Spring Game Notes

We caught our first glimpse of the 2023 squad on Saturday in the Bowl on an overcast windy day in New Haven. Attendance seemed to be higher than in previous years likely due to senior parents in attendance to watch the ring ceremony.

Reno aired on the side of caution sitting or limiting many of the familiar names on the roster. Those who did not suit up included Mendoza, Patterson, Egodogbare, Pantelis, Nenad, Shipp, Hawes, and Sullivan. Benn, Guyton and Peterson were suited up but did not see action. Grooms and Alston played only the first series, while Pitsenberger was only seen on a handful of special teams plays. Spring games under Siedlecki and Williams were far more entertaining, but we prefer Reno’s approach to keep the team healthy heading into the summer offseason.

With Mendoza out of the lineup, the starters along the offensive line were Amegadijie, Anderson, Durand, Karhu and Session from left to right. Yates started at tight end with Hawes out and the starting wide receiver corps featured Tipton (in red non-contact jersey), Lindley, and Brunelle. Grooms and Alston started at QB and RB respectively. The starting offense marched effortlessly down the field for a score led by two big runs from Alston (including the TD scamper) and a nice completion on a crossing pattern to Lindley.

The starting defense was very young with only a handful of major contributors from 2022 appearing in the exhibition. McDonough and Ezekiel Larry started at defensive end with Gulley and #98 (Yang or Ugbaja?) at defensive tackle. The starting linebackers were #7 (Biggs?), #40 (Shaffer or Warncke?), and Melik Williams. Gonzales and Barnes were at the cornerback positions and #32 and #35 (Haaland?) were at the safety positions.

Pass coverage was poor early on but improved as the day went on. McDonough and Yang both had sacks yet the defensive play of the day came on a big hit from #37 (Joseph Gonzales?) who dislodged a completion to Thompson. #30 (Michalik?) also had a terrific play stripping Eboboko on a running play.

The stars on offense were WR CJ Thompson and RB Wilhelm Dahl. Thompson was by far the most active member of the receiving corps and held onto a ball in the first half despite a crushing hit. Thompson had a long reception called back in the 2nd half and later beat Gonzales on a deep route but the pass from Grant Jordan was off the mark. Dahl showed great vision and cutting abilities and could factor into the kickoff return game alongside Felton.

Bosman still appears to be ahead of the competition in the kicking and punting schemes. Bosman nearly connected on a 50-yard field goal in the wind that hit the goalpost.

The defensive end and safety positions are still the largest uncertainties heading into the fall. If McDonough and Larry are to be the primary contributors at the defensive end slot, they will both need to continue to bulk up to square off against much larger offensive tackles. Beyond Benn, there is no safety with ample experience, so Reno could opt to shift an experienced corner to safety or let the youngsters such as Haaland, #32, Di Ienno and Joseph Gonzales battle it out for the top spot.

40 replies on “Spring Game Notes”

Any chance a JV team to be reestablished.? Is there enough players now to able to do this.?

There may be enough players, but would there be any other JV teams to play? It seems the time has passed for JV teams and Yale games on the radio.

Don’t I recall our JV teams playing (and losing to) the varsities of feeder schools to Power 5 colleges?

Excellent interview below of Coach Reno on the 2022 Championship team. Starts around the 18 minute mark. Interesting to me was that he credits the tough competition in the opening game against Holy cross with helping the team to quickly identify and rectify weaknesses to make the championship run possible. Also great player analysis, particularly of Pittsinberger.

I’m listening to NFL: Thursday Night Tailgate | Yale Head Coach Tony Reno, Former Chiefs WR Eddie Kennison, & Former Padres INF Kurt Bevacqua Join Us… on Podbean, check it out!

Thank for the link, SOE. You know, whenever Zane Dudek is mentioned, like in this interview, I get a little sad. A great, great, running back unfortunately hampered by injuries after that fantastic freshman season. Still a big contributor to two championship teams. but a Dowlingesque career injury wise.

Gentlemen; in my mind’s eye the key to success for the upcoming season will be the development of the defensive tackles in order to allow Mr. Patterson to play defensive end a position he excels at.

Gulley and Egodogbare are no slouches at defensive tackle, but I’d still prefer to see Patterson playing his natural position at defensive tackle. I felt Oso (pre-injury) and Nickerson were better at defensive end than Patterson in 2022. Teams schemed against Patterson in 2022 so it’s difficult to judge where he should end up, but his 2021 campaign at defensive tackle was superior to his 2022 campaign bouncing around positions along the line.

If we assume Gulley and Egodogbare start at DT and Patterson starts at one DE, the other starting DE would likely be McDonough who needs to bulk up and the depth is now very thin at DT and DE.

I agree with the moderator that the safety position is a weakness. We have 3 corners that could potentially start (Owens, Guyton, Gonzales) plus Benn at safety who made some great plays in 2022 but has been inconsistent throughout his career. Safety pass coverage was poor in 2022 yet we had guys that haunted opposing run games. Now it seems as though we won’t have pass coverage or run support from the safeties. Could Owens make the transition to safety? He is a tackling machine. The potential development of Barnes at corner could help alleviate some concerns as well.

How about moving Dathan Hickey to safety? He is a pro prospect and has good safety size. .

Who’s coming back for a 5th or 6th year.? I thought Hickey was gone..I’m more befuddled than usual

If Alston has eligibility to return, then I’d assume Hickey would too but have not heard anything on him since his injury last year. Hoping Vaughn returns as well to give us all 3 starting linebackers back in 2023.

Pretty sure Vaughn will be there in the fall. He’s out of school this semester to maintain eligibility but was at the spring game Saturday

Congratulations to the Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse teams for advancing to their respective Ivy championships.
No word on any Yale Football Players getting signed by NFL teams.?

His block of an XP against Princeton may have been the play of the year. It forced Princeton to go for the TD at the end of the game instead of a FG and a tie which would have sent the game into overtime.

We all b*tch.and moan about attendance, but the athletic department seems to be unaware that their are little things they could do to keep interest going during the off season. Things like updates on the website. Maybe a weekly profile of players, info on future schedules, and, of course, recruiting. To paraphrase Reggie Jackson, football is the straw that stirs the drink at Yale and the more visibility football gets, and attendance increases, the better it will be for all sports. And please think about getting back on the radio. That seems like a no brainer.

Yale, needs more diversity in its scheduling to boost attendance. In the past 20 seasons Yale has scheduled only 27 different opponents.

Schools that would be nice new additions to future Yale schedules include: William & Mary, Delaware, Rhode Island, Villanova, Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Monmouth, UC Davis, Furman, and any FBS program.

As one of the few college football venues designated to be a national historic landmark Yale can offer teams a compelling reason to visit New Haven.

A nice out-of-conference mix would include 1 Patriot League opponent each year (rotating), one local opponent (UConn whenever possible, Central CT, Sacred Heart), and one “variety” team. All of the Colonial Conference teams would be good candidates, as would:
UC Davis
San Diego
Cal Poly SLO
and the two HBCU’s who play the Bayou Classic: Grambling and Southern U.
Plenty to choose from!

Congratulations to The Yale Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse teams. In advancing in The Ivy League Championships

I recently received an email from Harvard athletics advertising their big homecoming football game this season against Dartmouth. My understanding is Yale doesn’t have a homecoming game because they consider Harvard to be the homecoming game whether it’s at home or away. Harvard is no longer going by that tradition. It’s time Yale add its own homecoming game to boost attendance,, at least in years where the Harvard game is away. .

SOE, it’s to far gone, for Yale to have big crowds at the Bowl. Regardless of homecoming or not. The only game that they will have for close to a seek out is the Harvard Game every other year.
Unless Yale gets more imaginative with its teams that they schedule.
Morgan State ain’t gonna do it. Sacred Heart will be under 15,000 maybe 10,000 which would be good.
It’s really too bad , with the talent that Reno is bringing in. They should be scheduling up marketing the heck out of it.
They can’t even do a write up of who’s coming . Or selling what they have.

Totally agree – re marketing what they have! All admitted students have made their decisions by May 1. Several IVYs have already released their incoming classes complete with biographies. I think these student/athletes would feel welcomed and appreciated! Yale generally has released their incoming classes in August/September. How unnspiring!

Yes, I hear you. But we have an Athletic Director who is worthless. For Football anyway.. if this was run correctly it would be a goldmine for all. For Yale , the community would be a win win.
To bad would a could a should a. Does Yale need to have an unfriendly demeanor, No they do not. My wife had a handbag. They wouldn’t let her in. You can not bring that in mam. You know what , I’m over it. I used to bring in kids . They had a blast. I will not participate anymore. As Good will ambassador . Stay away with anything Yale will be a dinosaur. If it stays in the same manner as it is now.

Even when winning the Ivy title, Yale could only put a few people in the Bowl. A few years of mediocre results and nobody will come, Perhaps this is the Administration’s plan.

It’s not the play of the kids or coaches, it’s the new policy’s put in after , after Tom Beckett left. Radio is the cheapest form of advertisement. Ron Vacarro and Coach Sidlecki were great announcers. I miss them. Really got a feel for what was happening. This administration took it away after 70 years. Stupid. You can’t leave the bowl. To get something that you have forgotten. WITHOUT PENALTY. of having to spend money on another ticket. In these times people are struggling to make ends meet. So what does this administration do .? They Jack up prices for ticket. Charge for parking. You have to leave by sundown, just not friendly or welcoming place to be. So much that could be done better. Like bringing in your own food . Or a 28oz bottle of water. Or a soft drink. Disconnect the water fountains.!! Really

Best of Luck to both men’s and women’s Lacrosse teams today. GO BULLDOGS. Bite those Tabbies and Quackers.

Runner up on both, Yale lost in OT . 15-14 Men got their asses handed to them.
Good Luck to both as they go into NCAA Tournament play.

There should be one more besides the 1987 Cornell game. It’s a Yale football history tape featuring the late Mike Pyle as one of the narrators. After that, everything I had will be uploaded.

Comments are closed.