Head coach Tony Reno is entering his third season at the helm of the Yale football team. After a tough 2–8 record in his rookie season, Reno led the Bulldogs to three wins to start the 2013 campaign and a 5–5 record overall. He sat down with the News to discuss his plans for the Bulldogs in 2014.
Q. Following the graduation of Hank Furman ’14, who is the starting quarterback?
A. Morgan [Roberts ’16] is currently the starter. Logan’s [Scott ’16] the number two. After that, we have a pretty intense competition for the third guy between three freshmen: Steve Barmore ’18, Andrew Johnson ’18 and Rafe Chapple ’18. They’ve all shown a lot of good things.
Q. Is Logan Scott going to get any playing time under center this week?
A. We haven’t really decided on that yet. But we feel really good about Logan. When he’s called upon, he’ll do a great job.
Q. Has Morgan Roberts improved with a full offseason with the team? In what ways?
A. In any situation when a quarterback comes in, whether it be first year or transfer, it’s very similar. It’s a new environment, a new program, and a new set of expectations. I thought Morgan did a real good job handling what makes Yale unique, both on and off the field. We wanted to give him time to grow. He was pressed into service when we had some injuries to Hank [Furman], but his growth from last year to now has been monumental. He’s grown as a player, as a person and as a leader. He has a lot of work to do, like 100 percent of our guys do, but he’s been really good.
Q. What is your ideal run-pass split?
A. You try to be as balanced as possible. Balance meaning in the ideal world, 50 percent is balanced. Give or take 10 percent is pretty good balance. There’s certain games that you’re running the ball more effectively, and you might be more than 50 percent run. There’s also certain games that you’re passing the ball more successfully, and you might be more than 50 percent pass. We generally want to be in that balance. If we have the ability to do that, it makes you a little tougher to defend.
Q. What do you think is the strength of the team?
A. Well, I think we’re very experienced at running back. I say that with an asterisk: If [Tyler] Varga ’15, [Kahlil] Keys ’15 and [Candler] Rich ’17 are healthy. They’re three guys who have proven to be very, very good. We feel that’s a strength. We’ve got some strength on the offensive line with three returning offensive linemen in tackle [Ben] Carbery ’15, center [Luke] Longinotti ’16 and guard [William] Chism ’15. We feel good about those guys. We have some experience. We have a very young defense — eight sophomore starters, two freshmen, and a slew of them in the two deep.
Q. How do you see Tyler Varga’s role shaping up this year? How many touches per game do you expect him to have?
A. The plan is to keep him healthy for [all] 10 [games]. He’s a special player. He’s obviously a guy who’s been a proven all-Ivy guy in our league. The nice thing for us this year is with the emergence of Candler Rich and Kahlil Keys last year, we have two other guys who are very good backs and can get some carries. We have a three-headed monster back there with guys that can all play in the games and make contributions, without wearing any one of them out.
Q. What can you say about Kyle Cazzetta ’15 and his experience as a kicker and as a punter?
A. I think Kyle’s experience is key for his performance this season. He’s kicked in a lot of football games at Yale. We’re looking at him to be a leader and a guy that we can count on in key situations, whether it be a field goal, punting or whatever it might be. We’ll rely heavily on him.
Q. What would it take for this year to be considered successful, in your eyes?
A. I think we all value success. We’re much more process over outcome, that’s how we deal with things. We have goals like any team does, but for me it’s the day-to-day improvement for our guys. If our team follows its process, I feel like the outcome will take care of itself.