News and notes
After watching film, Tony Reno talked about the poor performance in the 17-7 loss to Columbia.
“Obviously, all of us were disappointed with the outcome of Saturday’s game,” Reno said. “It came down to missed opportunities and lack of execution, especially on the offensive side. We didn’t do enough to give ourselves a chance to win. We regrouped on Sunday and we’re looking forward to getting back on the field. We have one-game seasons each week and that’s how we look at things.”
Morgan Roberts will start at quarterback on Saturday against Brown. He has 10 turnovers in his last four games.
Sophomore Rafe Chapple replaced Roberts in the second quarter for a drive and then again down the stretch in the fourth.
“I thought he did a nice job,” Reno said. “Some plays I’m sure he’d like to have back. His poise was good. He had a nice throw at the end that was called back. He’s one of those guys that not much rattles him. He’s got pretty good stock in the family as far as QBs go.”
His borther, Lee, played QB for Northern Alabama and his brother, Colton, played QB at Harvard. He also has a brother that plays TE at Georgia.
Reno mentioned freshman and third-string QB Tre Moore is also growing more comfortable with the offense. Logan Scott is currently the fourth QB on the depth chart.
Here’s a quick look at Yale’s RB situation. So top RB Candler Rich is out for the year. No. 2 Deshawn Salter missed last week’s game against Columbia and it’s unlikely he’ll play against Brown. No. 3 Jon Barton is out for the year and No. 4 Andrew Johnson is out with an injury. No. 5 RB Austin Reuland is currently the starter and No. 6 Jamal Locke is the backup. Freshman Dan Debner is next on the list and QB Stephen Barmore has also moved to RB because of all the injuries.
Sure, Yale has been decimated by injuries and last week’s offensive performance, one of the program’s worst in some time, was a result of that. But Reno has been encouraged by some of those stepping in to bigger roles. Players like WR Chris Williams Lopez and OL Karl Marback are among the list.
“Embrace opportunities,” Reno said. “A lot like life. Things aren’t always going to work out for you. You need to be able to adapt. Our goal here is to win championships and give these guys great skills to use the rest of their lives. This is one of those opportunities.”
When asked if he’d ever dealt with this amount of injuries during his coaching career, Carm Cozza said “never this bad.” He did explain how his 1989 team lost its top three QBs before the season even started, but still went on to win the Ivy League title with the wishbone.
Jason Alessi returned a punt for an 80-yard TD against Columbia. It was the fifth longest in program history.
“A huge play,” he said. “We pride ourselves on being best in special teams. It’s a huge phase of the game.”
Alessi is a two-sport athlete for the Bulldogs. He’s also on the lacrosse team, playing in the second midfield.
“You do what you have to do,” said Alessi, balancing both sports in the spring along with a rigorous academic schedule. “Stay up late, wake up early. It’s what you have to do as an Ivy League student athlete. You find a way to figure it out.”
QB Marcus Fuller is the top passer in the league right now at 311.3 ypg. He has a great group of WRs in Alex Jette, Brian Strachan and Troy Doles. It’s defense is one of the worst in the Ivy, allowing 33 ppg. The faster-paced game on Saturday should be beneficial for Yale. For what it’s worth, the road team has won 14 of the last 19 meetings.
Yale will host Heroes Day at the Bowl on Saturday.
A partnership between the Yale Veterans Association and the West Haven VA will bring a group of blind veterans to the game. There will be a $5 admission ticket for active duty members, reservists, veterans and first responders (use promo code HERO 15 at yalebulldogs.com). There will be obstacle course and a civil service and military vehicles at the Yale Veterans Association tent in the Hospitality Village.
Fans are also encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Coprs’ Toys for Tots drive.