Aggressive coaching

The Bulldogs’ impressive victory last Saturday against Dartmouth can be attributed to Yale’s aggressive play-calling throughout the game. Bulldog kicker/punter Tom Mante ’10 surprised with an onside kick that was easily recovered by the Elis, giving them the ball back in the closing minutes of the first half. Similarly, the Big Green, expecting a punt, were unprepared when Mante ran 17 yards for a first down at the end of the third quarter on a fake punt. Yale’s implementation of a no-huddle offense also helped the Elis to keep momentum and dictate the rhythm and pace of the game. Each of these unpredictable Yale calls resulted in a scoring drive. The Bulldogs should keep the same mind-set against Lehigh. In general, the occasional aggressive play will keep the team unpredictable and the opponents honest; this benefits all facets of the offense. Since Saturday’s game will not affect the Ivy League standings, the Bulldogs may want to experiment with new plays and personnel.

Hart continues to step up

Quarterback Brook Hart ’11 had the game of his life last week against Dartmouth. Not only did he go 28 for 40 for three touchdowns, but he also had zero turnovers. So far this season, the Bulldogs have come away with the win when Yale’s quarterbacks have stepped up and performed well. If Hart continues to play like he did last week, the Bulldogs will be difficult to beat — especially since Lehigh’s passing defense is relatively weak compared to its rushing defense. With a passing-heavy team like Yale, quarterback performance is virtually always a key to the game.

An indicator of the future

Although Lehigh is off to a 1–4 start this season, with its only win coming against a weak Georgetown team, the Bulldogs should not take Saturday’s game lightly — it will serve as an indicator of how the Bulldogs are likely to perform in later Ivy League play. Lehigh has already played Princeton and Harvard, falling 17–14 and 28–14, respectively. It will be interesting to see how Yale’s result compares with those of its Ivy League rivals.

Last meeting

In 2007, the Bulldogs defeated the Mountain Hawks 23–7 at the Yale Bowl. Lehigh scored first, giving the Bulldogs their first deficit of the season. Nevertheless, Yale’s rushing game could not be stopped. The Bulldogs rushed for 421 total yards, including Mike McLeod’s ’09 school record-breaking 276 yards for two touchdowns. Bulldog Alan Kimball ’08 put the game out of reach with multiple field goals.