Bulldogs Off to 3-0 Start
BRONX, N.Y. – The Bulldogs were barking in the Bronx as soon as they got off the bus. The Yale football team, facing a perennial FCS and Patriot League power that rolled up 40 points last week, put together its most complete performance with a 41-10 win at Fordham.
The Elis (3-0, 1-0 Ivy) jumped out to a 21-0 lead before the Rams could figure out what was happening.
Yale sophomore quarterback Kurt Rawlings completed his first 14 passing attempts before finishing 18 of 20 for 189 yards and a score while playing less than three full quarters. The versatile signal-caller also hurt Fordham with his feet, running for 25 yards on four plays and helping his team total 472 yards of offense.
"The mentality of this team is just to come in and take over, and this week the focus was doing it from the start," said Rawlings. "We were a little slow against Cornell and we knew we had a lot of stuff to work on. We're still going to go home after this game and there is going to be a lot of stuff to work on, but I think we did a better job coming out from the first play and taking it to them right away."
Yale senior running back Deshawn Salter had eight carries for 118 yards, including a second straight game with three scores. He found the end zone on runs of 38, 27 and 1 yard, but there were not many easy sprints. Salter, with great help from an outstanding offensive line, broke numerous tackles on most of his runs to get extra yardage.
"It was really solid team win. From the start, the guys brought the right intensity," said Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach. "We talked about having an opportunity to play a team that we felt has done really well in the past 10 years. They have a lot of really talented kids, so we had to bring it from the start, which our guys did."
While Rawlings, Salter, freshman RB Zane Dudek (2 TDs) and a trio of receivers were carving up the Fordham defense, the Bulldogs were making life miserable for reining Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week Kevin Anderson, who was sacked four times and completed just 13 passes. The QB who threw five TD passes last week, and was one shy of the school's career record, was pressured and hit all night. He will have to wait another game for that record tally. The Rams did not find the end zone until there was 5:43 left in the game.
"It [the Yale offense] was just moving on all cylinders. When the offense is playing like they are, I think the energy just flows throughout the entire team," said captain Spencer Rymiszewski. "We were just able to capitalize on defense on third downs, which was huge for us to just get off the field and get our offense the ball. It was a great day."
The Bulldogs, who used every player in uniform tonight, entered the game ranked fourth nationally in scoring offense. They won't improve on that, but that's only because the Yale coaches wanted to young players to get snaps, something that could mean a lot to the program in the future.
The visitors took a 28-3 lead into intermission and could have gone into relax mode after receiving the second-half kickoff. Instead, the Bulldogs went 65 yards on four plays to put the game out of reach. Senior receiver Christopher Williams-Lopez hauled in a 34-yard Rawlings toss to set up a Salter scoring run. Williams-Lopez, senior tight end Jaeden Graham and freshman receiver Melvin Rouse II all finished with five catches.
Freshman Patrick Conte came on for Rawlings late in the third as the visitors emptied the bench.
"it was good to get our starters out and get some of our younger guys in to get some really good game experience," said Reno.
Yale, which had 16 sacks last fall, has 15 this year in three games. Senior DT Copache Tyler, senior LB Matthew Oplinger, junior DE Kyle Mullen and freshman LB Micah Awodiran each grabbed the Fordham QB once… This was Yale's first night game since last October at Columbia… Yale is on the road next Saturday afternoon at Dartmouth in a game airing live on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Network… There is one more non-league game left, an Oct. 14 date at the Bowl with a Holy Cross team that beat New Hampshire and nearly knocked off UConn.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity Director