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Yale football team opens 144th season with Colgate

(Stan Godlewski/Special to the Courant)

(Stan Godlewski/Special to the Courant)


Coach Tony Reno and his Yale Bulldogs will finally kickoff the 2016 college football season when they face the Colgate Red Raiders (0-1) this Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Yale Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Yale enters the season after coming off a so-so 6-4 (3-4, Ivy League) campaign last year which saw the Elis finish fourth in the Ivy League. The Bulldogs (0-0) return 38 lettermen from last years team, however, they will have some big shoes to fill with the departure of All-Ivy quarterback Morgan Roberts.

Junior Rafe Chapple is the heir apparent to take over at quarterback for the Elis. Last year Chapple had a cameo appearance connecting on 2-of-4 passes for 15 yards.

Perhaps the Elis will look to establish their ground game with plenty of experience in the backfield led by Deshawn Salter, Candler Rich and Dale Harris. All-Ivy linebacker Matthew Oplinger, will anchor what appears to be a solid Yale defensive unit.

For the Red Raiders (Patriot League), they will be looking for their first win of the 2016 season after losing to Syracuse 33-7, at the Carrier Dome.

On the other hand, Colgate is looking to gain some consistency as they prepare for the start of their upcoming Patriot League schedule. Last year Colgate had a fine 9-5 record and picked up their eighth Patriot League crown.

The Red Raiders, who enter the contest ranked No. 23 in the latest FCS Coaches Poll, have an explosive passing attack led by quarterback Jake Melville and wide receiver Owen Rockett.

Reno and his Bulldogs are anxious to get the regular season underway after over a month of practicing against each other and a closed scrimmage with Brown.

Yale has a 28-11-3 lead in the series which is heading into the 43rd meeting. The game will air on the Yale Football Radio Network (ESPN Radio AM-1300 in New Haven). It can also be seen on One World Sports (OWS)TV and the Ivy League Digital Network. Bill Spaulding and Ken Dunek have the call on OWS while Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza can be heard on radio.


Last year Yale edged the Red Raiders 29-28 at Andy Kerr Stadium. Both sides have more questions about their 2016 football prospects than answers; particularly at quarterback. With that in mind expect a defensive battle.

FINAL: Yale 17 Colgate 16


The Bulldogs open Ivy League play on September 24 when they face Cornell in Ithaca, NY with a 3 p.m. kickoff.

Darius Manora was selected as the 2016 Yale football captain. Manora, a linebacker from Alexandria, Va, has 156 career tackles while seeing action in every game since his arrival in New Haven.

This year Yale will play two games under the lights. The Elis will host Penn on Oct. 21 in the first game under the lights at the Yale Bowl. On Oct. 28 Yale and Columbia will get after it in New York City. Yale will travel to Cambridge to play Harvard in THE GAME on Nov. 19.

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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