The Bulldogs travel to Hanover, New Hampshire this week to take on the undefeated Dartmouth Big Green. The game kicks off at 1:30 PM and will be streamed on ESPN+.
Dartmouth has been dominant in all phases of the game over their first three contests. Dual threat quarterback Jared Gerbino is a tough runner to bring down and is a good enough passer to exploit mishaps in the secondary. Dartmouth will often fake the jet sweep or line up in an empty formation to run Gerbino up the middle. Backup quarterback Derek Kyler is often substituted in for Gerbino and is a slightly better passer, but we expect to see Gerbino the vast majority of the contest based on his success in last year’s game. The Big Green’s running backs are average for the Ivy League, but they are aided by a strong offensive line, the threat of Gerbino running the ball, and the constant misdirections from the jet sweeps. Receivers Drew Estrada and Hunter Hagdorn will be the best receivers we have faced thus far and are equally dangerous in the running game. The offensive line is not quite up to par with Dartmouth’s offensive line from a year ago in terms of size and strength, yet based on film, they are skilled blockers particularly in pass blocking. Penn’s defensive line had early success versus the Dartmouth offensive line, but could not sustain the effort in the second through fourth quarters in the Quakers’ loss. Teevens’ offensive strategy is very aggressive and he will go for it on fourth down regardless of the field position.
Jackson Perry, Jack Traynor and David Chalmers are the stars of the Big Green’s stingy defense. Perry (280 lbs.) and Chalmers (290 lbs.) are big, athletic defensive linemen that have spoiled offensive game plans over the last few years. Former Yale defensive line coach Duane Brooks referred to this unit as the best that he has ever coached. Traynor is the Luke Kuechly of the Ivy League as he is a tackling machine at linebacker that is also effective covering backs and tight ends in the passing game. Yale will need effective strategies to neutralize Dartmouth’s top three defensive playmakers to win this contest. If there is any weakness to the Dartmouth defense, it is the secondary, although that could change with the return of All-Ivy cornerback Isiah Swann. Penn’s quarterback was unable to deliver passes on time to open receivers allowing the Dartmouth safeties to break up several passes with big hits.
Punter Davis Brief is averaging 35.9 yards per punt with a season long of 43 yards. Kicker Connor Davis has only attempted one field goal this season and made the try from 39 yards out. WR Drew Estrada is a dangerous punt returner averaging 19.3 yards per return.