#20 Yale FCS Football 2019 Preview

Yale Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #20
#1 Ivy League
 Yale Logo
Yale can basically throw out last season. The Bulldogs struggled to a 5-5 overall record and went just 3-4 in Ivy League play. But injuries were a huge problem in 2018 and this group now returns a lot of the players that led the program to an Ivy League title in 2017.
2018 Record: 5-5, 3-4
2018 Postseason: None
Coach: Tony Reno (38-32 at Yale, 38-32 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Cahill
Defensive Coordinator: Sean McGowan
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Alan Lamar, RB, 685 yards
Passing: Kurt Rawlings, QB, 1,562 yards
Receiving: Reed Klubnik, WR, 1,143 yards
Tackles: Ryan Burke, LB, 48
Sacks: Ryan Burke, LB, 6.0
Interceptions: Rodney Thomas, DB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Spencer Alston, RB Zane Dudek, QB Griffin O’Connor, WR JP Shohfi, TE JJ Howland, OL Dieter Eiselen, LB Noah Pope, LB John Dean, DL Spencer Matthaei
Key Losses: DE J. Hunter Roman  
Kurt Rawlings started last season under center, throwing for 1,562 yards and nine touchdowns before suffering a season ending injury in the seventh game of the campaign. Griffin O’Connor stepped in and played very well and even earned Ivy Rookie of the Year accolades. Now Coach Tony Reno has two very talented quarterbacks to work with and that is never a bad thing. Zane Dudek was another injury casualty. He rushed for just 380 yards on 70 carries last season, but tallied 1,133 years as a freshman in 2017. Alan Lamar is also back after taking over for Dudek. He rushed for 685 yards and nine touchdowns and earned First-Team All-Ivy League honors. Behind an experienced offensive line, this will be one of the most explosive offenses in the FCS.
The defense was a problem last season. The Bulldogs ranked in the middle of the pack in most major defensive categories and the hope is a bit more experience will result in a bit of a boost across the board. The pass defense should be better with Spencer Matthaei and Charles Callender leading the way. Linebacker Ryan Burke led the team with 6.0 sacks and 48 tackles and will help bolster the pass rush. If Yale can get into the backfield more consistently, they may be able to create more turnovers. Yale intercepted just three passes and recovered five fumbles and ranked an abysmal -1.10 turnover margin.
The Bottom Line:
The defense should be able to improve and the offense will be suburb if they can stay healthy. The Bulldogs will be tested early in conference play. On October 12th they take a trip to Hanover, New Hampshire to play a Dartmouth team that finished 9-1 last season. But perhaps the toughest game of the season will be at Princeton on November 16th. Those two games will likely decide the Ivy League champion.
Projected Postseason: None
2018 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 163.9 (60th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 316.0 (7, 1)
Total Offense: 479.9 (11, 2)
Scoring Offense: 29.5 (46, 4)
Rushing Defense: 166.4 (55, 6)
Pass Defense: 222.0 (73, 6)
Total Defense: 388.4 (62, 5)
Scoring Defense: 28, 5 (66, 6)
Turnover Margin: -1.10 (119, 8)
Sacks: 2.30 (41, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2.10 (74, 7)
HERO Sports 2019 Recruit Rankings:
#6 John McKenzie
#63 Ben Montgomery
#197 Brandon Babcock
#221 Gerron Duhon
#261 Aidan Maloney
#278 Joey Felton