STOP THE RUN
Dartmouth has terrorized opponents with its running game this season, averaging 184.3 yards per game and tallying five touchdowns on the ground. Senior Nick Schwieger leads the attack, contributing an average of 133.3 yards per game and scoring three touchdowns so far this season. Schweiger shared the Ivy League’s most valuable player award last season.
Thus far, the Yale defense has had mixed results against the run. The Bulldogs allowed 5.4 yards per carry and a rushing touchdown against Cornell two weeks ago. But they bounced back emphatically last weekend, limiting Lehigh to only 3.1 yards per carry — a total of 84 yards in 27 attempts.
Last season the Elis failed to contain Schwieger, who rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown. If the Bulldogs can limit Schwieger’s effectiveness this time, it will be a long day for the Dartmouth offense.
MAKE THE QUARTERBACK UNCOMFORTABLE
If the Bulldogs can bottle up Dartmouth’s runners, the Big Green will be forced to move the ball through the air, something they have struggled at so far this season. Dartmouth ranks last in the Ivy League in passing offense, completing only 46.7 percent of its passes and averaging a meager 4.6 yards per pass attempt.
The Elis should exacerbate the weakness in Dartmouth’s passing game by applying pressure to the quarterback. Yale has only one sack to date on the season but has collected four picks, an Ivy League best. After Dartmouth quarterback Conner Kempe threw two interceptions last week against Penn, Saturday will be a prime opportunity for the ball-hawks in the Yale secondary.
WIN THE TURNOVER BATTLE
Ultimately, the team that wins the turnover battle will win the game. Both teams are dead even in turnover margin: each has created and committed seven turnovers. This weekend will be a chance for the Bulldogs to improve a weakness in their game.
The Elis will need to work hard on both sides of the ball to create turnovers while limiting its own. In a messy 37–7 loss to Lehigh last weekend, Yale forced four turnovers but fell under the weight of three lost fumbles and two interceptions.
Turnovers proved to be key in last season’s matchup with Dartmouth, as a fumble recovery from cornerback Chris Stanley ’11 put Yale on the Dartmouth 47-yard line for the game-winning drive. Following the turnover, a field goal gave Yale a 23–20 victory as time expired.
Dartmouth will come out hungry for its first Ivy League win after conceding the game-winning touchdown in the final minute against Penn last weekend. The Bulldogs hope to extend their current win streak over Dartmouth to nine games on Saturday. Kickoff is at noon.