Football seeks its first 4-0 start since 1981

Yale Running Game vs. Dartmouth Run Defense

Last year, Dartmouth held the Eli running juggernaut to a paltry 85 yards. This Saturday, Dartmouth will rely on co-captain Clayton Smith, a second team all-Ivy pick last season and the league’s tackles per game leader, to repeat the feat.

But the Dartmouth free safety will have his hands full with the Eli rushers. This season, Carr has at least 100 yards in each of the first three games and is first in the Ivy League. David Knox ’06, who is averageing over 55 yards a game, and quarterback Alvin Cowan ’04 are also legitimate running threats. Yale has the best rushing offense of the Ivies with 220 yards per game, and Dartmouth has given up 199 yards per game to opposing rushers, third to last in the league in rushing defense.

Edge: Yale



Dartmouth Running Game vs. Yale Run Defense

The leading Dartmouth back has gained just over 100 yards — for the entire season — placing him behind Carr, Knox, and Cowan, who each have more than 100 total rushing yards. Dartmouth’s running attack is last in the Ivy League.

Edge: Yale



Dartmouth Passing Game vs. Yale Pass Defense

Dartmouth has two of the best targets in the league — Jay Barnard and Casey Cramer. Cramer, has been the all-Ivy first-team tight end since his sophomore season and Barnard is averaging more receptions per game than anyone in Div. I–AA football. But the Big Green has lost its trigger man, all-Ivy quarterback Brian Mann, to graduation. Signal-callers Charlie Rittgers and Scott Wille have led Dartmouth to the worst passing efficiency rating, the most interceptions thrown and the second to last turnover margin in the Ancient Eight.

Yale’s pass defense looked suspect early in the season, but last week the Elis shut down the Holy Cross passing game — supposedly one of the best in the nation. The Bulldogs are averaging just over one interception per game, and have the best-rated passing efficiency defense in the Ivy League.

Edge: Yale



Special Teams

Yale is near the top of the league on the punt and kickoff returns. But its punting game is near the bottom, netting just 27 yards per punt. Opposing teams have also been disturbingly adept at blocking Yale PATs and punts. Last season, Dartmouth’s Clayton Smith sealed the Big Green win by blocking a game-tying John Troost ’05 field goal. If all goes well, Yale can avoid last year’s special teams disaster at Hanover.

Edge: Even



Prediction

For the past two season, an undefeated Yale squad has played a Dartmouth team yet to win a game. For two season in a row, Yale has left the game with its first black mark in the loss column — and a crushing blow to its Ivy season. Yale has the third best turnover margin in Div. I–AA and turnovers are what killed them in last year’s Dartmouth game. The team should be angry enough about last year’s embarrassment to prevent that from happening at the Bowl in front of the Parents’ Weekend crowd.

Yale 34, Dartmouth 17



–Alex Hetherington

Comments