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Yale Plays Columbia Saturday

Michael Maher image
Michael Maher image



Yale Football's Team 146, seeking a third straight win, looks to stay in the race for the Ancient Eight Crown when it travels down I-95 for a Saturday game at Baker Field. The Bulldogs (4-2, 2-1 Ivy) take on Columbia (3-3, 0-3) at 1 p.m. in a contest airing live on ESPN+, WELI Radio (AM 960) and iHeart Radio.

Yale, which has taken 13 of the last 15 games, leads the series 71-20-2, its most commanding advantage over any league team. The Elis are 35-10-0 on the road and 36-10-2 at home against the Light Blue.

 Yale ran for 244 yards while holding Penn to just 14 in a 23-10 win at Franklin Field. Junior running back Alan Lamar ran for 179 of those yards and found the end zone twice to beat the Quakers for a second straight year at Philadelphia. First-year linebacker Noah Pope had a team-best 10 overall tackles and a sack. 

Chris Alleyne kicked two field goals and Ryan Young caught a scoring pass from Ryan Suitt but Columbia could not hold off Dartmouth in a 28-12 loss at Wien Stadium. The Lions won all three non-league games in 2018 but are looking for their first Ivy victory. Two of their three league games have been against the two undefeated, nationally ranked teams, Princeton and Dartmouth.

Yale's defense notched four sacks and two interceptions while holding Columbia to 206 yards of offense in a 23-6 win for the Bulldogs, the 900th in program history. The Elis kept Columbia off the scoreboard for the first 44 minutes of the contest, while the Yale offense put up 13 first-quarter points. Running back Zane Dudek rushed for 173 yards and led his team with four receptions for 45 yards in one of the most impressive performances ever by a Yale freshman back.

Saturday's game can also be seen on SNY TV (home of NY Mets) at 6:30 on Oct. 27, 2 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.

The Lions did not allow Yale to complete a pass in a 1954 game but still lost 13-7... Columbia blanked a Yale team in 1961 (11-0) that was coming off an undefeated campaign. It was the fourth and last shutout of the Bulldogs by the Lions... Columbia QB Marty Domres, a future NFL QB, threw for 326 yards in 1966 for the Lions in a losing (44-21) effort... Yale QB Pete Doherty '67 connected on a school-record five TD passes in 1966 (44-21 Yale win)... Yale and NFL great Dick Jauron '73 scampered 87 yards late in the fourth for the deciding score in a 28-14 win over Columbia in 1972... Ryan LoProto '02 scored on two interceptions, including one from 67 yards, as Yale won 41-0 in 2000… Kahlil Keys '15 broke the Yale record for the longest run from scrimmage with a 94-yard dash at the Bowl in 2013.

Through 22 career games junior QB Kurt Rawlings is climbing the Yale career rankings:

Completions: 382 (5th)
Yards: 4,636 (5th)
Attempts: 602 (7th)
Total Offense: 4,980 (5th)
TD Passes: 33 (6th)

RAWLINGS in 2018: Career-high 4 TDs and 344 yards in win over Mercer (Ivy POW)… Threw for 306 yards and 3 TDs (1 rush TD) vs. Maine (Gold Helmet Award)… Leads Ivy in completions per game, yards, yards per game… Injured on a run during the first Yale possession of the second half at Penn, a play that gained 11 yards inside the red zone.

RAWLINGS in 2017: Honorable mention All-Ivy League... 2nd in Ivy and 5th in FCS with Yale record .673 completion percentage... 2nd Ivy/10th FCS in pass efficiency (154.7)... 2nd in Ivy with 19 passing TDs (4th best at Yale)... Passed for 2,320 yards, 3rd in Ivy (6th best at Yale)... 1st Yale sophomore QB to lead team to Ivy title since 1979 (John Rogan)... Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, College Sports Madness Ivy Player of the Week, STATS FCS Honorable mention, College Football Performance Awards after 20-of-26 game with 308 yards and 4 TDs against Lehigh... Led game-winning, fourth-quarter drive at Penn… Helped Yale erase a 17-point deficit on the way to a title-clinching win at Princeton (26-of-34 for 304 yards and 2 TDs)… Established a Yale record for completion percentage with 18 connections (first 14 straight) on 20 attempts at Fordham.

Rawlings Career Bests:
Completions: 29 vs. Dartmouth 2018
Attempts: 46 vs. Dartmouth 2018
Yards: 344 vs. Mercer 2018
TDs: 4 at Lehigh 2017, vs. Mercer 2018

Junior RB Alan Lamar (Olive Brank, Miss.), who missed 2017 with an injury, is back in the form he showed as rookie in 2016 with a pair of 100-yard outings the last two weeks.

LAMAR in 2018: Ivy League & CSM Offensive Player of Week for 179 yards, 2 TDs at Penn.

LAMAR in 2016: Team's freshman MVP... Second-team All-Ivy... Served as top kickoff return man for the first four games until he was needed at tailback... Led Yale with 557 yards and five TDs... Got first collegiate snaps in the backfield vs Dartmouth and ran 23 times for 180 yards and TDs of seven and 43 yards... His Dartmouth total was five yards shy of Robert Carr's freshman school rushing record of 185 yards and got him STATS FCS (national) Rookie of the Week and Ivy co-Rookie of the Week... First start vs. Penn with 118 yards and a TD catch... Scored on one-yard run in win at Harvard.

Junior WR Reed Klubnik (Austin, Texas) leads the Ivy League in receptions with a 7.7 average, which ranks sixth in the FCS. His career-best 13 catches for 124 yards came against Dartmouth this fall. He has had two games over 100 yards and caught three TD passes against Maine, the most for a Bulldog receiver since 2013. Klubnik's next TD catch places him in Yale's season top 10, while two more get him into the career top 10.

Junior JP Shohfi, a WR from San Marino, Calif., missed the first game this fall and then caught 23 passes over the next three. He snared six passes for 152 yards and two scores in a win over Mercer on Oct. 13. He is now No. 3 among Ivy receivers with seven catches per game.

Nicholas Crowle was voted captain by his teammates last August. He is a senior DL using a fifth year of eligibility. His career totals are 60 tackles and 9.5 TFL in 32 career games. The Fairfield Prep star two-way player is the 18th Yale football captain from Connecticut and the second from Milford. He is a Political Science major in Ezra Stiles College who grew up attending Yale games and always wanted to be a Bulldog.

Sophomore RB Zane Dudek has 18 career TD runs and just cracked Yale's career top 10 list.

DUDEK in 2018: Best day was 22-217 at Holy Cross… 2 TDs at Cornell.
DUDEK in 2017: Phil Steele FCS Offensive Freshman of the Year and First Team Freshman All-America... Finalist for Jerry Rice Award for FCS Rookie of Year... CSM Freshman of the Year... Phil Steele and CSM Third-Team All-America... Ivy League Rookie of the Year... First-Team All-Ivy League... New Haven Gridiron Club's Harry Jacunski Award... Led league in every rushing and scoring category including yards (1,133, 9th at Yale), yards per game (113.3), rushing TDs (15, 5th at Yale), yards per carry (7.1, 2nd in Ivy history, ties Yale record set in 1956), overall TDs (16), points (96, 2nd in FCS) and all-purpose yards (134.5)... First true freshman to lead league in rushing... Best Yale freshman football season ever for a running back... Six games over 100 yards... Ivy rookie of the week six (last 5 straight) times and the offensive player of the week once... STATS FCS National Rookie of the Week and took both Ivy honors after going for 173 yards against Columbia... Hero Sports Candidate, Ivy League Honor Roll, STATS Honorable Mention after rushing for 131 yards on nine attempts and 2 TDs against Lehigh... Ivy League Rookie of the Week after rushing for 173 yards on 16 attempts and 1 TD against Cornell.

Dudek Career Bests:
Yards: 217 at Holy Cross 2018
Attempts: 35 at Princeton 2017
Rushing TDs: 3 vs. Brown & at Princeton 2017

A pair of juniors who were All-Ivy picks last fall are playing side-by-side this season on Yale's offensive line. LT Sterling Strother (Moraga, Calif.) and LG Dieter Eiselen (Stellenbosch, South Africa) are both over 300 pounds and command great respect from opponents. Strother was a college hoops prospect who was convinced by his high school football coach to focus on the gridiron. Eiselen was a rugby player and weight lifter in South Africa looking for a way to become a college football player. He accomplished that by attending summer college football camps in the states, getting coaches interested and learning the game quickly while attending Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn. 

WR Keith CJ McCord II, a senior who is also a jumper for the Yale Track & Field Team, got the first two catches of his career against Maine in his first collegiate start. The first time he got on the field in a varsity game was the 2018 opener at Holy Cross. McCord broke his leg in a JV game early in his rookie (2015) season. He missed the 2016 football season and then had an excellent 2016-17 track campaign (4th in high jump, personal best 2.03 meters at the outdoor league championships), but he was not on the 2017 football roster. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native rejoined the team last August and suddenly moved up when injuries hit the receiving corps.

Senior J. Hunter Roman is a regular on the defense who plays end and has been named a semifinalist for the NFF's William Campbell Trophy, the most prestigious scholar-athlete award for a college football player. His brother, D. Major Roman, caught passes in two of the last three games. D. Major, a sophomore tight end, was a NFF High School Scholar-Athlete (national) finalist when he played at New London (CT) High School.

Senior PK/P Alex Galland, an All-Ivy pick last fall, is happy to blow his own horn… especially if he can take part in the national anthem. The Bakersfield, Calif., native, has played his trumpet with the Yale Band for the Star Spangled Banner at home games when the team schedule permits and his band mates remember to bring his instrument. Galland, a mechanical engineering major, worked at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Conn., last summer and was offered a full-time job. He will have to let the company know soon if he is accepting the offer; Galland is ahead of schedule on graduation requirements and will finish school this semester, including a very interesting senior project (he is designing a mechanism to gauge the accuracy and decision making of weapon-carrying law enforcement officials). On the watch list for the Fred Mitchell Award (nation's best PK), Galland was Chris Sailer's 2018 California Camp pick as "top college punter." He is very interested in testing his skills at the next level.

Senior LB and special teams standout Jarett Balter (Bellflower, Calif.) made two solo tackles against Penn. The engineering major is taking a class called Machine Parts and Manufacturing. As part of a project, they built a 3D printer and used it to create gears so they can compare them to typical ink injection molding. The next part of the project is to improve the printer with replacement parts. Balter has also printed creative projects for personal use, including a small iron throne from Game of Thrones.

Yale first-year DL Adam Raine saw his first collegiate snaps against Mercer on Oct. 13. Getting on the field for eight defensive snaps was more special for the Basingstoke, England, native than the average college football player making his debut. Raine grew up playing soccer and cricket and didn't put on football pads until he was 17, after a suggestion from his uncle, who was playing on a club American football team in England and knew New Orleans Saints DE Alex Jenkins (Bath, England). Raine, a bruising center back on the soccer pitch, sent over 200 emails to college football coaches and didn't get any responses for a long time. Yale was the first to make contact and many others followed suit after he attended summer camps in 2017 and then played a year at Berkshire School. Raine has six siblings, one of whom drove him seven hours (through 5 countries) to a football ID camp in Germany.

There are many leaders among the 2018 Bulldogs, including senior J. Hunter Roman, who was selected as a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William Campbell Trophy. Here's how we quantify the leadership on the current Yale roster.
Captains of high school football teams: 82
Captains of another sport in high school: 50
National Honor Society Members: 45
High School Class Presidents: 6
High School Class Valedictorians: 2

DL Charles Callender '20 – Second-Team 2017
DB Malcom Dixon '20 – Honorable Mention 2017
RB Zane Dudek '21 – First-Team 2017
OL Dieter Eiselen '20 – Honorable Mention 2017
P/PK  Alex Galland '19 – Second-Team 2017
RB Alan Lamar '20 – Second-Team 2016
QB Kurt Rawlings '20 – Honorable Mention 2017
OL Sterling Strother '20 – Second-Team 2017

The 2018 Yale football team represents 24 states and 4 countries (US, Canada, England, South Africa)... California has the most players with 14... Connecticut and Texas have the second most with 9, while New Jersey and Massachusetts both have 8... Kamsi Nwangwu, from Woodbridge, is the Bulldog whose home is closest to the campus... Dieter Eiselen, from Stellenbosch, South Africa, came the farthest to attend Yale (nearly 7800 miles)... The tallest players on the team are So. Grant Neagli and Jr. Jett Sexton, who stand at 6'7. Grant Neagli is also the heaviest player at 325 pounds… The average for Bulldog O-linemen is 6'4 3/4 and 290 pounds…. The average DL is 6'3 1/4 and 254 pounds.

A survey of the team produced some interesting anecdotal information about the Bulldogs.
Most humorous: Spencer Matthei & Rodney Thomas II
Most intelligent: Alex Galland
Most vocal: J. Hunter Roman
Most likely to become president: JP Shohfi
Most interesting extracurricular: Alex Galland (plays in Yale Band)
Best singer: Kamsi Nwangwu
Strongest (pound-for-pound): Alan Lamar, Melvin Rouse II
Most involved in community: John Lager

When you win, schools come calling. Three coaches from Team 145 left Yale last winter. OC Joe Conlin became Fordham's head coach and took DB coach Paul Rice with him. TE coach Chandler Henley went to the NFL with Titans. New Members: Matt Cerins (TE, intern on Yale staff 2017), Ben Olson (DL, at Colgate in 2017, brother of Jake Olson, Chief of Staff), Al Netter (OL, at Michigan in 2017). Changes: Kevin Cahill went from Pass-Game Coordinator to Offensive Coordinator; Art Asselta (WR) is now Pass-Game Coordinator; Jordan Stevens went from DL in 2017 to co-Defensive Coordinator and LB coach.

Yale beat Penn on at Philly the last two seasons. The last time the Blue won consecutive games at Franklin Field was in 1974 and 1976… The 10 points allowed to the Quakers were the fewest since a 24-3, season-ending win over Harvard in 2017… It was the fewest points allowed to Penn at Franklin Field since a 9-0 Quakers win in 2009.

Three Yale seniors from the 2017 championship team were on NFL rosters over the summer and made it to the final cut. Foyesade Oluokun made the 53-man Atlanta Falcons roster and has 27 tackles (6 GP, 1 GS) to date, while Jaeden Graham is currently on the Falcons' practice squad. In addition, Matthew Oplinger played in multiple exhibition games and turned some heads.

3 Yale Stars Make NFL Mark:
•Foyesade Oluokun (LB, Atlanta, drafted), Three-time All-Ivy League Selection
•Jaeden Graham (TE, Atlanta, FA), 2017 First-Team All-Ivy League Pick
•Matthew Oplinger (LB, Arizona, FA), 2nd Team All-American and 2017 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year

Yale University will celebrate the life of Hall of Fame football head coach Carmen L. Cozza on Nov. 10 prior to the game against Princeton at the Bowl. The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. inside Coxe Cage. Cozza, who coached the Bulldogs to 10 Ivy titles in 32 seasons, passed away on Jan. 4, 2018. The Elis are wearing a patch on their jerseys this season -- and the Class of 1954 Field has the same artwork painted on its surface in two places -- to honor the college football legend.

All 10 games air live on AM (960 WELI or 1300 ESPN) as well as iHeart Radio with Ron Vaccaro '04 and Jack Siedlecki providing the call.

All of Yale's home games as well as Ivy road games in 2018 are on ESPN. Most of them are on ESPN+, a subscription based (Watch ESPN) streaming platform, but the Bulldogs will be on TV three times (Dartmouth, Penn, Harvard) this fall. Links will be available on for each streamed game. International viewers who cannot get ESPN+ may watch on the Yale portal presented by Stretch Internet.

Yale and Harvard have never played each other at a professional sports venue, so this year's edition of The Game is truly unique. The Nov. 17 contest takes place at Fenway Park with a noon kick on one of the ESPN networks. The 135th meeting of Yale and Harvard is also unique because it sold out in a few days last spring. That's the earliest tickets have ever gone on sale and the fastest the tickets have been sold.  The New York Post recently came out with "The 20 Best Experiences College Football Has to Offer" and The Game ranked No. 5 behind Clemson (Howard's Rock), Army-Navy, Notre Dame (TD Jesus) and Wisconsin's "Jump Around."

Sept. 15: Zane Dudek (Ivy HRoll); Ryan Burke (Ivy HRoll)
Sept. 22: Spencer Alston (Ivy ROW); Alex Galland (Ivy HRoll)
Sept. 29: Kurt Rawlings (NE Gold Helmet, CSM Ivy POW); Reed Klubnik (Ivy HRoll), Alex Galland (Ivy HRoll)
Oct. 5: Reed Klubnik (Ivy HRoll)
Oct. 13: Kurt Rawlings (Ivy POW, CSM Ivy POW, CFPA); Noah Pope (Ivy HRoll)
Oct. 20: Alan Lamar (Ivy & CSM POW); Noah Pope (Ivy HRoll)

Contact: Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity -