The Bulldogs completed their non-conference slate with a 35-28 win over visiting Mercer. Yale now sits at 3-2 overall, 1-1 in the Ivy League and 2-1 in non-conference games.
The passing game was the highlight of the day offensively. Rawlings threw for a whopping 344 yards with 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Shohfi and Klubnik were unstoppable hauling in two touchdowns and one touchdown respectively. Freshman Jaylan Sandifer made a fantastic catch on a 38 yard bomb from Rawlings to score his first touchdown of his career. Howland, Locke and Lamar all had crucial catches as well. Mercer clearly studied film on the quick passing play to Charles out of the backfield as they were able to shut that down on most attempts. Our pass blocking held up most of the time and when it didn’t, Rawlings could usually scramble free. Run blocking was not up to par forcing Lamar and Alston to have to fend off defenders much earlier than anticipated. The guards in particular were struggling when they were tasked with pulling on running plays. Lamar was able to spring free on a few occasions and wound up rushing for a respectable 116 yards. Reno inserted Jimmy Check as the quarterback for two series and he looked promising as he completed three passes for 35 yards. There was no sign of Dudek this week. Hinish continues to play at right guard as well.
Besides a long run from Mercer’s Tee Mitchell, the Bulldogs were able to slow down the ground game this week. A number of youngsters played on the defensive side with Oldacre, Abraham, Ellis, Hickey and Pope seeing extended action. Pope was the best of the bunch with 5 tackles, 2 tackles for losses, 2 forced fumbles and a sack. The fumble that Pope caused and was recovered for a Yale touchdown could have been the difference in the contest. We had no answers in the secondary. Bulldog defensive backs were holding, interfering and not turning their heads to play the ball. Fortunately, most of the pass interference penalties were missed by the officials. John Dean was not seen in action this week.
Galland missed his sole field goal attempt and Locke bobbled a kick return that pinned Yale deep in its own territory.