121st Edition of The Game on Saturday
Nov. 16, 2004
The gridiron rivalry called The Game has impacted the Ancient Eight championship 20 times since the Ivy League began official play in 1956. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs (5-4, 3-3 Ivy), only the Cantabs (9-0, 6-0) are playing for all the marbles in the 121st edition, but it's been 22 years since a Y-H meeting at Cambridge has had a bearing on the title. That is where they play on Saturday in a contest that will be broadcast live on TV across the country and beyond. The Bulldogs and Crimson kick it off at Harvard Stadium at 12:30 p.m. and can also be heard in Connecticut on WELI (960 AM) and WYBC (1340 AM).
The Bulldogs lead the Crimson 63-48-9 heading into the 121st meeting but Harvard has won the last three. Yale is 27-22-5 at Cambridge, 29-25-4 at home and 7-1-0 at neutral sites. The Blue has scored 1,608 points compared to 1,400 by the Cantabs. There have been 54 shutouts since the first meeting in 1875 and the Elis are 28-19-7 in those contests. Twenty times since the league was formed in 1956 the Yale-Harvard battle has had a bearing on the Ivy championship, and Harvard has won 10 times with one tie. The Bulldogs are 0-5 when trying to ruin a perfect Crimson campaign, while Harvard has spoiled the last three (1968, 1974, 1979) Yale bids at perfection. The last time the Elis put the icing on an undefeated season with a win over Harvard was in 1960.
What's Really On the Line for The Blue
The Class of 2005 not only hopes to avoid a fourth straight loss to Harvard, they don't want to become the first group of Yale seniors not to taste victory in The Game since the Class of 1923, which was 82 years ago. Harvard had four-game win streaks from 1912 to 1915 and from 1919 to 1922, but has not had that many since. The 1914 and 1915 Yale classes also went without victory over the Cantabs but they both had 0-3-1 records. The best Yale can finish is third place, the worst it can be is fourth.
Color The Ivies Crimson
Harvard, which has already earned at least a pirece of its 11th Ivy title, can complete its second perfect season in four years and sixth overall with a win Saturday. The Crimson has enjoyed undefeated campaigns in 1898, 1901, 1912, 1913 and 2001. If the Cantabs fall to Yale and Penn beats Cornell, the Quakers and Harvard would share the championship.
Defense Saves Day in Win Over Tigers
The defense enjoyed its best day of 2004 by allowing just three field goals and the offense foiund the end zone in the second half for the first time in five games as Yale defeated Princeton 21-9 before 15,296 at a chilly Yale Bowl. After walking into the Bowl and seeing how a light snow had covered everything, the Bulldogs blanketed the Tigers with three sacks, five pass breakups and a number of big stops in allowing the fewest points since Sept. 27, 2003. DB Andrew Butler led all defenders with seven solo tackles and DE Brandon Dyches (3 solos, 1 sack) put pressure on the backfield all day. After WR Ralph Plumb (3-69) hauled in his first pass of the day and became the school's career leader in receptions, the offensive star of the day was TB Robert Carr, who carried 32 times for 160 yards and two scores. Alvin Cowan (20-10-0, 143 yards) connected with TE Alex Faherty for the other TD. The Elis broke the second-half jinx with a big special teams play early in the fourth quarter. With the score 14-9 and Tyson Crawford barely getting off a punt deep in the Yale end, the Tiger punt returner muffed the kick and it was recovered by DB Matthew Baker on the Princeton 17 yard line. Carr then carried the ball twice before banging in from five yards out to put the game out of reach.
Memorable Moments From The Game
Whether it was a last-second win, an outstanding performance or something else significant, here are some of the most memorable meetings: 1881: Yale tries the first on-side kick ever in football during a scoreless tie. 1946: Elis overcome a 14-0 Harvard lead to win 27-14. 1952: Yale student manager Charlie Yeager catches a conversion pass in a 41-14 Eli win at Cambridge. 1968: QB Frank Champi completes a TD pass and a conversion play with no time left as Harvard gains a 29-29 draw at Cambridge and shares the Ivy crown with Yale 1972: Yale overcame a 17-0 first half deficit to win 28-17 1974: QB Milt Holt scored on a 1-yard run with 0:15 left in Harvard's 21-16 victory 1975: Mike Lynch's 26-yard FG with 0:33 left gave Crimson a 10-7 win. 1995: Crimson Eion Hu scored from 2 yards out with :29 left in a 22-21 win 1999: WR Eric Johnson (21-244) scoops up a QB Joe Walland (42-67, 437) pass with :29 left to send Yale to a 24-21 win.
Yale last took the H-Y-P title, also known as the "Big Three," in 1999. The Bulldogs beat Princeton and lost to Harvard the last two years, while losing both games in 2001. The other Yale championships over the last 15 years came in 1990 and 1998. The Cantabs are looking for their fourth straight H-Y-P title.
Last Game For Seniors
Thirty-one seniors, 15 of whom start. will play their last game for Yale this weekend. Seven of them start on defense, six are on offense and both kickers are seniors. One of the 15, TE Alex Faherty, has another year of eligibility.
How To Watch On TV
If you are not in Boston on Saturday or could not come up with a ticket, here is how to tune in to the action on the tube: Superstation WGN (Chicago); WLVI Boston (WB56); WTXX Hartford; WEWB Albany; Cox Cable System (Rhode Island) and HD Net (National) Cable and Satellite (Direct TV). WLVI (originating station) is also in the process of putting together an international satellite feed. Charley Steiner, radio voice of the New York Yankees, provides The Game's play-by-play with alumni analysts, Dan Jiggetts (Harvard '76) and Brian Dowling (Yale '69) providing color. HDNet's Candace Creeger and Mike Ratte, sports director for Boston's WB, will report from the sidelines.
Jack Siedlecki, who has led Yale to 14 victories in games that the Bulldogs trailed in the fourth quarter, is the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football. A win on Saturday would give him 13 winning seasons (in 17 years) as a head coach, including six of eight 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. The Yale coach is 3-4 vs. Harvard. Tim Murphy is 6-4 against the Blue in his 11th campaign for the Crimson. He is 65-43 for Harvard and 97-88-1 in 17 seasons as a head coach.
It does not matter that Harvard is ranked third in I-AA in scoring defense (14.56) and leads the Ivy League in turnover margin, total offense and scoring offense, just to name a few. It probably does not make a difference that Crimson TB Clifton Dawson ranks fourth in the nation with 131 yards per game, one spot ahead of Yale TB Robert Carr (125). When Yale and Harvard get together, what happened in the previous games usually has no bearing on what you see in The Game.
Plumb Takes Yale Career Receptions Record
Everyone at Yale who encountered Eric Johnson during his four years in New Haven liked him enough to want his records to hang around for a while. But a current Yale receiving star, whose personality and fortitude are revered like the ex-Eli, is knocking the current NFL star from the top of the big records. WR Ralph Plumb's first grab against Princeton on Nov. 13 in the first quarter gave him sole possession of the school receptions record with 182, but it was his big day the week before that really put him in contention. He pulled down 18 catches (2nd best in Ivy and Yale history) for a school-record 258 yards in an Ivy Offensive Player of the Week performance against Brown on Nov. 6. Plumb owns the Yale career record for yardage (2,318) and receptions (184). He ranks first in the Ivies and second in I-AA with 7.56 receptions per game. Johnson, who still owns the Yale single-game receptions record (21), also had his name on the game yardage (244) standard until Plumb broke it. The Portsmouth, R.I., native finished his career against Brown (where he was a ballboy as a kid) with 34 receptions for 570 yards. Plumb, who had a TD in all four meetings with the Bears, entered this year's game with 285 receiving yards and matched that mark despite wearing a target on his back.
Year Rec. Yds. TD 2001 2 52 1 2002 55 592 3 2003 59 813 7 2004 68 (4) 861 5 Totals 184 2,318 16 ( ) school single-season ranking
Carr Adds To Records
Senior TB Robert Carr (Baytown, Texas) owns the Yale records for career rushing yards (3,374), all-purpose yards (4,316), rushing attempts (723) and kickoff yards (1,359), while he is second in rushing touchdowns (29). He needs five scores on Saturday to tie John Pagliaro on the that list. Carr, who also has a kickoff return for a TD (2003), is fourth in I-AA all-purpose yardage (176.78, tops in Ivy) and fifth in rushing (125.44, 2nd in Ivy) this fall. Carr, who has taken 95 percent (all but 12) of the carries from the running back position, earned Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game honors by rushing for 164 yards and totaling 249 all-purpose yards at Dartmouth. Carr, whose three receptions at Dartmouth were a career-best, has gone over the century mark in 14 collegiate games (5 of 9 in 2004) and owns the Yale single-game record with 235 yards against Cornell in 2002. When he goes over 100 yards this fall (Yale is 4-1), he is averaging 165 yards per game. Carr, the Oct. 4 Ivy Offensive Player of the Week, has all but a dozen of the team's running back carries this fall. The 5-foot-9 sparkplug has earned Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game honors three times this fall. 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 and in the Oct. 25 issue of Sports Illustrated. It will also air on The George Michael Sports Machine on Nov. 14. The Baytown, Texas, native, who owns the Yale record for 200-yard games in a season (2), has made a full recovery.
Year Att. Yds TD 2001 80 362 3 2002 236 1,083 10 2003 170 800 9 2004 237 (3) 1,129 (5) 7 Totals 723* 3,374* 29 (2) * school records ( ) school single-season ranking
After Further Review
Robert Carr is clearly among the best runners Yale has ever had, if not the best, but it's difficult to compare the school's greats because current backs have one more game per year (it went from nine to 10 teams in 1980) and are eligible for one more varsity season (frosh became eligible in 1992). The most reasonable comparison might be yards per carry, where Carr stands at 4.6 for his career. Denny McGill '57 only had 264 carries but managed a school-best 6.4 average, whiile Dick Jauron '73 had 5.7. John Pagliaro '78 and Rudy Green '75 both had 5.2 marks, while Levi Jackson '50 (4.9) and Rich Diana '82 (4.8) were also among the leaders.
Rory Hennessey (Strongsville, Ohio), a 2003 All-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, who has been the team's offensive lineman of the week six times this fall, has not allowed a sack during his collegiate career. He and his linemates protected Alvin Cowan well enough for the senior to throw 16 TD passes this fall, while Robert Carr has broken the school's career rushing yardage record and ranks fifth in I-AA this fall.
While the Yale offense has struggled in the second half the last five weeks, the Bulldog defense has come up with the big plays. The defense, which was not the strong point last year (Elis gave up 55 to Brown and 52 to Colgate), has allowed a reasonable, 19.11 points per game. The Blue, which gave up a combined 52 points between Brown and Colgate this fall, has held the opposition under 20 points in six of nine games in 2004, including a season-low nine last Saturday.
Henley The Great
First he made a diving catch at Penn to help the Bulldogs make a miraculous comeback in the second half of a 2003 overtime loss, then he went into acrobat mode to snare an Alvin Cowan pass on the last play of regulation to send last November's Princeton game into OT and a Yale victory. His diving catch against Colgate this season provided the TD to tie the game before the Elis won in the closing moments. Chandler Henley did it again against Penn and then Columbia. With Yale trailing Penn 7-0 in the first quarter, Cowan launched a ball out in front of the junior receiver as he headed into the end zone. Henley, as he turned his body from inside to out, fell backwards and hauled in the pass just after it missed the outstretched arms of a Penn defender for a 20-yard scoring play. His diving grab of a low throw in the end zone against Columbia was the game-winning play. Henley leads all Yale receivers with six TD catches and a 14.6 average per catch. He is second in catches (44) and yards (642).
Cowan Burying Records
Senior QB Alvin Cowan (Austin, Texas) has all the major passing and total offense records at Yale. He exploded with a season-best 31 completions, 57 attempts and 419 yards on Nov. 6 at Brown. In doing so he broke both the Yale career passing yardage and total offense records. That makes it 19 school records for the most prolific No. 10 in school history since Brian Dowling '69. Cowan etched his name on the top of another school record on Oct. 23 when he connected with WR Chandler Henley on a 20-yard TD pass against Penn. That gave Cowan 36 career TD passes (now 41), one more than Joe Walland, who played QB for the Bulldogs from 1997-99. He has thrown a TD pass in all nine games. The Eli signal-caller, who leads the Ivy League in TDs (16) and is second in pass efficiency (126.22), had his first four-touchdown performance on Oct. 2 against Colgate. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound former captain engineered comeback wins against Dayton and Colgate this season. Cowan, the first former Yale captain to suit up the following season in modern times (medical waiver allowed this to happen), owns the Ivy record for total offense in a season (3,429) and broke 15 other school records last fall while earning the honor of Payton Award finalist. He was listed on the Sports Network's 2004 Walter Payton Award Watch until Nov. 2.
Year Att Com. Yds. TD Int. T.O. T.R. 2001 4 2 36 0 0 0 0 2002 23 18 283 3 0 403 6 2003 381 227 2994 22 7 3429 29 2004 279 (7) 157 (6) 1909 (5) 16 (5) 9 1912 16 Totals 687 404 5222 41 16 5780 51 ( ) school single-season ranking
Second Half Woes
It's no secret that Yale has played well in the first half but has struggled mightily over the last 30 minutes of the last five games this fall. Third-down conversions, possession time and scoring are the best stats to examine when quantifying the disparity. The Bulldogs convert better than 31 percent of their third downs, but the rate goes down to 20 in the third quarter and 23 percent in the fourth. Yale has split the time of possession over the first two quarters but now trails in the second half 19 minutes to 11 for the season. Nothing needs to be said about the lack of scoring in the second half other than 10 points in five games (150 minutes), while the Elis have gone 2-3.
Sullivan, McCarthy Named CoSIDA Academic All-District
Senior kicker Andrew Sullivan and sophomore center Ed McCarthy were named to the 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. Sullivan has a 3.61 GPA and majors in history, while McCarthy carries a 3.83 and has yet to declare a concentration. McCarthy, a Fairfield, Conn., native was Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2003 and has started 18 straight games on the offensive line for the Bulldogs. He played guard last fall and then moved over to center when a teammate was injured prior to the start of the 2004 campaign.He has helped three Yale seniors become career leaders in numerous categories this fall. Sullivan, a Minneapolis, Minn., native has connected on all 23 PAT this season and is 5-for-11 on field goals. His 38-yard bare-footed boot with seconds left gave Yale a 31-28 win over Colgate on Oct. 2. Since there were only 49 nominees, only one team was selected. All of the players on the team become eligible for national academic honors.
Junior Tyson Crawford (Dallas, Texas) is a rare breed -- for good reasons -- both on and off the field. His combination of starting punter, starting short snapper and backup fullback are unprecedented in college or pro football this season. Crawford has averaged 37.1 yards this season and has eight kicks landing inside the opponent 20. He had already distinguished himself two summers ago when he worked in Moscow as an intern in the corporate financing office of a Russian oil company. Crawford was born and raised in Massachusetts before his family moved to Texas before high school.
Yalie Wins Election
For the first time since the U.S. Presidential election process came down to Republicans vs. Democrats, candidates from the same undergraduate institution opposed each other. Since a Yale man (graduate school included) will occupy the White House for the fifth straight term - and both of the candidates were athletes - we surveyed the largest Bulldog team to see who was getting the most support. In a pre-season survey, the 2004 Yale Football team leaned 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. A pre-election survey came up with some interesting numbers: Out of 112 players, 107 were registered to vote and one, Tom Woznicki (Torrington, Conn.), was too young to take part in the election. 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.
Don't Forget Mroz Senior QB Jeff Mroz (Greensburg, Pa.) took a leave of absence from school this fall and will practice with the team in the spring and return for his final season in 2005. Mroz, who threw 14 TD passes in 2002, had just one attempt in 2003, which went for a score..
Last Hurrah for 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 potential season-ending injury at Cornell in game No. 2 and Dieffenbacher had one in week five against Lehigh.
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 825) but have since been overtaken by Michigan (839).
Bulldogs vs. Ranked Teams Yale is now 1-2 against teams ranked in the Sports Network/CSTV and ESPN/USA Today I-AA national polls. The Elis beat Colgate (20) on Oct. 2 for their first win ever against a ranked squad, but fell on Oct. 16 to No. 18 Lehigh. No. 25 Penn beat the Elis 17-7 on Oct. 23.
Elis on the Tube Yale has 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 The Game Could Be Most Watched Game In Ivy History The Game 2004 could gain distinction as the most visible game -- from television -- in the history of Ivy League football. WLVI (Boston) has arranged a network of regional and national stations that means a combined reach of 65-70 million households. There is no way to confirm that this would be THE most visible game, but Ivy League football was on ESPN a number of times in the late 1980s when the sports cable giant reached approximately 54 million homes. It currently goes to 88 million homes. The 1994 Yale-Harvard contest was on ESPN2, but the younger cable outlet was in just 16 million homes at the time. "The entire Yale community is thrilled to have this year's Harvard game broadcast nationally by WGN and WLVI. The many thousands of alums around the country, as well as college football fans everywhere, will have the opportunity to watch one of college football's great rivalries.
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. Captain Rory Hennessey joins the coach this week, while Harvard head coach Tim Murphy 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 swept the opening month of play in three of the last four falls. The Bulldog leader is 19-16 in October and 13-13 in November.
The Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football Says... "We didn't make it easy. We had three or four scoring opportunities that we didn't get. That fumbled punt was a huge, huge play. Tyson Crawford gets his punts off so fast. Sometimes I think he could get it off without anybody blocking. It's a hazard for us sometimes, because the ball gets down the field pretty quick. That's a great punt returner [Greg Fields] they have, but that's the breaks of the game. Here's a kid that returned three punts last week for 90 yards, and we were scared to death of him. Then the biggest play in the game happened to be his fumble. I thought the tone of the game was unbelievable. Robert Carr's energy level, and how hard he played, was unbelievable. Brandon Dyches on the other side of the ball was the same way. Our effort level was incredible. Kids just kept playing and playing. I thought our defense played phenomenally. As many times as they had to go back out on the field, they just made play after play, knocking balls down."
Frosh Impact DT Brandt Hollander, DT Jared Hamilton, TE Langston Johnson, QB Matt Polhemus, PK Alan Kimball, DB Andrew Liyana and DB Matt Jacques are the seven members of the class of '08 who have been part of the travel squad this fall. Two of those players -- Hollander and Hamilton -- have seen varsity action on a regular basis, while Polhemus is a backup QB who will be competing for the top job next fall. Here is a look at their backgrounds.
Jared Hamilton, DL, 6-3, 235, Alpine, UT 2004: Worked way up to varsity playing time in recent weeks and has seven (3-4) overall tackles at defensive tackle... At Lone Peak High School: Earned nine varsity letters in four different sports...Three-time regional champion in football...2003 football first-team all-state...2003 region and defensive MVP...2003 team defensive MVP...Academic all-region for track and football...All-American scholar...Personal: Jared Alexander Hamilton, born Oct. 9, 1985, is the son of Larry and Tami Hamilton...Father, Larry, was a member of the 1984 Brigham Young University National Championship team...Is an Eagle Scout...Spent one year living in Croatia.
Brandt Hollander, DL, 6-3, 240, Indianapolis, IN 2004: Started three games at tackle and leads all interior linemen with 18 solos and 29 overall tackles... Named Yale's DL of the Game the last three weeks... Second on the team with three sacks... At North Central High School: Earned 11 varsity letters in football, wrestling, and track and field...2003 all-state selection in football... 2003 All-Marion County Invitational Conference...2002 and 2003 football team defensive MVP...Co-captain of 2003 football and wrestling teams...First place in 2004 Central Indiana Power Lifting Championship for 220-pound weight class...Football academic all-star...2004 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete...International Baccalaureate candidate...Personal: Brandt Hollander, born Nov. 13, 1985, is the son of Gene and Kathy Hollander.
Matthew Polhemus, QB, 6-2, 210, Chatham, MA 2004: Has yet to take a varsity snap and is considered the No. 3 QB... Should see most of the action in the Friday junior varsity game... At Phillips Exeter Academy: Captained 2003 Exeter squad to the Prep New England Championship and a 10-0 record, the school's first undefeated season since 1957...2003 Prep New England Player of the Year...Had 900 yards of total offense...Personal: Matthew John Polhemus, born Nov. 15, 1984, is the son of Peter Polhemus and Francie Joseph.
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 350-183-21 (554 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 113-72-3 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).
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. The largest home crowd of the year was on Oct. 23 against Penn with 17,737, while the Bulldogs are averaging better than 13,000 this fall.
Flags Not Flying The Elis have been flagged the fewest (42) times since Jack Siedlecki took over the program in 1997. His 1999 squad set the school record with 80 calls during the 1999 Ivy championship campaign.
Bulldog Bites Yale's big quarter this season has been the second with the Elis owning a 62-51 edge; the concern is the third frame with the Blue trailing 50-24... Yale trails in average possession time 34:22 to 25:38... Alvin Cowan has every Yale pass attempt in 2004, which does not happen often anywhere. In 2003, QB Jeff Mroz and WR Ralph Plumb each had one. The last time Yale had one person with every pass attempt was Peter Lee in 2000... Robert Carr needs 102 kickoff return yards to break Jake Fuller's school season record (548) from 1999... The Elis have allowed just seven TD passes this fall... DB Nick Solakian, who had become one of the top special teams players for the Blue with three game MVP honors from his kick coverage, missed the Princeton game with an injury... The Blue has lost two defensive starters to injury, LB Ken Estrera (Dallas, Texas) and DT Bryant Dieffenbacher (Ashtabula, Ohio).
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 is now second in the NFL with 57 catches ( 618 yards and two TDs)... Johnson had a career-best 13 catches for 162 yards and a score in a 31-28 OT win over Arizona on Oct. 10... 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, has moved around between the Bucs and the Eagles pratice rosters since then.
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 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.
WCYPG 2004 Game Player Pos. Stats Dayton Carr RB/KOR 172 rush, 50 return Cornell Estrera LB 4-7-11 (injured during game) Colgate Sullivan PK Game-winning FG, 4-4 PATs Dartmouth Carr RB/KOR 164 rush, 70 return, 15 receiving Lehigh Cowan QB 287 passing yards Penn Breunig LB 7-8-15, PBU Columbia Smith DE 6 solos, PBU Brown Plumb WR 18 catches, 258 yards Princeton Carr RB/KOR 160 yards rushing, 72 KOR
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.