The Bulldogs were routed in Hanover by the Dartmouth Big Green in a 42-10 loss on Saturday.
Going into the contest against a stingy defense, we knew that there were going to be challenges blocking the talented Dartmouth defensive linemen. The offensive line play was up and down and simply wasn’t consistent enough to sustain or finish drives. When Rawlings did have time in the pocket, he seemed overly anxious as his footwork deteriorated and he forced passes into double coverage. This led to two ugly interceptions that Dartmouth capitalized on in a hurry. Rawlings finished the day with just 143 passing yards and 2 interceptions. Griffin O’Connor didn’t fare much better throwing for 52 yards and completing under fifty percent of his passes. Lamar and Dudek gained as much as they could in the running game, but we would have liked to see them break more arm tackles to spark the offense. Melvin Rouse was surprisingly the offensive star of the day with 6 receptions for 65 yards. Klubnik made a couple of nice catches before the Dartmouth secondary began keying on him nearly every passing play. Shohfi wasn’t seen for much of the contest, so we are assuming he may have aggravated his prior injury. The referees missed at least two pass interference calls on the Big Green in the first half, but you have to expect terrible officiating in the Ivy League. The predictable offensive playcalling certainly didn’t help matters. Dartmouth was able to play base defense rushing just three down linemen against our ineffective schemes. The notable trick play of the afternoon consisted of handing the ball off to Griffin O’Connor to throw downfield. Why not run this play with someone like Conte when opposing defenses have clearly seen O’Connor play quarterback on film? Much like last year’s contest, this game was out of hand by the third quarter allowing Dartmouth to rotate in their backups. Freshman QB Nolan Grooms led the Bulldogs on their only touchdown drive of the day completing all of his passing attempts and showing nimbleness in his scrambles.
Yale’s defense had no answers for the Big Green’s potent offensive attack. Defensive linemen were not creating penetration, getting off blocks or keeping outside containment. Linebackers were not filling the gaps fast enough or covering the running backs out of the backfield. While the play of the front seven could be described as below average, the secondary’s performance was downright horrendous. Dartmouth WR Drew Estrada posted 203 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 5 receptions. Our cornerbacks and safeties were so far out of position, one had to wonder if they had watched any film of Dartmouth’s passing attack. Even on simple 5 to 10 yard out routes, the closest defender was 10 yards away. Aside from one trick play from Dartmouth, they ran basic plays that we should have been prepared for in such an important league contest. This was the worst showing by the secondary since Penn’s Justin Watson torched the Bulldogs for 160 yards in one half back in 2016. Princeton and Harvard both have passing attacks on par with Dartmouth’s, so we will need to improve in a hurry to stand a chance in our last two games.
Tuckerman nailed a 42 yard field goal in the second quarter and then missed a 23 yarder after Reno iced him with a timeout. Bosman only punted twice averaging 35.5 yards per punt.
We’re on to Richmond.