Bulldogs Close Out Non-League Slate

Bulldogs Close Out Non-League Slate

Oct. 14, 2008

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale football team (3-1, 1-1 Ivy), coming off a 34-7 win at Dartmouth, completes its 2008 non-league schedule by traveling to Fordham (2-3, 0-2 Patriot) on Saturday. The 1 p.m. game can be heard live on WELI-AM 960 (960weli.com) and WYBC-AM 1340 (wybc.com). This Ivy vs. Patriot League contest can be seen live on fordhamsports.com.


Yale has won all four games with Fordham, but the last meeting was seven years ago. The Elis won the inaugural contest 21-14 in 1950 at the Bowl. Forty-two years later, the Bulldogs took a 31-12 decision at home. The last meetings were in 2000 (24-17) at Coffey Field and 2001 (36-27) at the Bowl. The first meeting would have been in 1949 if not for a polio scare that canceled the game.


RB Jay Schulze (30-147) rushed for three TDs while QB T.J. Hyland (20-28, 194) threw for another in Yale's 36-27 win over Fordham at the Bowl in 2001. Hyland, who was picked off three times, completed nine throws to WR Billy Brown. DB Steve Ehikian led the Blue with six solos while DT Jason Lange returned Yale's one interception 58 yards. The Elis erased a 7-0 deficit with three straight TDs. The visitors came within two points twice in the third quarter.


The Fordham offensive line (291) has a 43-pound advantage (average) over the Yale defensive front (248). The Elis' OL (285) only averages 19 pounds better than its opposition (266) for Saturday.


Tom Massella, a 1981 Wagner graduate, is 13-16 in his third season at Fordham. He came to the Rams after leading Central Connecticut State University to consecutive Northeast Conference titles. Masella was honored as the 2007 Patriot League Coach of the Year as well as the AFCA Regional Co-Coach of the Year. Jack Siedlecki (67-46 at Yale), the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football and the 2007 New England Coach of the Year, is in his 21st season as a college head coach. He is 2-0 against the Rams.


Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.) rushed for 135 yards and a score but the Bulldogs broke free by throwing three TD passes on a 220-yard passing day in a 34-7 Yale win at Dartmouth last Saturday. QB Ryan Fodor (Madison, Conn.) completed 14 of 26 passes while the Bulldog defense picked off three passes and returned one for a score. Yale also got a TD pass from QB Brook Hart (State College, Pa.). The visitors outgained the home team 358 to 230 in total offense while holding the Dartmouth rushing attack to 38 yards.


The Bulldogs lead the Ivy League in scoring offense (31.5), scoring defense (14.8, 4th in FCS), interceptions (10), turnover margin (1.25, 9th in FCS) and pass efficiency (149.4). DT Joe Hathaway (Clifton, N.J.) leads the Ancient Eight with four sacks, while LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) and Penn's Chris Wynn lead the Ivy with three interceptions.


Junior DT Tom McCarthy (Chester, N.J.), senior LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) and junior CB Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) each had interceptions last Saturday. Abare's pick in the end zone stopped a 70-yard drive on the game's opening possession, while Rice went 24 yards for a score after ripping the ball away from a Dartmouth receiver. McCarthy earned his first career pick. The Elis, who have six picks over the last two weeks, now have 10 interceptions in four games compared to 20 over 10 games last season. Yale has returned three picks for TDs this fall (most since the 1996 team had four) but did not take an interception for six points in 2007. The Blue has thrown just one pick this year.


Yale senior captain and LB Bobby Abare (Acton, Mass.) picked off his ninth career pass at Dartmouth and moved into a tie for ninth on the school's all-time interception list. No Yale LB has ever had more picks. Abare earned Yale's first league honor of 2008 when he was named 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. He leads the team in tackles with 24-9-33 this fall. He has three interceptions for TDs. Abare, fifth in the FCS with a .75 interception average, 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 QB Ryan Fodor (Madison, Conn.) bounced back from a late hit on his first snap at Dartmouth that knocked him out of the rest of the series to lead the Blue to a win. Fodor, who was 14 for 26 with 192 yards and a TD, completed his first pass and then got flattened. By the time he was cleared by the team doctor, the Blue was a few plays from tallying its first score.

Fodor's Game-by-Game

Opponent... C-A, Yds... TD-Int.

Georgetown... 10-15, 185... 1-0

Cornell... 15-28,169... 1-1

Holy Cross... 17-23, 142... 2-0

Dartmouth... 14-26, 192... 2-0

Totals... 56-92, 688... 6-1


Sophomore QB Brook Hart (State College, Pa.) jumped into the game on Yale's second snap when Fodor was injured and drove the Elis to a 6-0 lead. Hart, who had not played since the Cornell game, completed all three passes including a 12-yard scoring play to junior HB John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.).


A play at Dartmouth reminded some of the famous Pittsburgh Steeler desperation pass play (Terry Bradshaw, Frenchy Fuqua, Franco Harris) that beat the Oakland Raiders in a 1972 playoff game. Senior WR Patrick Sedden (Dallas, Texas) was the intended receiver who went up with a defender for a second-quarter pass. The ball bounced off one of them into the arms of junior WR Reid Lathan (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who completed the 60-yard scoring play. "I'm not sure I touched the ball at all," said Sedden.


Only 11 players are allowed on both sides of the line of scrimmage, but the Bulldogs list a dozen starters on offense. That's because Yale does not always begin games in the same scheme. The Elis either start with H-Back John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.) or FB Shebby Swett (Bow, N.H.), but both are considered "starters" on the depth chart.


Yale converted both fourth-down attempts last week and is 5-for-5 this fall. One of those plays at Hanover put the game out of reach. On fourth-and-10 in the third quarter, QB Ryan Fodor (Madison, Conn.) connected with senior WR Patrick Sedden (Dallas, Texas) on a perfectly timed, 31-yard scoring play. It was Sedden's first career TD catch.


The 34 points scored last week were the most for a Yale team at Dartmouth since the 1980 Ivy championship squad put up 35 in a win... Junior LB Tim Handlon (Valparaiso, Ind.) had a career-high 2-2-4 at Dartmouth... Senior LB Jay Pilkerton (Nashville, Tenn.) has five interceptions in 10 career starts... Senior DE Brady Hart ((State College, Pa.) missed the last two games with an injury... Senior WR Jarrett Drake (Dolton, Ill.) and senior DB Brian Stephenson (Lima, Ohio) missed the Dartmouth game with an injuries.


Senior TB Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.), a Payton Award candidate and 2007 All-American, recorded his second straight 100-yard day last Saturday. McLeod, who had 27 carries for 135 yards and a TD, became the sixth Ivy player to rush for more than 4,000 yards. He is second among active FCS players with 21 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 (51) and rushing yards (4,073).


"We handled the trip well, and I think the players understood what was on the line. We played hard all day long, and we got an Ivy League win, so we're 1-1 in the league. We're right in the middle. We've got to be a better football team next week. The adage is that your biggest improvement is from game one to game two, but if that were true this team would be 1-3 right now. Our biggest improvement has been the last two weeks. We did not play well in the second game after a pretty good performance in the first game. Now we've have two good performances in a row."


Junior P/PK Tom Mante (Westford, Mass.) has the longest punt by an Ivy player in 2008 with a 71-yard boot against Georgetown. Sophomore Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.) owns the league's longest punt return with a 71-yarder for a TD at Cornell.


Sophomore CB Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) has the longest interception return in the Ivy League this fall with a 60-yarder for a score against Georgetown. Joe Hathaway's three sacks against Georgetown are also a league high for 2008.


Freshman LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) is one of five college football players selected by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame as a 2008 High School Scholar-Athlete. Haynes and the other honorees will be acknowledged on Dec. 9 in Manhattan at an NFF luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria. He is the West Region representative from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, Calif.


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 5-3-8 and one PBU this fall.


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.


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.


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 (Patrick.oneill@yale.edu) or intern Bob Coppola (sports.marketing@yale.edu) 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 (steven.conn@yale.edu) 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.). DE Jack and DB 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 CB Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas) and QB Ryan Fodor (Madison, Conn.). The Galiette Luncheon interviews can be seen live on Don Boyle's sportingnewsct.com. 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 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. RB Mike McLeod (New Britain, Conn.) rushed for 135 yards and a score to earn the nod at Dartmouth.


NEWS/TALK 960 WELI will broadcast all 10 Yale football games this fall on 960-AM and online at 960WELI.com. 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.com. 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 '10 and Alex Jenson '09.


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 yalebulldogs.com (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 yalebulldogs.com.

Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director