Yale Bulldogs: 2014 Preview

The Yale Bulldogs are slated to finish fifth in the Ivy League this season, according to the 2014 Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll. Tony Reno enters his third year as head coach in New Haven, coming off a 5-5 (3-4 Ivy) campaign last season, good for a fourth place tie with Brown & Penn. Injuries & inexperience presented some challenges for the squad last year, but they are looking to make a statement in 2014. The team will be led by fifth-year senior captain Deon Randall, a first team All-Ivy & All-New England WR/DB last year. Randall is a USA Network College Football FCS Preseason first team All-American, joined by fellow seniors Ben Carbery (second team OT) & Kyle Cazzetta (third team P/K), along with junior standout Cole Champion (third-team S).

Yale begins its season on September 20 with Lehigh, the first of six home games the Bulldogs will play at the historic Yale Bowl in 2014, which is celebrating its 100th year of existence. The 131st game vs. rival Harvard will take place in Cambridge this year on Nov. 22, though the Elis’ most formidable foe will come to town Sept. 27 when the Army Black Knights visit New Haven. This is the first meeting between the two teams since 1996 & the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent Yale has played since facing Connecticut in 1998.

At the helm for the Bulldogs this season is junior Morgan Roberts, a Clemson transfer who has moderate in-game experience. Joining him in the backfield is senior RB Tyler Varga, a two-time All-Ivy selection who was hampered by a leg injury much of last season; sophomore Candler Rich & senior Khalil Keys provide depth at the position. Up front, three of last year’s five starting offensive linemen return, a positive sign in a league historically reliant upon sound ground attacks. On the opposite side of the ball, the Elis bring a slew of athleticism to the table, anchored by senior MLB William Vaughn, a 2013 Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection. Anchoring the defensive line is sophomore Copache Tyler, a 300-lb. DT with a high motor who will wreak havoc in opposing backfields along with fellow classmate DE Victor Egu, a highly touted prospect out of high school who led the Elis in sacks last year (3.0).

The Bulldogs’ 2014 schedule is listed below; all start times are subject to change.

Sat, 09/20/2014 Lehigh                   1:00 PM

Sat, 09/27/2014 Army                     1:00 PM

Sat, 10/04/2014 at Cornell             12:30 PM

Sat, 10/11/2014 Dartmouth          1:00 PM

Sat, 10/18/2014 Colgate                 1:00 PM

Sat, 10/25/2014 Penn                     1:30 PM

Sat, 11/01/2014 at Columbia        12:30 PM

Sat, 11/08/2014 at Brown              12:30 PM

Sat, 11/15/2014 Princeton            12:30 PM

Sat, 11/22/2014 at Harvard           12:30 PM