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Good But Not Great: Yale Loses Season Finale to Harvard

It was not the type of finish that the Yale Bulldogs had envisioned at the start of the 2015 football season.

The Elis got off to a strong start (3-0, 1-0 Ivy League) but their hopes for an Ivy League title came crashing to the gridiron when the team was decimated by a plethora of injuries just prior to hitting the heart of their Ivy League schedule.

The Bulldogs, led by senior quarterback Morgan Roberts, persevered through the adversity but were unable to prevail in key matchups with 2015 Ivy League tri-champions Dartmouth, Penn and Harvard.

In the season finale with Harvard, Yale (6-4, 3-4 Ivy League) managed to stay within striking distance of the Crimson for the first half, but the Crimson took control in the second half to win, 38-19, in front of 52,126 in the 132nd meeting.

In spite of the loss, Yale holds a 65-59-8 edge in THE GAME.

Yale attempted to spoil Harvard’s championship party with a Roberts-directed aerial assault, but the Crimson and the nation’s third-ranked FCS defensive unit stiffened each time the Bulldogs entered the red zone.

Roberts closed out this Yale career completing 38-of-65 passes for 410 yards and two touchdowns.

Yale was held to just 34 yards rushing while the Crimson had a balanced attack, passing for 320 yards and rushing for 188 yards.

THE GAME marked the first time a game was played under the lights in the 101-year history of the Yale Bowl.

Harvard, Dartmouth and the surprising Penn Quakers shared the 2015 Ivy League title with identical 6-1 records.

It marked only the fourth time in the 60-year Ivy League history that three teams shared the Ancient Eight crown.





At the Bulldogs year end banquet, linebacker Darius Manora, was named the Elis 139th captain.

Manora is the first Yale football captain from Virginia (Alexandria, VA) and the first team leader to wear No. 38.

He is the school’s third linebacker in six years to serve as a team captain.

Manora has played in all 30 games since coming to New Haven. He had a banner year in 2014 when he recorded 60 tackles.

Dartmouth senior linebacker Will McNamara, Harvard senior quarterback Scott Hosch, Penn senior linebacker Tyler Drake and sophomore wide receiver Justin Watson are the four finalists for the 2015 Asa S. Bushnell Cup, which honors the Ivy League Football Players of the Year.

Seven members of the 2015 Yale Football Team earned All-Ivy League honors.

Three Bulldogs made the first team: center Luke Longinotti, defensive tackle Copache Tyler and corner back Spencer Rymiszewski.

Longinotti, who started the last 30 games, was named Yale’s co-MVP this fall. Longinotti (Burlingame, Calif.) was a second-team All-Ivy pick in 2014.

Tyler, a junior from Springfield, Ill., had 23 tackles this year. He was a second-team pick in 2014 and the Bulldogs freshman MVP in 2013.

Rymiszewski, a junior from West Chester, Pa., had an amazing 2015 campaign (49 tackles) after being sidelined for the 2014 season game with a spinal concussion.

He led the team with four interceptions (2nd in Ivy) while being named co-MVP along with Longinotti.

Bryan Holmes, a junior kicking specialist from Holland, Mich., earned second-team All-Ivy status after leading the league with 12 field goals. Handling all three phases of kicking Holmes led the team in scoring with 55 points.

Three Bulldogs received honorable mention on the 2015 All-Ivy team.

Senior captain Cole Champion (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla) earned his third straight Ivy League post-season award.

Champion finished No. 13 on Yale’s career tackle list with 265.

Marty Moesta, a junior defensive end (Grosse Pointe, Mich) had 24 tackles and had three sacks.

Yale’s 2015 sack leader was sophomore linebacker Matthew Oplinger (Summitt, N.J.).

Oplinger had a spectacular season with 65 tackles and team-high five sacks.

Penn coach Ray Priore became just the

7th person to win an Ivy League football title in his first

season. The others were Princeton’s Dick Colman (1957),

Dartmouth’s Jake Crouthamel (1971), Joe Yukica

(1978) and John Lyons in (1992), Penn’s Ed

Zubrow (1986), and Cornell’s Jim Hofher (1990).

For the 2015 season, Yale quarterback Morgan Roberts connected on 245 of 426 passes (57.5 %) for 2,613 yards.

His 38 completions and 65 attempts in THE GAME were both single-game highs.

Roberts finished his career as Yale’s all-time leader in total offense and career passing yards.


Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

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Bob Whitney

Bob is a college basketball columnist here at He also covers Yale football and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
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