Notes on the Win over Mercer

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.

7 thoughts on “Notes on the Win over Mercer”

    1. Went on the field after the game. Almost turned my ankle. It was wet pock marked and gashed sandy dirt with no appreciable grass. I don’t understand how the condition of the field could get this way unless it was done on purpose. Mercer was not properly prepared with screw in extra long cleats. Knowledgeable Ivy League teams will not make that mistake.

  1. On at least one occasion when our DB turned to play the ball, he turned the wrong way (I’ve never seen that before) with disastrous consequences. You just can’t expect much from freshmen one-on-one against good receivers. Even last year’s stars were burned badly as freshmen.

  2. Agree with L et V. about the freshmen but where are the more experienced dbs – injured again? Don’t think I saw Peggs in the Mercer game or Agbeyegbe. Henson had two outstanding interceptions last season and while he played against Mercer it was very limited. All three were important contributors to the defensive secondary last season.
    The freshmen will take a while before becoming more effective at defending against the pass. I observed that it’s not from lack of speed that the pass coverage was so weak on the deep passes. In fact on most receptions (except for the trick play) our dbs were running step for step with the Mercer receivers and some times were right on top of them. They just weren’t able to deflect or breakup the pass. That will improve with more experience but it will take more than one season’s worth.

  3. Tosan A, has been out all season.
    Peggs has been out since the Holy Cross game.
    Henson, has a shoulder problem. Seeing limited action. Coaching staff were smart, they would keep him out.

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