At the Yale Bowl in New Haven, CT, football is one half away from its first bonfire since 2013. Princeton (8–0, 5–0 Ivy) leads Yale (5–3, 3–2) at halftime 42–14.
At times this season, Princeton has allowed its opponents big plays to start games. This time, it was the one inflicting the big play on its opponent. Sophomore running back Collin Eaddy broke free on Princeton’s first play from scrimmage for a 75-yard touchdown run. After linebacker Jeremiah Tyler intercepted Yale quarterback Griffin O’Connor’s pass on Yale’s first drive, Eaddy ran for another touchdown to make the score 14–0 less than a minute into the game.
Things would not get much better for Yale in the next 29 minutes. Yale’s first promising drive into Princeton territory ended when Tyler batted up a pass and senior linebacker Tom Johnson came down with the interception. Princeton proceeded to drive back down the field for another touchdown, culminating with a 38-yard run from junior running back Ryan Quigley.
Yale finally got on the board early in the second quarter when running back Alan Lamar finished off a long drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to make the score 21–7. Princeton, though, responded immediately with another long drive down the field, and Quigley picked up his second touchdown run. After O’Connor threw his third interception of the half, Princeton made the score 35–7 on a two-yard run from senior quarterback John Lovett on fourth down.
Because of the cold, windy conditions and Princeton’s dominant running game, Lovett didn’t find himself throwing the ball often in the first half. He did connect with senior receiver Jesper Horsted on one deep ball in the second quarter, and Horsted broke a tackle for a 52-yard touchdown catch to extend the lead to 42–7. Yale scored on a touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining to cut the deficit to 42–14.
Despite the large margin on the scoreboard, Princeton didn’t completely dominate Yale in total yardage in the first half, as Princeton gained 369 yards and Yale gained 258. It is the turnover margin that has hindered the Bulldogs so far. O’Connor threw three interceptions and Princeton didn’t turn the ball over.
Lovett is 8–10 passing with 110 yards and one touchdown and has run eight times for 47 yards. Eaddy leads the Tigers in rushing with 11 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns, and Quigley has four carries for 70 yards and another two touchdowns.
In last year’s matchup between Princeton and Yale, Princeton went into halftime with a 24–14 lead before Yale came back in the second half to deny Princeton’s bonfire hopes with a 35–31 game. For the same thing to happen this year, Yale will need a lot of breaks to go its way.