Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tuesday's News and Notes


Some weekly notes from Tuesday's media luncheon.

Yale hosts Dartmouth Saturday at the Bowl at 1 p.m.

STRONG DEFENSIVE EFFORT 

After giving up 43 points in back-to-back games to open the season, Yale’s defense bounced back strong against Cornell. Yes, it was against a struggling Big Red offense, but it was still an encouraging sign.

The Bulldogs held Cornell to just 189 yards of total offense and 14 first downs in the 51-13 win. They allowed just one offensive touchdown, coming late in the fourth when the game was already decided. Freshman DB Hayden Carlson finished with nine tackles (six solo) and earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week. LB Matt Oplinger had his first career interception.

“That was a big challenge coach Reno gave the defense on Saturday,” senior Jeff Schmittgens said. “We gave up 43 points both games and a decent amount of yardage. We challenged ourselves to not come out to a slow start again and be more consistent through the entire game, so we aren’t playing catch up.”

INJURY UPDATE 

TE Stephen Buric and LB Will Vaughan both missed Saturday’s game against Cornell. TE Sebastian Little and DL Nick Crowle both left the game with injuries.

“It’s day-to-day with all of our guys,” Reno said. 

KEYS AGAINST CORNELL 

Morgan Roberts broke the Yale record for completing percentage (.866) and tied the school mark for touchdowns with five. He completed 26 of 30 passes for 312 yards.

Wallace on Saturday: Army, for some reason played off and dropped a lot out of the box so there weren’t that many open throwing lanes, especially late in the game. Maybe they thought we were going to throw the ball more because we were down. This week, they made more of an effort to stack the box and stop the running game. Really what the defense gives us. We have so many weapons on offense that we don’t have to limit ourselves to one thing we can do. We can do a bunch of different things with a bunch of different people.”

LEADING THE NATION 

Yale’s 51.3 ppg tops all of Division I. The three-game total is the most for a Yale team to start a season since the 1888 team opened the year with 175 points over its first three games.

The Bulldogs also lead the FCS in fourth down conversions (5-5), kick return defense (11.47) and total offense (631 ypg).

Roberts is No. 1 in completions per game (26.67) and Deon Randall is No. 1 in receptions per game (9.3).

GOING FOR TWO 

Yale went for a 2-point conversion up 13-0 early against Cornell on Saturday. Logan Scott’s run attempt failed. The Bulldogs also went for one in the win against Army and converted.

“It’s a read,” Reno said about choosing to go for two. “We try and take advantage of people’s alignments. I feel if we have an advantage we will try like we did against Army. We did the same thing on Saturday and the kid made a nice play.”

NOT SATISFIED 

Despite averaging 51 points per game, there is still room for improvement offensively. Reno said the Bulldogs played too slow against Cornell. They ran 76 plays, a few less than the goal of 80-plus. He also noted there were too many missed blocks and Yale missed some reads.

WR Grant Wallace added that the offense has still left points on the field each week.


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