Location: Yale Bowl, New Haven, Conn.
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 8 at noon
Series Record: Yale leads 52-36-6
Online Video: YaleBulldogs.com ($)
Radio: WFRD 99.3 FM — Dick Lutsk (play-by-play) and Wayne Young ’72 (analyst)
Online - Dartmouth Sports Network
Live Stats • Complete Game Notes
Having suffered agonizing losses each of the last two weeks, the Dartmouth Big Green are attempting to remain relevant in the Ivy League standings in this road contest at Yale. Only twice in 55 years has the conference champion suffered two losses in league play, leaving Dartmouth with very little room for error.
Yale has given the Green plenty of trouble in recent history, winning each of the past eight meetings. But last year Dartmouth nearly ended the slide, only to have the Bulldogs boot the winning field goal as time expired in Hanover, 23-20. Senior Nick Schwieger will be looking for redemption in this game, having fumbled the ball away near midfield with just over a minute to play, which gave the Bulldogs the opportunity to win the game.
But Schwieger is on a roll, having rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his last four games dating back to the 2010 season. Last week he racked up 125 yards on the ground in the 22-20 loss to Penn, leaving him just 13 yards shy of becoming Dartmouth’s all-time leading rusher. And his 133.3 yards per game place him sixth among all FCS rushers.
The Big Green would like to complement their strong ground game with a solid air attack, but have managed just 115.3 yards per game via the pass. That figure ranks among the bottom 10 nationally. Senior Conner Kempe has yet to get on track, but this could be the week to do so as Yale has allowed over 300 passing yards per game thus far.
One thing that would help the aerial assault would be the return of All-Ivy wide receiver Tim McManus. He is one of Dartmouth’s all-time top 10 receivers, but was knocked out of the Penn game in the middle of the second quarter after a crushing hit. The coaches do anticipate him playing against the Bulldogs.
Kempe can also target senior tight end John Gallagher, who has matched McManus’ totals for the season — eight catches for 83 yards and one touchdown. A pair of freshmen, Kirby Schoenthaler and Bo Patterson, have also proven they can be relied upon to haul in some throws.
Aside from the Quakers’ game-winning drive that ended with 17 seconds to play, the Dartmouth defense was stout, especially in the second half. The Big Green yielded just three first downs and three points after the half until the fateful drive, stopping six-of-seven third-down plays cold, each of which needed no more than four yards for the first down.
Sophomore linebacker Bronson Green continues to be the anchor of the defense as he averages over 10 tackles a game and ranks among the top 25 nationally. Fellow linebacker Luke Hussey and strong safety Joey Casey both average nine stops per game, putting the trio among the league’s top five.
Special teams continue to be a source of pride for the Big Green with two more blocked kicks, one on a field goal, the other a PAT. But opposing teams have been able to neutralize All-American return man Shawn Abuhoff, who has had just one kickoff come his way while kicking short and high on punts.
The last time Dartmouth won at the Yale Bowl came 10 years ago in a thrilling 32-27 victory. Greg Smith completed 38 passes for 407 yards and five touchdowns, three of which went to Matt DeLellis, who caught nine passes for 186 yards himself.
Schwieger Closes In On Record
Senior Nick Schwieger chalked up another 100-yard game on the ground with 125 markers on 26 carries against Penn, leaving him just 13 yards shy of becoming Dartmouth’s all-time leading rusher. He also has amassed at least 100 yards 11 times in his career and in four consecutive games dating back to the final game of last season at Princeton. And with an average of 133.3 yards per game, Schwieger ranks sixth nationally in that category, just as he did in 2010.
Another TV Game on Tap
The first night game in the 130-year history of Dartmouth football was televised nationally by Fox College Sports (FCS), marking the 18th straight year the Big Green have had at least one game broadcast on TV. Well, Dartmouth will have an opportunity to end an 11-game television skid when it plays its second-ever night game, this time at Harvard on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. This time, the game will be shown regionally on FCS Atlantic.
Rain, Penn Spoil First Night Game
The first-ever night game lived up to its billing in terms of the exciting action on the field. The only problem was the outcome as Penn sent the Big Green to a grueling 22-20 defeat, scoring the winning touchdown with 17 seconds left after driving 89 yards in under four minutes. A steady rain that fell all day and night kept a number of fans at home, yet 8,117 brave souls still attended the historic event.
The Block Party is Back
Last year, Dartmouth special teams managed to block six kicks, which ranked among the top 10 amongst all FCS schools. In the opener against Colgate, the Big Green proved they hadn’t lost their touch, blocking a short field goal attempt and a punt, both of which proved pivotal in the 37-20 victory. After having two kicks of their own blocked at Sacred Heart, Dartmouth got back to its rejecting ways when junior Teddy Reed stuffed a Penn field goal and senior Luke Hussey an extra-point attempt. Only two teams in the FCS have more blocks this season with five — North Dakota and Old Dominion — and no team approaches the Green’s 1.33 blocks per game.
Getting Over the Hump
While Dartmouth’s record since the start of the 2010 season is just 7-6, it’s easy to think about what might have been with four of those six losses decided in the final 90 seconds, and another in overtime. But to be fair, three of those seven Big Green victories were not decided until the last two-and-a-half minutes as well.
46-Yard FG, Foley Schmidt!
Looking to get points on the board when trailing 7-0 in the second quarter against Penn, Coach Teevens called upon Foley Schmidt to attempt a career-long 46-yard field goal. The senior got just enough on his kick to sneak it over the crossbar and through the uprights for three points. He added a 30-yarder later in the game, and with his two PATs, he climbed up to fifth on the Big Green’s all-time scoring list with 154 points.
Fletcher Staying Centered
Senior Austen Fletcher has been a mainstay on the offensive line since his freshman year. The center has started each of the last 29 games and 31 of 33 in his career.
Double Your Fumble
The Dartmouth defense forced Quaker running back Brandon Colavita to fumble twice inside the red zone, and both times it was senior Joey Casey stripping the ball free. The first time sophomore linebacker Bronson Green managed to fall on the loose ball, and the second time it pushed Penn back from the first down it had gained and left the Quakers with a short field goal instead of 1st-and-goal.