Historic Pace: Team 145 versus Team 142

Quarterback Kurt Rawlings ’20

The Yale football team has started 3–0 before. In fact, they have started 3–0 in three of the previous four seasons, dating back to 2013. This includes the 2014 season, in which Yale had a historically-potent offense led by running back Tyler Varga ’15 and quarterback Morgan Roberts ’16.

What separates this Elis team from the rest, then, is how they are winning.

Compared to that 2014 squad, through three games, the Bulldogs are scoring basically as many points (48.7 ppg compared to 2014’s 51). However, their defense has been much stingier: allowing 21.7 ppg compared to 33 in 2017. Their margin of victory is much higher.

This year’s Bulldog squad is not much different than 2014’s team, offensively. Their rushing attack is even more potent, statistically, than a Varga-led run game in 2014. This year, Zane Dudek ’21 and Deshawn Salter ’18 currently form the best ground game in the Football Championship Subdivision (in terms of yards per carry), and are ninth in total yards despite playing in just three games (compared to four or five for most other, highly-ranked teams).

While the offense is not throwing for nearly as many yards, Kurt Rawlings ’20 has nevertheless been phenomenal for Yale: he currently has a 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio, and is completing 76.2 percent of his passes.

With a formidable offense, which has given up the fewest sacks in the Ivy League, and a strong defense, which currently leads the conference in sacks, Team 145 seems poised to follow in Team 142’s footsteps, and possibly do what the 2014 could not: win an Ivy League Championship.

For Yale, that starts by taking on a Dartmouth team whose incredibly strong rush defense will present the ultimate test for the rolling Bulldogs.