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Yale Travels to Ithaca for Ivy League Matchup With Cornell

Hayden Carlson, No. 26 (Photo by Jack Warhola - Yale Bulldogs)

Hayden Carlson, No. 26 (Photo by Jack Warhola – Yale Bulldogs)

It wasn’t the kind of start that coach Tony Reno envisioned for his football team. The Elis was thoroughly outplayed by Colgate (1-1) in losing 55-13 last Saturday in the Yale Bowl. The loss ended Yale’s season-opener win streak at nine games.

“We just played a team that is likely the best team we will face this season,” said Reno, who noted in his postgame comments that No. 23 Colgate had won two NCAA Playoff games last season. “This game will help us grow.”

Yale (0-1) will look to bounce back on Saturday, Sept. 24 at Ivy League foe Cornell. The Big Red (1-0) opened with a come-from-behind 24-16 road win over Bucknell.

Against Colgate, Yale took a very brief lead on the first series of the game when Elis safety Hayden Carlson intercepted Colgate’s Jake Melville and returned it 48 yards to set up a touchdown.

Yale quarterback Rafe Chapple, with his first pass attempt of the year, found wide receiver Christopher Williams-Lopez for an 11-yard touchdown pass.

The lead was short-lived as Melville (22-of-32) picked the Bulldog secondary apart with surgical precision. Melville was red-hot throwing for five TD’s and 315 yards.

The Red Raiders racked up 558 yards of offense in the win.

For Yale, Chapple completed 18-of-31 passes (three interceptions) for 145 yards. Junior Michael Siragusa led Yale with four receptions for 61 yards.

The Bulldogs had trouble establishing the run as the Red Raider defense limited them to just 50 yards on the ground.

Reno also had an opportunity to get a look-see at his other quarterbacks. Freshman Kurt Rawlings (3-6, 29) took a few snaps along with sophomore Tre Moore (1-5, 2).

Defensively, Carlson led Yale with 10 solo tackles and 14 overall stops. In addition to his interception Carlson recovered a fumble on a kickoff.

The Yale defense will be challenged once again when they Cornell. The Big Red’s sophomore quarterback, Dalton Banks, had a solid start against Bucknell completing 17-of-24 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown. Chris Walker led a potent Cornell ground attack rushing for 141 yards on 17 attempts.

The game marks the 79th meeting between the Eli and Big Red, with Yale holding a 47-29-2 advantage in the series. Yale has won the last three meetings between the schools.

The game will air on the Yale Football Radio Network (ESPN Radio AM-1300 in New Haven). It can also be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza will be on the call on radio.



Yale has issues on both sides of the ball. Look for the Bulldogs to get their ground game going, which produced a paltry 50 yards in the loss to Colgate.

The Big Red has a quarterback in Dalton Banks who can put points on the board along with a strong ground game.

It’s the Ivy League opener for both teams and anything can happen … and it will!

FINAL: Yale 24 Cornell 23



After the Cornell game, the Bulldogs host Lehigh (1-2) on October 1 with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

Lehigh dropped their first two games against Monmouth (21-23) and Villanova (21-26) before defeating the Penn Quakers (49-28).

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.

Ivy League Notes

Ivy League football teams combined for a 5-3 record on opening weekend, marking the first time the Ivies finished over .500 in its opening weekend since going 2013.

Brown senior quarterback Kyle Moreno (Pleasonton, Calif.) was named the Offensive Player of the Week as he led the Bears to a 35-27 victory over Bryant University on Sept. 17. Moreno was 16-29-0 for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Yale will face Mereno and the Bears on Nov. 5 in Providence.

The Ivy League continues to be a national leader in concussion prevention and education, with two policies that have been adopted for the 2016 season.

The Ivy League will use an experimental rule for conference matchups only to move 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 the players.

The goal 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.

In addition, the league formally adopted a policy which originated from the eight head football coaches to eliminate to-the-ground (“live”) tackling in practices.


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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