Thursday, September 28, 2006

Notebook from earlier this week

A lot is expected of the Yale defensive line this season.

Juniors Jared Hamilton, Brandt Hollander and Kirk Porter have all been recognized for their potential since arriving at Yale. They all took steps to reach that potential in Saturday’s 21-9 win at Cornell in the Ivy League opener for both.

Hamilton recovered a fumble in the end zone and Porter had a career-high seven tackles, including five solo stops. This, a week after a 43-17 loss to San Diego at home.

The Bulldogs will play at Lafayette at 1 p.m. Saturday on CSTV.

"I think the first game was kind of an eye opener because we all worked hard in the offseason, but just because we worked hard in the offseason doesn’t mean people are going to fall down for us," Porter said. "As a defensive line we played pretty well, but we’ve still got a ways to go to become the dominant line we believe we can become."

Stephen Schmalhofer, Bryan Kana and Joe Hathaway have provided depth.
Defensive ends Kyle Hawari, Brendan Sponheimer (11 tackles) and Chris Wright have also played well.


UNSUNG POSITION

Senior fullback Taylor Craig knows he’s not going to touch the ball much. In his third season as the starter, Craig has one carry for two yards this season, but was presented the "hammer award" this past week for a block he had.

"I didn’t get to touch the ball until my junior year here," said Craig, who had eight catches for 66 yards and rushed six times for 19 yards last season. "I’ve kind of come in with the mind set expect nothing and if you get something, then you are really happy about it. You’re pretty much a glorified offensive lineman and that’s what you’ve got to be. Everyone has their own role."
Craig realizes the role of fullback is diminishing.

"The game has definitely evolved into a more spread-out, offensively-attacking game and the fullback is traditionally a lead blocker on inside runs and now, a lot of offensive systems are eliminating that role and adding another receiver," Craig said, "It’s kind of a dying breed, but I’m happy to have my role."

ABOUT LAFAYETTE

The Leopards (2-2) started the year 2-0 and were ranked as high as No. 22 in the SportsNetwork I-AA poll.
Lafayette has lost two straight, both to Ivy League teams, falling to Penn 21-11 and Princeton 26-14.
Lafayette plays at Harvard a week from Saturday to conclude four straight games against Ivy opponents.

EXTRA POINTS

Craig shaved his beard over the weekend, but not because the Bulldogs won.
"My mom told me to do so, I had to," he said.
Lafayette’s Fisher Stadium, built in 1926, is in the midst of a $23 million renovation. Fisher Stadium has FieldTurf.
Lafayette and Yale are playing for the first time since 1991. Lafayette returns to Yale in 2009 and 2011. Yale returns to Lafayette in 2012.

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