Friday, November 03, 2006

Not satisfied

Word came into the pressroom quickly Saturday that the Princeton football team had lost to Cornell 14-7.

Princeton had lost for the first time this season, and Yale was alone in first place in the Ivy League for the first time since 1989.

Not even the hint of a smile from the players in the interview room. There’s still a lot to be accomplished.

"The way I look at it, it doesn’t mean anything until the end of the season," said sophomore linebacker Bobby Abare, who returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to lead the Bulldogs to a 21-3 win over Columbia. "You can be in first place all season all you want, but then to not be there at the end, it doesn’t mean anything."

Yale is 4-0 in the league. Harvard and Princeton are 3-1. Yale still has to play both, but it first travels to Brown, a team that has won seven of its last nine meetings with the Bulldogs.

"It doesn’t mean a helluva lot until the end of the season," Yale coach Jack Siedlecki said. "Princeton just got beat by an 0-3 team (in league). That’s the reality of the Ivy League. We’ve got to get ready to go and play a great football game at Brown next week."

The Bulldogs are 6-1 and have won six straight, all games that were in some question in the fourth quarter. During the streak, Yale has won two games in overtime, defeating Lehigh and Penn in back-to-back weeks.

Saturday’s 18-point win over Columbia was the Bulldogs’ largest margin of victory, but Yale did not dominate, by any means.

"We need a great week of practice this week. We need to get a lot better, because I don’t think we’ve reached our potential yet as an offense," offensive tackle Ed McCarthy said. "I think we can be a very high-powered offense once we really clean things up, so I am really excited about that.
"I think teams will be looking to knock us off, like we did to Princeton last year," McCarthy said.

"We’ve got a huge bull’s eye now. It will be a big challenge for us"
Siedlecki has been impressed with the leadership of his seniors in these situations.

"I think the biggest difference in him is that he’s become a vocal leader," Siedlecki said about McCarthy. "He was a quiet guy the first three years. He’s one of the guys I think has surprised some kids on the team with how vocal he is. I think just showing how important it is to him. That’s important. These younger guys see how much it means to him."

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