Friday, November 06, 2009

Looking ahead

The show stopper at Thursday's practice had to be freshman cornerback Kurt Stottlemyer.

During the scrimmaging portion of the practice, Stottlemyer intercepted two passes and saw plenty of time with the first team. When facing pass-happy Brown as Yale will on Saturday at the Yale Bowl, reserve cornerbacks find themselves in the mix a more regular basis as the Bulldogs can match up with the prolific Brown receivers.

Yale coach Tom Williams heaped significant praise on the Bothell, Washington native saying he was one of the freshmen who arrived ready both physically and mentally for varsity duty. The two reasons why Stottlemyer hasn't seen more action are Adam Money and Drew Baldwin, Yale's two starting corners. It should be noted that it was around this time last season when Baldwin began to see more work with the varsity.

"We haven't needed him to play until now," Williams said. "We had Money and Drew obviously but as far as his ability and his awareness as a freshman, there is no question in my mind that he could have been playing all year for us if we needed him to. Now he is going to get his chance and I'll tell you what, he is a good football player. He is one of those guys who has a natural feel for the game, just a knack for playing so I am excited to see what he does on Saturday"

Yale's secondary will be aided by the return of John Pagliaro, a reserve safety who missed last week's game against Columbia with a concussion.

Other than the continued absences of safety Larry Abare and receiver Chris Smith, the Bulldogs appear to be in good shape health wise.

It's just a hunch on my part but I have a feeling Reid Lathan is going to make a play on Saturday. Lathan was Yale's third-leading receiver last year but a shoulder injury set him back during the fall camp. He has yet to record a catch this season. Lathan made a spectacular catch over Stottlemyer on a deep ball and had a strong practice on Thursday. Lathan is also responsible for one of the most memorable moments of the practices I have been at. The offense was lined up when offensive coordinator Brian Stark said "Reid, you should be over there." Lathan obeyed his coach but said innocently "didn't you call ..." The exact name of the play and formation escapes me but Lathan was absolutely right. He was lined up in the right spot. Stark apologized and had a chuckle and you could hear Yale coach Tom Williams cracking up in the background as well.

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