Sept. 28, 2004
It has been 62 years since the Bulldogs opened their home schedule in the month of October, and it is happening again in 2004. The Yale football team (1-1, 0-1 Ivy), which opened the 1942 campaign in the 10th month with a 33-6 win over Lehigh at Yale Bowl, is home this Saturday to face 2003 NCAA I-AA runner-up Colgate. The 1 p.m. game can be heard live on WELI (AM-960) and WYBC (AM-1340). Saturday at Yale Bowl is also Youth Day.
Bulldogs vs. Raiders The Bulldogs lead the overall series 24-10-3 but have lost the last two, including the 52-40 game last October. Despite that 92-point game -- the highest in modern Yale football history -- nearly a third of the meetings have resulted in great defensive performances. Yale won the first three games with shutouts, including the initial meeting in 1909. The Raiders, who won the last contest at Yale Bowl, 35-17 in 1998, have been involved in 10 shutouts in the 37 meetings with the Elis.
Memorable Games in the Series Last fall, Alvin Cowan broke the Yale record for total offense with 466 yards but the Raiders scored 52 points in a 12-point win... Colgate fumbled nine times in a 27-7 Yale victory at New Haven in 1951... In 1960, Bulldog Bob Blanchard intercepted a Colgate pass and went 99 yards for a score in a 36-14 Yale win. That remains the longest interception return in school history... Raider tailback Kenny Gamble rushed for a then Yale Bowl record 220 yards in 1986 during a 28-23 Colgate win.
The Coaches Jack Siedlecki is looking for his first win against the Raiders. The Yale mentor, who was an assistant at Lafayette from 1981-87, went 0-6 against Colgate during that time. He is 0-2 as a head coach against the Raiders (35-17 in 1998 and 52-40 last year) and 0- 8 overall... Siedlecki, who has led Yale to 13 victories in games that he trailed in the fourth quarter, is the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football. Twelve of his 16 seasons as a college head coach have been winning efforts, including five of seven in New Haven. Twenty-one Elis have earned first-team All-Ivy since Siedlecki arrived at Yale, while almost every school offensive record has been broken during that time. Dick Biddle, in his ninth year as Colgate head coach, is 2-0 against the Elis. He has coached at six different schools including Virginia Tech, Minnesota and Navy... Biddle is 19-3 against Ivy League schools.
Bulldogs Stunned at Ithaca The Cornell defense did its job for the second straight year against Yale, but this time it meant victory in a 19-7 game before over 11,000 at Ithaca. The Bulldogs managed just eight first downs, 56 plays and 181 total yards while holding the ball for just 20 minutes. The defense, for the second straight week, played well enough to win, including 13 tackles for lost yardage. Trevor MacMeekin booted four field goals and the Red won the battle of special teams to gain the upset, their first win over the Bulldogs since 2000. Backup LB Cole Harris (Morrilton, Ark.), filling in for the injured Ken Estrera (Dallas, Texas), who left the game with four solo and 11 total tackles, led the team with 6-6-12. Ends Brandon Dyches (Chapin, S.C.), who had a career-best 5-4-9, and Don Smith (New Fairfield, Conn.), who added 4-4-8, each had four tackles for loss. CB Fred Jelks (Bloomfield, Conn.) recorded Yale's first interception of the year in the second half. On the other side, QB Alvin Cowan (Austin, Texas) completed 15 of 33 passes for 146 yards and one TD, but for the second consecutive week had negative rushing yards, including three sacks. WR Ralph Plumb (Portsmouth, R.I.) led the squad with seven catches for 99 yards and a 24-yard TD while backup receiver Will Blodgett (Glencoe, Ill.) had a career-best four grabs. TE Alex Faherty (New York, N.Y.) added three catches while WR Chandler Henley (Littleton, Colo.) was held to one reception.
Raiders Keep Steak Alive Senior quarterback Chris Brown passed for 219 yards and three touchdowns to lead 10th ranked Colgate to a 33-0 win over Georgetown Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium. Colgate (2-1, 1-0 Patriot) won its 14th straight league game with its 14th straight home victory. Senior tailback Jamaal Branch was Colgate's leading rusher with 85 yards on 24 carries before leaving the game midway through the third quarter with leg cramps. He scored one touchdown to move into a tie for fifth place in career scoring with 210 points. The day belonged to the defense, which limited the Hoyas to 149 yards of total offense while posting Colgate's first shutout since 1988. Senior DE Matt Spack led the way with three sacks and six solo stops. Five of his six tackles went for losses.
Cornell Had Carr's Plate Last September, senior RB Robert Carr (Baytown, Texas) rushed for 115 yards and a TD against the Big Red in a win at Yale Bowl. This time Cornell had his number, holding the 5-foot-7, 190-pound spark plug to 41 yards on 15 carries. Carr, the only Eli running back to have a carry at Cornell last week, earned Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game honors with his all-around performance in the win at Dayton. Carr, closing in on numerous Yale records, rushed 37 times for 172 yards and had a two-yard TD run. He also had 50 return yards on three kickoffs and ran 55 yards to chase down a Flyer who had intercepted a Yale pass in the end zone. Carr narrowly escaped drowning in Connecticut's Candlewood Lake last July. His saviors turned out to be brave on-lookers who wanted to help when Carr's friends were unable to find him. Carr, who had stopped breathing, was pulled from the lake by Brandon Roy before Nick Nunally resuscitated him. This story was featured on ESPN over the summer and in USA Today on Sept. 16. The Baytown, Tex., native, who owns the Yale records for rushing yards in a game (235) and 200-yard rushing games in a season (2), has made a full recovery.
Cowan Closing In On Records Senior QB Alvin Cowan, who owns numerous school records and has others in sight, had his least productive day (not including game No. 2 of 2002 when he was injured) as an Eli starter for the second straight week. He completed 15 of 33 passes for 146 yards and had -6 rushing yards. Despite throwing for two TDs and bringing the Blue back to victory at Dayton, Cowan tied a career-high with two interceptions (Penn '03) and had -3 yards rushing and 173 yards of total offense. In addition, his streak of 200-yard passing days came to an end at eight games. The 2003 New England I-AA MVP and Payton Award Finalist averaged 300 yards passing and 342 yards of total offense last fall. He owns the Ivy record for total offense in a season (3,429) and broke 15 other school records last fall.
Estrera Lost Senior LB Ken Estrera (Dallas, Texas), who suffered a season-ending leg injury last week after making four solo stops and 11 overall, took last semester off so he could finish his varsity eligibility this fall with the football squad. He was named Yale MVP by the New Haven Register for Saturday's game. Estrera, who had gained a medical hardship after breaking his leg prior to the start of his sophomore season, was playing alongside high school and college pal Ben Breunig (Dallas, Texas).
Defense Has Strong Start After forcing four fumbles and making six tackles for lost yardage in the opener, the Yale defense came up with another big day at Cornell. The Bulldogs made 13 stops behind the line of scrimmage and halted numerous drives in the red zone. Five of Cornell's 14 possessions began on the Yale side of the field. Senior DB Fred Jelks (Bloomfield, Conn.) recorded his fifth career interception.
Captain America Rory Hennessey (Strongsville, Ohio), a 2003All-America selection who has an American flag tattoo on one of his biceps, is the top professional football prospect on the Yale team based on the inquiries from NFL scouts. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive left tackle has not allowed a sack during his collegiate career.
Youth Day This Saturday Where else can a child, attending a game at a national historic landmark, participate in a famous tradition with a world famous band at halftime of one of the most storied programs in college football? On Youth Day at Yale Bowl, which happens this weekend, children from New Haven taking part in the day's events take the field with the Yale Band to form the human "Y" as the musicians play "March Down the Field." Other Youth Day festivities include youth football games, sports clinics (350 chiildren will participate) with Yale players and coaches and an educational youth festival that is open to everyone. "It's an amazing sight when you see the look on a kid's face when he or she has a lacrosse or a hockey stick in their hands for the first time," said Youth Day Chairman Donald Scharf `55.
Hail to The Bulldogs For the first time since the U.S. Presidential election process came down to Republicans vs. Democrats, candidates from the same undergraduate institution oppose each other. Since a Yale man (graduate school included) will occupy the White House for the fifth straight term - and both of the current candidates were athletes - we surveyed the largest Bulldog team to see who was getting the most support. The 2004 Yale Football team leans to the right with 62 players voting for George Bush `68 (baseball). John Kerry `66 (lacrosse, hockey, soccer), who shared the Yale campus with his opposition for two years as an undergraduate, got 27 votes while 11 players said they were undecided. The current Bulldogs were also asked who on their team is most likely to become president of the U.S. The clear-cut choice is senior OL Dickey Shanor (Cheyenne, Wyo.), who hails from the same state as current V.P. Dick Cheney.
The Rest of the Voting Yale players were also surveyed for other impressions of their teammates. OL Steve Bassermann (Branford, Conn.) was voted the most humorous, OL Matt Lesniak (Boca Raton, Fla.) and LB Ken Estrera (Dallas, Tex.) were named the most intelligent, while RB Robert Carr (Baytown, Tex.) and Alvin Cowan (Austin, Tex.) were voted the most vocal leaders other than the captain.
Leaders Play for Yale Seventy-six Yale football players captained their high school gridiron squads and 58 Bulldogs captained sports other than football (primarily baseball and basketball) before coming to New Haven. Seventy-four Elis were National Honor Society members, while amongst them were five valedictorians, three salutatorians, five student body presidents and four class presidents.
Name the Confusion The 2004 Yale football roster includes two linemen named McCarthy, Ed (Fairfield, Conn.), an OL who was 2003 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and Kevin (Chester, N.J.), a freshman DL. The Elis have a pair of Wrights in Ashley (Mobile, Ala.), a WR, and Chris (Signal Mountain, Tenn.), the long snapper and a DB. There is a Harris on defense, senior LB Cole (Morilton, Ark.), and a Harris on offense, freshman QB Ruben (New York, NY). The only players with the same name who are related are defensive back brothers John and Matt Coombs (Bellevue, Wash.). John is a freshman while Matt is a sophomore who transferred from the University of Washington but has four years of eligibility.
Class of 2004.5 Five seniors on the 2004 Yale team were granted a medical waiver to take their final year of eligibility this fall. DL Bryant Dieffenbacher (Ashtabula, Ohio), DB Barton Simmons (Nashville, Tenn.), QB Alvin Cowan (Austin, Tex.), LB Ken Estrera (Dallas, Tex.) and DL Tim Barrett (S. Windsor, Conn.) had injuries at different times over the last four years. They each have red shirts with "Class of 2004.5" on the front. Estrera suffered a season-ending injury at Cornell in game No. 2.
Single Digits Are More Aerodynamic Starting linebackers and Dallas natives Ken Estrera (94 to 7) and Ben Breunig (93 to 5) switched their numbers to single digits as did Alex Faherty (New York, NY) who went from 40 to No. 1. None of the three care to explain why they made the changes, but Breunig did say, "Speed. I think we all shaved at least two tenths of a second off our forty times by switching to single digits." Sophomore TB Jordan Spence (Colleyville, Tex.), who wore Barton Simmons' (Nashville, Tenn.) number three while the senior DB was recovering from surgery last fall, has No. 20 this fall.
Commissioner Says Tailgating Began at Yale Joe Cahn, the self-proclaimed "commissioner of tailgating," travels the country in his motor home making tailgating stops at all the major sports party spots. Cahn and his TV production people say that this form of pre-game dining began 100 years ago at Yale. That is why Cahn - replete with two grills, tents, his vehicle and lots of food -- and the cameras were parked outside the Bowl one day in August providing spots to 27 different TV stations around the country.
It's Been 95 Years... Since Yale won a national football title (Helms Foundation) in 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 822) but have since been overtaken by Michigan (835).
Elis on the Tube Yale have six TV games this fall, including five live broadcasts and three home game telecasts. Here is the breakdown:
Game Producing Broadcast Other Information Dayton Time Warner (W. Ohio) no satellite available Lehigh Fox Sports Net (Pittsburgh) available on satellite Penn Comcast CN8 viewable on internet Brown Cox3 Satellite available Princeton YES Network - (tape delay) Satellite available/4 p.m. showing Harvard WLVI (Boston) also WGN (Chicago), other Tribune stations
Lunching on the Third Hole of the Course 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. OL Anthony Bellino (Upper St. Clair, PA) and DB Barton Simmons (Nashville, Tenn.) will join the coach this week, while Colgate's Dick Biddle will be available for questions via speaker phone.
Practice Makes Perfect 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.
Siedlecki By Month Jack Siedlecki, who coached in his first overtime game ever on Oct. 25, 2003, at Penn, is 11-5 in September games for Yale. He has swept the opening month of play the last three falls. The Bulldog leader is 16-14 in October and 12-12 in November.
Siedlecki Says... "We better regroup because this is a team with great expectations and we did absolutely nothing to prove ourselves in this [Cornell] game. Defensively we played well -- I'd say we played our guts out considering how bad our field position was. But we never found any answers on offense. Even on the last drive, we dropped three balls. A couple of times they outnumbered us defensively, and we obviously made some errors in our pass protection. There were a couple of sacks by defensive linemen who were completely unblocked, and that absolutely shouldn't happen. At one point we went three-and-out four times in a row. You're not going to beat anybody doing stuff like that. You've got to come to play every week. There's nobody in this league that can't beat you."
90th 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 351-178-22 (551 games) in Yale Bowl. In recent times the Blue has had five home and five away games each fall, but the average for the 89 seasons is 6.2 home contests per year. Since formal Ivy play began in 1956, the Elis are 111-71-3 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).
Yale Bowl Renovations Work has begun on the restoration project that will include among other things a plaza area, upgraded pressbox, new seating, exterior wall & portal work, new perimeter fencing with iron gates and a new drainage system.
Bowl is Half Full Yale, for the first time since 1985, led Division I-AA in attendance last fall with 23,578 per game over five dates. The Elis have been ranked among the top 30 schools in attendance the last dozen years.
Bulldog Bites The Bulldogs have lost two players to broken legs in the last two trips to Ithaca... The four field goals by Cornell's Trevor MacMeekin last week was the most against an Eli team since Penn's Jason Feinberg connected on each of his attempts in the Bowl in 1999... Not only is this the first time in 62 years that Yale has opened its home slate in October, but it's likely the first time ever the Bulldogs have not played either a scrimmage or a game at home until the 10th month. In 1942, the last time Yale opened the home slate in October, the Elis also faced a Patriot League [not called that at the time] team in Lehigh... The Nov. 13 Princeton game time has been moved back 30 minutes to a 12:30 kickoff... Senior WR Ted Pataki, the son of New York Governor George Pataki, went through Basic Training with the Marine Corps this past summer... When Yale faced Cornell last week, head coach Jim Knowles was the fourth Big Red mentor Jack Siedlecki had faced in his eight seasons at Yale... The loss at Cornell ended Yale's streak of wins in league openers at three.
Lone Star Dominance Less than a dozen Texas natives played for Yale from the mid 60's to the middle of the 90's. Nineteen players from the Lone Star State are on this year's roster -- a team-high -- and eight of them showed up on the initial two-deep depth chart. Texas, now recruited by assistant coach Matt Dence, forms the core of the Yale lineup for the second straight year. The starting QB, TB and one LB (it was two before Estrera got injured) all come from the land of the big. There are seven players from Dallas.
Bulldogs Impact the NFL Eric Johnson '01 missed the 2003 NFL season with an injury after having a sensational (36-catch) rookie season in 2002 with San Francisco. He was a receiver at Yale but is now a TE who leads the 49ers with 18 catches for 185 yards and a TD... Dick Jauron '73, an Ivy League star runner and former NFL special teams All-Pro, was the head coach of Chicago for five seasons before being fired last winter. He is now the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions, who beat the Bears on opening day... Chris Hetherington '96, who has played eight seasons (Colts, Panthers, Rams, Raiders) in the NFL as a running back and special teams player, was cut by Oakland a week before the 2004 campaign... Nate Lawrie '04, drafted by Tampa Bay, was cut by the Bucs two weeks prior to the start of this pro season and spent a few weeks on the Philadelphia practice squad until he was released recently.
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 32nd season as the voice of the Elis, provide the call of the action. 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. Sports Director Alex Goot anchors the coverage this fall. All 10 Yale games this fall can be heard live on the internet at 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.
Walter Camp 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. Robert Carr earned the first honors with 172 yards rushing, 70 return yards and touchdown-saving tackle and fumble recovery.
Bulldogs in OT Yale's only two extra-session games since the NCAA adeopted 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.
Comparing Yale and Colgate Here is how the two teams stack up against each other on the stats pages.
Team Averages Offense Yale Colgate Rushing Yds 116 141 Passing Yds 161 195 Total Offense 277 336 Scoring 16 23 Defense Yale Colgate Rushing Yds 130 95 Passing Yds 170 195 Total Yds 300 290 Scoring 18 15
Offense Y C Rushing Yds 116 141 Passing Yds 161 195 Total Offense 277 336 Scoring 16 23
Defense Y C Rushing Yds 130 95 Passing Yds 170 195 Total Yds 300 290 Scoring 18 15