Bulldogs Home Saturday to Host Crusaders on Youth Day

Sept. 27, 2005

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

The Bulldogs, coming off a big win in their Ivy opener last week, stay at home to host Holy Cross on Youth Day at Yale Bowl. The game can be heard live on radio stations WELI (AM 960) and WYBC (AM 1340) as well as on yalebulldogs.com and 960WELI.com.

The Yale-Holy Cross Series

The Bulldogs lead the series 25-3 and have taken the last 11 meetings. The last Crusader victory came in 1982, a 10-6 decision at Yale Bowl.

Bulldogs Blast Big Red

Captain Jeff Mroz threw five touchdown passes, tying a 39-year old school record, as Yale beat Cornell 37-17 last Saturday at Yale Bowl. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Big Red, after Yale had built a 27-point lead, marred an otherwise outstanding performance by a Bulldog defense that generated three turnovers, had three sacks and made six tackles for lost yardage. The Bulldogs racked up 416 yards of total offense with 314 coming from Mroz (18-31) throws, including a career-high 198 to junior WR Ashley Wright, who had seven catches and three TDs. Running backs Jordan Spence (9-52) and Mike McLeod (22-66) worked hard to get their yardage against a Big Red team geared to stop the run, but the air attack took over for Yale. DE Brandon Dyches (7-1-8) and DBs Andrew Butler (6-2-8) and Mike Holben (7-0-7) led the Blue in tackles. The visitors had nine more first downs than the home team but the Elis came up with more big plays.

Crusaders Hang With No. 6 Hens

Senior RB Steve Silva accumulated 279 yards of total offense but a strong upset bid by the Crusaders fell short in a 35-23 loss at No. 6 Delaware. The defenses dominated for most of the first half forcing each team to punt four straight times to start the evening. On Delaware's fifth possession, Crusader senior LB Matt Dugan recovered a fumble that led to QB John O'Neil throwing a four-yard TD pass to senior WR Sean Gruber. O'Neil completed 17 of 32 passes for 236 yards and two scores, while Gruber had 131 yards and two touchdowns on five catches. Junior LB Dan Adams led the Crusader defense with 10 total tackles. Silva had 106 rushing yards on the day to surpass 2,000 yards rushing for his career, becoming the seventh Holy Cross player to reach that milestone. The Crusaders began the season with a pair of victories over Sacred Heart and Georgetown before falling to Harvard and the Blue Hens.

Siedlecki Says After Cornell

"You're not going to drive the ball four or five yards at a time against this defense. We had to make some big plays. I thought we did an absolutely fabulous job picking up the blitz. We protected the quarterback and let him have the little extra time versus a man-to-man defense. I thought QB Dru Akins did a great job in practice simulating the Cornell offense for our defense to work against, showing us what the other team was doing. But the actual speed of it is tough to get used to. I thought after one series we had it. I felt at halftime there was a huge difference from last week to this week. We came in confident, and the kids were excited. We played this game as a team ­ offense, defense and special teams."

The Coaches

Jack Siedlecki earned his 100th win as a collegiate head coach against Cornell. He is 6-0 vs. Holy Cross. Tom Gilmore, a 1986 Penn graduate and former gridiron star, is 5-10 as the leader of the Crusaders in his second season.

Siedlecki By Month

Jack Siedlecki, who coached in his first overtime game ever on Oct. 25, 2003, at Penn, is 11-7 in September games for Yale. He swept the opening month of play in three of the last four falls. The Bulldog leader is 19-16 in October and 13-14 in November.

Captain Mroz

Senior QB Jeff Mroz, the 2005 team captain who has 21 career TD passes, completed 18 passes for the second straight week. The difference was this week he connected five times for TDs and had 314 yards in a big Ivy win at home. That helped him earn co-Ivy Offensive Player of the Week honors. The five scoring passes were the most by an Eli QB since Pete Doherty did it against Columbia on Oct. 15, 1966. Eight different receivers caught his passes against Cornell and he had one picked off (3 now this season).

Firsts in First Victory

There were a lot of career firsts in Yale's initial victory of 2005, including all three interceptions. DB Nick Solakian, LB Lee Driftmier and LB Chris Barry each notched his first. WR Todd Feiereisen snared his first two career TD passes, while TE Langston Johnson and WR D.J. Shooter both caught their first passes. In addition, PK Alan Kimball split the uprights for his first three-pointer.

McLeod Has Another Strong Showing

Freshman RB Mike McLeod had 173 all-purpose yards in his debut and then 126 last week vs. Cornell. Between rushing, receiving and returning kicks, the New Britain, Conn., native has had 25 touches in each game. He became the first Yale rookie runner to go over 100 rushing yards in his debut when he went for 102 at USD.

From QB to WR

Senior WR Todd Feiereisen (2-52) caught a 34-yard TD pass to put Yale ahead for good in the middle of the first quarter and then pulled down an 18-yard scoring toss in the second. Those were the first two TD receptions for the Bulldog who played QB for the first three years of his collegiate career. Feiereisen was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter with an injury.

Who is Counting?

The Elis have allowed 17 points in each of the first two outings. The 37 points Yale scored last week were the most by the Bulldogs since a 55-44 loss to Brown on Nov. 8, 2003. The 30 straight points against the Red were the most since the Blue tallied 34 straight against Towson in 2003 at the Bowl.

Defense Gets No Rest

Despite allowing 400 yards of total offense, the Bulldog defense got the job done for the second straight week, and the wealth was well spread. Twenty-six different players recorded tackles, six of them went for lost yardage and there were three sacks by DEs Brandon Etheridge and Brandon Dyches and DT Stephen Schmalhofer. Three different defenders had interceptions and three others broke up Cornell passes. The three interceptions were the most by the Bulldogs since last year's Dartmouth game.

Wright Target

Junior Ashley Wright knew that this could be his big day with the style of defense Cornell plays. He was right because he hauled in a career-high seven passes for 198 yards and three TDs. The three scores (9, 31 and 70 yards) tied the school record that he now shares with eight others. Wright, also the starting punter (35.2), leads the Blue with 10 catches for 241 yards this fall. His 70-yard play was the longest since Alvin Cowan threw to P.J. Collins for 73 in 2003. Wright had seven catches in all of 2004.

Common Names

Six sets of players share a last name and help confuse all who are trying to cover the Elis this fall. There are four sets of brothers and two other sets of players with the same name on the roster. The brothers are Bobby (LB) and Larry (DB) Abare, Matt (RB) and Mike (OL) Cautero, John and Matt Coombs (both DBs) and Jordan (RB) and Rylan (DB) Spence. The Abares, who did not lose a high school game (Acton-Boxboro streak ended at 52 on 9/23/05), are the only twins among the brothers. Ed (OL) and Kevin (DL) McCarthy and Ashley (WR) and Chris (DE) Wright are not related.

The 300 Club

Five Bulldogs, all offensive linemen, weigh at least 300 pounds. Junior Steve Bassermann (305), freshmen Darius Dale (300) and Davis Hammell (320), junior Ed McCarthy (302) and sophomore Tom Woznicki (300) all qualify for the 300 Club. Hammell is the heaviest player in the history of Yale football. Art Kalman '89, a three-year starting OL at 300 pounds for Carm Cozza, is believed to be the first Bulldog to tip the scale at the three century mark.

Round Numbers

The average weight of the Bulldog starting offensive line is 282.6 pounds... The starting defensive front comes in at 249 pounds.

The 78-Inch Club

Four Bulldogs qualify for the 78-inch club (6-foot-6), the tallest group on the Yale squad. Freshman OL Davis Hammell, the heaviest on the team, sophomore OL Louis Gresham, senior TE Pat Skahan and senior DL Juan Wheat, a former Yale hoopster, all reach that height.

Strong-Arm Tactics

Sophomore DL Steve Morse, whose bench press tops the Yale charts at 405 pounds, is one of three Elis to break the quadruple century mark. Junior OL Brett Crandall and sophomore DL Brandt Hollander (both at 400) are the others who have reached the mark. Senior DL Jonas Maciunas is the leader of the 500-and-over squat club with a team-best 525. Senior DL Andrew Ralph (505) and sophomore DL Stephen Schmalhofer (500) are also in the small club.

Yale Still Leads the Nation

Yale has not won a national football title since 1909, but the Bulldogs still have more championships (12) than any other school in the country. Notre Dame is second with 11 national titles. In addition, the Elis were the first collegiate football team to win 800 games (now 826) but have since been overtaken by Michigan (844).

The Rankings Are in

The latest ESPN/USA Today I-AA Poll includes Yale opponents Lehigh (13th), Harvard (15th) and Penn which has 47 votes. Last year, Yale beat 20th ranked Colgate but lost to No. 18 Lehigh, No. 25 Penn and No. 10 Harvard.

Elis on the Tube

Yale has four live TV games this fall and they all come over the last five Saturdays. The Elis take on Penn at Franklin Field in a game that can be seen live on Comcast's CN8. When Brown comes to the Bowl on Nov. 5, it will be the Ivy League Game of the Week on the YES Network. The following week at Princeton, CN8 is back to cover the oldest rivalry in the Ancient Eight. The season finale against Harvard airs live on Tribune Company stations WGN (Chicago), WLVI (Boston) and possibly others around New England.

Class Breakdown

The 2005 Yale roster includes 23 seniors, 29 juniors, 28 sophomores and 36 newcomers.

Weekly Media Lunch

Every Tuesday at noon at the Golf Course at Yale Coach Siedlecki and Yale players are available for questions at the football media luncheon, which is held in the Garden Room overlooking the third and fourth holes. WR/P Ashley Wright and DE Brandon Dyches join the coach this week, while Holy Cross head coach Tom Gilmore will be available for questions via speaker phone.

Catching Bulldogs At Practice

There is no practice on Mondays, and normal practice time from Tuesday through Friday is 4:15 to 6:15. Note that Friday times could be altered on travel days. Practice is held on the fields behind the baseball stadium and inside the outdoor track. Inclement weather could bring the team inside to either Coxe Cage or the Lanman Center. Players might be available for interviews before practice around the Smilow Center or out on the fields or after practice. It is best to email Steve Conn to arrange a meeting at least a day before you would like to speak with a player.

Frosh Impact

Five members of the class of 2009 appear on the two-deep chart, and all of them are currently backups. TB Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.), who may not start but has become a featured back, rushed for 168 yards in the first two games. The others are RT Darius Dale (Seattle, Wash.), MG Joe Hathaway (Clifton, N.J.), LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) and PK Brady Hart (State College, Pa.) have earned spots behind starters. Everyone but Hart saw action in the first two games.

91st Season in Yale Bowl

Since opening the national historic landmark in 1914 with a 36-0 loss to Harvard before a full house, the Bulldogs have gone 351-183-21 (555 games) in Yale Bowl. In recent times the Blue has had five home and five away games each fall, but the average for the 90 seasons is 6.2 home contests per year. Since formal Ivy play began in 1956, the Elis are 114-72-3 vs. Ancient Eight foes at home. Many famous people have played against Yale at the Bowl, including Heisman Trophy winners Dick Kazmaier (Princeton), Glen Davis (Army), Tom Harmon (Michigan) and Doug Flutie (Boston College).

This Saturday is Youth Day

Youth Days at Yale, a tradition for 73 years, bring kids from the Greater New Haven and Shoreline areas together with Yale athletes and coaches. Kids have the opportunity to take part in sports clinics with Yale coaches and athletes, as well as attend a youth fair with educational and interactive activities. The Yale Community Outreach Program and the Youth Day Committee have worked hard to invite numerous youth groups to Saturday's Youth Day program.

Yale No. 7 on List of Greatest Programs

The Yale football program was ranked seventh on Street & Smith's list of "50 Greatest Football Programs of All-Time." Notre Dame is first followed by Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Alabama, Nebraska and Michigan. The next highest ranked Ivy school is Princeton at No. 10 with Harvard (22) and Penn (41) as the other Ancient Eight schools on the list that will be published as part of a book available this fall.

Yale Bowl Renovations

The restoration of Yale Bowl, a project which was approved by the Yale Corporation, is well under way. Substantial completion is projected by the fall of 2006. The initial phase of the project, the installation of an iron picket fence with brick columns along Yale Avenue and Chapel Street, has already been completed. Work will continue with the rebuilding of the interior and exterior walls, the repair or replacement of 17 miles of wood seats and upgrading of all drainage and utilities. The 30 tunnels including the entrances and wing walls at the exits will also be totally refurbished. Each portal at the Bowl will be named to honor a class, team or individual. Gifts have already been made to name more than 20 of the 30 portals, while the playing surface has been named the Class of '54 Field to honor the majority gift in the Yale Bowl project.

Bulldogs on Sundays

Eric Johnson '01 may miss the entire 2005 NFL season with a foot injury that kept him out of the pre-season with the San Francisco 49ers. Johnson, who played WR at Yale, has had two excellent NFL seasons as a TE and missed another with a shoulder injury... Chris Hetherington '96 was released by Oakland and picked up by the 49ers just before opening day is a FB and special teams player... Nate Lawrie '04 is in his second season at a Tampa Bay TE... Dick Jauron '73, an Ivy League star runner and former NFL special teams All-Pro, was the head coach of Chicago for five seasons. He is now in his second season as the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions.

Walter Camp Yale Players of the Game

For the seventh straight season, the Walter Camp Football Foundation honors Yale's game MVP as the Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game. This award is handed out both at home and on the road. Freshman RB Mike McLeod earned the nod at USD with 173 all-purpose yards, while the second went to QB Jeff Mroz (5 TD passes) last week.. RB Robert Carr '05 had the most WCYPG honors last fall with three.

Bulldogs in OT

Yale's only two extra-session games since the NCAA adopted the OT rule came last fall. Yale fell 34-31 at Penn and beat Princeton 27-24 (2 OT) on the road. The Bulldogs have yet to play overtime at Yale Bowl.

Leaders Play for Yale

The Yale football team has always produced leaders of all types on and off the field and this year is no exception. The 2005 roster includes 67 players who captained their high school gridiron squads and 45 people who captained other teams. Eight members of this year's team were senior class valedictorians and two were salutatorians.

The Players Have Voted

A survey was conducted for the players on the day they returned to New Haven. Here is what we found out. For the second straight year, junior OL Steve Bassermann was voted funniest player on the team. Other Bulldogs singled out were junior RB Jordan Spence (most intelligent), sophomore DB Kevin Littleton (best volunteer and most likely to become president of the U.S.), senior QB Jeff Mroz (hardest worker), senior WR Chandler Henley (best athlete), senior TE Alex Faherty (best leader other than captain) and senior DE Brandon Dyches (most unusual hobbies).

Beinecke Among Five To Receive Bush Leadership Award

William S. Beinecke '36, a former member of the Yale football team and chairman of the board for the Sperry & Hutchinson Company, is one of five graduates who will be honored with a George H.W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award at the Nov. 18 Blue Leadership Ball at the William K. Lanman Center inside Payne Whitney Gymnasium the night before the 122nd gridiron edition of Yale and Harvard. This is the third of the bi-annual Blue Leadership Balls. The class of 2005 Bush Award winners also include: former Bulldog hockey player Roland W. Betts `68, a member of the Yale Corporation who was the majority owner of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and is currently chairman of Chelsea Piers L.P.; Edgar M. Cullman `40, former chairman of General Cigar and a managing partner of Culbro Corporation; Kristaps Jurriss Keggi, M.D. `55, a Yale fencer who became one of the world's most renowned orthopedic surgeons and teaches at Yale; and Susan D. Wellington `81, an All-American swimmer who became president of U.S. Beverage, the Quaker Oats Company division of Pepsi.

Bulldog Bites

Yale had a pair of one-play drives in the win over Cornell, both long TD passes... Sophomore PK Alan Kimball connected on four of five PATs and his first FG (26) vs. Cornell... The crowd of 18,188 last week was the largest at the Bowl since the 2003 Harvard game... Jeff Mroz threw five TD passes to tie the Yale record, but he now shares the Yale Bowl record with both former Eli Pete Doherty and Dartmouth's Greg Smith (2001)... FB Taylor Craig, who has five receptions, has more catches than any Yale fullback since current TE Alex Faherty played the position in 2003.

Radio, Internet, Home Page and Hotline

NEWS/TALK 960 WELI broadcasts Yale football this fall on 960-AM. Yale football coaching legend Carm Cozza and Dick Galiette, in his 33rd season as the voice of the Elis, provide the call of the action. Ron Vaccaro '04 provides the perspective from the sideline. If you are not within listening range of WELI, you can call TEAMLINE at 1-800-846-4700 and enter Yale's four-digit code of 5682. WELI's Jerry Kristafer begins home game coverage from the Bowl with a half-hour tailgate party, then Galiette and Cozza take over for the pre-game show, which features interviews with head coach Jack Siedlecki and a Yale player. Engineer Tom Ivanovich adds the finishing touches on the broadcasts.WYBC (1340-AM), the Yale student station, also covers each game and has a 30-minute pre-game show that includes an interview with Eli head coach Jack Siedlecki. Co-sports directors Tai Eyer and Marshall Shaffer anchor the coverage this fall. All 10 Yale games this fall can be heard live on the internet at www.960WELI.com and www.yalebulldogs.com. Information on all of Yale's 35 varsity sports, including football, is available on the Yale Athletics Home Page. The address is: www.yalebulldogs.com. The football home page is maintained by Sam Rubin '95 and the Yale Sports Publicity Office. Information about upcoming games in addition to historical data and many photos of the past and present are also featured. The latest scores and game information from Yale varsity athletics are available by calling 432-YALE. The Yale Sports Hotline is sponsored by Barnes & Noble at Yale University, which is located on Broadway. Call 1-888-730-YALE for a copy of the store's fall catalog.