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Bulldogs Seek First Ivy Win

Bulldogs Seek First Ivy Win

Oct. 7, 2008

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale football team (2-1, 0-1 Ivy) looks for its first league win of 2008 with a 12:30 game at Dartmouth (0-3, 0-1) this Saturday. The game at Memorial Field (17,000) can be heard live on WELI-AM 960 ( and WYBC-AM 1340 ( and seen live on NESN (DirecTV 628).


This is the 92nd meeting between the Elis and the Big Green with Yale leading the series 49-36-6. Dartmouth played at Yale Bowl for 46 consecutive years, from 1924-1970, because the crowds at New Haven made it more profitable. Twelve of the first 15 contests ended in shutouts for Yale, while Dartmouth has won 10 of the last 17 meetings. The Bulldogs took last year's meeting at New Haven. The Green has won six of the last nine at Memorial Field, but the Elis won the 2006 game 26-14.


Yale had five rushing touchdowns from five different players and forced four Dartmouth turnovers en route to a 50-10 win over the Big Green on a hot afternoon at the Bowl. Yale outgained Dartmouth 304-85 on the ground.


The Yale offensive line averages 286 pounds and has a 45-pound advantage over the Dartmouth defensive front (256). The Big Green OL (285) has a 29-pound edge on the Yale DL (241).


Eugene F. "Buddy" Teevens III, a 1979 Dartmouth graduate, is 67-125-2 as a collegiate head coach and 33-47-2 in two stints at his alma mater. Teevens, who was a head coach at Tulane and Stanford after his first run at Hanover, is 2-6 against the Bulldogs. Jack Siedlecki (66-46 at Yale), the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football, is in his 21st season as a college head coach. He is 7-4 against the Green.


Yale senior captain and LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) earned Yale's first national and league honor of 2008 when he was named The Sports Network Defensive Player of the Week and the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week for his 10 tackles and two interceptions against Holy Cross. Abare, a candidate for the 2008 Buchannan Award for the top defensive player in FCS, is a two-time first-team all-league pick who was honorable mention All-America last fall. He was also Yale's Walter Camp Player of the Game with a game-high nine solos (10 overall) and an interception return for a TD against the Crusaders. His first interception halted a Crusader scoring drive when he snared a high throw while standing in the end zone before returning it 18 yards. Abare's second pick went 32 yards for a score that put Yale up14-0 in the second quarter. He leads the team in tackles with 21-6-27 this fall. He has eight career interceptions, including three for scores. Abare has also been a great promotion for Yale football off the field. He and Harvard captain Matt Curtis threw out first pitches on Sept. 2 at Fenway Park before a Red Sox game to promote the 125th playing of The Game this November at Boston.


Senior TB Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.), a Payton Award candidate and 2007 All-American, recorded his first 100-yard day since week No. 9 of 2007. He went three straight games in double digits before powering through the Crusaders for 131 yards on 39 carries (2nd most carries ever for him) and one score. He is second among active FCS players with 20 career 100-yard games. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound RB, who was the 2007 Ivy League MVP, already owns all the major Yale career rushing records including TDs (50) and rushing yards (3,938).


A 34-yard field goal in the second overtime by junior placekicker Tom Mante (Westwood, Mass.), followed by a defensive stand that forced Holy Cross into a missed 37-yard field goal, gave Yale a 31-28 win over the Crusaders on Oct. 4 at the Yale Bowl, Class of 1954 Field. The Bulldogs had to regroup after letting a 14-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter. The Yale defense limited Holy Cross to 55 rushing yards and picked off three passes, including one returned 32 yards for a touchdown by senior LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.).


For all but the last few minutes of regulation the Yale defense and special teams dominated play and allowed the Blue to hold onto a 21-7 lead over Holy Cross. That's when the Crusader offense ran off drives of 91 and 90 yards to send the game to OT. Then Holy Cross went 25 yards on three plays on the first offensive series in OT to take its only lead of the day. Those three drives were nearly half of the Crusaders' 431 yards of total offense.


Senior QB Ryan Fodor (Madison, Conn.), who had shared the signal-calling duties with sophomore Brook Hart (State College, Pa.) the first two weeks, took every snap against Holy Cross and had his best (17-for-23, 2 TDs) day as a Bulldog. Fodor, playing in his first OT as starting QB since eighth grade, completed a 25-yard scoring toss to WR Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) on Yale's first offensive play in OT to help even the score. He also connected with HB John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.) late in the first quarter to give the Blue a 7-0 lead.


Junior P/PK Tom Mante won the game for the Bulldogs with a 34-yard FG in overtime, but his six punts downed inside the Holy Cross 20 may have been the true difference. It was the first time he kicked an OT field goal at any level and the first time his FG won a game since his senior year at Bishop Guertin High School. He was 4-for-4 on PATs and averaged 36.6 on nine punts against the Crusaders.


"This game was a complete contrast to our game at Cornell. We caused four turnovers, including one that we returned for a touchdown and one that set up a touchdown drive. We also had much better field position. We ran the ball well, with Mike McLeod gaining 131 yards. We are back on track to what we are as a football team. There were still things that we need to work on. We weren't able to get as many big plays in the running game, and that was because there were a few plays that could have gone for long yardage where we were a little bit off on our aiming points."


Yale is now 5-3 in overtime games after beating Holy Cross last week. The Elis are 2-1 at home in extra sessions and 3-2 on the road. The Bulldogs are 2-1 in OT games against the Patriot League.


Sophomore FS Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.), playing his first year of varsity ball, picked off his second pass of 2008 against Holy Cross. He also had a career-high 3-1-4 last Saturday.


Holy Cross QB Dominic Randolph (41-of-65, 376 yards) was two attempts shy of Joe Walland's Yale Bowl record of 67 (42 completions) against Harvard in 1999. He was also two completions short of U.C. Davis QB Kevin Draft's Bowl record of 43 completions. Randolph was 11-for-18 on a 24-play, fourth quarter scoring drive that cut Yale's lead to 21-14. Randolph's 41 completions and 65 attempts are believed to be the most ever against the Bulldogs.


In addition to Ryan Fodor, two other Eli offensive players had career-best days last Saturday. Junior WR Reid Lathan (Santa Barbara, Calif.) had 3-42 while junior TE A.J. Haase (Bonne Terre, Mo.) recorded 3-25.


The Bulldogs lead the Ivy League in scoring offense (30.67), scoring defense (17.33), net punting (37.33, 7th in FCS) and pass efficiency (148.87).


The most points given up by a Dartmouth football team were 113 in a shutout loss to Yale in 1884... Also in the Big Green record books: Yale's five TD passes in 1968 were the most ever scored on Dartmouth; the Elis surrendered the most passing yards by a Big Green offense with 419 in 1992; Yale allowed the most completions with 38 by Dartmouth in 2001... The team from Hanover tossed a school-record nine interceptions against Yale in 1939, while Dartmouth notched a school record with six fumbles recovered against the Blue in 1953.


The Bulldogs ranked eighth in the FCS last fall with 264 rushing yards per game and were third in turnover margin (1.50). After three games this season, Yale ranks 100th in rushing (90.67) and 27th in T.O.M. (.67).


Junior DT Tom McCarthy (Chester, N.J.), who had a sack and two solos, blocked a FG attempt against Holy Cross and got his paw on a PAT that barely sailed through the uprights... Junior DE Travis Henry (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.), who had a career-best six solo stops, broke up a third-down pass in the second OT that made Holy Cross attempt the FG... Junior CB Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) recovered a fumble, had 5-1-6 and had one TFL... The Elis are averaging seven penalties per game... Yale is seventh in FCS in rushing defense (75.33).


The construction that will occur around the press box and halftime room is the start of the Kenney Family Field Center, which will include team meeting rooms, an alumni room with views of the field and a rooftop terrace.


Coming soon to the Bowl area is the Jensen Plaza, the grand entrance to the venue that will have names of every student-athlete who suited up for the gridiron Bulldogs.


The Yale Football class of 2009 is the largest group of seniors Jack Siedlecki has ever had. Considering that Yale had 30 spots for recruits when this class arrived, this is an impressive number. Twenty-one seniors are listed on the Yale (2-deep) depth chart.


Senior Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas), who is a Gates Scholar with a 3.68 GPA in political science, has been named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame's Draddy Award. Gerald, who is applying for a Rhodes Scholarship (interested in philosophy and development studies), has already been admitted to Harvard Business School (MBA). He received the 2008 Levi Jackson (former Yale captain) Scholarship for character, intellect, achievement and leadership. Gerald has 4-1-5 and one PBU this fall.


The Bowl's old (unable to confirm its age) scoreboard was replaced in early September with a custom-made LED unit from Ad Art that will make following the game much easier on the eyes and ears. The previous scoreboard (circa 1958) was named after longtime scoreboard operator Bobby Hertz and cost $6,000.


Members of the 2008 Yale team come from 24 different states and the District of Columbia. California has the most with 12 while Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and Ohio each have nine.


Since opening the national historic landmark in 1914, the Blue has gone 360-188-21 (569 games) at home. Since formal Ivy play began in 1956, the Elis are 120-75-3 vs. Ancient Eight foes at home.


The men who play football at Yale are an impressive group. Here are some facts and figures to support that.

74- captained their high school football teams

56- captained other high school sports

52- were members of National Honor Society

19- were National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes

5- were senior class valedictorians

4- were senior class salutatorians


Yale and the U.S. Presidency have been linked for the last 19 years. Four of the last six -- including the last three -- U.S. presidents attended Yale either as undergraduates or for graduate school, and a few former Yale football players currently work in the White House. The current Bulldogs are comprised of 49 percent republicans and 31 percent democrats while the rest have other affiliations. Senior CB Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas) was voted by his teammates as the Bulldog most likely to become U.S. President.


The Elis voted on team superlatives this fall and here are the results (Most or Best):

Hardest Working: LB Bobby Abare

Humorous: CB Casey Gerald

Intelligent: LB Matt Plummer

Athletic: RB Mike McLeod

Leader (other than captain) CB Casey Gerald

Competitive: LB Bobby Abare

Clutch: RB Mike McLeod

Underrated: DE Brady Hart

Strongest: LG Stephen Morse

Toughest: LB Bobby Abare

Musical: WR Jarren Simmons

Likely to Coach: QB Richie Scudellari

Strangest Hobby: DT Joe Hathaway (Star Wars memorabilia)


Each 2008 Yale home game is a special day at the Bowl. The season opener was Yale Employee Day. Holy Cross came to New Haven on Oct. 4 on Yale Youth Day. The next home game is Parents Weekend with the Penn Quakers playing on the Class of 1954 Field. Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Day is Nov. 1 with Columbia in town, while the "Fill the Bowl" promotion highlights the Nov. 15 Princeton game. Contact Yale Assistant AD for Marketing Pat O'Neill ( or intern Bob Coppola ( for more details.


The 2008 Yale Football Team will have three straight Ivy League contests broadcast live on the YES Network as part of a package called Yale on YES. The YES games are Oct. 25 (Penn at Yale), Nov. 1 (Columbia at Yale) and Nov. 8 (Yale at Brown). All three telecasts begin at 12:30 p.m.


The Ivy League has an agreement with VERSUS for a 2008 football TV package. VERSUS (73 million homes) will televise five Ancient Eight games as the Ivy League Game of the Week, Presented by TIAA-CREF. This is the first time since the early 1990s that Ivy football has been packaged together nationally. Here are the TV games on Versus: Oct. 11 - Cornell at Harvard (noon); Oct. 25 - Dartmouth at Columbia (4:00); Nov. 1 - Brown at Penn (noon); Nov. 15: Princeton at Yale (noon); Nov. 22: Yale at Harvard (noon). Versus also airs Pac-10, Big-12 and Mountain West games.


Yale has not won a national football title since 1927, but the Bulldogs still have more championships (26) than any other school in the country. Notre Dame is second with 11 national titles. In addition, the Elis were the first football team of any kind to win 800 games but have since been overtaken by Michigan.


The normal practice week is from Tuesday through Friday, 4:15 to 6:15. (Friday times could be altered on travel days) Practice is held on the fields behind the baseball stadium (Yale Field) and inside the outdoor track. Inclement weather could bring the team inside to either Coxe Cage or the Lanman Center. It is best to email Steve Conn ( to arrange a meeting at least a day before you would like to speak with a player or coach.


There are three sets of brothers on the Yale roster including two-deep members LB Bobby and SS Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.) and DE Brady and QB Brook Hart (State College, Pa.). Jack and Marcus Wallace (Germantown, Wisc.) are also on the roster.


Connecticut has always provided talented athletes for the Yale football team with offensive stars such as Rich Diana (Hamden High) and John Pagliaro (Derby High), and 2008 is no exception. Two current starters are from the Nutmeg State. QB Ryan Fodor (Hand of Madison) was the Coca-Cola Player of the Year in Connecticut while RB Mike McLeod (New Britain High) was the New Haven Register's Player of the Year. Alex Thomas '12 (Ansonia) was everyone's 2007 state player of the year.


This Tuesday at noon, Yale head coach Jack Siedlecki will be joined by C Ty Davis (Fresno, Calif.) and DE Travis Henry (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.). The Galiette Luncheon interviews can be seen live on Don Boyle's Yale's weekly media luncheon was named after legendary play-by-play announcer Dick Galiette, who called Yale Football for 33 seasons until his death in 2005 and will be inducted into the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame this December.


For the 10th 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 every game. Walter Camp (class of 1880), the father of American football, captained two Yale teams and coached five others. He compiled a 67-2-0 record and won three national titles as coach. Sophomore WR Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) had a career day against Georgetown to earn the award. Forney (see Jack Warhola's photo) finished with 4-136 and two scores. Senior SS Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.) was WCPG after leading the team with 12 tackles and a PBU at Cornell, while Bobby Abare took the honors against Holy Cross with two interceptions and nine solos.


NEWS/TALK 960 WELI will broadcast all 10 Yale football games this fall on 960-AM and online at Ron Vaccaro '04, who was part of NBC's Olympic coverage this past summer, is in his third year as play-by-play announcer. Yale football coaching legend Carm Cozza, a 2003 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, is in his 11th season as color commentator. WELI's George DeMaio begins home game coverage from the Bowl with a half-hour tailgate party broadcast that includes Vaccaro and Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn.


The Bulldogs have six games on TV this year. After playing at Dartmouth on NESN, "Yale on YES" airs three straight Ivy games before Versus covers the Princeton and Harvard tilts with the last of a five-game Ivy League Game of the Week package.


WYBC (1340-AM) also covers each game and has a 30-minute pre-game show. Bob Heussler, WYBC's Director of Football Radio Broadcasts, and Anthony Brooks, the station's sports coordinator, lead a talented group of Yale student broadcasters who can also be heard on WYBC also broadcasts Yale Sports Monday from 8-8:30pm, a show that wraps up each Yale football game and includes interviews with Jack Siedlecki, Yale's Joel E. Smilow `54 Head Coach of Football. The show is hosted by Anthony Brooks, Sam Purdy and Alex Jenson.


Designed to keep Yale Athletics fans and alumni informed and entertained, the voice of the Elis, Ron Vaccaro `04 hosts a series of netcasts available via Apple iTunesU. This series will feature season previews, event coverage, and commentary from coaches, players, and analysts, while also taking the fan inside special events such as the Blue Leadership Ball. You can download from iTunesU at (see Yale Athletics Netcasts on right side of front page). New this year are video netcasts which are taped at Mory's and available for viewing each week at

Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director