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Tigers Host Bulldogs on Saturday

Tigers Host Bulldogs on Saturday


NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale football team, which bounced back from a rash of injuries to register a big win at home last week, completes its 2015 road schedule with a rivalry game in New Jersey. The Bulldogs (5-3, 2-3 Ivy) take on a Princeton team with an identical record on the second to last weekend of the season. This 1 p.m. game airs live on the Ivy League Digital Network and can be heard on the Yale Football Radio Network (WELI AM-960).

The first meeting was 1873, a Yale 12-5 win. The rivalry has developed into the second-longest in college football. This week marks the 138th meeting, second only to Lehigh-Lafayette (150). Yale leads 75-52-10 overall and has taken nine of the last 13.

It was an elimination game in the race for the Ivy League football title last year at the Yale Bowl. Princeton and Yale each entered the game with one loss in the league -- one game behind first-place Harvard with two games to go. Princeton took an early lead but the Bulldogs came storming back. Led by three touchdowns from tailback Tyler Varga '15, Yale kept its hopes alive with a 44-30 win while honoring the Legends of the Bowl during the 100th season of the famous venue.

Tailback Deshawn Salter, who missed the previous game and a half with an injury, ran for three touchdowns and the Yale defense came up with another big performance in a 41-14 Bulldog win at the Bowl. The Blue forced four turnovers and broke up eight passes. Quarterback Morgan Roberts connected with nine different Elis while completing 28 passes for 267 yards.

Princeton had its game-winning field goal attempt blocked at the end of the fourth quarter and had to settle for overtime in a 20-20 game at Franklin Field. Tiger kicker Nolan Bieck split the uprights in OT but Penn scored on an 11-yard pass play to take the game 26-23. Princeton junior quarterback Chad Kanoff was 26 of 42 for 218 yards in the game, while classmate Joe Rhattigan (108 yards rushing, 2 TD) also helped the Tigers lead for most of the second half. Junior linebacker Luke Catarius led Princeton with 14 tackles, while junior safety Dorian Williams added 10 stops.

The Yale defense, which has allowed just 31 points over the last two weeks, had another big day at the Bowl. The Elis took the air out of the Ivy's top passing team with interceptions from Jason Alessi, Spencer Rymiszewski (24-yard TD) and Keefer Johnson. For the third week in a row, safety Hayden Carlson (6-4-10) led the team in tackles as his defense blanked the high-scoring Bears in the second half.  

Junior Dale Harris, who rushed for 1,700 yards and 28 TDs at St. Paul's School in Maryland, never played cornerback before coming to Yale. All the injuries on offense had the Yale coaches looking for immediate help. After two-plus seasons as a defensive starter for the Elis, the Brooklandville, Md., native was back on offense last week. He rushed 12 times for 71 yards, including a three-yard TD play. He also played on special teams and recovered a Brown fumble on the opening kickoff. Harris, who received numerous Division I offers, was a Big 33 All Star who captained his high school team and lettered all four years.

Deshawn Salter only had 13 carries last week in the win over Brown. However, 14 of his 45 yards included three scoring plays. The sophomore from Syracuse scored twice in the first quarter and once in the third to run his team-high rushing TD total to seven.

Sophomore defensive back Jason Alessi, who has two long punt returns this fall, had another good day at corner back with five tackles, two pass breakups and an interception. Against Columbia, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., native returned a first-half punt 80 yards for a TD. It was the third longest punt return for a Bulldog and the first since 2011. Alessi is second in the Ivies with a 12.9 average per return this fall, which includes a 44-yard return at Penn. He has also made 31 total tackles. So he is playing defense and special teams, but that's not all. Alessi played in all 16 Yale lacrosse games last spring and helped the Elis win the Ivy League Tournament as a member of the second midfield. He had six goals and 11 points.

Junior Candler Rich, who led Yale last year with a 7.5 average per carry, was Yale's 2015 starter in the backfield until he was lost to an injury in week two. Rich's best day as a Bulldog was 202 yards on 17 carries at Columbia last year. Sophomore Deshawn Salter stepped in for Rich in game three and rushed for 233 yards (5th best at Yale) and two scores at Lehigh. Salter was injured in the Penn game and missed the Columbia game at home. Austin Reuland, who made the move from WR last spring, replaced Salter in the second half at Penn. Reuland carried the ball 12 times for 61 yards including his first collegiate TD. He too needed help (vs. the Lions), which got sophomore Jamal Locke his first collegiate rushing attempts while catching three passes. Dale Harris moved over from the defense to take handoffs last week.

He's only played five games, but he leads the team with 37 catches. 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 been the go-to-guy. He had a career-best 13 grabs for 154 yards against Brown. The sophomore WR from Duluth, Ga., did not get any varsity action in 2014.

Yale hosts Harvard in The Game, a 2:30 kickoff that will require lights for the first time during a game at the Bowl. The parking lot gates open at 10 a.m. and fans can enter the Bowl by 1 p.m. Credentialed media can enter the Bowl and press area any time after the parking lots open. The parking lots will remain lit for a few hours after the game.

Harvard is alone atop the league standings at 5-0 after getting past Columbia last week. The Crimson play at 4-1 Penn this week. Dartmouth also has just one loss and should stay in the hunt with a game at Brown Saturday. Yale and Princeton are both 2-3 while Columbia (1-4) meets Cornell (0-5) this week.

The ball burst after it was kicked during the first meeting in 1873 and it took 30 minutes to replace it... Princeton's James Haxall drop kicked a school-best 65-yard field goal in a 2-1 Tiger win in 1882... Playing both ways for the entire game, Yale's "Iron Men" ended Princeton's 15-game win streak with a 7-0 win in 1934 at New Jersey... Yale held the orange and black to one first down and minus-four yards rushing in a 20-14 Bulldog win at Princeton in 1945... The 1953 Bulldogs erased a 17-0 Princeton halftime lead and won 26-24... RB Don Gesicki '76 completed a 97-yard pass play to Gary Fencik '76 at Princeton in 1975 in the longest pass play in Yale history as the Blue won 24-13... 1981 was the battle of Bob Holly (Princeton QB) vs. Rich Diana '82 (Yale RB). Holly, who scored the winning TD with 4 seconds left, threw for a school-record 501 yards while Diana set the Yale record with 222 rushing yards in a 35-31 Tiger win at Princeton... Kevin Moriarty '86 hauled in a 14-yard pass from Mike Curtin '86 with 5 ticks on the clock in Yale's 27-24 win in 1984... The 1995 Elis spoiled an undefeated season by winning at Princeton behind QB Chris Hetherington '96 (229 total offense)... The Bulldogs, who tied the game on a 22-yard TD pass from Alvin Cowan '05 to Chandler Henley '06 with no time left on the clock in the fourth quarter, won a double-OT game at Princeton in 2003 by recovering a fumble after Yale kicked a field goal. The Tigers took a 34-31 decision at the Bowl in 2006 that led to the two teams sharing the Ivy crown.ROBERTS CLIMBING YALE LISTS
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: 472... needs 77 to catch Patrick Witt '12
2nd Passing Yards: 5,587... needs 446 to catch Patrick Witt
2nd Total Offense: 5,892… needs 132 to catch Alvin Cowan '05    
3rd Passing Attempts: 774… needs 138 to catch Patrick Witt
5th Passing TDs: 34... needs 1 to catch Joe Walland for 4th, needs 4 to reach 3rd

2013 totals:     37-71, 339 (4)
2014        2nd Team All-Ivy
Game:         att-comp, yards (TDs)
Lehigh:     31-40, 376 (4) - Ivy POW
Army:         23-40, 290 (1)
Cornell:     26-30, 312 (5) - Ivy POW
Dartmouth:     25-41, 302 (1)
Colgate:     23-33, 379 (2)
Penn:         26-29, 346 (4) - Ivy POW
Columbia:     21-42, 267
Brown:         20-26, 248 (2)
Princeton:     27-42, 405 (2)
Harvard:     26-48, 305 (1)
Colgate:    29-41, 293 (3) – Ivy POW
Cornell:        25-47, 371 (3)
Lehigh:        25-42, 251 (1)
Dartmouth:    29-58, 229
Maine:        14-33, 185
Penn:        25-46, 318 (1)
Columbia:    12-24, 104
Brown:        28-41, 267

Completions:    31     vs. Lehigh, 2014
Attempts:     58     at Dartmouth, 2015
Yards:        405     vs. Princeton, 2014
Touchdowns:    5     at Cornell, 2014

The Bulldogs, led by Morgan Roberts, have come from behind in three of the five 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 212 career tackles and four interceptions. Champion has started the last 34 straight games.

Yale junior kicker/punter Bryan Holmes leads the team with 45 points while handling all aspects of kicking. He is 10-for-15 on field goals, including a career-long of 44 at Lehigh. He has a 37-yard punting average with 10 landing inside the 20.  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.

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 five games. Center Luke Longinotti has 28 straight starts, while left tackle Khalid Cannon has 18. 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.

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.

889 or 890?
Yale has 889 or 890 wins depending how you view things. The NCAA record books give the Bulldogs credit for games won on the field, which is 889. However, the Ivy League credits Yale with one more (890) victory from a 1997 (forfeit) game against Penn. Yale was the first to 800 wins but has been overtaken by Michigan (922), while Notre Dame (891) and Texas (885) are not 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.

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.

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.

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.

Yale is 6-3 in OT games including 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 double-dippers (Princeton, 2003; Holy Cross, 2008).

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, Khalid Cannon, Victor Egu, Austin Reuland and Jason Alessi have attended the events this season.

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.

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 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.

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.YALE ON TV
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.


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