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The Press Box Sports

Yale Takes on Dartmouth in Ivy League Unbeaten Matchup

FCS Football Yale Bulldogs Dartmouth Big Green

Ivy League football is rich in history and two historical teams will take the field on Saturday. The Yale Bulldogs head to Hanover to take on the Dartmouth Big Green. Both teams are unbeaten early this college football season and both are 1-0 in conference play. It’s a big game as one team will have a leg up in the Ivy League standings. Yale has been dominant so far this season, outscoring opponents 146-62. For Dartmouth, the wins have been much closer with the Big Green winning their last two games by a total of 4 points. This is the 101st meeting between the two teams. Yale leads the series with a 54-40-6 record, but Dartmouth has won four of the last five meetings.

Yale quarterback, Kurt Rawlings is one of the most accurate passers in FCS Football. Rawlings is completing 76 percent of his passes for 620 yards, and 6 touchdowns. For Dartmouth, Jack Heneghan will be under center, but Jared Gerbino will see some action as well. The Big Green will use Gerbino in a few option and wildcat wrinkles in their offense. Heneghan has completed 68 percent of his passes this season for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has yet to throw a pick this season as well.

The Bulldogs have a good receiving corps that should be able to gain separation from the Dartmouth secondary. Christopher Williams-Lopez leads all Yale receivers with 15 receptions for 202 yards. Melvin Rouse and tight end, Jaeden Graham are also good possession receivers that will keep drives alive. Hunter Hagdorn has been the go-to-guy so far for the Big Green. The sophomore has 16 catches for 153 yards, and a touchdown.

Yale has a great running back tandem in Zane Dudek and DeShawn Salter. Both backs have rushed for over 100 yards in the same game twice this season. Dudek leads the Bulldogs with 416 rushing yards, has 5 touchdowns, and is averaging 11.9 ypc. Salter is second on the team with 303 yards, but leads Yale with 7 touchdowns. He’s also broke away for an 82-yard td run this season. Ryder Stone will get the bulk of the carries for Dartmouth. The senior from Calgary, AB has 252 yards on the season. Along with Gerbino, Stone will be key for the Big Green in the ground game.

Dartmouth is only giving up 159 passing yards per game, 85.3 rushing yards per game. Yale is going to need both backs to be productive to wear down the defensive line for the Big Green. Rawlings should be able to pick apart the secondary with intermediate passes to keep the chains moving. Against Holy Cross, Dartmouth’s d-line endured 41 rushing attempts and gave up yards later in the game, but didn’t give up a huge run at any point in the game.

The Bulldogs are giving up 253.6 yards through the air and have given up over 300 passing yards twice already this season. They are also giving up 109 rushing yards a game which sits well with Dartmouth. Gerbino could play a key role against Yale, who haven’t seen a mobile quarterback yet this season. The Bulldogs are good at getting pressure on the quarterback and will need to do so to keep Heneghan in check and foil the Big Green’s game-plan with Gerbino.

Even with the defense giving up more yards, Yale seems to be the best bet in this game. The have too many weapons on offense and would welcome a shootout. A shootout is something that Dartmouth doesn’t want to get into. The Bulldogs have given up several big passing plays this season and Heneghan will need to capitalize on those big plays if Dartmouth is going to shut down Yale’s high-powered, balanced offense. The key to winning the game for the Big Green is to keep the Bulldogs under 27 points. Anything over that could be trouble for the Dartmouth offense. Game timeĀ is set for Saturday at 1:30 pm est and you can watch the Ivy League matchup on ESPN 3.

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