Reflections on the Crucial Win

Tre Moore’s ball security issues are a concern, but his passing seems to improve each week.

Freshman WR Reed Klubnik had a fantastic one-handed TD grab before the half that was truly a game changer.  Myles Gaines made a number of difficult catches to keep drives alive.  Williams-Lopez continued to shine.

The left side of the offensive line was anchored by Freshmen Dieter Eiselen and Sterling Strother who both played admirably in the first starts.

Freshman RB Alan Lamar exploded on Saturday with 23 carries for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Candler Rich also ran nicely with 57 yards and Dale Harris made an appearance on the offensive side averaging 4.5 yards over two carries.

The defense stepped up when it mattered the most.  The game would not have been won without the interceptions by Carlson and Oluokun.  Dale Harris played well at cornerback making a touchdown saving tackle and delivering big hits.  Oluokun looked natural at safety and punished receivers every chance he could.  Freshman CB Malcom Dixon saw action and should supply quality depth to the secondary.  Captain LB Darius Manora was all over the field.  DT Nicholas Crowle played well on the defensive line and it was nice to see effective stunts up front with the defensive tackles and ends.  Freshman DL Julian Fraser made an impact and could shore up this line in the years to come.

Dartmouth Preview

The 2-1 Big Green will visit the Yale Bowl at 1 PM ET on Saturday and the game can be viewed on the ILDN.  Dartmouth enters the contest after a 37-24 loss to Penn last Friday.  Penn was able to put significant pressure on QB Jack Heneghan forcing two ugly interceptions from the junior signal caller.  Sophomore RB Miles Smith ran for 95 yards on just 5 carries last week, so the Bulldogs will need to limit his big play ability to stay in control of the game.  Most importantly for Yale, we must cover WRs Hunter Hagdorn and Drew Hunnicutt to derail Teevens’ offensive plans.  We’re hoping to see Marquise Peggs and Dale Harris out there in the secondary this week, but haven’t received confirmation if they are both ready to go.  Teevens is the type of coach that cannot adequately make in-game adjustments, so punching Dartmouth in the mouth early on can set the Elis up for a huge victory.

Defensively, the Big Green were gashed all day by Penn QB Torgersen and Penn RB Solomon.  Salter, Rich and Moore should be able to pound the ball against this defense and make Yale’s former defensive line coach Duane Brooks wish he had never left New Haven.  If Tre Moore can limit his mistakes passing the ball and the offensive line can keep defenders at bay, we can put up 28+ points on this defense.  This Dartmouth team is not the same unit that handled the Bulldogs 35-3 last year.

Lehigh Game Notes

The Good: Yale fought back to make it a 28-35 game at one point.  Tre Moore and Deshawn Salter had great days rushing the ball.  Alessi ran back a punt for a TD.  The run defense stepped up on a couple of series.  Williams-Lopez had another solid performance.

The Bad: 2nd String Lehigh QB Brad Mayes threw for 524 yards and 6 touchdowns on the Bulldogs’ defense.  The defensive line did not put enough pressure on Mayes to disrupt his throws.  Holding penalties on the secondary and offensive line killed us all day.  Tre Moore’s two interceptions were both balls that should not have been thrown into tight coverage.  The offensive line offered poor pass protection to Moore.

The Ugly: The secondary simply had no answers for Lehigh’s wideouts.  Debner and Alburg were constantly targeted by Mayes and had little to no safety support from Carlson and Sykes.  Defensive Coordinator Vashel never got creative in an attempt to pressure Lehigh until the game was out of hand.  A penalty for roughing the punter negated a rare defensive stand.

Lehigh Preview

The 2-2 Lehigh Mountain Hawks visit the Yale Bowl Saturday at 1:30 PM ET.  The game can be seen on One World Sports or the ILDN.  After dropping its first two games to Monmouth and Villanova, Lehigh bounced back with two straight wins over Ivy League opponents Penn (49-28) and Princeton (42-28).  Lehigh’s high powered offense has averaged 584.5 yards over the last two games and QB Nick Shafnisky leads the FCS in completion percentage (72.7%).  The Bulldogs won 27-12 last year at Goodman Stadium, but Lehigh looks to be much improved from a season ago.  Tre Moore will get the starting nod at QB this week and hopefully will be able to catch Lehigh off balance using his rushing and passing skills.  Lehigh is susceptible to the run, so Harris and Salter should have the chance to rush for 100+ yards with a decent performance from the offensive line.  Defensively, the Bulldogs will have to “bend not break” this week as Shafnisky and company can gain ground at will.  The Bulldogs need to slow down RB Dom Bragalone who rushed for 124 yards last week against Princeton and force Shafnisky into obvious passing situations to come away with a win.

Thoughts on the Cornell Loss

The first half at Cornell was a disaster on both sides of the ball.  Offensively, Chapple was “ineffective” as the ILDN broadcasters put it and went 3/10 for 40 yards with 2 interceptions before being replaced by Tre Moore.  Moore played decently aside from an ugly interception and a few misreads.  On both second half scoring drives, Moore made smart decisions and showed off the accuracy coaches have been raving about since camp.  Whenever momentum seemed to shift in Yale’s direction, it was disappointing that the offense continued to operate at the slow tempo pace allowing defenders to catch their breath.  The RBs were not being effectively switched to keep defenses off balance trying to defend against Harris’ speed or the power of Salter/Rich.  The O Line struggled to open running lanes and protect the QB once again. Center Karl Marback had a number of high snaps and Guard Jeho Chang blew two assignments resulting in a sack and a tackle for loss.  The offensive line stepped up in the second half, but Yale just did not have the offensive gameplan in place to come back from the 24-3 halftime deficit.

Defensively, we witnessed the same struggles as we did a week ago against Colgate.  The defensive line could not generate pressure on Cornell’s QB Dalton Banks in the first half leaving the secondary exposed.  The corners and safeties were often a step too slow to break up the pass and had to settle for a touchdown saving tackle.  The linebackers simply missed too many tackles to slow down the Big Red.  It was nice to see Foye Oluokun out there playing OLB/Nickelback and he led the defense with 10 tackles, but appeared to suffer an injury in the fourth quarter so we hope he’s OK next week.  CB Marquise Peggs also went down with an injury and Yale opted to move Alessi down to cornerback and bring in senior Brian Sykes at safety.

We have to give credit to Coach Paul Rice as the special teams units played solidly.  With all of our talented receivers and backs, it might be time to give someone a shot at punt returning besides Alessi though.  Alex Galland performed well and should have a great future here at Yale.

Cornell Preview

The Bulldogs will be on the road this week squaring off against the Big Red Saturday at 3 PM ET on the ILDN.  Cornell enters the contest at 1-0 after defeating Bucknell last week 24-16.  It took some heroics last year to pull off the 33-26 victory at home, but this is once again a very winnable game.

Cornell’s offense features an efficient QB,  an above average offensive line, and a solid runningback.  Cornell’s QB Dalton Banks went 17/24 for 160 yards passing last week and accounted for all three touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 passing).  RB Chris Walker gained 141 yards on 17 rushes.  Cornell’s defense was exploited by Bucknell’s rushing attack as Joey DeFloria ran for over 150 yards on the Big Red D.  They also had no answer for Bucknell WR Will Carter who gained 122 yards on 9 receptions.  Cornell was also only able to sack Bucknell QB Matt Muh once during the game.  This bodes well for the Bulldog offense as we have the backs and receivers at our disposal to make life a nightmare for Cornell.  If we can get the running game established with Harris/Salter and protect Chapple for a few seconds, our offense should get back on track this week.  Defensively, the Bulldogs need to win at the line of scrimmage to slow down Walker and fluster the sophomore QB.

Notes on the loss

Coach Reno decided to start Rafe Chapple at QB, but also experimented with Tre Moore and Kurt Rawlings on Saturday.  Moore’s series sputtered, while Rawlings series ended with a turnover on downs and an interception.  It’s a shame the QB circus had to play out another week, but at least now we know who will be leading this team forward.

Dale Harris got the start at RB over Salter and Rich, but all three struggled against the stout Raiders front.  The offensive line simply could not open the holes needed to get the run game going.  Penalties by Friedline and Cannon were costly to drives and overall the line could not sustain pass blocks long enough to pick apart Colgate’s secondary.

Jake Melville and the Colgate receivers had their way with the Yale secondary.  The defensive front could not generate an effective pass rush and often left corners Marquise Peggs and Jaelin Alburg in tough situations against the Patriot League’s top receiving corps.  Clearly the defense is reeling from the losses of Spencer Rymiszewski and Copache Tyler.   Even the experienced linebackers performed well below their capabilities in the season opener.

Yale’s next opponent, Cornell, beat Bucknell 24-16 on Saturday.