Keys to the game

Win the turnover battle.

Lafayette has been outgained by an average of 53.4 yards through five games this year, but the team has still managed to win three of those games. The team is ranked 12th in the nation in turnover margin. These takeaways have set the Leopards up with good field position. On the other hand, last week was the first time all season that the Bulldogs have not turned the ball over. Yale will need to build off of that performance to pull off the win tomorrow.

Stick with the run.

With star running back Tyler Varga ’16 most likely sidelined by eligibility questions, it would be easy to assume that the Elis will need to air it out to get a win against Lafayette. On the contrary, the Bulldogs should recommit to their ground attack this week. Running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 and quarterback Eric Williams ’16 are both averaging around four yards per carry on the season. Yale’s offense has proven most effective starting with the run, then using the openings their ground attack creates in the secondary to facilitate the passing game.

It’s OK to punt.

Ideally, a team never wants to punt the football, but sometimes doing so is just a fact of life. Yale punted just once on Saturday, instead going for it seven times on fourth down. The Bulldogs started well, converting on two straight fourth downs and then throwing a touchdown pass to linebacker Dylan Drake ’13 after faking a field goal attempt. The next four attempts would fail to move the chains, however, as Yale gave up great field position and let the game slip away in the second half. Yale tried two fake field goals and a fake punt. Fakes are supposed to surprise the opposing defense, but at some point they stop becoming a surprise. Sometimes it is better to kick the field goal or punt the ball and pin the other team deep. Head coach Tony Reno needs to show some faith in his special teams so that when he does call a fake it is actually a surprise.

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