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The Dead Period

After the cancellation of remaining winter and spring sports, the NCAA has announced a ban on in-person recruiting until at least April 15th.

We have not seen an official announcement regarding the cancellation of Spring Ball, but with students not returning to campus this semester and the closure of Payne Whitney Gymnasium, there is simply no hope of seeing the Bulldogs in the Bowl this spring. Some SEC schools have been hosting football practices, although the conference will not allow spring games.

The loss of spring practices is devastating to the 2020 Bulldogs as we needed all the time possible to improve timing between our quarterbacks and receivers given the graduation of Yale’s terrific trio. The offensive line, defensive line, linebackers and defensive backs had to fill holes and develop young talent to compete. Now, this will simply be a year of stunted growth.

Other Ivy foes such as Harvard and Dartmouth will not be as affected as Yale by the loss of spring practices. Both Harvard and Dartmouth return key components of their offenses and you know Buddy will find creative ways to roll out an All-Ivy roster of 5th year seniors.

Following in the footsteps of Florida State University, Yale’s Men’s Basketball program should urge Connecticut legislators to declare Yale as the 2020 National Champion.

Updated List

Mitchell Tyler, 6’5”, 240 lbs., Defensive End, McKinney (McKinney, TX)

Connor Halverson, 6’4″, 270 lbs., Offensive Tackle, Westlake (Austin, TX)

Bennie Anderson, 6’3”, 273 lbs., Offensive Guard, Westminster Christian Academy (St. Louis, MO)

Teo Falk, 6’7”, 255 lbs., Defensive End, Sweden

Joe Gonzales, 6’3”, 185 lbs., Safety, Lake Stevens (Lake Stevens, WA)

Devyn Suggs, 6’4”, 195 lbs., Quarterback, Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, IL)

Kade Barnes, 5’10”, 170 lbs., Cornerback, Cy Ridge (Houston, TX)

Charles “Ceejay” Thompson, 6’2”, 190 lbs., Wide Receiver, Trinity Christian School (Cedar Hill, TX)

Ryan Lindley, 5’10”, 160 lbs., Wide Receiver, Westlake (Austin, TX)

Ejiro Egodogbare, 6’3”, 270 lbs., Defensive Tackle, Roxbury Latin (West Roxbury, MA)

Ben Mann, 6’4”, 230 lbs., Defensive End, Manheim Township (Lancaster, PA)

Tre Peterson, 5’10”, 178 lbs., Wide Receiver/Cornerback, Columbus (Columbus, GA)

Gabriel Sleenhof, 6’4”, 260 lbs., Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Ravenswood (Brentwood, TN)

Kiran Amegadjie, 6’5”, 275 lbs., Offensive Tackle, Hinsdale Central
(Hinsdale, IL)

Dean Shaffer, 6’1”, 230 lbs., Linebacker, Smithtown East (Smithtown, NY)

Zion Dayne, 6’3”, 240 lbs., Defensive End, South County (Lorton, VA)

Shaun Gold, 6’3”, 185 lbs., Wide Receiver, Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, CA)

Wyatt Raymond, 6’4”, 225 lbs., Tight End, Enfield (Enfield, CT)

Shamus Florio, 6’3”, 195 lbs., Punter/Kicker, Andover (Andover, MA)

Jacob Saffold, 5’10”, 190 lbs., Running Back, Norfolk Academy (Norfolk, VA)

Ryan Belk, 6’5”, 205 lbs., Tight End, Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, FL)

Nathan Puletasi, 6’3″, 265 lbs., Defensive Tackle, Choate (Wallingford, CT)

Grant Jordan, 6’2”, 195 lbs., Quarterback, Jesuit (New Orleans, LA)

Jack Karhu, 6’4”, 250 lbs., Offensive Tackle, Independence (Frisco, TX)

Sean Guyton, 6’0”, 175 lbs., Cornerback, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, CA)

Chase Nenad, 6’3”, 200 lbs., Wide Receiver, Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, CA)

Zack Haaland, 6’3″, 185 lbs., Quarterback/Athlete, Dallas Christian (Dallas, TX)

Damian Anderson, 6’1″, 165 lbs., Cornerback, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Nathaniel Campbell, 6’3″, 200 lbs., Outside Linebacker, Oswego East (Oswego, IL)

Cole Hagen, 6’2″, 180 lbs., Quarterback, Corner Canyon (Draper, UT)

Yale Ranked in Top 25

The 9-1 Bulldogs were ranked 24th and 25th respectively by the FCS Coaches Poll and the STATS FCS Final Top 25.

Kurt Rawlings was a late edition to the East-West Shrine Bowl and will be playing for the West. Check out this interview with Kurt from yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD_phz1-V3o

The Shrine Bowl will air on the NFL Network on Saturday at 3 PM ET.

Rawlings isn’t the only Bulldog who will be playing in front of fans and scouts on Saturday. Dieter Eiselen was selected to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and will play at the historic Rose Bowl. That game will air after the Shrine Bowl at 7 PM ET on the NFL Network.

Post-Season Awards

Kurt Rawlings was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year as well as New England Football Writers Association’s Player of the Year.

Several Bulldogs were honored on the All-Ivy Teams:

Dieter Eiselen, OL, First Team All-Ivy

Kurt Rawlings, QB, Unanimous First Team All-Ivy

JP Shohfi, WR, First Team All-Ivy

Reed Klubnik, WR, First Team All-Ivy

Sam Tuckerman, K, First Team All-Ivy

Sterling Strother, OL, Second Team All-Ivy

Zane Dudek, RB, Second Team All-Ivy

Spencer Matthaei, DL, Second Team All-Ivy

Ryan Burke, LB, Second Team All-Ivy

Malcolm Dixon, CB, Second Team All-Ivy

Cameron Warfield, OL, Honorable Mention All-Ivy

Rodney Thomas, LB, Honorable Mention All-Ivy

Melvin Rouse, CB, Honorable Mention All-Ivy

Recruiting Update

Here are the known commits:

Mitchell Tyler, 6’5”, 240 lbs., Defensive End, McKinney (McKinney, TX)

Connor Halverson, 6’4″, 270 lbs., Offensive Tackle, Westlake (Austin, TX)

Bennie Anderson, 6’3”, 273 lbs., Offensive Guard, Westminster Christian Academy (St. Louis, MO)

Teo Falk, 6’7”, 255 lbs., Defensive End, Sweden

Joe Gonzales, 6’3”, 185 lbs., Safety, Lake Stevens (Lake Stevens, WA)

Devyn Suggs, 6’4”, 195 lbs., Quarterback, Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, IL)

Kade Barnes, 5’10”, 170 lbs., Cornerback, Cy Ridge (Houston, TX)

Charles “Ceejay” Thompson, 6’2”, 190 lbs., Wide Receiver, Trinity Christian School (Cedar Hill, TX)

Ryan Lindley, 5’10”, 160 lbs., Wide Receiver, Westlake (Austin, TX)

Ejiro Egodogbare, 6’3”, 270 lbs., Defensive Tackle, Roxbury Latin (West Roxbury, MA)

Ben Mann, 6’4”, 230 lbs., Defensive End, Manheim Township (Lancaster, PA)

Tre Peterson, 5’10”, 178 lbs., Wide Receiver/Cornerback, Columbus (Columbus, GA)

Gabriel Sleenhof, 6’4”, 260 lbs., Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Ravenswood (Brentwood, TN)

Kiran Amegadjie, 6’5”, 275 lbs., Offensive Tackle, Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, IL)

Dean Shaffer, 6’1”, 230 lbs., Linebacker, Smithtown East (Smithtown, NY)

Zion Dayne, 6’3”, 240 lbs., Defensive End, South County (Lorton, VA)

Shaun Gold, 6’3”, 185 lbs., Wide Receiver, Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, CA)

Wyatt Raymond, 6’4”, 225 lbs., Tight End, Enfield (Enfield, CT)

Shamus Florio, 6’3”, 195 lbs., Punter/Kicker, Andover (Andover, MA)

Jacob Saffold, 5’10”, 190 lbs., Running Back, Norfolk Academy (Norfolk, VA)

Ryan Belk, 6’5”, 205 lbs., Tight End, Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, FL)

Nathan Puletasi, 6’3″, 265 lbs., Defensive Tackle, Choate (Wallingford, CT)

Let us know who is missing and we will update the list!

Harvard Notes

The Yale Bulldogs won the 2019 Ivy League Championship with a stunning double overtime victory over the Harvard Crimson.  Congratulations to the players and coaches of Team 147 on an unbelievable season to remember!

The offense came out swinging with a 51 yard passing play to Sandifer on the first play from scrimmage.  Harvard’s stout defense clamped down on the Elis forcing a field goal on that possession and limiting Yale to just 3 points until the second half.  With Harvard up 22-3 in the third quarter, the Yale offense responded to the pressure by simply slicing apart the Crimson defense.  Rawlings’ quick feet and golden arm were on display as he avoided pressure, chewed up yardage in the ground game and delivered perfect strikes through the air.  Rawlings finished with 417 passing yards, 62 yards rushing, 3 touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown.  Shohfi and Klubnik cemented their status as the best Yale receiving duo of all time.  Shohfi battled through an injury all day and caught every ball remotely close to him.  Klubnik roasted defensive backs and racked up much needed yards after the catch.  The two-headed monster of Shohfi and Klubnik combined for 244 receiving yards and a touchdown, but even that gaudy stat line doesn’t begin to show how clutch these players were down the stretch.  Herring, Tipton and Sandifer had their best performances of their careers when we needed them most.  The offensive line had some early struggles against Harvard’s defensive line, yet the Bulldogs wore them down and were able to provide Rawlings with nice protection in the second half and overtime.  Tribble suffered a serious injury and was carted off of the field.  Cepalia stepped in and the offense didn’t miss a beat.  Dudek had nifty runs to keep the chains moving and a stellar overtime touchdown, while Lamar was phenomenal catching balls out of the backfield.

Poor tackling and even worse open field angles allowed Harvard’s freshman running back Borguet to rush for 269 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Harvard scored very quickly on drives giving much needed time for the Yale offense to operate in the second half.  The defensive line and linebackers harassed Smith for much of the day with sacks from Sampleton, Goodyear and Burke.  Rouse was spectacular with an interception and numerous big hits.  In the second overtime, Dean made a crucial tackle on 3rd down forcing Harvard into a do-or-die fourth down attempt.  Harvard opted to put the ball in BJ Watson’s hands, however, Burke and Thomas read the play perfectly and each got a shot on Watson as he fell short of the first down marker.  The defense stepped up to the challenge in critical moments to seal the victory.

Sam Tuckerman will go down as the best onside kicker in Ivy League history.  We saw his skill in that department versus Richmond, but no onside kick was bigger than the one Klubnik recovered in The Game.  Harvard actually executed their onside return scheme effectively with the front line acting as blockers, however, they didn’t account for a better receiver from Texas stepping in front of their Texan wideout.  Bosman averaged over 35 yards per punt and delivered excellent hang time on the punt that Harvard dropped. 

The Curse of Cozza lives on!

Yale 50 Harvard 43

Harvard Preview

The Harvard Crimson travel to New Haven this weekend for the 136th playing of The Game on Saturday at noon.  The Game will be aired on ESPNU, but you really don’t want to miss the last chance to see Rawlings, Shohfi and Klubnik play in the Bowl.

Harvard’s roster is stacked with talent thanks to bringing in the top-ranked recruiting classes year over year.  Junior quarterback Jake Smith leads Harvard’s offense and has improved tremendously from his freshman season.  Smith has thrown for an average of 223 yards per game with 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.  Coach Murphy commented earlier in the season that Smith was finally developing into the quarterback that they believed he could be when they recruited him.  He’s very nimble in the pocket with a strong arm, but occasionally suffers from poor decision making.  Senior wide receiver Cody Chrest is Smith’s favorite target with 612 receiving yards (15.3 yards per catch) and 4 touchdowns on the season.  Senior wideout Jack Cook sat out last week with an injury, but plans to play this week versus the Bulldogs.  Cook leads the team in touchdown receptions with 5 and averages 16.6 yards per catch.  Junior BJ Watson is a former running back that converted to receiver this season.  Watson might be the most explosive receiver of the corps and is difficult to tackle in the open field.  Harvard always features a top-notch tight end in their offense and junior Ryan Reagan is no exception.  Junior running back Devin Darrington is a fast and powerful back that breaks arm tackles with ease.  Darrington was very difficult for the Bulldogs to contain a year ago and is infamous in Ivy League circles for his decision to run out of bounds against Dartmouth that proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Crimson in their upset bid.  Freshman running back Aidan Borguet has had a stellar freshman season rushing for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The offensive line has opened huge holes for Darrington and Borguet in the running game and is above average in pass protection.  Yale must control the line of scrimmage this week to emerge victorious.

Harvard’s defense has been the strength of the team all season.  The Crimson defensive line was the only unit that dominated Dartmouth’s offensive line.  Senior defensive lineman Brogan McPartland has racked up 33 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks over 9 games.  Harvard may be without their talented sophomore defensive end Truman Jones who suffered an injury weeks ago, although Nasir Darnell, Jacob Sykes and Anthony Nelson are all powerful defensive linemen that can keep Harvard’s defense from missing a beat.  Harvard’s corps of linebackers is experienced and deep.  Senior linebacker Cameron Kline and junior linebacker Jordan Hill each have 49 tackles on the season.  Senior linebacker Joey Goodman is another defender to keep an eye on with 35 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, half a sack and and an interception.  Senior safety Cole Thompson leads the defense in total tackles with 51.  Junior safety Max Jones is the top pass defender in the secondary with 3 interceptions and 7 pass breakups.  Cornerback and captain Wesley Ogsbury was an All-Ivy selection a year ago who is a lockdown corner when healthy.  Junior cornerback Isaiah Wingfield is coming off an impressive 10 tackle performance last week versus Penn.

Senior kicker Jake McIntyre is 8 of 14 on field goal attempts this season with a long of 42 yards.  McIntyre has not missed a single extra point.  Sophomore punter Jon Sot is averaging 42.5 yards per punt and has placed 6 punts inside the 20 yard line.  BJ Watson is the top kick returner averaging 19.3 yards per return.  Harvard has not found consistency at the punt returner position with 8 different players combining for just 3.1 yards per return on average.

The Bulldogs will have to stay focused and play their best game of the season this week to secure an Ivy League title.  Winning the turnover battle, controlling the clock and eliminating mental mistakes in the secondary will be key in this clash.

Go Bulldogs!   

Princeton Notes

The Bulldogs cruised to a 51-14 victory over the Princeton Tigers on Saturday in one of the most dominant Yale performances in the history of the rivalry. Dartmouth fell to Cornell in a 20-17 thriller allowing Yale the chance at an Ivy League title with a win over Harvard (or losses by both Dartmouth and Yale).

Playing in their final road game together, Yale’s dynamic trio of Rawlings, Shohfi and Klubnik were spectacular. Rawlings finished the game with 338 yards passing and a mind-blowing 6 touchdowns against a strong Princeton defense. Shohfi caught 8 passes for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. Klubnik hauled in 7 catches for 107 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tipton had a nice outing with 43 yards receiving, while Conte added an 18 yard touchdown reception. The offensive line manhandled the Tigers’ talented defensive linemen and linebackers.  Rawlings was only sacked once and the line opened big holes for Dudek to average 6.2 yards per carry.  We referred to the Princeton offense last week as the most explosive unit in the league and luckily we were way off in that assessment!  The Bulldogs exploded for 27 points in the second quarter in what was by far the most dominant quarter that Yale played all season.

The performance of the Yale defense nearly outshined the fireworks from Rawlings and company.  Burke led the Bulldogs in tackles with 8 and played a nearly perfect game outside of a holding penalty.  Matthaei, Kissel, Callender, Oso, Sampleton and Nickerson helped shutdown Princeton’s running attack and applied constant pressure on Davidson. The defensive tackle position could be an area of concern with the losses of Goodyear and Keeler.  Adam Raine played the majority of the snaps in their absence and Reno could always opt to slide one of our bigger defensive ends down to tackle this week to aid Raine.  The secondary really stepped up this week limiting Davidson to just 164 passing yards.  Ellis had a great interception while Dixon, Rouse, Benn, Hickey and Alburg played with a level of intensity we haven’t seen from them all season.

Tuckerman was perfect in the kicking game.  Bosman bombed one punt for 47 yards and averaged a solid 38.7 yards per punt.

Reno, Cahill and McGowan deserve all the credit in the world for the gameplan that they put together.  The pressure is on this week with Harvard coming to town and an Ivy League crown on the line.  Murphy will have the Crimson fired up as they would love nothing more than to spoil Yale’s remarkable season.  Expect the team that pounded Dartmouth for 58 minutes to show up in New Haven in a game that has all the makings of an epic clash.

Yale 51 Princeton 14

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