Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2016 Opponent Preview: Yale

Copache Tyler

One of the biggest mysteries to me about the Ivies over the last 10 years has been the consistent inconsistency of the Yale football program. 2015 was no exception, in fact it was an extreme example. The Elis rolled up big points in road wins over Colgate, Lehigh, and Princeton. But then they looked listless in losses to Dartmouth, Penn, Harvard, and at home against Columbia.

Yale had some injury problems last year, and that explains some of this issue. But it’s been going on so long and under more than just the current head coach to blame it solely on injuries.

So what can we expect from the Bulldogs this season when they come into Wien Stadium for the October 28th Friday night lights game on NBCSN?

We can start by addressing the major issue for Yale at QB. It looks like junior Rafe Chapple will get the job, but he’s not what anyone would call “highly touted.” This is the 5th year of the Tony Reno regime in New Haven and how he could find himself without a better situation at QB at this stage is beyond me. Perhaps Chapple or someone else like sophomore Tre Moore will turn out to surprise us.

The offensive line lost 1st Team All Ivy center Luke Longinotti, but returns two starters and about three others who had a decent amount of playing time last year. 

Yale looks good at RB and WR with senior Candler Rich coming back from injury and junior Deshawn Salter looking to continue his excellent work as an injury replacement lead back last year.

The wide receiving corps gets NC State transfer Bo Hines back after he missed six games to injury last season and Yale’s leading statistical receiver from 2015, Christopher Lopez-Williams, is also back. So is Robert Clemons, who had four TD catches last year. This is an extremely deep and talented group of receivers who will definitely help Chapple or Moore settle in at QB, but there’s only so much they can do.

Both of Yale’s 2015 1st Team All Ivy defenders are returning in DT Copache Tyler and DB Spencer Rymiszewski. So are All Ivy Honorable Mention players DE Marty Moesta and LB Matthew Oplinger. Top 2015 tackler, DB Hayden Carlson is back as is Victor Egu, the LB the Elis unhooked from a Cal commitment three years ago. Egu has been an impact player, but this will be his last chance to reach the 1st Team All Ivy status so many people thought he would easily attain.  DB Cole Champion, who was a multi-year star, is gone to graduation. The only other really significant graduation loss on defense is LB Andrew Larkin, who led the team last year in tackles for a loss.

On special teams, Coach Reno seems to have good confidence in returning kicker Bryan Holmes, but Lion fans may remember he missed a crucial FG against the Lions in the 17-7 Columbia win last fall. Holmes was still named 2nd Team All Ivy. None of the returners are especially Earth shattering.

There are a lot of reasons to like Yale this season, but the QB problem is really too hard to ignore. I don’t see how anyone can be comfortable choosing the Elis to finish in the top three. At best, I’d expect another inconsistent year at the Bowl. 


alswingman said...

Looking forward to violins playing as Reno makes his exit after the Harvard blowout finale.

oldlion said...

Ask the Comway twins about Reno.

Chen1982 said...

I LOve how the Conways stuck it in Renos eye last year with outstanding play