Yale LB on Coaches FCS Squad
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Matthew Oplinger, the Ivy League's defensive player of the year, added to his long list of awards this fall with a spot on the 2017 AFCA FCS Coaches' All-America Second Team.
Oplinger was the leader of and most dominant player on the league's top defensive team, one that ranked 8th in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) with just over 15 points allowed per game. He led the Ancient Eight and was second in the country in sacks.
Oplinger was a finalist for the 2017 Buck Buchanan Award, the top defensive player in the FCS. He registered 11.5 sacks in 10 games and led the Bulldogs to an outright league title with a 9-1 record. That sack total included three – one on a safety – against Holy Cross in October at New Haven.
The senior from Summit, N.J., also led the Ivies with 14.5 tackles for lost yardage while making 42 overall tackles and earning first-team All-Ivy and All-New England honors and numerous All-America teams.
Oplinger led a Bulldogs defense that paced the League in total defense (302.8) and rushing defense (73.1), while also ranking second in pass defense efficiency (111.6). In the national rankings, Yale is third in rushing defense, eighth in scoring defense and 13th in total defense.
Oplinger, who also caught a point-after pass in a road win against Penn, is an economics major in Ezra Stiles College who notched his name in the Yale record books this year. His season sack total is second best at the school, while his career count of 21.5 ranks third.
By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity Director