FOOTBALL | Keys to the game

Finish Strong: Yale’s defense has only allowed six fourth quarter points, but Dartmouth’s offense has outscored its opponents by a 62-14 margin after halftime in its first three games. Yale, who only have a 34-27 margin in the second half over its opponents, will have to watch out for a Dartmouth offense that has shown resiliency in its past three games. The Big Green had been down early in each of those games, but have come back to win in all but one. Moreover, the Big Green’s offense isn’t one-dimensional; Nick Schwieger, the Big Green’s leading rusher, averages 144 yards per game while quarterback Connor Kempe averages 201 yards per game. But the Green offense still has its weaknesses. Dartmouth overcame a 14-point deficit last week at Penn, but failed to capitalize on the momentum, and eventually fell to the Quakers 28-35. The Elis’ defensive unit must be disciplined against a balanced Dartmouth offense, respecting the Big Green’s receiving corps as well as their rushing attack. Defensive staff adjustments will be crucial. If the game is still within reach in the second half, and the Eli defense hasn’t found a way to keep the Big Green offense off the field, it could be a long Saturday in Hanover.

Get Witt in Rhythm, run game will follow: Last Saturday, the Great Danes of Albany came the closest of any team so far to fully silencing the Yale offensive attack. The Albany defensive front came out with the intention of shutting down running back Alex Thomas ’12, and they succeeded for the most part. As a result, the offense got out of rhythm. After Jordan Forney ’11’s touchdown in their first drive of the game, the Bulldogs’ offense stalled on its next six drives. The Bulldogs game plan seems to be to establish the running game in order to set up big plays to the receiversLast time these two teams met, Brook Hart ’11 threw for 390 yards and four touchdowns in coach Tom Williams’ first career home victory at Yale. The Bulldogs took a 21-0 lead into the locker rooms at halftime – a result of their attack of the Big Green secondary. Chris Smith and Jordan Forney scored on 73 and 24 yard receptions, respectively. Yale leads the all-time series 51-36-6.

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