Bulldogs Open 2012 at DC Saturday

Bulldogs Open 2012 at DC Saturday

Yale Takes On Hoyas In Reno Era

Related Links


NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The 140th season of Yale Football and a new coaching era begin on Saturday in Washington, D.C., when the Bulldogs kick off the 2012 season with a 1 p.m. game at Georgetown (2-0, 0-0 Patriot).  

Yale has won all five 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 Blue won 40-35 at New Haven in 2010 and then 37-27 last year in the Bowl.

The Yale air attack amassed 280 yards and three touchdowns while tailback Mordecai Cargill rushed for 92 yards and two scores in a 37-27 win over the Hoyas at New Haven last year. The visitors piled up 393 yards of total offense while completing 33 passes.

Yale has played Georgetown the last five straight openers. The season lid lifter win streak is five;  the Blue fell to San Diego at the start of 2006, one of two straight losses to open the year against USD. The Bulldogs won their first 59 season openers before a scoreless tie with Bates in 1932. The first loss came two years later at the hands of Columbia. The Elis are 118-18-2 overall.

This is the first campaign in eight years that has Yale on the road the first two weeks. The Elis opened 2004 with games at Dayton (24-17, W) and Cornell (19-7, L).

Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow'54 Head Coach of Yale football, begins his head coaching career Saturday 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.

Yale players reported to campus on Aug. 15 and practice began two days later. The team had multiple Blue-White scrimmages and also competed with Brown at the Bowl on Sept. 1. The roster began at 111 players but has been slimmed to 97 during the Elis' most physically challenging pre-season camps in recent years.

Here are the returning stat leaders for Yale: Rushing (M. Cargill, 116-530, 5 TD); Passing (J. Whitelaw, 1-4, 8 yds, 0 TD); Receiving (Jackson Ligouri, 21-280, 2 TD); Tackles (Will McHale, 59-20-79); Scoring (P. Panico, 49 pts, 8-13 FG, 25-31 PAT)).


Junior John Whitelaw (Hinsdale, Ill.) and freshman Eric Williams (Milwaukee, Wis) have been battling for the top QB job throughout camp. Williams, the brother of Yale football players Scott '13 and Sean '11 and the son of former NFL player, Larry (Browns, Patriots, Saints, Chargers), was named the starter for the Georgetown game six days before the opener.  He will be the first Yale freshman starter behind center since Mike McClellan '01 started the 1997 season opener at home against Brown. McClellan got the nod after four different upperclassmen went down with injuries, including Joe Walland '00, who led the Blue to a 1999 Ivy title.  McClellan was the first Eli rookie QB to start a varsity game since World War II.

Six Elis return with regular 2011 duty on the offensive line: senior Roy Collins (6-5, 266, Carbondale, Ill.); juniors Wes Gavin (6-6, 286, San Diego, Calif.), John Oppenheimer (6-0, 264, Menlo Park, Calif.) and James Talerico (6-4, 277, Boca Raton, Fla.) and sophomores Ben Carbery (6-5, 287, Oak Park, Ill.) and William Chism (6-3, 277, Ridgeland, Miss.). Gavin and Carbery combined to win freshman MVP honors the last two years.

Senior LB Will McHale (Old Greenwich, Conn.) is the only returning All-Ivy pick on the defense after recording 79 tackles in 2011.  Junior DB Nick Okano (Los Angeles, Calif.) had a team-high two interceptions, while DB Kurt Stottlemyer was second with seven pass breakups.

There are an unprecedented eight freshmen on the Yale two-deep depth chart, including six on offense.

As many as 55 team members were in New Haven for most of July working out together and competing in 7-on-7 games with other schools.

Georgetown opened with a 35-14 win at Davidson on Sept. 1 before opening its home slate with a 13-10 win last week against Wagner. The Hoyas, who have 720 yards and 48 points in two games, despite losing starting QB and captain Isaiah Kempf to an injury on the first serieis of the Davidson game, are running the ball with great success (223 per game). RB Nick Campanella is the primary weapon with 6.8 yards per carry and three TDs. Aaron Aiken, a junior making his first start against Wagner, rushed for 109 yards and passed for 128. Senior LB Robert McCabe leads the defense with 11 solos and 30 overall tackles.
The Elis went 5-5 overall and 4-3 in Ivy play. The wins were against Georgetown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Columbia and Princeton.

Yale was picked fifth with 66 points and no first-place votes in the 2012 Ivy League Media Poll. Defending league champion Harvard holds the top spot with 112 points and 13 first-place votes. Penn and Cornell, each with a pair of top votes, follow the Crimson while Brown was slated fourth. Dartmouth, Columbia and Princeton were listed after the Bulldogs.

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.

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 is strong-armed and can often be seen launching spirals on the practice field. Panico has handled almost all of the PK and kickoff duties the last two years. Kyle Cazzetta (Slate Hill, N.Y.) is in his second year as the starting punter.

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.

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.

John Pagliaro Jr '11, a former Yale linebacker, played for the Ancona Dolphins (7-5) during the 2012 winter season, and then started at tailback and on special teams for the Italian National team in a tournament.  

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.  A third Yale grad, Paul Rice '10 (2009 captain), is in the same region as a graduate assistant football coach at Georgia Tech.

The Yale JV has four games slated for this fall: Sept. 30 vs. Milford Academy; Oct. 28 vs. Bridgton Academy; Nov. 4 at Brown and Nov. 16 at Harvard. All games are 1 p.m., home contests are played at Clint Frank Field.

Blake Thomson '16 (Franklin, Tenn.) was busy last summer. In addition to starting www.myteamability.com, a web based company that helps college students find careers, he led a project (www.helpinghonduraskids.org) to collect soccer equipment and clothes for an orphanage in Honduras. A week before reporting to Yale, he visited Honduras to complete the project. Thomson, who plans to major in biomedical engineering, delivered soccer balls, cleats, jerseys and other items to the 22 children of Hogar de Amor orphanage in La Ceiba.  Thomson toured the three-bedroom house where 22 children live and the Jungle School for 100 impoverished children. "I learned that over 40 percent of Honduras children suffer from abuse and many of these kids had to be removed from their homes. Many children walk an hour or more each way to attend the school. For many, it is their only meal of the day.  I look forward to returning and would love to take some of my teammates with me."

There are 17 offensive linemen on the roster. The next most popular positions are linebacker and defensive back with 14 each… A pair of juniors on different sides of the line is the tallest (6-7) players on the roster: OL Kyle White (Pompton Plains, N.J.) and TE Michael Leunen (Portland, Ore.)… The heaviest (293) Bulldog is freshman OL Braden Meador (Montgomery, Texas).

Dartmouth owns the most Ivy League titles since league play officially began in 1956. Yale trails Penn by one for second, one championship in front of Harvard.

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

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 (steven.conn@yale.edu) if you would like to attend. Seniors DL Chris Dooley and RB Mordecai Cargill will attend the Sept. 11 event.

Yale's marketing director Pat O'Neill will be busy every home Saturday with special events:  Sept. 29 (Youth Day); Oct. 6 (Chamber of Commerce); 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 (pay per view) on yalebulldogs.com through Yale's All Access with Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza providing the call. All games are live broadcasts except for Penn on Oct. 20 (NBC Sports Network).

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.

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 (895 wins) to catch up playing three or four games more than Yale each season. The Bulldogs are second with 869 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 Bulldogs open Ivy play by heading up to Ithaca to face the 2011 Ivy Player of the Year, Cornell QB Jeff Mathews, the only sophomore to win that award.

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 BlogTalkRadio.com (blogtalkradio.com/inside
ivyleaguefootball). It will be available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and IvyLeagueSports.com. 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 shop.ivyleaguesports.com. 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 www.yalebulldogs.com.


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director