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Game Week

Penn Preview

The 4-1 Penn Quakers travel to New Haven to square off against the Bulldogs at the Bowl this Saturday. Kickoff is slated for noon and the game will air on ESPN+. 

Penn soundly defeated Colgate and Bucknell in Weeks 1 and 2 before falling to Dartmouth in overtime in Week 3. The Quakers found themselves in another overtime contest versus Georgetown in Week 4 but prevailed victorious and kept that momentum alive squeaking by Columbia last week. Penn has comparable talent to Dartmouth across the board and may be the most physical team on the schedule this year. 

Junior QB Aidan Sayin (6’2”, 200 lbs.) has shown solid improvement from his sophomore campaign and picked apart the secondaries of Dartmouth and Columbia. Sayin has completed 67.4% of his passes for 1,417 yards, 9 TDs and 4 interceptions. Football runs deep in the Sayin family as Aidan’s younger brother is a 5-star QB recruit who has committed to Alabama. Freshman Malachi Hosley (5’10”, 185 lbs.) and senior Jonathan Mulatu (6’0, 205 lbs.) have shared the bulk of the carries for the Quakers thus far and each average over 4.2 yards per carry. Penn has a very talented receiving corps comprised of large targets with 3 leading receivers all over 6’2”. Sophomore WR Jared Richardson (6’2”, 215 lbs.) leads the Quakers in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs hauling in 28 receptions for 310 yards and 3 TDs. Averaging 9.9 yards per catch, sophomore WR Alex Haight (6’2”, 200 lbs.) is another threat to keep on eye on. Senior TE Bryce Myers (6’2”, 230 lbs.) has the speed and hands of a wideout that makes it difficult for smaller defensive backs to contain him. The offensive line is one of the better units across the Ivy League led by multi-year starters Jake Ligos (6’3”, 305 lbs.) and Alex Purcell (6’5”, 305 lbs.). Penn has a balanced attack that will really test all areas of our defense this week. Getting pressure on Sayin and limiting big play opportunities will be crucial.

The hallmark of a Priore team is a tough, physical defense and this year is no exception. At all three levels of Penn’s defense they feature All-Ivy caliber athletes. Senior LB Jack Fairman (6’1”, 230 lbs.) leads the Quakers in tackles with 28 and was an Honorable Mention All-Ivy player in 2022. Senior DB Kendren Smith (6’0”, 205 lbs.) is the most heralded player on the team coming off a 1st Team All-Ivy season in 2022 and has broken up 5 passes on the season. Senior DB Shiloh Means (5’11”, 200 lbs.) has terrorized opposing QBs racking up 3 interceptions. Penn’s defensive line dominated Yale a year ago and returns the powerful senior Joey Slackman (6’4”, 300 lbs.) who has an astounding 7.5 tackles for loss through 5 games. Banged up or not, our offensive line will need to find ways to win battles at the line of scrimmage and our offensive coaches will need to keep Penn’s aggressive defense guessing.

Junior P/K Albert Jang (6’2”, 200 lbs.) has been exceptional in the punting and kicking games. Jang has averaged 38.5 yards per punt with a long of 52 yards and also nailed a 51-yard field goal. Penn is fortunate to have two talented kickers as senior Graham Gottlieb (5’,10”, 165 lbs.) has connected on 7 of 9 attempts with a long of 42 yards. 

Go Bulldogs! Beat the Quakers!

Sacred Heart Notes

The Bulldogs improved to 3-2 following a 31-3 victory over the Pioneers of Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart managed to outgain Yale in total offensive yards and possessed the ball over 12 minutes longer than Yale, but the Bulldogs were again able to capitalize on opportunities. Grooms found Tipton wide open on the first drive to go up 7-0 and never looked back. Aside from one errant interception, Grooms played well considering the tough weather conditions completing 10 of 19 passes for 123 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception. The offensive line only featured two Day 1 starters with Mendoza at LT, Sullivan at LG, Bluhm at C, Charron at RG, and Bennett at RT. Amegadjie was seen on the sidelines using a cane, so hopefully his injury is not a devastating one. The running game showed improvements over prior weeks with 4.7 yards per carry and if the 38-yard loss from the botched long snap is removed from the statistics, the Bulldogs averaged 5.9 yards per carry. It was great to see Alston and Peterson escape for long runs of 57 and 32 yards respectively. Blocking was still inconsistent as Pitsenberger and Grooms struggled to rack up yards on the ground and two sacks were allowed. Tipton had another strong showing with 3 receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown as well as one 15-yard rush for a touchdown. Hawes and Yates each had a 20+ yard reception in key moments. 3rd downs proved troubling for the Bulldogs as they converted on just 2 of 11 3rd down attempts. With five tough Ivy matchups ahead of us, we need to find ways to sustain drives, burn the clock and keep opposing offenses on the sidelines.

Yale’s defense wasn’t perfect but found ways to stymie Sacred Heart when needed. The Pioneers gained 344 yards or 3.8 yards per play yet were limited to 6 of 20 on 3rd downs, 2 of 4 on 4th downs, and were only able to score on 1 of 4 trips inside the redzone. Patterson was dominant racking up 9 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and half a sack on his way to becoming Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week. Egodogbare looked explosive as he blew past offensive linemen to get into the backfield. Tyler, McDonough, and Oxendine each had half a sack in the contest along the defensive front. Vaughn and Moore each had productive days with 6 tackles and a forced fumble apiece. Vaughn also intercepted a Sacred Heart pass and returned it for 85 yards. Biggs had the best performance of his career with 6 tackles and half a sack. Tackling continues to improve in the secondary, although there are still lapses in pass coverage. Owens had a solid outing with 8 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and a pass breakup. Tarver led all safeties with 6 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup. Haaland was a big contributor with 5 tackles and half a sack. The focus in practice this week needs to be sharpening up pass coverages as Penn is averaging 291.4 passing yards per game.

Bosman nailed a 42-yard field goal in the 4th quarter and averaged 42.3 yards per punt. The botched long snap on a punt could have doomed Yale in a tight contest.

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Yale 31 Sacred Heart 3

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Game Week

Sacred Heart Preview

The 1-5 Sacred Heart Pioneers will travel from nearby Fairfield to New Haven this Saturday for a showdown at the Bowl. Kickoff is slated for noon and the game will air on ESPN+.

Sacred Heart began its season with three straight losses to Lafayette, Georgetown, and Wagner. In Week 4, the Pioneers earned their first win of the season over Saint Francis University on the road. Over the last two weeks, Sacred Heart dropped close contests versus Merrimack and LIU.

Senior QBs Rob McCoy (6’1”, 190 lbs.) and Cade Pribula (6’1”, 205 lbs.) have both played in 5 contests this season combining for a 50.3% completion rate for 746 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. The passing game has not lived up to expectations for the Pioneers producing just 124.3 passing yards per game. Sacred Heart features two talented running backs in seniors Malik Grant (5’9”, 200 lbs.) and Jalen Madison (5’9”, 195 lbs.). Grant was a 2nd Team All-NEC selection a year ago and the top running back that we have faced since Week 1 versus Holy Cross. The offensive line averages 294.0 lbs. across the board and does not feature any returning starters from 2022. The offensive line is a slight notch below what we faced last week at Dartmouth paving the way for 3.9 yards per carry and allowing 12 sacks thus far. Senior TE Phil Pasmeg (6’2”, 230 lbs.) is primarily a blocker with just 1 reception for 6 yards on the season. The Pioneers have depth at receiver, but the passing problems have limited their effectiveness. Sophomore WR Aboraa Kwarteng (6’2”, 190 lbs.) leads the team in receptions and receiving yards with 18 catches for 176 yards. The Bulldogs will need to shut down the rushing attack and force the Pioneers to be one dimensional to control the contest.

Senior LB DeAndre Byrd (6’1”, 210 lbs.) is the leader of Sacred Heart’s defensive unit. Byrd has posted 48 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, a sack, and a forced fumble over 6 games and is a 2-time captain for the Pioneers. Senior LB Ernest Howard (6’1”, 210 lbs.) was a 2nd Team All-NEC selection in 2022 and is second on the team in tackles with 31. The secondary for the Pioneers has played well limiting opponents to just 88.5 passing yards per game with a completion rate of 48.2%. Sacred Heart currently ranks #1 in the nation for pass defense. Senior CB Arsheen Jiles (5’9”, 180 lbs.) could be the most talented of the bunch as a 2nd Team All-NEC performer a year ago. Senior DB Marques Mason (5’9”, 180 lbs.) has made plays all over the field for Sacred Heart with 30 tackles and an interception on the season. The Pioneers have a stout defensive front led by seniors Nick Foglia (6’0”, 300 lbs.), Carson Primrose (6’2”, 280 lbs.), and Tyreke Brown (6’1”, 250 lbs.). Foglia has been the most productive defensive linemen with 30 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Primrose and Brown are both team captains that have combined for 8 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The theme for the Bulldogs this week is again establishing the running game that has been underwhelming at best. The coaches will need to rethink the ground attack as it’s evident that the plays that worked so well for us a year ago are now doomed without a dominating center. Yale does not want to be dependent on long passes late in the contest against a top pass defense.

Senior K Sam Renzi (6’0”, 180 lbs.) is 7 of 11 on field goal attempts this season with a long of 44 yards. Senior P Andrew Ryczek (6’3”, 210 lbs.) averages 37.8 yards per punt and has pinned opponents inside the redzone on 9 punts this season.

Go Bulldogs! Beat the Pioneers!

Dartmouth Notes

The Bulldogs emerged victorious on their first road trip of the season defeating the Big Green 31-24 in Hanover. 

Although the offense was inconsistent and could not generate a rushing attack, Grooms and company delivered big plays in clutch moments. Grooms finished 15 of 22 for 239 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. He had a few errant passes that were nearly intercepted but was on point when needed the most. Lindley had an outstanding afternoon with 7 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown that gave Yale the lead in the fourth quarter. Tipton hauled in 5 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown in another impressive display. Hawes had 2 key catches for 34 yards. The running game was a disaster with 1.3 yards per carry on the day. The decisions to run the ball on two 3rd and long situations were baffling and did not seem to catch any defenders off guard. The offensive line struggled to open holes and allowed 3 sacks on Grooms. Grooms absorbed hard shots and was harassed in the pocket for much of the contest. There were snapping issues with Bluhm at Center that plagued the timing of plays allowing defenders an extra step in pursuit prior to the play developing. The offense finished just 2 of 10 on 3rd down conversions with 11 first downs total. Yale found ways to exploit small mistakes from Dartmouth to generate big plays, yet much work remains to get this offense firing on all cylinders.

The turnovers that the defense was able to create were backbreakers for the Big Green. Guyton’s return was a pleasant surprise and he killed two Dartmouth drives with interceptions, one of which he returned for a 70-yard touchdown just when it seemed as though Dartmouth had gained all the momentum in the first half. Vaughn had another tremendous contest with 15 tackles. Moore has settled back into being a top pass defender adding another interception to go along with 5 tackles. Shaber started again at defensive tackle and notched 4 tackles. Egodogbare was back in the mix but will likely need a few more weeks to reach peak form. Dylan Yang had a nice sack that deflated a Dartmouth drive and Mitchell Tyler made a few solid plays at end. Turnovers aside, it was far from a great defensive showing as Dartmouth gashed us for 5.1 yards per carry and completed far too many passes to open receivers. The pass rush was nonexistent at times giving Dartmouth’s backup QB Proctor far too long to scan the field. Playing our corners so far off the ball gives opponents easy opportunities for short passes on 2nd or 3rd and short. 

Bosman nailed a 43-yard field goal and averaged 39.2 yards per punt. Our punt team did an excellent job preventing blocked punts and recovered a fumbled punt that bounced off a Dartmouth returner.

Yale 31 Dartmouth 24

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Game Week

Dartmouth Preview

Yale travels to Hanover, NH to take on the Dartmouth Big Green on Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 PM and the game will air on ESPN+.  

Dartmouth enters the contest with a record of 2-1 (1-0 Ivy) following an overtime win over Penn last weekend in Philadelphia. New Hampshire prevailed over Dartmouth in the Big Green’s opening game 24-7, but Dartmouth trounced Lehigh the following week 34-17. Dartmouth is 2-0 since Teevens’ death on the 19th and will be fired up for the first Ivy home game in Hanover since his passing.

Dartmouth utilizes two senior quarterbacks, Nick Howard (6’2″, 225 lbs.) and Dylan Cadwallader (6’2″, 190 lbs.), to lead its offensive attack. Howard is a bruising runner that can gain yardage up the middle or surprise a defense with his arm occasionally. Howard averages 4.2 yards per carry and has completed 46.7% of his passes for 94 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Cadwallader is the primary passer and has played well completing 66.0% of his passes for 308 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Junior RB Q Jones (5’11”, 195 lbs.) is 2nd on the team in rushing yards behind Howard and is averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Sophomore RB DJ Crowther (5’11”, 205 lbs.) is another talented back for the Big Green who had some nice runs over the last two weeks. Dartmouth’s offensive line averages 288.0 lbs. across the board and is an experienced unit with 4 returning starters from a year ago, although only 3 of those returning starters appeared against Penn a week ago. The Big Green have been exceptional at pass blocking only allowing a single sack on the season and did not allow a sack last week versus Penn. Senior WR Paxton Scott (6’1″, 200 lbs.) is one of the top wideouts in the Ivy League and leads Dartmouth in reception yards with 165. Senior TE Jace Henry (6’4″, 270 lbs.) is massive for his position and earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy a year ago. Dartmouth has a varied attack with runs up the middle with Howard, jet sweeps, throws to the tailback and deep shots. Given the possibility of rain on Saturday, this seems to be a matchup that will depend on controlling the line of scrimmage and staying disciplined in the secondary to avoid the big plays.

Dartmouth’s defense is led by senior LB Macklin Ayers (6’3″, 235 lbs.) who has racked up 21 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 sack. Junior OLB Braden Mullen (6’3″, 240 lbs.) leads the Big Green in sacks with 3.5 and tries to put punishing hits on opposing quarterbacks. Dartmouth’s defensive line performed very well against Penn limiting the Quakers to just 11 yards on the afternoon. Penn’s offensive line struggled to contain Dartmouth’s pass rush allowing 3 sacks. New Hampshire has been the only opponent that could really create rushing lanes against Dartmouth so far this season. Junior DT Josiah Green (6’0”, 265 lbs.) is stout at the point of attack and an excellent pass rusher. Senior DL Hank Knez (6’4”, 290 lbs.) has been the most productive defensive linemen with 12 tackles and half a tackle for a loss through 3 games. Yale matches up well against Dartmouth’s secondary, although this advantage could be neutralized by the weather. Senior S Quinten Arello (6’1”, 210 lbs.) was a 2nd Team All-Ivy performer a year ago and fellow senior S Leonard St. Gourdin (6’3”, 205 lbs.) leads the team in pass breakups with 3. Yale will need to find a way to get the ground game moving against a stiff front seven. The Big Green have a fast-flowing defense that is great against screens and short outside throws, so capitalizing on medium to long passing plays when possible will be paramount.

Freshman K Owen Zalc (5’10”, 160 lbs.) is 5 of 7 on field goal attempts and nailed the game winner over Penn a week ago in OT. Junior P Davis Golick (6’1”, 210 lbs.) is averaging 37.1 yards per punt with a season long of 49 yards. Dartmouth blocked a punt against Penn, so our punt protection team could face their toughest task of the season.

Go Bulldogs! Beat the Big Green!

Morgan State Notes

The Bulldogs earned their first win of the season knocking off the Morgan State Bears 45-3 on Saturday at the Bowl. Yale improved to 1-2 on the season and gained much needed momentum heading into a tough contest at Dartmouth. 

The first quarter was a rough one for the Yale offense as the traditional rushing attack was stymied and the Bulldogs were forced to rely on carries by Grooms to move the ball downfield. Yale was able to get into the redzone on its first possession before the drive stalled and the field goal attempt was blocked. The Bears stuffed the Bulldogs on their second offensive possession and then strip sacked Grooms on the Bulldogs’ third possession. Given the final score of the contest, it’s hard to imagine that this was a tight 0-0 contest heading into the second quarter. On Yale’s first possession of the second quarter, two long runs from Grooms moved Yale into the redzone again but the Bulldogs were unable to punch it into the endzone and were forced to settle for a field goal after a false start moved them back from the 1-yard line. Everything seemed to click for the Yale offense from that point as Grooms threw a beautiful 31-yard touchdown pass to Tipton and later drove 66 yards in 6 plays to go up 17-3 at the half. Morgan State had no answers for Yale in the second half as Grooms found Tipton open for a 33-yard passing score and never looked back adding an additional two offensive scores for five total offensive touchdowns on the day. Grooms was magnificent in the contest finishing 29 of 38 on passing attempts for 363 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. Our fearless QB was also the leading rusher with 9 carries for a whopping 87 yards or 9.7 yards per carry. Peterson and Alston had limited productivity once again combining for just 34 yards on 14 carries. The offensive line struggled to open rushing lanes for much of the contest but were solid in pass blocking only allowing a single sack. Tipton had a magical day with 9 receptions for 136 yards receiving with 2 touchdowns. Lindley and Felton both had huge days combining for another 12 catches and two touchdowns. The offensive staff did a great job with the play calling in the 2nd quarter and beyond to keep Morgan State off balance. Grooms spread the ball around with Hawes, Yates, Shipp, Alston and Peterson in the mix in the passing game. 

The defense finally put together a performance to be proud of. There was yet another new starting defensive lineup with Shaber now starting alongside Gulley at DT and Patterson and McDonough at DEs. Patterson was a problem for Morgan State all day and was far more impactful than his 2 tackles and a sack on the stat sheet would indicate. Larry had the best contest of his career at Yale also adding a sack. Baker started at LB alongside Vaughn and Moore. Moore bounced back with a solid performance highlighted by an interception. Vaughn also intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown to cap off the scoring for the afternoon. The secondary lineup remained the same as last week with Owens and Webster at CBs and Tarver and Daniyan at safeties. There are still cracks in the pass defense, but the tackling has improved and the blatant mental mistakes have decreased. Freshman Abu Kamara was very impressive displaying rare speed and explosiveness when tested at safety. Morgan State was limited to just 2.4 yards per carry and their quarterbacks combined for a 50% completion ratio with no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The defense really stepped up on 3rd and 4th downs as Morgan State was just 5 of 17 on 3rd downs and 0 of 2 on 4th downs. This was a great step forward for the defense as Dartmouth will be challenging to contain in Hanover.

Bosman was 1 of 2 on field goal attempts, but in his defense, the snap on the blocked field goal was high and altered his rhythm. He had a great day punting the ball averaging 42.0 yards per punt.  

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Yale 45 Morgan State 3

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Morgan State Preview

The Morgan State Bears travel to the Bowl on Saturday for a showdown versus the Bulldogs. Kickoff is slated for noon and the game will air on ESPN+. Weather could play a factor once again with a 45% chance of precipitation at noon with winds of 13 mph.

Morgan State is a public historically black university located in Baltimore, MD. The Bears enter the contest with a record of 1-3 as they have battled through a brutal early season schedule. In Week 1, Morgan State defeated a solid Richmond squad and nearly knocked off an FBS opponent in the University of Akron in Week 2. Towson has been the only squad that distanced itself from Morgan State defeating the Bears by 10 points in Week 3. Last week, Morgan State lost in double overtime to the University of Albany, another talented squad that crushed Fordham and kept contests versus Marshall and Hawaii close. 

Sophomore QB Dominique Anthony (6’1″, 213 lbs.) has seen the most snaps for the Bears’ offense completing 47.6% of his passes for 276 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Senior QB Carson Baker (6’3″, 205 lbs.) was a prior starter at San Diego State and started 7 contests last season for Morgan State yet did not start the past two contests. Junior QB Duce Taylor (6’1″, 180 lbs.) started in the Towson game but was sidelined in favor of Anthony last week. All three QBs have struggled as they have combined for under a 50% completion rate and have thrown 6 interceptions to only 4 touchdowns this season. Junior RB JJ Davis (5’9″, 172 lbs.) is an explosive back who began his career at Cincinnati before transferring to Norfolk State and Morgan State. At Norfolk State, Davis was a 1st Team All-MEAC selection and led the nation in yards per carry with 7.2. Senior RB Jabriel Johnson (5’9″, 205 lbs.) offers a bit more power than Davis and is the only running back to score a rushing touchdown in four contests. Morgan State’s favorite target has been senior WR Treveyon Scott (6’2″, 195 lbs.) who is averaging an astounding 13.3 yards per reception. The offensive line for the Bears is not as experienced as the lines we faced from Holy Cross and Cornell returning two starters from a year ago in senior Dexter Carr Jr. (6’3″, 315 lbs.) and junior Treyvon Branch (6’3″, 290 lbs.). The Bears average 293.0 lbs. across the front and paved the way for just 2.3 yards per carry while allowing 10 sacks. Sophomore TE Matt Lowe (6’5″, 255 lbs.) is a large target with an FCS pedigree transferring from Fresno State after the 2020 season. The Bears will pose challenges for the Bulldogs this week particularly with their talented skill positions, but Yale will need to find solutions for their defensive woes before heading into the do-or-die Ivy schedule.

Morgan State’s defense has performed very well limiting all opponents to under 24 points per game. Opponents have struggled on 3rd downs converting on just 33.9% of attempts and the Bears are stingy in the redzone as teams have scored touchdowns on only 5 of 11 drives inside of the 20-yard line. Running the ball versus the Bears could be a challenge as they have limited rushers to 2.7 yards per carry. Morgan State’s pass defense has allowed completions on 63.1% of throws for an average of 6.1 yards per attempt. Junior LB Erick Hunter (6’4″, 210 lbs.) has been the most productive defender with 35 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Hunter’s fellow LB, senior Lawrence Richardson (6’1″, 215 lbs.), led the team in tackles a year ago and was named 1st Team All-MEAC in various preseason publications. Senior S Jordan Toles (6’1″, 209 lbs.) played at LSU for the first two years of his collegiate career and is a ballhawk that Grooms will have to take notice of as he has racked up 3 interceptions on the season. Senior CB Jae’Veyon Morton (5’9″, 180 lbs.) is a polished defensive back who garnered 1st Team All-MEAC recognition a year ago, originally transferring from Iowa State. Junior DL Elijah Williams (6’3″, 270 lbs.) is the leader of the defensive line and has performed well with 17 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks in four contests. Former Wilber Cross athlete and New Haven local, senior OLB/DE Noah Washington (6’5″, 275 lbs.), transferred from Central Connecticut and has posted 13 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries and a pass breakup. Overall, Morgan State’s defensive line and linebackers are on par with the units we faced last week versus Cornell, however, they do feature more talent in the secondary than the Big Red.

Freshman P Shane Messenger (6’0″, 200 lbs.) has averaged below 40.0 yards per punt for 3 weeks straight including a poor 27.6 yards per punt average a week ago. Junior Beckett Leary (6’3″, 215 lbs.) is 3 for 4 on field goal attempts with a long of 38 yards.

Go Bulldogs! Beat the Bears!