Saturday, September 22, 2007

postgame observations

Check out the game story and a Dave Solomon column in Sunday's Register.

For now, here are some quick observations:

-- Impressed with Yale's attitude after game. There was no giddyness after winning 51-12 over a Cornell team most, myself included, felt would give the Bulldogs some fits. This really seems to be another level-headed team with a good focus, yet a good sense of humor.

-- Mike McLeod has 14 touchdowns in his past four games and has scored a touchdown in 11 straight games. The only other Yale player to do so was a guy named Calvin Hill.

-- Before he's done McLeod will own every Yale rushing record, barring injury.
Interesting point by Dave Solomon. A lot is made about these records, and rightfully so. Dick Jauron, John Pagliaro, Rudy Green, and Rich Diana only had three years to play. The best barometer is to take McLeod's numbers from his sophomore to senior seasons.

-- Matt Polhemus really looked comfortable running the offense today. Admittedly, he missed a couple routes, but overall he caused Cornell some problems with his feet, and more importantly was able to free himself up a few times from blitzes to throw the ball away. Smart moves. He had one pass, where he rolled left, and hit Chris Denny-Brown going right for a 26-yard gain near the goal line. Big-time pass. Polhemus was also not sacked by Cornell.

-- Polhemus and tight end Langston Johnson connected on three pass plays, most impressive a 61-yard gain. During the preseason scrimmage and against Georgetown last week, Johnson had broken free, but the connection was not made. John Sheffield, three catches Saturday, is key, no question, but having Johnson be a threat as well, is going to make it nearly impossible to cover Yale.

-- How about this stat: Yale averaged 5.9 yards per rushing play; Cornell 1.9.

-- Yale had three interceptions (Bobby Abare, Jay Pilkerton and Lee Driftmier) and Steve Santoro had his hands on at least two other balls.

-- Cornell quarterback Nathan Ford is going to remember Brady Hart for a while. Hart put a devastating blindside hit on Ford for a 10-yard sack.

-- Senior safety Nick Solakian also played well, with two tackles for losses of 10 yards.

-- Bobby Abare led Yale with nine tackles.

-- Cornell was just 3 of 17 on third down conversions.

-- Cornell's Tim Bax (No. 7) is a heck of a player. He had 15 tackles, 13 solo, and caught up to McLeod from the opposite side of the field twice.

-- Punter Tom Mante averaged 43 yards on six punts with a 62-yarder, of which about 60 was in the air. He's really been booming the ball, with good hang time.

-- While you want to score touchdowns when you are in the red zone, having a steady presence like Alan Kimball (three field goals Saturday) is helpful.

-- Chris Denny-Brown left the game with a shoulder injury, but should be fine to play next week. Reid Lathan replaced Denny-Brown as punt returner, and returned four for 24 yards, including a long of 18.

-- Only injury to be slightly concerned about is Larry Abare's knee, but won't know anything until an MRI is taken Sunday. Even still, there was no indication that he would be out for an extended period of time, possibly just a couple of weeks.

-- Junior Ryan Fodor completed his first pass, a 15-yard gain.

-- Freshman Jordan Forney had his first completion, catching a pass from Polhemus. Siedlecki has been saying Forney will be involved in the four-man receiver rotation.

-- Holy Cross will be a tough challenge next week. Crushed Georgetown 55-0.


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