Yale football hosts Penn Friday in first true night game at the Bowl

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

From: YaleBulldogs.com

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The first true night game at Yale Bowl is Friday with Yale hosting Penn in a crucial Ivy League contest. The Bulldogs and Quakers have a 7 p.m. kickoff airing live on the NBC Sports Network and on AM 960 WELI. Friday’s game is Yale Employee Day as well as Walter Camp Football Foundation “Night at the Bowl.”

TRAFFIC ALERT: Rush-hour traffic typically backs up on Derby Avenue heading from New Haven towards West Haven, so please take that into account when planning your route to the Bowl on Friday. The parking lots will open at 2 p.m., so it’s best to plan an early arrival.

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Yale leads the series against the Quakers 46-36-1, though Penn has won 18 of the last 24. The Elis, who captured the first meeting in 1879 at New Haven, won the last two games at the Bowl in 2012 and 2014, but Yale’s last win at Franklin Field was in 2007. In the meetings that required extra time, Yale has more (3) OT games against Penn than any other opponent. The Blue has won two of those games, the last coming at Philadelphia in 2007.

A career-day for Yale senior tailback Austin Reuland, coupled with the comeback of receivers Robert Clemons and Bo Hines, was not enough for a banged-up Yale football team, which fell victim to four turnovers on its way to a 34-20 loss at Penn last October. The Quakers scored 20 points off Yale turnovers, including 13 in under one minute early in the second quarter. Yale QB Morgan Roberts went 25-of-46 for 318 yards and a touchdown. The Eli quarterback was under duress most of the game, taking big hits from the Penn defense. Penn quarterback Alek Torgersen had a strong performance, going 25-for-35 for 350 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. A first-quarter fumble in the red zone was the extent of Torgersen’s miscues.

Yale, which had the edge in most of the offensive stats last week, is coming off a 44-37 loss at Fordham. TB Dale Harris ran for four TDs and QB Tre Moore added another as a late comeback fell short. The Bulldogs had leads of 8-7 and 15-14 before falling behind for good late in the first half. Yale nearly erased a 34-15 deficit (two Eli turnovers in the third were costly) by making a late push and pulling to within seven points with 21 seconds left in the game.

Former Penn head coach Al Bagnoli returned to Franklin Field last Saturday as the second-year mentor at Columbia and his Lions were sent home with a 35-10 loss. Quaker back Tre Solomon ran for 127 rushing yards on 19 carries, caught five passes for 30 yards and fired a 23-yard touchdown pass. Alex Torgersen threw for 241 yards and three scores, including a pair of TD tosses to Christian Pearson. Nick Miller led the team with five solos and eight overall tackles.

There have been some memorable games and plays in the 137-year rivalry between Yale and Penn. Here are ones that stand out the most.

2007: Yale’s goal-line stand followed a TD run by Mike McLeod ’09 in the third OT of an Eli win… 2006: An Alan Kimball ’08 35-yard field goal in OT gave Yale a 17-14 victory at New Haven… 2003: Playing its first modern OT game, Yale fell to Penn at Franklin Field (34-31) after erasing a 31-10 deficit. The Blue tied the game with 32 seconds left but had a FG attempt blocked in the extra session… 1991: Nick Crawford ’92 rushed for a then-Yale QB record 204 yards in a 31-12 Bulldog win at New Haven… 1987: WR Bob Shoop ’88 (currently Tennessee’s defensive coordinator) capped off a miraculous comeback at Yale Bowl with a last-second TD reception in a 28-22 Yale victory… 1969: Jack Ford `72 intercepted a Penn pass and went 77 yards for a score in a 21-3 Yale win… 1958: Herb Hallas ’59 set a school record with a 94-yard punt return, but it was the only points in a 30-6 Quaker win.

Dale Harris didn’t practice last week because of an illness. If he had, it would have been workouts with the defensive backs, where he had moved since injuries hit the Yale cornerbacks over the first few games. He started the Fordham game at corner while playing special teams and making a few runs at tailback when needed. Then Candler Rich, the only other healthy runner with experience, got injured in the second quarter. Harris stepped up and ran for 4 TDs and a two-point conversion while totaling 136 yards. He also finished with an important catch and three solo tackles in one of the most versatile performances in the long history of Yale football. The Brooklandville, Md., native has a team-high 227 yards (4.5 average), four TDs and 26 points while totaling 11-3-14 on defense.

Freshman tailback Alan Lamar, getting his first collegiate snaps in the backfield, ran 23 times for 180 yards and touchdowns of seven and 43 yards on Oct. 8 in a win over Dartmouth. The Parade All-American from Mississippi finished five yards shy of Robert Carr’s freshman school rushing record of 185 yards against Dartmouth on Oct. 7, 2007. Lamar has been one of two deep men on the kickoff return every game, but three upperclassmen handled the tailback duties the first three weeks. Against Dartmouth, senior Dale Harris was filling in for injured corners on defense and Deshawn Salter was out with an injury. Lamar earned STATS FCS (national) Rookie of the Week and Ivy co-Rookie of the Week for his Oct. 8 performance.

Sophomore Tre Moore, who became the third black quarterback to start a game for Yale on Oct. 1, did a great job of leading his team in a comeback attempt last week. Moore, despite three Fordham sacks, rushed for 102 yards and one TD while completing 13 passes to eight different receivers. Against Lehigh, he ran for two (14, 12 yards) TDs and threw for another (63-yarder) in his initial collegiate start. He was more efficient (21-33, 174) in relief at Cornell in week two, but he produced more points in his first start (Lehigh). Rufus Moore III, nicknamed Tre (the third), came to Yale from John Burroughs School in St. Louis, Mo, where he was a teammate of Eli defensive standout Foyesade Oluokun. He has played in all five games this season after not getting any varsity snaps in 2015.

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced this fall that Yale’s Sebastian Little has been named one of the 156 semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation and is prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club. Little is a senior tight end from Cheshire, Conn., who has earned three varsity letters and has been among the team leaders in community outreach. He is the co-founder of Next Future Leaders (NFL), a student activities coordinator for Earn While You Learn, a member of the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Drive Committee and team ambassador for Team IMPACT. Little has 41 career catches including the game-winning TD against Cornell in 2015.

The team selected linebacker Darius Manora as its 2016 captain during a vote last November. Manora, a senior from Alexandria, Va., has 190 career tackles and has played in all 35 games. His most productive day as a Bulldog was 8 solos and 14 total tackles against Princeton in 2014, while his biggest play was plucking a Brown lateral pass – a flee flicker – out of the air and running it back for a score that same fall.

Junior defensive back Jason Alessi is Yale’s Mr. Versatility, and he is the only player in school history to return two punts for TDs at 80 yards or more. He had an 80-yarder (4thd longest at Yale) at home against Columbia last year and then notched an 82-yard play (3rd longest) against Lehigh at the Bowl on Oct. 1. He is currently 8th in the FCS with a 16.4 return average. In addition to starting on defense and seeing time on multiple special teams units, Alessi is a standout member of the Yale lacrosse team, which has won consecutive Ivy League Tournament titles. On the gridiron, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., native had a career-high five solos and eight overall tackles at Maine last fall and finished the year with 39 stops.

Hayden Carlson (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), a junior safety, led the Ivy League in 2015 with 92 total tackles and a 9.2 average. He began 2016 with a game and career-high 14 tackles and set up scores with an interception (48-yard return) and a fumble recovery. He had eight stops, a fumble recovery and a solo tackle on a fake field goal attempt at Cornell. Carlson, whose interception against Dartmouth clinched the win on Oct. 8, leads Yale this season with 32 solos, 48 total stops, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Junior Deshawn Salter, Yale’s first 100-yard runner this season, had 151 yards and a 10.1 average against Lehigh before sitting out the Dartmouth and Fordham games. Salter stepped in for Candler Rich in game three last year and rushed for 233 yards (5th best at Yale, most by an Ivy player in 2015) and two scores at Lehigh. The Syracuse, N.Y., native has a season-high 70-yard run against Lehigh.

If not for injuries, Yale would have a three-man rotation at tailback this fall. Senior Candler Rich (Newnan, Ga.) began 2015 as the top running back but missed most of the year with an injury. He averaged 7.5 per carry as a backup in 2014, which included a 202-yard day on 17 runs at Columbia. Senior Dale Harris (Brooklandville, Md.) volunteered to move from defense last fall when injuries ravaged the backfield. He started the first two weeks of 2016 (missed week three with injury) and then played on defense for game four. A three-year starter at cornerback, Harris ran for 177 yards (71-yard TD) at Princeton last November.

Senior WR Myles Gaines (Tallahassee, Fla.), who had a career-high nine catches for 106 yards against Dartmouth and leads the team with 17 catches, is determined to change the way America—and maybe even the rest of the world—gets its nutrients by studying food policy and sustainable farming options. An environmental studies turned political science major, Gaines, who has 42 career catches over 19 (injuries the last 2 years) varsity games, hopes to combine these disciplines and work on the policy end of providing sustainable food, especially to black communities. He served as a Lazarus 2016 Summer Intern through the Yale Sustainable Food Program in New Haven after working at an oyster farm that practiced sustainable harvesting.

Sophomore kicker Alex Galland (Bakersfield, Calif.) did not see any varsity action last fall but has taken over the field goal and extra-point kicking. He split the uprights for three points twice in each of the first two games and is now four of six on field goals this fall with a long of 38 yards at Cornell. Senior Bryan Holmes (Holland, Mich.), an All-Ivy placekicker last fall, has done some punting and kickoffs this season, while junior Blake Horn (Davie, Fla.) has also been used on kickoffs.

A pair of newcomers, LG Dieter Eiselen (Stellenbosch, South Africa) and LT Sterling Strother (Moraga, Calif.) have started the last two weeks and helped the Elis produce 58 points. Junior Karl Marback (Birmingham, Mich.) moved over to center this fall and has started every game. Senior RT Beau Iverson (Lakewood, Wash.) and senior RG Mason Friedline (Seattle, Wash.) have also started every game. Senior left tackle Khalid Cannon (Gadsden, Ala.) is the most experienced of the Yale O-linemen, having started the last two seasons. He missed the last two games with an injury. Junior Jeho Chang (Suwanee, Ga.) had three starts at guard this fall.

Karl Marback (Birmingham, Mich.), a junior center who is a biomedical engineering major, is a member of the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA). As a sophomore, he helped build a rocket that climbed to 10,000 feet and collected microbes from the air to learn more about what is living in the atmosphere. That rocket was launched twice, first in Maryland and again in Utah for the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). The Yale entry took second place for payload design. Marback, who came over from the defense in 2015, is playing center for the first time as a Bulldog.

Junior LB Matthew Oplinger (Summit, NJ) had a sack last week… Senior DB Foyesade Oluokun (St. Louis, Mo.) led the Blue with 7-2-9 at Fordham… The Elis held the Rams to three points in the fourth quarter… Freshman QB Kurt Rawlings came in for one play and completed a 26-yard pass to classmate WR JP Shohfi (2-40)… Freshmen accounted for all three touchdowns against Dartmouth. TB Alan Lamar had two scoring runs and WR Reed Klubnik (Austin, Texas) caught a 14-yard TD pass.

There are no more Ivy League unbeaten. Harvard fell to Holy Cross last week and is now 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league play. Princeton and Penn are also 2-0, while Yale and Cornell are both 1-1.

It’s very rare to have an ex-Yale football captain on the coaching staff, but the Elis have two. Paul Rice ’10 (outside LB, special teams), who joined Tony Reno’s staff in February of 2013, became the first captain to return as a “full-time” or “primary” coach since Albie Booth in the late 1930s. Chandler Henley ’07 (TEs), who led the Elis to a 2006 Ivy title as captain, came back to New Haven last spring.

One hundred and nine Yale graduates – far more than any other school – have become head coaches in college football. Six Yale grads currently serve on college coaching staffs, including Paul Rice and Chandler Henley. Bob Shoop ’88 is defensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee. Dartmouth has Kyle Metzler ’02, the running game and recruiting coordinator (OT, TE focus), while Josh Grizzard ’12 is a graduate assistant (QB, quality control) at Duke. Matt Coombs ’08 is a quality control GA at Boise State.

Two former Yale players are coaching in the NFL this fall. Pat Graham ’01, a former Yale tight end and defensive lineman who won a Super Bowl ring in 2015 with the New England Patriots as a defensive assistant coach, worked seven seasons for Bill Belichick before taking a new job this fall with the New York Giants. Graham earned an Ivy Championship ring in 1999. Michael McDaniel ’05 is in his 10th NFL campaign and second as offensive assistant with Atlanta. He has worked with Cleveland, Houston. Denver and Washington. The Yalie with the longest NFL tenure (player/coach) in Ivy history is Dick Jauron ’73, who played eight seasons between two teams and then spent 32 years as a coach. His last was 2012 with Cleveland. Two former Elis are working for the Miami Dolphins: Max Napolitano ’14 is a business analytics specialist while Grant Wallace ’15 is a player personnel assistant. Brandon Etheridge ’07, who had worked for the NFL Management Council, is now general counsel for the Baltimore Ravens.

There are numerous double numbers on the Yale roster this fall. Here are the ones that might cause the most confusion. Last week’s participation is included:

2: Bo Hines WR (DNP), Marquise Peggs DB (DNP)
3: Ross Drwal WR (DNP), Malcolm Dixon DB (who used to be No. 4, played)
6: Jaelin Alburg DB (played), Kurt Rawlings QB (played)
10: QB Tre Moore (started), LB Victor Egu (started)
18: QB Rafe Chapple (DNP), LB Ryan Burke (played)
22: Matthew Oplinger LB (started), Silas Wyper WR (DNP)
81: Alex Galland PK/P (started PK), Blake Rowlinson WR (DNP)
87: Devin Moore DE (DNP), Garrett White WR (DNP)

Yale, which played its first Friday night Ivy League Game last year at Penn, has a pair on Fridays this fall. The Blue hosts Penn this week in Yale Bowl’s first true night game (the 2015 Harvard game required lights for the second half). A week later at Columbia, the Bulldogs and Lions clash under the lights at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. Both games air on NBCSN.

Ten years ago this fall, a team led by captain Chandler Henley (current Yale coach) went 8-2 and earned an Ivy League title. The final win came at Harvard, a 34-13 decision. Many members of that team were back to celebrate the title on Sept. 17 at the Bowl.

The 40th reunion of Yale’s 1976 Ivy League Championship gridiron squad takes place Nov. 12 as part of the Princeton weekend. The 76ers, captained by Vic Staffieri, won their last eight games, including a combined 60-14 score in victories over Princeton and Harvard, to finish 8-1.

Future Yale schedules include games with a new, Southern, flavor. One is in Georgia, the other Virginia. The Elis, who have a four-game series set with Mercer University, will play a school from Georgia (Macon) for the first time since playing the University of Georgia in 1929, the dedication game for Sanford Stadium. The Mercer Bears, a member of the Southern Conference, play at Yale on Oct. 13, 2018. The next meeting is Oct. 2, 2021 at Macon. The other two encounters come in 2022 (New Haven) and 2023 (Macon). The University of Richmond, a Colonial Athletic Conference and FCS power, is on Yale’s schedule for 2019 (at Richmond) and 2020 (New Haven). The Bulldogs and Spiders have never met. The Elis have not played in Virginia since a game against William & Mary at Norfolk in 1983.

Four Elis with injuries were helping the team behind the scenes. Seniors Robert Ries (DB), Peter Gerson (TE), Benjamin Bedard (DL) and junior Will Bryan (DB) began the year in that role. Bryan, however, was cleared to play during week 2 and began practicing as a defensive back. He played in the JV game and returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown against Milford Academy.

Here are Yale’s 2016 weekly honors by player:

Jaelin Alburg: Ivy Honor Roll (Cornell)
Hayden Carlson: Ivy Honor Roll, Nissan Yale POG (Colgate); Collegesportsmadness.com Ivy DPOW
Alex Galland: Ivy Honor Roll (Cornell)
Dale Harris: Ivy Honor Roll, Nissan Yale POG (Fordham)
Alan Lamar: STATS FCS Rookie of Week; Ivy co-Rookie of Week
Reed Klubnik: Ivy Honor Roll (Dartmouth)
Tre Moore: Nissan Yale POG (Cornell, Lehigh)
Foyesade Oluokun: Ivy Honor Roll (Cornell)
Deshawn Salter: Nissan Yale POG (Lehigh)
Team 144: Nissan Yale POG (Dartmouth)

The Ivy League has an experimental rule for the 2016 football season that moves kickoffs to the 40-yard line and touchbacks to the 20-yard line in an effort to reduce concussions and further promote the safety and welfare of its student-athletes. The goal of the experimental rule is to limit kickoff returns, which account for 23.4 percent of concussions during games despite representing only 5.8 percent of overall plays. The League will evaluate the concussion and kickoff return data after the 2016 season.

891 or 892
Yale has 891 or 892 wins depending how you view things. The NCAA record books give the Bulldogs credit for games won on the field, which is 891. However, the Ivy League credits Yale with one more (892) victory from a 1997 (forfeit) game against Penn. Yale was the first to 800 wins but has been overtaken by schools playing a dozen or more games per year like Michigan and Notre Dame.

Yale is 6-3 in OT games including the win against Army in 2014. The Elis are 4-1 at home in extra sessions, the only loss against Harvard in triple OT in 2005. Yale has a pair of triple-session OTs (Penn, 2007) and a two double-dippers (Princeton, 2003; Holy Cross, 2008).

Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow ’54 Head Coach of Yale Football, and some of his players are at world famous Mory’s (306 York Street) every Tuesday at noon for the Dick Galiette Yale Football Media Luncheon. This event is limited to media only. Please contact Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn (steven.conn@yale.edu) if you would like to attend. Darius Manora, Robert Clemons, Rafe Chapple, Nick Crowle, Foyesade Oluokun, Tre Moore, Matthew Oplinger and Reed Klubnik have taken part so far this fall.

You can listen to legendary coach Carm Cozza, Ron Vaccaro ’04 and Steve Conn call the action of Yale Football this fall on ESPN Radio1300 (AM 1300) or News Radio 960 WELI (AM 960), as well as iHeart Radio, espnradio1300.com. You can also see some broadcasts this season. Six (Colgate, Lehigh, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, Princeton) games air on the Ivy League Digital Network. Three games in 2016 can be seen on the NBC family of networks (Penn, Columbia on NBCSN, Harvard on CNBC). In addition, One World Sports (OWS) airs two games from the Bowl this fall, Colgate and Lehigh, that are also on the ILDN, now available on Apple TV and Roku.

The 2016 Yale football team includes 40 high school football captains and 24 guys who were captains of other sports before coming to New Haven. There are also 37 National Honor Society members.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – steven.conn@yale.edu

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