THE YALE FOOT-BALL TEAM.
The foot-ball team, playing every day against a very cuch inferior team, has fallen into that dreaded state which has so often proven Yale's downfall; it is that of over-confidence. It is but natural when one side is always the winning side, and that too with no great exertion, that this side should begin to feel an over-weening confdence in its own skill and knowledge, and this has been the case so far this season with our team. No important games have as yet been played, and the judgment formed by the team of its strength from these games is an erroneous one. It is not at all strange that in practice against an inferior team, individuality is more strongly apparent in the superior team, than when it is compelled to play as a unit so as to win. Thus it is that individual players on our team are too apt to disregard the other members of the eleven in their practice, and thus in an important game where combined strength would succeed, it cannot be put forward on account of lack of practice. The foot-ball team show even now the effects of the careful practice of the past month, but there is still room for improvement, notwithstanding the large number of goals already made against our opponents this season.
The most noticeable fault is the poor catching of punted balls. Those that are returned by the half-backs on the opposing side are rarely caught, on account of the idea that, even if they are not caught, ample time is given by the college team, for the university half-backs to pick up and return the ball, but we would remind the halfbacks that Princeton men are proverbial for the way in which they follow after the ball, and such an error would be more fatal than is perhaps imagined in an important game. The reshers block fairly well, but have grown somewhat careless, and have allowed some of the college men to get through when a try-at-goal is being attempted. They should remember that blocking the Harvard or Princeton eleven, are somewhat different matters, and also that good blocking is one half the rushers'game.
The rushers rely to much upon the half-backs' ability to stop men who have got by their rush line, and do not follow a man up as quickly and determinedly as they should. Practice should also be had in picking up the rolling ball. This is an exceedingly important play for the end rushers, and cannot be learned too well. There is also a strong tendency on the part of some rushers to run back of their own line of rushers and endeavor to gain ground on the sides of the field ; by careful passing this would not be necessary, and the rushers' line would not be weakened be having men out of their position.
The half-backs are working well with did the best work for Harvard, and Adams made a finerun. On the whole the end rushers. The passing of the team far surpasses that of any other team at this period of practice, but great care should be exercised that it should not be allowed to go to the extreme. Having lost one of the best full-backs that we have ever had, it would seem necessary to have more men practising for this important position, and more work of the nature pertaining to the back's position. In practice the full-back on the university side may have but one or two men to tackle during an entire afternoon ; this is not fair to him, as his position is fully as important, if not more so, than that of the other members of the team, and practice in catching, tackling and punting should be allowed him as much as the half-backs.