Rest the quarterback: Due to the fast pace of college football, it seems like a team cannot win without a quarterback who can lead them down the field. Yale’s best chance at a victory this weekend, however, might come from sitting its signal callers on the bench. With shoulder injuries to quarterbacks Eric Williams ’16 and Derek Russell ’13, and Logan Scott ’16 out with a broken hand, none of the quarterbacks for the Elis are at full strength. Head coach Tony Reno admitted after last Saturday’s 20–0 loss at Brown that Williams was “under 50 percent” when he was in the game. Williams was in obvious pain and had trouble with his accuracy due to his injury, turning the ball over twice when his passes were intercepted. Instead of trying to resuscitate the passing game prematurely, Yale would be better suited to commit more fully to a rushing attack that ranks second in the Ivy League with 195.2 yards per game.
Watch Wilson: Ask any defensive back: nothing is more embarrassing to them than getting burned by a wide receiver for a big play. No Princeton player has more ability to burn Yale’s secondary than junior wide receiver Roman Wilson. The Broken Arrow, Okla. native leads the Tiger receiving corps with 32 catches, 608 yards and five touchdowns. Wilson’s longest play of the year is a 72-yard reception — a strong indicator of how he can stretch the field vertically. He has also shown that he can make plays with his feet this season, rushing for 116 yards on 13 carries and another score. If defensive backs Collin Bibb ’13 and Kurt Stottlemyer ’13 can lead Yale’s secondary in containing Wilson, they will take Princeton’s best deep threat and scoring option off the table.
Move the chains: Yale rushed for 201 yards last week, but not one of those yards got Yale past the first down marker when the Elis needed to stay on the field. Yale got 11 first downs, but finished the day 0–10 on third down conversions and 0–2 on fourth down. Reno said that one reason for the Elis’ struggles was that the team created too many third-and-long situations for itself with penalties and other mishaps. He added that the percentage of third and fourth down conversions converted should come up if the Elis set up shorter yardage situations. Yale might also have been hurt by the lack of a quarterback, as Brown defensive back AJ Cruz said last week that the Bears’ defense felt more comfortable committing to the run. Whatever the reason, failure to convert was what kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard at Brown last week. It could also keep the Elis out of the win column tomorrow if they do not bring that conversion rate back up.