Friday, October 24, 2014


Here's four things to keep an eye on when Yale hosts Penn on Saturday at 1:30 at the Yale Bowl...

Battle tested: It may be a down year for the Quakers, but don’t judge Penn by its 1-4 record. The Quakers schedule has been brutal. Penn has lost to three teams in the FCS top 12 (No. 4 Villanova, No. 7 Jacksonville and No. 12 Fordham), along with Dartmouth, who handed Yale its only loss. Penn is not as bad as it looks.

Welcome back: In last week’s win over Columbia, Penn was without its top three running backs. The Quakers get RB Kyle Wilcox back. He missed last week’s game with a concussion. Wilcox only has 44.5 ypg and one TD this season, but he led Penn in rushing and was an All-Ivy honorable mention last season. He rushed for 129 yards on 23 carries against the Bulldogs last year.

Looking ahead: Next week’s game against Columbia could pretty much be penciled in as a win now. So if the Bulldogs pull out a win against the Quakers, that puts them in great position with the season winding down. A 6-1 mark heading into Brown, Princeton and Harvard? Yale fans have to be happy with that.

Limit defense/special teams scores: Yale has allowed a special teams or defensive touchdown in each of its five games. Tony Reno expressed concern about this earlier in the week. It’s certainly something to keep an eye on against Penn. 

Yale 1997-present all-era team

During the week of each home football game, a Yale all-era team will be announced. It’s part of the Yale Bowl 100th anniversary celebration.

Below is the 1997-present all-era team courtesy of Yale athletics.

Joe Walland '00, QB

Hometown: Mentor, Ohio

Height, weight: 5-11, 205


-Finished career with lowest interception rate in Division I-AA history (1.65%, 787 att.)

-Led Yale to 1999 Ivy title by completing 42 of 67 for 437 yards in a 24-21 win over Harvard

-Held 25 Yale records when he graduated

Eric Johnson '01, WR

Hometown: Needham, Massachusetts

Height, weight: 6-2, 270


- Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award (Academic, athletic, sportsmanship, citizenship) '00

- Harry Agganis Award (Outstanding New England Senior) '00

- All-American '00

- All-Ivy First Team Selection '00

- Drafted by San Francisco 49ers '01, Played for 49ers '01 to '06, New Orleans Saints '07 to '08

Than Merrill '01, DB

Hometown: Fresno, California

Height, weight: 6-3, 220


- Two-time All-Ivy First Team Selection '99, '00

- Drafted by NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers '01

- Played for Chicago Bears '01

Mike Murawczyk '01, K

Hometown: Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Height, weight: 6-2, 195


- Only Yale kicker or punter to be two-time All-Ivy First Team Selection ( '98, '99)

-36 field goals are a Yale career record

-56 career field goals, 97 PATs are also school standards

Todd Tomich '01, DB

Hometown: Long Beach, California

Height, weight: 5-11, 175


- Two-time All-Ivy First Team Selection '99, '01

-Yale's career leader with 16 interceptions

-788 punt return yards are a school record

Nate Lawrie '04, TE

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Height, weight: 6-7, 265


- All-American '04

- All-Ivy First Team Selection '03

-Blue-Gray Classic '03, Las Vegas All-Star Classic '04

- Drafted by NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers '04

- Played for Tampa Bay '04 to '05, New Orleans Saints '06, Cincinnati Bengals '07 to '08

Robert Carr '05, TB

Hometown: Baytown, Texas

Height, weight: 5-7, 190


- All-Ivy First Team Selection '02

- Left school as career leader in almost every rushing category

- Also topped the career kickoff return list

- Two 200-yard rushing games

Alvin Cowan '05, QB

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Height, weight: 6-2, 210


- Recipient, Gold Helmet Award (Top 1-AA player in New England) '03

- Left school with almost every career passing record

- Responsible for 51 TDs

-41 passing TDs and 6,024 total yards are still Yale career records

Rory Hennessey '05, OT

Hometown: Strongsville, Ohio

Height, weight: 6-4, 300


- Two-time All-American '03, '04

- Two-time All-Ivy First Team Selection '03, '05

Ralph Plumb '05, WR

Hometown: Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Height, weight: 6-4, 225


-195 catches and 2,396 yards are still Yale career records

- 16 TDs

- Had tryout with Oakland Raiders

Ed McCarthy '07, OT

Hometown: Fairfield, Connecticut

Height, weight: 6-5, 302


- Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award (Academic, athletic, sportsmanship, citizenship) '06

- Ivy League Rookie of the Year '03

- All-American '06

- Two-time All-Ivy First Team Selection '05, '06

Brandt Hollander '08, NT

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Height, weight: 6-3, 285


- All-American '07

- Two-time All-Ivy First Team Selection '06, '07
- Hula Bowl '07

Bobby Abare '09, LB

Hometown: Acton, Massachusetts

Height, weight: 6-2, 218


- George "Bulger" Lowe Award (Outstanding Player in New England) '08

- Three-time All-American '06, '07, '08

- Three-time All-Ivy First Team Selection '06, '07, '08

Mike McLeod '09, RB

Hometown: New Britain, Connecticut

Height, weight: 5-11, 200


- Asa A. Bushnell Cup (Ivy League MVP) '07

- Ivy League Rookie of the Year '05

- Walter Camp Connecticut Player of the Year '07

- All-American '07

- Three-time All-Ivy First Team Selection '06, '07, '08

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bagnoli's final homecoming

I spoke with Penn coach Al Bagnoli for a story on Quakers SS Evan Jackson.

I also spoke to Bagnoli, an East Haven native, about his final trip to the Bowl. Bagnoli is set to step down after this season, his 23rd as Quakers coach.

"It's always been fun to go back there," Bagnoli said. "That's a good team and a great venue with tremendous history. There's a lot of family so that's always nice. It's a work day for us. But the final time, walking off the field, I'll take a good long look around. Its been very enjoyable." 

What's YOUR prediction?

Yale begins the heart of its Ivy League schedule hosting Penn on Saturday.

What's your prediction for Saturday's game? List below...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday's leftovers

Some more notes heading into this week's Yale-Penn game...

Scouting Penn

It may be a down year for the Quakers (1-4), but keep in mind they have played a brutal schedule for the first half of the season. Penn’s win came against Columbia. They have lost to Jacksonville on the road in horrible weather, to a pair of ranked FCS teams in Villanova and Fordham, and Dartmouth which beat Yale. QB Alek Torgersen has good size (6-3, 225) who can throw and run. Penn has moved the ball well. The Quakers were without their top three RBs last week because of injury. Defensively, the Quakers are very physical and bring a ton of pressure. Senior Evan Jackson is one of the top DBs in the Ivy.

Bagnoli’s last stop at the Bowl

East Haven native Al Bagnoli will step down as Penn head coach following this season. This is his 23rd year as Quakers head coach.

He will coach his final game at the Bowl on Saturday. 

Said Reno: I have a lot of respect for coach Bagnoli. When I was fortunate to get this position, he reached out to me. That meant a lot to me. He’s had a lot of success in this league. He coaches to play football the right way.”

Bagnoli’s record vs. Yale

Below is an email I received from Yale historian Bob Barton…

Under Article 31.10.5 of the NCAA Manual, Al Bagnoli's record vs. Yale is 17-5.

Some sources list him as 16-6. The Ivy League office decreed Penn's 1997 victory a loss by forfeit, but the eligibility violation did not meet the NCAA threshold for a forfeiture, and the NCAA told Penn to accept the victory. (Steve Conn and I have seen the NCAA's e-mail.)

The player who committed the violation by continuing to play after lightening his course load, Mitch Marrow, still is listed on the 1997 All-Ivy team in the last published Ivy media guide.

Kickoff at 1:30

The scheduled kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 1:30 p.m. Most home games were scheduled for 1 p.m. this season. This is because Saturday’s game will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.

Legends event

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Yale Bowl, Yale has put together its All-Yale Bowl team. The team includes 67 former Bulldogs who have played at the Bowl. The team will be honored at the Princeton game at the Bowl on Nov. 15. About 40 players are expected to attend, including Calvin Hill and Dick Jauron. Players will be at the Webster Bank Yale 100 tent about an hour before kickoff and will also be honored at halftime.

This week’s Ivy Schedule

*Cornell at Brown, 12:30 pm [ILDN]
*Harvard at Princeton, 1 pm [ESPN3]
*Dartmouth at Columbia, 1:30 pm [ILDN]
*Penn at Yale, 1:30 pm [NBCSN]

Life with Handsome Dan has been a joy for Getman

NEW HAVEN >> Chris Getman was a hard-throwing lefthander for the Yale baseball team. He’s also been a community leader in New Haven and a successful businessman as owner of Soundview Capital Management Corp.
But it’s something else of which Getman is most proud...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday's news and notes

Here are some notes from Tuesday's Yale football media luncheon...

Reno on the win 

After watching film of Yale’s 42-31 win over Colgate, here’s what Tony Reno had to say about the victory…

“The key for me watching the film was what we couldn’t do against Dartmouth is what we could do against Colgate: put a team away at the end of a game. That’s a huge piece of growth for us as a team. That was a challenge I gave them and they responded.”

He called Yale’s defensive stand late in the game when it stopped Colgate from scoring at the Yale 5-yard line, “one of the best possessions on defense all year.” 

Opponent scoring

Yale has allowed a defensive or special teams touchdown in each of its first five games.

OL Will Chism on the offense 

“The offense we run, it’s the type that wears on people and really kicks in, in the fourth. It’s as physical of a run game as you’ll find in college football. But we try not to look at our accomplishments because we really haven’t done much yet.”

Carm on Varga 

Legendary coach Carm Cozza has coached a lot of great RBs. He wouldn’t go as far as ranking Tyler Varga among those he had, but he spoke highly of his strength, hands, blocking ability and more.

“I wish I had him,” Cozza said. “He’s one of the best back I’ve seen in this area in some time, and that’s FBS too.”

He compares Varga to former standout RB Rich Diana because both had great strength.

Getting Varga 

Varga has had an outstanding season so far.

So how did he end up at Yale?

When Reno got the job at Yale, Varga sent him an email to congratulate him and also informed him he was interested in transferring. The next day, Varga and his parents were on a plane from Canada to New Haven. After the official visit he accepted.

High-scoring attack 

Yale has scored over 31 points in every game this season. The last the Bulldogs did that in five games was 1892. Yale’s 230 points over its first five games is the best since the 1888 Bulldogs racked up 698 for the season. The school’s modern record for points in a season is 354 in 2003.

FCS Leaders

As a team, the Blue leads the nation in total offense (601 ypg) and scoring offense (46 ppg). WR Deon Randall (8.8 receptions per game) and RB Tyler Varga (16.8 ppg) are tops in those FCS rankings.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Penn Quakers

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. at Yale Bowl

Record: 1-4 (1-1 Ivy)

All-time series: Yale leads 45-35-1

Last week: Alek Torgersen passed for a touchdown and ran for another as Penn cruised to a 31-7 win over Columbia. 

It was Penn's 18th straight win over Columbia, the longest winning streak for one opponent over another in Ivy history.

Columbia scored on the opening drive for its only touchdown. Brian Schoenauer added 18 carries for 77 yards.    

Top players: QB Alek Torgersen (252 passing ypg, 6 TDs (4 passing, 2 rushing), 8 INT), RB Kyle Wilcox 44.5 ypg, 1 TD), WR Spencer Kulcsar (65.2 ypg), LB Dan Davis (23 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3 sacks). 

Ivy League weekly awards

From the Ivy League...

Yale senior tailback Tyler Varga (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) tied the school record for touchdowns in the Yale Bowl for the second time this season in the Bulldogs' 45-31 win over Colgate. Varga scored on runs of 1, 7, 5 and 69 yards while catching an eight-yard scoring pass to bump his season touchdown total to 14. His final scoring run (69 yards) clinched the victory and was the longest play from scrimmage for Yale through five games. For the day, Varga compiled 184 rushing yards on 25 carries.

Dartmouth junior defensive back Frankie Hernandez (Miami) collected eight tackles and picked off his first career pass during in the Big Green's 24-21 victory. Hernandez' interception from his nickelback position helped keep the momentum on Dartmouth's side as it came just six plays after the Big Green had turned the ball over early in the second quarter with the score tied.

Brown junior placekicker/punter Grant Senne (Winter Park, Fla.) provided 10 points for the Bears' in the loss at Princeton. Senne hit all three of his field goal attempts (28, 33, 19 yards) and an extra point conversion. He also punted for a 39.6 yards per punt average, with a long boot of 50 yards.

Cornell freshman safety Nick Gesualdi (Sykesville, Md.) made eight solo stops and had two tackles for a loss as the Big Red defense kept the home team in the game throughout a 31-14 loss to Lehigh. Gesualdi's five-yard tackle for loss on Lehigh's first drive inside the five-yard line helped Cornell force a field goal, while his second helped end a mid-third quarter drive that ended in a Mountain Hawk punt. The Big Red got on the board for the first time on the ensuing possession.

Kyle Bramble, Dartmouth (Jr., RB - Floyds Knobs, Ind.)
23 car. for 113 yds., 1 rec. TD

Matt Costello, Princeton (Sr., WR - Everett, Mass.)
8 rec. for 121 yds., 2 TDs

Troy Doles, Brown (Jr., WR - Saratoga, Calif.)
6 rec. for 200 yds.

Andrew Fischer, Harvard (Jr., WR - Diamond Bar, Calif.)
6 rec. for 107 yds., 1 TD, 237 all-purpose yds.

Chris Fraser, Cornell (So., P - Potomac, Md.)
44.1 yds./punt, 2 in20, 1 FC, 1 TB

Asante Gibson, Harvard (Jr., DB - Chula Vista, Calif.)
10 tkls. (5 solo), 1.5 TFL, 1.5 Sacks

Miles Norris, Cornell (So., LB - Baltimore)
6 tkls. (1 solo), 0.5 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR

Collin Shaw, Cornell (So., WR - Plano, Texas)
4 rec. for 119 yds., 1 TD

Connor Michelsen, Princeton (Sr., QB - Plano, Texas)
33-45-1, 367 yds., 2 TDs

Alek Torgersen, Penn (So., QB - Huntington Beach, Calif.)
16-22-0, 214 yds., 1 TD, 70 rush yds., 1 TD

Michael Walsh, Brown (Jr., LB - Swampscott, Mass.)
12 tkls. (6 solo), 1 BrUp

Mike Zeuli, Princeton (Sr., LB - Marlton, N.J.)
7 tkls. (2 solo), 1.0 TFL, 0.5 Sack, 2 BrUps

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Yale JV falls to Milford Academy

The Bulldogs junior varsity team fell 33-14 Sunday to Milford Academy at Clint Frank Field.

Yale scored on its first possession of the second half. Freshman QB Rafe Chapple connected with junior Matt Rubino for a 35-yard gain. That set up a 27-yard touchdown run by freshman RB John Barton. Barton also had a 67-yard run in the game.

Chapple later threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to freshman TE Noah Yates. Also on that scoring drive, Chapple hit Yates for a 37-yard pass and sophomore RB Galen McAllister had a 13-yard run.

Yale trailed 16-0 in the first half to a team that has seven players ranked in the top 25 at their positions by

The Yale JV game will play again on Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. vs. Brown at Clint Frank Field.

There are no Yale stats, but here are some Milford Academy stats from Sunday's game...

Buffalo's Jake Dolegala threw for 226 yards and 4 TDs
Zee Roberson had 4 catches for 124 yards and 3 TDs
Jamar Kelly had 3 catches and 1 TD

Sidney Gopre had 5 tackles and 1 interception
Mike Gaynor had 5 tackles
Binghamton's Joe Crowley had 4 tackles

Oliver Graybar had 2 field goals and 3 extra point kicks

Saturday, October 18, 2014

LIVE BLOG: Yale hosts Colgate

Get live updates for today's game, as Yale looks to bounce back after a loss to Dartmouth last week.