The Yale Bulldogs defeated the Columbia Lions 41-16 on Friday in New York City. The Elis improved to 5-2 on the season and are tied for 2nd place in the Ivy League heading into a difficult 3 game stretch.
After a disappointing performance versus Penn, the Yale offense exploded for 441 yards. Columbia’s strong run defense limited Yale to 95 rushing yards, but Yale was able to capitalize on opportunities in the passing game to put the contest out of reach. Grooms threw for 346 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. Although Grooms’ completion percentage was under 50%, several perfectly placed passes were dropped and Grooms made good decisions to throw the ball away under heat. With Tipton out with an injury, the return of Nenad could not have come at a better time. Nenad raced past defenders for 117 yards and a touchdown on 3 receptions. Lindley put on a clinic with 6 receptions for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. Pantelis and Brunelle each hauled in a pass for 33 yards to make up for previous drops in the contest. Grooms did a great job distributing the ball as Hawes, Pitsenberger, Peterson and Shipp all hauled in receptions. Creativity of the play calling was much improved from a week ago especially in the 2nd half. One example of this was a play in which Grooms sprinted to the side to threaten a run and threw the ball to Peterson on the outside for an 11-yard gain. The offensive line struggled to open holes against Columbia’s 8 men in the box but did slightly improve in this regard as the game went on. Pass blocking was up and down with a mix of clean pockets and collapsing pockets for Grooms. Columbia did not record a sack, yet Grooms was often under pressure and barely escaped 3-4 potential sacks.
The performance on defense was a tale of two halves. Columbia was able to drive downfield with a mix of runs and passes to take a 2-point lead early in the 2nd quarter and then found a wide-open receiver for a 64-yard touchdown reception with 8:03 remaining in the 2nd quarter. Leading up to that point in the contest, coverage was poor and tackling left much to be desired. That all changed in the 2nd half with the defensive line asserting dominance and improved play from the linebackers and secondary. Vaughn led the defense in tackles with 6 and had his best performance of the season. Ellis and Oldacre were huge contributors in the run defense especially as Columbia got closer to the goal line. Owens bounced back from being roasted in the 1st half to blanketing receivers in the 2nd half. Guyton continued to improve and flashed more on film in the Columbia contest than any other previous game. Freshman DT Egodogbare led the defensive line in tackles with 4. Nickerson and Mauney were highly disruptive from their defensive end positions combining for 4 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Frommer and Shaffer made solid plays at linebacker. Freshman CB Da’Quan Gonzales added another 2 tackles to his productive first year campaign and appears to be a future mainstay in the defense. Jaylan Granberry made a fantastic play on a short Columbia pass to the outside but was unfortunately the victim of friendly fire and left the field with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.
The performance of our special teams units was nothing short of magical and swung the momentum of the game. Frommer and Belk blocked punts on back-to-back drives against former Yale captain Paul Rice’s punting unit. Bosman was 2 for 3 on field goal attempts and nailed a 41-yarder in the 2nd quarter.
Next up: Brown