Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bulldogs Back

Bad News for the Rest of the Ivies: Adam Money is Back

You could make a strong argument that Yale was the worst football team in the Ivies last season. But that’s a bit of stretch, especially when you consider how good a team the Bulldogs were on defense. And most of that defense returns for 2010.

This was the typical starting lineup for Yale from the second half of 2009:


WR 82 Forney, Jordan*
WR 7 Balsam, Peter
TE 2 Sheffield, John
LT 70 Golubiewski, Alex*
LG 76 Burow, Nathan*
C 59 Koury, Jake
RG 61 Fernandez, Gabriel*
RT 71 Palmer, Cory
QB 10 Witt, Patrick*
FB 37 Bannon, Shane*
RB 15 Farrell, Jordan*


DL 92 Moran, Patrick*
DL 91 Young, Joe*
DL 48 McCarthy, Tom*
LB 99 Williams, Sean*
LB 5 Rice, Paul
LB 31 Handlon, Tim
LB 10 Henry, Travis
CB 1 Baldwin, Drew*
FS 46 Dunham, Geoff*
SS 24 Wallace, Marcus*
CB 17 Money, Adam*

*=returning player

The seven returners on offense should really be eight because RB Alex Thomas was a de facto starter for the end of last season and he returns as well. But the big loss is Sheffield, who was the Bulldogs leading receiver and a key blocker at TE. The number two receiver from ’09, Peter Balsam, is also gone.

Another offensive “starter” to add is QB Brook Hart. It looked a lot like Hart was going to take himself out of the running for football this coming season, but he’s not going to only focus on baseball after all. I still believe Patrick Witt will be the starter in 2010, but Hart’s presence should lend some healthy pressure and competition to the QB position.

The real problem is offense is that this Eli team simply could not run the ball in 2009. Yale averaged just 2.7 yards per carry and not one back gained even 300 yards for the season. The offensive line also had serious trouble in pass protection, giving up a whopping 32 sacks on the year. Losing two starters on the offensive line may not be such a bad thing all things considered, but since Sheffield is also gone at tight end, a good part of what were the best aspects of the blocking scheme are now missing.

Yale did have a very strong defense in 2009, and getting eight starters back on that side of the ball is a big deal. Paul Rice and Travis Henry will be especially missed, but the very talented secondary is 100% back for 2010. That secondary held opposing teams to well under 200 yards passing per game and only allowed 11 TD passes.

It’s also a secondary that includes Adam Money, who has a super combination of talent and heart that every team needs.

Another big loss was Tom Mante at kicker/punter. Mante was a bit erratic last year with his field goals, but he was a very solid punter.

Of course, experience is a key issue for the Eli coaches as well. Tom Williams very much looked the part of a novice head coach last season, and not just because of the very odd decision to go for it on 4th down that eventually lost Yale the Harvard game. Williams also showed poor management skills when it came to getting transfer QB Patrick Witt ready for life at Yale and as the leader of the football team.

Williams is going to have to do a much better job in the coming years, especially as long as Richard Levin remains in place as President of the University.


At Sat Jun 26, 08:14:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake: I love the info you are gathering about Ivy opponents for 2010. Will you do the same for non-league teams/schools? I hope so.


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