The Flyers (2-0) are 174-31-1 at Welcome Stadium. This season they have beaten their opponents by a combined 66-9 score.
But not to worry. This weekend, Yale should even out that lopsided 66-9 season scoring margin with a blowout.
Everyone in New Haven knows that Yale returns almost all of what was the fifth highest scoring offense in Ivy League history. That includes quarterback Alvin Cowan ’05, who broke the Ancient Eight’s single-season record for total yards in a season, and captain Rory Hennessey ’05, the league’s preseason first-team All-American.
Yale’s offensive line outweighs the Dayton defensive line by almost 50 pounds per person.
Dayton returns last year’s leading tackler Doug Jones, who is also this season’s current leader. But Jones is a defensive back — and that’s a bad sign for any defense. Jones should have plenty of opportunities to pad his tackle stats on Saturday because I will guarantee that many an Eli ball-carrier will venture into the Flyer secondary. The only question is if Jones can catch the Yale receivers that should get a number of touches against an undersized defensive backfield.
Co-Captain Chris Dearth was named first team Pre-Season All-American by the Football Gazette and was a first team All-Pioneer selection last season. But he has yet to meet the slippery fish that is Yale runningback Robert Carr ’05. We’ll see how All-American Dearth can be after Carr torches him for 100+ yards Saturday.
Also returning from last year is Yale’s defense — one of the worst in school history. But what people in New Haven might not know is that the Eli defense could be its strong point this season.
During the preseason scrimmage against Princeton, the Eli defense limited the Tigers to just one field goal in five quarters of play. Half of Princeton’s six possessions in the first half ended in three-and-out.
Galvanized by the return of the almost the entire starting team plus former All-Ivy free safety Barton Simmons ’05, Yale’s defense should redeem itself this season.
Dayton receiver Ryan Wrobleski was Pioneer Football League co-Offensive Player of the Week last week on the strength of 203 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Simmons will make certain that does not happen again.
In two games Dayton has yet to boast a player who has rushed for more than 85 yards in a single game. Runningback by committee may cut it the Pioneer Football League — it won’t against the Bulldogs.
The Flyers cannot seem to make up their minds about who should be taking their snaps. Junior Brandon Staley and freshman Kevin Hoyng split signal-calling duties. How about some consistency?
Quarterback by committee may cut it in the Pioneer Football League — wait, now I’m just sounding like a broken record player.
Remember the season opening 62-28 romp over Towson last year?
We’re on track for a repeat.
The Elis overall record in season openers is 113-16-2. It’s too bad Eli fans (who were first in the nation last season in attendance for Division I-AA programs) will not have a chance to watch the start of this season.
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