Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tough road for Bulldogs

As crazy as it sounds, it may be in the best interests of the Yale faithful to root for Penn in next week's first-place showdown in the Ivy League.

Brown and Penn are tied at 3-0, both two games ahead of Yale following the Bulldogs' 9-7 loss to the Quakers on Saturday.

Penn still has games remaining with Harvard, Princeton and Cornell. However, if Brown beats the Quakers, Yale would have to win out and hope either Columbia or Dartmouth beats Brown to give the Bulldogs a chance to earn a share of the title.

A few thoughts from the game, the 92 yards of total offense by Yale is hard to believe. Certainly Yale has had its share of offensive struggles but nothing like what transpired on Saturday.

Yale coach Jack Siedlecki believes the large senior class will provide enough leadership to keep the players from partaking in the blame game. However, if the play of the offensive line does not improve soon, finishing with a .500 record may be a challenge forget about staying in the Ivy League race.

Columbia is a much better team than its 1-5 record indicates and even with home field advantage again next week, Yale is not guaranteed to walk out of the Yale Bowl with a victory.

The biggest point of emphasis for Yale was not giving Penn short fields. Well, a sack and fumble gave the Quakers the ball at the Yale 13 leading to a field goal. A poor snap on a failed fake punt allowed Penn to get the ball at the Bulldogs' 33 which resulted in another Penn field goal.

I went on record in this blog that I believed running back Mike McLeod would have a strong game. Well, 18 carries for 28 yards including seven carries for five yards in the second half would not fall into the "strong game" category.

One regret I had was not taping the game. I was curious to see if the interference call on Larry Abare which negated a Yale fumble recovery on a muffed punt by Marcus Lawrence was the right call. Yale coaches argued that Abare was blocked into Lawrence which would kept the penalty from being enforced. Instead of Yale having the ball at the Penn 33, the Quakers got possession of the ball at their own 48. I sought out the opinion of a well-respected official I have known for quite some time and in a word he termed the call "questionable." That being said, the game was not decided on that call or non call.

As Siedlecki said when the subject turned to Yale losing its three games this season by a total of seven points, "we haven't deserved to win, we haven't made the plays that you need to make. We put ourselves in situations where we left ourselves vulnerable."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the current play calling as it stands and a vey ineffective offensive line McLeod will be lucky to have another 100 yards game in his carrer. He will also be lucky if he is not severly hurt. These guys are starting to get clear hits on him. I feel real bad for the kid. What a way to end your carrer.

6:41 PM 

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