2     players were class salutatorian at their high school

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

DB Josh Grizzard (Jr, Zebulon, N.C.):     most humorous
DB Geoff Dunham (Jr, Dallas, Texas):     most intelligent
DB Adam Money (Sr, Whiteland, Ind.):     most vocal leader (not captain)
LB Jesse Reising (Sr, Decatur, Ill.):     most likely to be U.S. President
QB Dez Duron (So, Shreveport, La.):    most interesting activity (musician)
                     best singer
RB Alex Thomas (Jr, Ansonia, Conn.):    strongest player (pound-for-pound)
WR Jordan Forney (Sr, Bloomington, Ind.):     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.

Yale recently added a West Campus (Orange/West Haven) to its expanding list of real estate. A "North [football] Campus" has begun to form in Middletown, Conn., at Wesleyan University. Jack Siedlecki, Yale's head football coach for 12 (1997-2008) years is the Cardinals' new offensive coordinator. He brought former Yale assistant coach Jeff McDonald and ex-Bulldog players Bobby Abare '09 and Tyler Wells '06 to the 2010 coaching staff.

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.


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director