Yale run vs. Colgate

The Raiders’ run defense is superb. In three games this season, opposing offenses are averaging fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground.

Can Yale do better? It’s become impossible to predict the Yale offense. With most of last year’s record-breaking squad returning, we’ve been expecting firepower. Instead, Yale has sputtered like a wet sparkler.

Rob Carr ’05 is a good back — he led the Ancient Eight in rushing in his sophomore season. Quarterback Alvin Cowan ’05 should be a ground threat as well. And its just unbelievable that the holes aren’t there because captain Rory Hennessey ’05 is one of the most dominating tackles in the Ivies. Can they please run off left tackle a couple of times? There will be room there.

Edge: Colgate

Yale pass vs. Colgate

Let’s cut the crap — Cowan has had two poor games to start, and the Eli passing attack has struggled. But if Cowan, last season’s “comeback kid,” doesn’t become the stud who suited up last year, then we’ll personally pay for his sports psychologist.

This guy is good — it’s just a matter of being patient. Colgate has most of its secondary returning, but they aren’t world-beaters in the pass protection game. Beware of defensive tackle Matt Spack, who is the only Raider to record a sack this season — but he has three of them.

Edge: Even

Colgate run vs. Yale

Last year, Jamaal Branch was a scary running back. Maybe he still is — but he hasn’t been so far. He’s averaging almost 60 rushing yards fewer than he did in 2003, and almost two yards per carry less. That’s an astounding drop off — and it might be due to injury, according to very unverifiable rumors.

Yale, on the other hand, has vastly improved its defense. It is letting up 50 yards less per game than it did last season, and a yard less per carry.

But we can’t give the edge to the Elis just because Colgate continues to run so often.

Edge: Even

Colgate pass vs. Yale

Colgate quarterback Chris Brown has two good targets to which to throw. Luke Graham is on the verge of breaking most of the career receiving records at Colgate and DeWayne Long has caught more passes for more yards this season than his record-breaking counterpart.

But, as with the run, Yale’s pass defense has become a lot more stubborn. That has improved even more than the run defense — the Bulldogs are allowing 80 less yards per game than last year’s porous 250 yard clip.

Edge: Yale

Colgate is the No. 11 team in the nation in Div. I-AA. Yale’s offense will break out of its slump this game, but it may not be enough. It’d be fun to predict an Eli victory, but it’s just not rational to forecast an upset when Yale could muster only one score against Cornell.