Offensive struggles sink Elis in Ivy opener

Cornell players celebrate after they defeated Yale 14-12 at the Yale Bowl on Saturday.
Cornell players celebrate after they defeated Yale 14-12 at the Yale Bowl on Saturday. Photo by R.J. Rico.

A team’s first loss is always tough. The way it happened for the Bulldogs, however, made it all the worse.

Trailing 14-6 with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter after posting only two field goals on the day, the Elis marched down the field to score a touchdown as time expired. With the crowd at the Yale Bowl on its feet, overtime was within reach. But quarterback Patrick Witt’s ’12 pass on the two-point conversion attempt was batted down by the Cornell defense, and Yale lost, 14-12.

Throughout the game, Yale (1-1, 0-1 Ivy) failed to take advantage of a strong performance by its defense as Cornell (2-0, 1-0) limited the Bulldogs to just two field goals for most of the game.

Cornell led throughout the afternoon, as the team scored a touchdown on its first offensive play — a trick double pass play to wide-open senior receiver Bryan Walters, who ran untouched 81 yards to the end zone.

The rest of the game was a defensive struggle: Cornell punted 15 times, Yale 12 times.

Among the few bright spots for the Elis was a 54-yard field goal by Tom Mante ’10, which tied the Yale and Ivy Legaue record and sent the Bulldogs into halftime trailing only 7-6.

Witt, who transferred from Nebraska, struggled in his second career collegiate start. The sophomore quarterback completed 21 of 54 passes for 180 yards but threw three interceptions and no touchdowns.


  • Oh no

    Bench Witt. Get a new O-line. Otherwise, unless our defense can put up points, we are in big trouble.

    Also, the YPMB sucks. Tuck in your shirts and take a shower – you were really shown up by the Cornell band and are an embarrassment to the university whose banner you are charged with carrying.

  • @ Oh no

    You are right on all accounts. It was difficult to believe, after seeing Witt, that he’d been in contention for the starting job at Nebraska. With that said, Cornell’s offense was a compete joke, whereas we at least posted respectable yardage numbers, so it wasn’t entirely negative.

    Regarding the YPMB, some professionalism would be nice, as would intelligent song selection. Seriously, playing anything Green Day when Yale is trying to capitalize on momentum is, for lack of better words, egregiously moronic. Why play a depressing song when Yale has the football and is attempting to score? Why even play a depressing song at all? This is a college football game, not a seminar on emotional issues, and the songs ought to reflect such an established and clear-cut truth. I expect better out of Yale students, and needless to say, was sorely disappointed.

  • TD ’12

    Seriously, though…what can we do about that band? Should we write letters to someone?

    I think it would be sick if they all wore their blazers with ties and their shirts tucked in…the nerdyness of it would be great. As of now, they make us look like anti-intellectual boorish losers.

  • alum

    We still probably would have won if Witt wasn’t such a turnover machine. Pretty hard to win when you throw ints like that.

  • Y11

    Witt played great against Georgetown. Maybe it was nerves. I’ll give him another chance to impress, but only one.

  • yale 08

    Former footballer here.

    The YPMB is a joke. I HATED having them playing during our games.

    My high school had a better band.

    Watch Ohio State’s band. But that’s too Midwestern for our Ivy League band.

    The YPMB is only funny to themselves.

  • A fan

    I have to say that I was not impressed with Witt’s Georgetown performance. In fact, it was downright sloppy. Remember the time that someone caught his foot, but he was still on his feet, free, and lost his balance and fell, and then let the ball roll away? Seriously, he needs to go to pilates or yoga or hang out with the GYM team and learn some balance and coordination. His other efforts in the Gtown game were not stellar. I hate to be that person, doing play calling fron the sidelines, but if the competition for QB was so tough between Patrick and Brook that it took forever to decide on a starter, it might be time for Brook to get another chance at it. He was pretty good based on the five games he played after Fodor got injured–certainly didn’t make this amount of costly mistakes. That being said, props have to go out, once gain, to Tom Mante. He is once again the man after having a stellar game against Georgetown as well. And great effort to teh defense–besides that one trick play, you looked pretty sharp. But honestly, probably the only reason they blew that play is because they are just too agressive and passionate about getting the play stopped–can’t complain about that too often. I look forward to improvement.

  • the band

    Anyone have some band photos so I can see what y’all are complaining about?

  • Anonymous

    The YPMB is excruciatingly bad. Their lack of professionalism is appalling and their jokes are rarely funny. Their constant selection of one-sided political staire grows old before it even starts. Perhaps they could try a halftime show that exhibits some skill or bears some relevance to Yale or football?

    As for the team… bench the quarterback. His performance was pretty bad. He had a few highlights, but his screw ups far outweighed what the good plays he made.

    He’ll still be around next season and he can test his skills next preseason. I don’t want him anywhere near a regulation game for the rest of this season however.

  • Y’10

    I would LOVE to have a band that marches in straight lines, feigns being an actual marching band — what a joke — plays songs that I never recognize, and takes itself so seriously.

    And clearly, the show HAS to be about Yale OR football. I mean, no one outside Yale possibly comes to a Yale football game, right? All that 17,000+ people in the Bowl were clearly entirely made up of Yale people, who would care only about Yale and football.

  • YPMB ’08

    Anyone whose intellect feels threatened by their school’s marching band not tucking in their shirts is already a loser.

    You guys who want military precision are welcome to start your own marching band. I think it’s pretty great — and indicative by and large of who Yale students are relative to other Ivy kids — that our band rocks.

  • SY ’10

    I’m not in the band, but I’m sure glad that the YPMB isn’t the same sort of ridiculous display of fascism that most college marching bands are. Seeing people in absurd uniforms marching around in straight lines playing Sousa music can hardly be called either creative or entertaining. We have the second best band in the country (after Stanford’s) – let’s keep it that way.

  • Fan

    YPMB please play more songs during the game i felt like i was heareing the cornell band alot more.

  • @ Y’10

    Seriously? Are you sure you don’t want to retract that statement? The show doesn’t necessarily have to be about Yale or football (only the halftime show, naturally); I’ll concede that. With that said, your supporting statement have, to put it delicately, issues. The game is a football game between Yale and a visiting opponent, held at a football stadium designed exclusively for football, with Yale’s name featured prominently on the scoreboard, jerseys, and the stadium itself (this should be rather self-evident, in honesty). People come to the game, regardless of their university affiliation, in order to watch the game, support their university, or both. Suggesting that a sizable minority of the people there don’t care about Yale and football is misguided at best, and dishonest at worst.

  • gnome09

    i love the band members…but i do hope the ypmb will take to heart some of the previous criticisms as constructive. by calling yourself a “precision marching band”, it only invites comparison to other such bands…comparisons that usually aren’t too flattering. perhaps a bit more organization when marching, neatness in dress, and professionalism in your cheers and halftime shows (which are often very crude or simply not that funny from the stands…). if not, the band should call itself something else other than a “precision marching band”.

  • Anonymous

    A little defensive YPMB? Fine, don’t stick to just Yale or Football. Perhaps you might consider themes that aren’t completely based on sophomoric sexual jokes or snarky, political quips?

    As for equating professionalism to fascism… why must we choose between “fascist” precision and utter incompetence? Why must we have a band that can’t figure out it should tone things back for youth day?

  • yale 2008



  • werd

    Hey Band,

    At least dress well. Don’t you dress up for the Harvard game? Why can’t you always do that? Also, please keep your shirts on.

  • @ SY ’10

    We have the worst band in the Ivy League, by an enormous margin. Even Dartmouth’s is better.

    In what ways, I ask, do you consider the band even competent? Let me rephrase – in what single way is the band not nauseating?

  • anon

    I wish the YPMB could keep the beat…


    Witt is good enough to play at Yale. The only question is whether or not we have the O-Line to support him.

    Sometimes I wonder whether Tom Brady (or Peyton Manning – pick your poison) could win with that O-Line.

  • ’09

    While everyone at the Yale Bowl may not be there to explicitly watch Yale Football, NO ONE goes to the Yale Bowl to watch the YPMB.

    I’m sure your skits seem hilarious when you dream them up, but, in the rare event that the content is actually entertaining, the execution is horrendous. A football halftime show isn’t a private venue- it’s public. As such, shouldn’t your show be geared toward public enjoyment?

  • yalie

    sitting right next to ypmb made me so embarassed. have some class.

  • Local Fan

    The highlight of any of the Yale sporting events I have gone to since I my childhood was the YPMB. Also, the YPMB’s lack of marching and uniform are based off of almost 40 years of Yale tradition. Bare that in mind when you start making claims about the proper way for the Yale Marching Band to act.

  • @Local Fan

    “40 years” of Yale tradition isn’t a very long time, as Yale traditions go. It’s more like a short interlude.

    We should change it for the better, now. Yale also once had the tradition of not admitting women until about 40 years ago…we changed that!