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After heartbreaking loss to Dartmouth, Yale Prepares for Holy Cross

It is a bitter pill to swallow when you do everything but win the game.

That is exactly what happened to Yale last week against Dartmouth when the Big Green stung the Bulldogs in the game’s final moments for a come-from-behind 28-27 win in Hanover, NH.

Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan, who rallied the Big Green from a 21-point halftime deficit, found Drew Hunnicutt on a 15-yard TD pass with 34 seconds in a battle of unbeaten teams.

It was the second consecutive week that coach Buddy Teeven’s Big Green scored the game-winning touchdown on a fourth-down play with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Yale racked up 433 total yards of offense against the fourth-best defense in the FCS, fell to 3-1 (1-1 Ivy), while the Big Green improved to 4-0 (2-0). Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings was 24-of-39 for 283 yards and 3 TDs in a losing cause. Rawlings was intercepted twice.

The Elis has little time to overcome the bitter disappointment as they face a very dangerous Holy Cross squad in a non-league contest in New Haven.

The Bulldogs will face another talented quarterback in Holy Cross senior Peter Pujals. Pujals, who is considered an NFL prospect, threw for 500 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another score, in the Crusaders 48-36 loss last week to Monmouth (5-1). Holy Cross (2-4) rolled up 630 yards of total offense in the loss. The Crusaders have an impressive 51-26 win over New Hampshire and nearly beat Connecticut.

The Elis and the Crusaders renew their rivalry at the Yale Bowl. The teams last met in 2008 (31-28 Yale win) with the Elis holding a 26-5 advantage in the series.

The game will air (1:00 p.m.) on the Yale Football Radio Network (ESPN Radio AM-1300 in New Haven). The game can be seen on the ILN. Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza have the call on radio.

PREDICTION:

It should be fun to see an NFL prospect in action but the Bulldogs will prevail in a shootout.

FINAL: Yale 48 Holy Cross 42

Next week Yale travels to Philly to face Penn with a 1 pm kickoff (Comcast Network/ Ivy League Network).

BULLDOG BITES

The Ivy League is off to its best non-conference start since 1970 with a 15-5 record in out-of-conference play in 2017.

This week the Ivy League features a pair of matchups all critical to the teams who expect to remain in the hunt for a title.

Brown 2-2 (0-1) hosts Princeton 3-1 (0-1), which can be viewed on the Ivy League Network (ILN), while former Penn head coach Al Bagnoli leads surprising Columbia 4-0 (1-0) in to a potential trap game against the Penn Quakers 2-2 (0-1) on Eleven Sports and ILN.

Columbia might be guilty of looking ahead to next week’s contest with Dartmouth. Bagnoli’s Lions were picked to finish seventh in the preseason polls.

The Bulldogs kicking specialist, Alex Galland, was named to the Ivy Honor Roll. Galland was successful on 2-of-2 FG and 3 extra points in last week’s loss at Dartmouth.

Yale’s dynamic running back combo of Deshawn Salter and Zane Dudek have accounted for 12 of Yale’s 14 rushing TDs this season.

A couple of Double G area products lead a Yale sack attack which is tops in the FCS (4.5 pg).

Linebacker Matthew Oplinger (Summit, NJ) leads the team with four sacks while junior defensive end Kyle Mullen (Manalapan, NJ) has three.

Dartmouth’s Jack Heneghan, Ivy Offensive Player of the Week, has kept things all in the Ivy family. Father Lal was an All-Ivy tight end at Penn in 1984. He helped the Quakers to three Ivy League titles in his career.

Penn senior Justin Watson ranks sixth in Ivy League history in both receptions (232) and receiving yards (3,083). He is the sixth Ivy to surpass 3,000 yards and the first since 2002, when Carl Morris (Harvard), Rob Milanese (Penn) and Chas Gessner (Brown) accomplished the feat. Watson, who has caught at least one pass in 34-straight games, needs just one reception in each of his remaining six games to set a new Ivy League record for consecutive games with a catch.

Yale made some major strides on the penalty front in its win over Fordham when they were flagged just three times. The week before, against Cornell, they were penalized 14 times.

Looking way ahead to a game that may have Ivy League title implications, Yale will host Harvard in THE GAME on Nov. 18.

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

Bob Whitney

Bob Whitney

Bob is a college basketball columnist here at DoubleGSports.com. He also covers Yale football and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
Bob Whitney
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