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Bulldogs Host Lions Saturday at 12:30

Bulldogs Host Lions Saturday at 12:30



NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The last time a head coach brought two different teams to the Bowl to play Yale in consecutive years was Earl "Red" Blaik with Dartmouth and Army in 1940 and 1941. That changes Saturday as Al Bagnoli, the long-time Penn head coach, makes the trip to New Haven for a second straight season as the first-year mentor at Columbia. The Bulldogs (4-2, 1-2 Ivy), coming off four straight road games, return to Yale Bowl and the Class of 1954 Field to host the Lions (1-5, 0-3) in a crucial game. Yale, needing to win out and hope for some strange Ancient Eight results, hosts the Lions in a 12:30 kickoff that can be seen on Fox College Sports (FCS Atlantic, Dish channel 446, and DirecTV channel 608) TV and heard on the Yale Football Radio Network (AM-960 and 1300).

Yale, which has taken 11 of the last 12 games, leads the series 69-19-2, its most commanding advantage over any league team. Columbia won the 2012 meeting in New York, but the Blue is 34-10-0 on the road and 35-9-2 at home against the Light Blue.

Yale's best defensive day of the season came at Baker Field last October. Yale picked off four Lion passes in a 25-7 Bulldog win. Cornerback Jason Alessi had a pair of interceptions and kicker Kyle Cazzetta '15 booted four field goals in cold, rainy and windy conditions at Wien Stadium. Yale's offense still racked up 586 yards, led by a career-high 202 rushing yards from tailback Candler Rich and a career-high 13 receptions (for 133 yards) by wide receiver Grant Wallace '15.

Penn converted three of Yale's four turnovers into touchdowns while erasing a 10-0 deficit on the way to a 34-20 win at Franklin Field. The Elis amassed 419 yards of total offense but gave up 533, including 350 through the air. Bryan Holmes kicked two field goals, Morgan Roberts connected with Robert Clemons on a scoring pass and Austin Reuland ran for another TD.

Columbia may have caught Dartmouth looking ahead to a game with Harvard this week, but the Light Blue defense deserves a lot of credit. Last week at Hanover, the Lions put a scare into the Big Green before falling 13-9. Columbia registered six sacks and held back one of the nation's top offenses. Hunter Little had 2.5 sacks and Brock Kenyon had  nine tackles while holding the Big Green to a pedestrian-like 325 yards of total offense. Lions' QB Skyler Mornhinweg completed 19 of 31 passes including one scoring play.

The Yale defense gave the offense plenty of chances to win the game last Friday night. The Elis blanked the Quakers in the first quarter, held the home team to 50 percent on third-down conversions and kept the game close despite being on the field for seven more minutes than the offense. Sophomore free safety Hayden Carlson led the squad with eight solos and 10 overall tackles.

It's a game of injuries, but Yale has not seen so many go down in recent years. A mid-season health evaluation included 40 players (26 regulars) who had been injured or sick and missed time this season. At this point, 12 (3 regulars) are out for the season, but that could increase significantly when it comes time to re-evaluate for a potetial return to action.

For the second week in a row, a Bulldog tight end came up with the highlight catch. Two weeks ago it was Leo Haenni at Maine; last Friday Stephen Buric provided the acrobatics at Franklin Field. The senior from East Lake, Fla., dove to catch a Morgan Roberts pass over the middle, tipped it in the air and then cradled it for the 22-yard connection.

The Lions did not allow Yale to complete a pass in a 1954 game but still lost 13-7... Columbia blanked a Yale team in 1961 (11-0) that was coming off an undefeated campaign. It was the fourth and last shutout of the Bulldogs by the Lions... Columbia QB Marty Domres, a future NFL QB, threw for 326 yards in 1966 for the Lions in a losing (44-21) effort... Yale QB Pete Doherty '67 connected on a school-record five TD passes in 1966 (44-21 Yale win)... Yale and NFL great Dick Jauron '73 scampered 87 yards late in the fourth for the deciding score in a 28-14 win over Columbia in 1972... Ryan LoProto '02 scored on two interceptions, including one from 67 yards, as Yale won 41-0 in 2000… Kahlil Keys '15 broke the Yale record for the longest run from scrimmage with a 94-yard dash at the Bowl in 2013.

Senior TB Austin Reuland, who made the move from WR last spring, enjoyed his best day as a runner when he was needed most. The Bulldogs, already without top TB Candler Rich, saw Deshawn Salter go down in the first half at Penn. Reuland, who started as a freshman WR, carried the ball 12 times for 61 yards including his first collegiate TD. The San Juan Capistrano, Calif., native comes from a football family. One brother, Konrad, is a tight end for the Baltimore Ravens. The other, Warren, played for Stanford.

WR Robert Clemons missed three straight games with an injury but didn't miss a beat as a starter in his return at Penn. The senior from Laguna Beach, Calif., caught six passes for 99 yards, including a 17-yard TD in the first half.

Dartmouth and Harvard are 3-0 atop the league standings and meet this weekend at Boston. Penn and Brown at 2-1. Yale and Princeton are 1-2, while Cornell and Columbia are both 0-3.

Christopher Williams-Lopez had worked his way into the mix of receivers in the pre-season, but he suffered an injury that set him back enough where it didn't look like it would be easy to get in the varsity rotation. However, he got healthy while many of his teammates – especially the receivers – went down with injuries. After making his varsity debut at Dartmouth, he has 19 catches over three outings, including a season-best seven at Hanover. The sophomore WR from Duluth, Ga., did not get any varsity action in 2014.

Yale junior kicker/punter Bryan Holmes leads the team with 33 points while handling all aspects of kicking. He is 8-for-10 on field goals, including a career-long of 44 at Lehigh. He has a 38.0 punting average with seven landing inside the 20. Holmes has kicked off 30 times with eight going as touchbacks. Holmes, Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week after the Cornell game, is a 6-foot, 197-pound Eli who began his collegiate career as a kickoff specialist his freshman season before exclusively handling the punting duties in 2014. His 2015 responsibilities make him the first Yale player to handle all three areas since Tom Mante in 2008.

Sophomore WR Bo Hines, injured after six catches and one quarter in the opener at Colgate, returned last week to catch five passes… Sophomore CB Jason Alessi had Yale's longest punt return of the season with a 44-yarder at Penn… The Blue went 3-0 in non-league games for the second straight year... Yale has a 50-26 advantage in 4th quarter scoring… Sophomore Jamal Locke leads the Ivy League with a 26.8 average on kickoff returns… Next year, the Blue has five at home (Colgate, Lehigh, Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton) and five on the road (Cornell, Fordham, Columbia, Brown, Harvard).

Morgan Roberts, a 2014 second-team All-Ivy pick who attended Charlotte Country Day before enrolling at Clemson University, played in nine games in 2013 as the No. 2  and then took the top job in game one of 2014. Roberts, who has seen all kinds of injury changes around him this fall, is on the following Yale career lists:

2nd Completions: 432... needs 107 to catch Patrick Witt '12 for 1st
3rd Passing Yards: 5,216... needs 265 to catch Joe Walland '00 for 2nd
4th Total Offense: 5,506    
4th Passing Attempts: 710
5th Passing TDs: 34... needs 1 to catch Joe Walland for 4th, needs 4 to reach 3rd

The Bulldogs, led by Morgan Roberts, have come from behind in three of the four victories. Yale was down by 14 in game one against Colgate and 19 in the second contest before marching back to victory. The 33-point combined deficit was erased by the Elis outscoring the first two opponents 42-7 in the second half. On Oct. 17 at Maine, the Blue erased a pair of deficits to register the victory. The Bulldogs made three big comebacks last year to register victories over Lehigh, Army and Brown.

The Bulldogs lead the FCS with five blocked kicks this fall. Junior FS Foyesade Oluokun blocked two Colgate field goals on Sept. 19. Junior DE Marty Moesta knocked down a Cornell PAT, while freshman DE J. Hunter Roman got to a Big Red field goal attempt in week two. Junior DT Copache Tyler got a piece of a Maine field goal try on Oct. 17 for the fifth of the fall.

Cole Champion, Yale's senior captain, was part of two high school national championships at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The Bulldog strong safety and two-time All-Ivy pick has 205 career tackles and four interceptions. Champion has started the last 32 straight games.

Junior DT Jack Rushin recently donated marrow to a needy recipient. He is the 32nd donor to come from the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Drive, an annual event on the Yale campus that honors the memory of the former Bulldog women's hockey player. Rushin, the nephew of Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin, only missed a day of practice.

The five starters on the Yale offensive line have started all 10 games the last two seasons. That is not the case this fall with at least one starter missing in each of the last four games. Center Luke Longinotti has 26 straight starts, while left tackle Khalid Cannon has 16. On the other hand, guards Jon Bezney and Anders Huizenga and tackles Beau Iverson and Karl Marback, who moved over from the defensive line this fall, got their first starts this fall.

Junior P/PK Bryan Holmes: Ivy STPOW (Cornell)
Sophomore LB Matthew Oplinger: Ivy DPOW; CSM Ivy DPOW (Lehigh)
Senior QB Morgan Roberts: Ivy OPOW (Colgate)
Sophomore TB Deshawn Salter: Ivy co-OPOW (Lehigh); Ivy OPOW & CSM Ivy OPOW (Maine)

Seven players on the current roster earned All-Ivy honors in 2013, 2014 or both. On defense it was: SS Cole Champion '16 – Second-Team 2013, HM 14; DB Foyesade Oluokun '17 – Second-Team 2013, 14 and DL Co-pache Tyler '17 – Second-Team 2014. The offense included: QB Morgan Roberts '16 – Second-Team 2014; C Luke Longinotti '16 – Second-Team 2014; TE Leo Haenni '17 – H M 2014 and RB Candler Rich '17 – HM 2014.

This is for the folks who have to announce Yale games, There are 12 double numbers on the Yale roster this fall. Here are the one that might cause the most confusion:

19 – QB Morgan Roberts, DB Jason Alessi (punt returns)
14 - QB Logan Scott (holder), DB Will Bryan
10 - QB Tre Moore, LB Victor Egu
26 - DB Hayden Carlson (KO unit), WR Matthew Rubino
 2 – Bo Hines WR, Marquise Peggs DB

888 or 889?
Yale has 888 or 889 wins depending how you view things. The NCAA record books give the Bulldogs credit for games won on the field, which is 888. However, the Ivy League credits Yale with one more (889) victory from a 1997 (forfeit) game against Penn. Yale was the first to 800 wins but has been overtaken by Michigan (920), while Notre Dame (889) and Texas (884) are far behind.

It's very rare to have an ex-Yale football captain on the coaching staff, but the Elis now have two. Paul Rice '10 (outside LB, special teams), who joined Tony Reno's staff in February of 2013, became the first captain to return as a "full-time" or "primary" coach since Albie Booth in the late 1930s. Chandler Henley '07 (TEs), who led the Elis to a 2006 Ivy title as captain, came back to New Haven last spring. Six Yale graduates currently serve on col-lege coaching staffs. Bob Shoop '88 is defensive coordinator at Penn State. Dartmouth has Kyle Metzler '02, the running game and recruiting coordinator who focuses on the offensive tackles.  AJ Haase '09 is graduate assistant with Iowa, while Josh Grizzard '12 is graduate assistant at Duke.

Pat Graham '01 (see photo), a former Yale tight end and defensive lineman, is a defensive assistant coach for the 2015 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. He is in his seventh season at Foxboro. Graham, a Waterbury, Conn., native, was a member of Yale's 1999 Ivy title team. Michael McDaniel '05 is in his ninth NFL campaign and first as offensive assistant with Atlanta. Last year, he was a receivers coach with the Cleveland Browns. He also coached the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins. The Yalie with the longest NFL tenure (player/coach) in Ivy history is Dick Jauron '73, who played eight seasons between two teams and then spent 32 years as a coach. His last was 2012 with Cleveland.

It's not easy to make a college football schedule, which is drawn out many years in advance with potential moving parts. This fall just happened to shake out with a school-record (low) four home games for the Elis. Last year, Yale had six at home, this fall it's six on the road.

Here's what the Bulldogs did in 2014.
Ranked 22nd among 124 FCS teams by NCAA simple rating system;
Team (FWAA Team of Week) – Sept. 27 win over Army
FCS Top 5 Stats: Total Offense (571.5) – 1; Third-Downs (.517) – 1; Scoring (41.3) – 3; Passing (323.6) – 5th
Major School (modern) Records Broken: Scoring, 411 points; Touchdowns, 53; Total Plays, 836; Total Offense: 5,715 yards; First Downs in a game, 36 vs. Army
National Stats Leaders: Receiving Yards per game - Grant Wallace (113.0); Scoring – Tyler Varga (15.6)

Tyler Varga '15, Yale's All-American running back, made the 53-man Indianapolis Colts roster this fall. Varga played in all four Indy pre-season games and finished with 18 carries for 69 yards, including a touchdown against the Rams on Aug. 29. He had five receptions for 36 yards, made a tackle on special teams and returned a pair of kickoffs. He played in the first three regular season games - returning kicks, playing on other special teams and getting into the offensive backfield on third downs - but was placed on injured reserve (Oct. 14) for the rest of the season.

This past summer we mourned the loss of former Yale and Chicago Bears captain Mike Pyle '61, who led the Bulldogs to their last perfect season in 1960. The 2015 Elis honor the fallen legend with a "Pyle 59" sticker on the back of their helmets. The 1960 team will gather on Nov. 21 at Yale Bowl for The Game.

Chris Getman '64, an ex-Yale baseball player, has been "pitching" Handsome Dan for Yale since 1983. The former lefty hurler has been the caretaker of the school mascot – walking the sidelines of home games - since former AD Frank Ryan asked him to take the role. Getman, whose role at Yale encompasses much more than games at the Bowl, is a community leader and a highly successful owner of Soundview Capital Management Corp. He is on his fourth Yale mascot. Sherman, the 17th edition of Handsome Dan, is eight years old and weighs 65 pounds.

The last time a head coach brought two different teams to the Bowl to play Yale in consecutive years was Earl "Red" Blaik with Dartmouth in 1940 (Yale win, 13-7) and then Army in 1941 (20-7 Army). Al Bagnoli, on his Ivy farewell tour after announcing he would step down, brought the Quakers to the Bowl in 2014 and then took over this year at Morningside Heights.

Yale is now 6-3 in OT games after the win against Army in 2014. The Elis are 4-1 at home in extra sessions, the only loss against Harvard in triple OT in 2005. Yale has a pair of triple-session OTs (Penn, 2007) and a two dou-ble-dippers (Princeton, 2003; Holy Cross, 2008)

Dick Jauron '73, the All-American Yale running back who became a pro football star before earning AP Coach of the Year honors as an NFL head coach, is about to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. Induction for the class of 2015 hall of famers takes place Dec. 8, 2015, at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City's historic Waldorf Astoria. Yale honors Jauron at the Bowl on Nov. 21 during The Game.

Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, and some of his players are at world famous Mory's (306 York Street) every Tuesday at noon for the Dick Galiette Yale Football Media Luncheon. This event is limited to media only. Please contact Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn ( if you would like to attend. Cole Champion, Spencer Rymiszewski, Robert Clemons, Sebastian Little, Hayden Carlson, Deshawn Salter, Matthew Oplinger, Bryan Holmes, Morgan Roberts, Aaron Ault and Khalid Cannon have attended the events this season.

You can listen to legendary coach Carm Cozza and Ron Vaccaro '04 call the action of Yale Football this fall on ESPN Radio1300 (AM 1300) and News Radio 960 WELI (AM 960), depending on the game, as well as iHeart Ra-dio, and on the Yale Football Radio Network, which includes Talk of Connecticut radio sta-tions WDRC (AM 1360 Hartford), WWCO (AM 1240 Waterbury), WMMW (AM 1470 Meriden), WSNG (AM 610 Torrington) and WDRC (FM 102.9 HD -3 Hartford). Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn also takes part in the broadcasts.

The 2015 Yale football team includes 34 high school football captains and 23 guys who were captains of other sports before coming to New Haven. There are also 32 National Honor Society members.

Two former Yale football players and an ex-Yale hoopster are now working for the Miami Dolphins. Former DB Max Napolitano '14 is a business analytics specialist for the NFL team, while Grant Wallace '15, one of the school's most prolific receivers, is a college scout. In addition, former women's basketball star Zenab Keita works in the marketing department.

Eight of Yale's 10 football games this fall air live on TV including five broadcasts between NBC Sports Network and Fox College Sports that are part of the 2015 Ivy League TV Package. Yale's Ancient Eight TV games began on Oct. 10 at Dartmouth on Fox. The Bulldogs' first-ever Friday Ivy League Game was on NBCSN on Oct. 23 at Penn's Franklin Field. That was the second of three Eli games that require lights this season. The season finale against Harvard begins at 2:30 on Nov. 21 and can be seen on NBCSN as well. All games on NBCSN will also be available on NBC Sports Live Extra. In addition to the league package, all three non-league contests are on a mix of local and national TV. The season opener at Colgate aired on New York's Time Warner Cable. The second road trip, at Lehigh on Oct. 3, was on in the Lehigh Valley's Service Electric 2 Sports. The Elis made their first visit to the University of Maine for an Oct. 17 game broadcast on the local ABC affiliate and shared with Fox College Sports.

Two of Yale's games can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network, while the other eight are on national or regional TV or another streaming network. Available at, fans can have a year-long Yale channel for $89.95. The package includes live home and selected away games in HD as well as on-demand programming. There is also a four-month pass for $34.95, a one-month pass for $10.95 or a single-day pass for $9.95.

The Bulldogs, off on Mondays, are on Clint Frank Field from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Fridays are walk-through days either at Yale Bowl or on the road and times vary. Players and coaches are available for interviews with working media following the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday practices if there is no student-athlete scheduling conflicts. All schedules are subject to change. Media must check with Steve Conn at least 24 hours in advance to attend a practice.

The Yale Bowl press box has a true taste of New Haven with Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant and Blue State Coffee available to media. Yorkside, a family operated business since 1969, provides pies, pasta and salad Blue State, an 11-year-old business that donates a portion of sales to area non-profits, has the best coffee in town.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director