Yale, Dartmouth set for battle of Ivy League unbeatens
Elis and Big Green put Ivy title hopes on the line.
The Yale Bulldogs are off to a fast start in 2017 after impressive wins over Lehigh, Cornell and Fordham. This week, when the Elis 3-0 (1-0) travel to Hanover, NH to face the Dartmouth Big Green 3-0 (1-0), they will be facing their sternest test of the season.
Both squads enter the contest unbeaten and a win would give the winner a leg up in the Ivy League title chase.
In the Elis latest win, a 49-10 drubbing over Fordham, running backs Deshawn Salter and Zane Dudek led the way, scoring five of the six Bulldog touchdowns.
Dartmouth passed a huge test last week, winning their Ivy opener, when the Big Green edged Ivy title hopeful Penn 2-1 (0-1) as time expired, 16-13.
The Big Green lead the Ivy League in scoring and total defense. Dartmouth’s offense is directed by starting quarterback, Jack Heneghan who enjoyed a fine performance (23-31, 199, 1 TD at Penn). The Big Green also features a wild-cat formation led by Jared Gerbino. Gerbino rushed for 71 yards which included the winning TD on the game’s final play against the Quakers.
The game will air (1:30 p.m.) on the Yale Football Radio Network (ESPN Radio AM-1300 in New Haven). The game can be seen on the ILN and ESPN3. Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza have the call on radio.
Yale leads the series 54-40-6, but Dartmouth has taken four of the last five, including the last two at Hanover. Yale registered a 21-13 victory over Dartmouth at the Yale Bowl last October.
Something has to give when you have a high-powered Yale offense facing a stout Dartmouth defense.
FINAL: Yale 21 Dartmouth 20
Next week the Bulldogs host Holy Cross at the Bowl (1:30 p.m.)
The Ivy League is off to its best non-conference start since 1970 with a 13-3 record in the first three weeks of the 2017 season.
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.
Salter, Yale’s active career TD leader with 15, is second in the nation with seven TDs and a 14.0 points average. He is third with a 9.1 average per carry. Salter has two straight games with three TDs, the most for an Eli back since Mike McLeod had consecutive triple TD games in 2007. Dudek is No. 2 in the FCS with a 10.2 average, while his 120-yard average is sixth.
Columbia pulled off the upset of the early season when they defeated preseason title favorite Princeton, 28-24. It was the Lions first win over the Tigers since 2010 and their first 3-0 (1-0) start since 1996. Columbia wide receiver Ron Smith caught 10 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns, to lead the Lions to the upset.
Harvard’s Justice Shelton-Mosley’s 91-yard punt return for a touchdown in last week’s 41-2 win over Georgetown was the longest in Harvard history and (tied Columbia’s Travis Chmelka) the third-longest in Ivy League history.
Looking way ahead to a game that may have Ivy League title implications, Yale will host Harvard in THE GAME on Nov. 18.
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