Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scouting Yale

Coach Reno is getting bitten by the injury bug

Before I get to scouting Yale, I have to direct you to Head Coach Pete Mangurian's comments posted on yesterday.

Keeping with the coach's "moving forward" mantra, here are my headlines from what he had to say:

1) WR Isaiah Gross, essentially out since week 3, is apparently healthy now and we can probably expect him to play against Yale Saturday.

2) Freshman QB Trevor McDonagh should start getting some playing time.

3) McDonagh isn't alone, Mangurian says he'll get freshmen Max Keefe and Scooter Hollis into the games more as well.

The comment that our freshmen will learn more from four games of live football than they will from 12 days of practice in the spring is well taken. Let's see if it produces great results right away.

Looking at the Elis


Yale began the season with no real veteran QB, a controversial head coach, and a decidedly weakened defense.

For the most part, those shaky ingredients have produced a shaky team. The Bulldogs are 2-4 with losses to Dartmouth and Cornell by a combined score of 79-20.

But last week's surprise win over Penn, thanks to great contributions from backup QB's Logan Scott and Derek Russell, looked like it could change everything.

And yet... not so fast.

The New Haven Register is is now reporting that all three QB's for Yale, Scott, Russell and Eric Williams, are injured. They're not all OUT for Saturday's game, but they're banged up.

The QB injury situation, casts a big shadow over the team right now and over this game.


Yale's offense is far from inept. The Bulldogs grind out a lot of yardage per game. The problem is they don't score all that many points. Only Columbia has scored fewer points this season among the Ivies.

The reason is simple: Yale has a strong running game but not a great passing attack. As a result, when they get closer to the goal, opposing defenses stack the box and the Elis can't get the passing game to generate enough TD's. In addition to that problem the Yale FG kicker, Phillipe Panico, is only five of 11 this year.

But that running attack is very good. Not one, but TWO Yalies are in the top five rushers in the Ivies so far this season. Transfer Tyler Varga is the speedster averaging 103 yards per game and a monster five yards per carry. Mordecai Cargill, who destroyed the Lions with 200+ yards at a snowy Wien Stadium last year, is averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

The WR corps is much less impressive. 5-9 junior Cameron Sandquist is the team leader with 36 receptions for 376 yards and two TD's.


Here's where Yale has fallen the hardest. The Elis are allowing a whopping 30 points per game, dead last in the league. Most of that is because of Yale's problems stopping the run. They're allowing 180 yards on the ground per game and have given up 12 rushing TD's.

The pass defense has been a little better, giving up fewer yards than most Ivies but only registering two INT's all season long. With opposing teams running so well against the Bulldogs, it's not hard to figure out why they don't throw altogether than much against them.

The stars on D are LB Will McHale, who was set to be the captain of the team this season before he became involved in a violent incident with another Yale student at a bar. The other two big names to watch out for are DL's Chris Dooley and Beau Palin. Combined, they have 6.5 sacks this season.

Special Teams

Panico has been automatic on his PAT's, but still struggles on field goals. He does have a 43-yard FG this season, so it's not so much about range as it is about consistency.

Yale's punter Kyle Cazzetta is just average.

The Elis are very good at kickoff coverage, giving up just 15 yards per return. And here's a suprise: There have been only THREE punt returns against Yale all season! None of them have been for any real yards.


oldlion said...

Coach is not too happy with Brackett's play. Maybe that is why we are going to start seeing McDonagh. Also, he is not happy with the heavy (left) side of the OL. Note praise for 240 pound Billy Lawrence. Also, interesting that Keefe will start seeing reps at LB. My guess is that Murphy, who has had a quiet year, will see fewer minutes.

Anonymous said...

The coach should be unhappy with his play calling not Brackett!!!

Anonymous said...

Poor workman who blames his tools

Anonymous said...

If a QB misses a wide open receiver in the end zone, he is not playing well.


jock/doc said...

another brilliant comment by another of our anonymous football experts

jock/doc said...

I was there and DrV is right.

WOF said...

I was a Senior the year McElreavy showed up. It is only logical that a coach is probably going to try and develop underclassmen his first year on the new job, but the way Mac treated the Seniors with such contempt was criminal.

Some of you may have had a different experience with Mac, but my experience tells me that Mangurian has more class in his sweat socks than Mac ever had. I doubt he is mis-treating the Seniors in any way near the fashion that traud treated us. And at this point in the season, I can hardly blame him for trying to give some additional work to the underclassmen.

Poor play calling is a cop out. If the kids did not execute they did not execute.

I think we are all a little disappointed that Brackett did not have a better season but Mangurian has to install the system he intends to use moving forward. I can see him altering it somewhat to make this season work but he can't make radical changes, I am sure he did not want to get Brackett injured again, and he's got to be thinking of the future. Other than the Garrett debacle, nearly every coach gets a 2-3 year pass to succeed.

oldlion said...

Agree with WOF on Coach M. I am a huge Brackett fan, but we have to recognize that he is not playing up to what we had come to expect from him. I am not urging that he be benched, because he has earned his position and gives us the best chance to win. Here's hoping that he has a great four weeks and ends his career in a blaze of glory.

DOC said...

Amen, Old Lion !
I believe that Brackett may have a "breakout" day against Yale.
From all indications we should have some success on the ground against Yale. That should open up passing as we become less predictable!

WOF said...

me too, I am a huge Brackett fan!