HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Yale.
Yale (9-1 IN 2017)
Ivy League (Yale was 1st in 2017)
COACH: Tony Reno – 7th year (33-27)
2017 OFFENSE: 34.5 ppg (13th in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 15.6 ppg (8th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Yale has emerged as the Ivy League's preeminent power by following a classic formula — good recruiting and strong play at the line of scrimmage. Yale's offense is powered by a strong run game, featuring Preseason All-American Zane Dudek, and supported by efficient play from quarterback Kurt Rawlings. The defense has playmakers at all three levels. The special teams are sound. This is a team that already had no glaring weaknesses, and to add insult to injury, it'll bring back more players than any other team in the League. Yale's Football Renaissance is unlikely to slow down in 2018; if anything, the Blue and White should soar even higher.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: It's not only possible for Yale to go 10-0 in 2018 — it's likely. Non-conference games against Holy Cross, Maine and Mercer aren't scary, and the defending champs should be favored in every conference game they play this season. Back-to-back road games with Penn and Columbia should be the most challenging portion of the schedule, particularly considering the game in Philly is an ESPN-televised, Friday-night affair. Still, nothing about this schedule screams big problems. If everything goes as planned, Yale could end the season with Division I's longest active win streak.
TOP RETURNEE: RB Zane Dudek (Jerry Rice Finalist in '17, Ivy League Rookie of the Year, 1,312 yards from scrimmage).
THE NEXT FIVE: DL Kyle Mullen (Second-Team All-Ivy, 11 TFL's in each of last two seasons); OL Sterling Strother (Second-Team All-Ivy, 15 Career Starts); QB Kurt Rawlings (All-Ivy HM, Ranked 10th in FCS in Pass Efficiency); OL Dieter Eiselen (All-Ivy HM, 14 Career Starts at Guard); DB Malcolm Dixon (All-Ivy HM, 8 PBU's).
TOP NEWCOMER: RB Trenton Charles (Two-time honoree on Louisiana HS All-State First Team).
DID YOU KNOW?: Yale will play Harvard at Fenway Park this season.
THE QUOTE: "This was more than just a win for Yale. This was a complete culture change. People showed how football should be played." -Head Coach Tony Reno, following Yale's title-clinching 24-3 win over Harvard last November.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
FOOTBALL TWITTER: @Yale_Football
— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) August 15, 2018
FEAR THE FCS: Individual Performances to Watch This Fall