After two disappointing losses, the Bulldogs look to right the ship with a victory versus Dartmouth tomorrow.
Yale (1–2, 0–1 Ivy) will host the Big Green (2–1, 0–1 Ivy) in the first Ivy League matchup at the Yale Bowl this season. The Elis are coming off a 47–24 trouncing by Colgate at home last week, but head coach Tony Reno said that the Raiders were good practice for this week’s matchup.
“[Colgate is] similar in a sense to Dartmouth in that they have the same principles,” Reno said. “They want to run the ball, they have got similar personnel groupings and they have got similar packages.”
Reno added that Dartmouth has a deep wide receiving corps that combines height and speed. So far this season eight different players have hauled down passes for the Big Green.
In order to reverse last Saturday’s result, the Blue and White defense will have to keep Dartmouth’s wide receivers and runners out of the end zone. That is something that the Elis have had difficulty doing in the first half this season — allowing 84 first-half points through three games.
“We have come out pretty slow in the first half,” linebacker Ryan Falbo ’13 said. “If there is a way that we can come out with that same intensity [as] in the second hal f… I think we’ll be better off going forward.”
The defense has not been the only problem for the Bulldogs, as the offense leads the Ivy League with 12 turnovers this season. Quarterback Eric Williams ’16 sets the pace in the Ancient Eight with eight interceptions.
But Reno said that even in just three games under center, Williams has shown maturation as a player. Offensive lineman Roy Collins ’13 added that blocking for a dual-threat quarterback like Williams has been a change of pace.
“Eric is definitely a little different than the other quarterbacks we’ve had,” Collins said. “It’s so exciting — he’s got that spin move.”
That spin move helped Williams dash for a career-high 114 yards against Colgate, but he has been only one aspect of the Yale running attack.
Although running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 did not dress last week because of an injury, fellow running back Tyler Varga ’16 has made up for the loss. Varga is averaging 106.3 rushing yards per game this season. Reno credited his offensive line for helping his talented backfield.
“Some seams were there and we’ve got some guys who can take advantage of those seams,” Reno said.
The Bulldogs will kickoff at noon tomorrow.