The Yale football team started its playing season on September 28 by defeating Wesleyan 22 to 0. Very good playing was shown, considering the fact that it was the opening game. Corey made a spectacular run of 95 yards for a touchdown, while Philbin, Brooks and Paul made the other three scores. Many substitutes were used and the entire team showed good form.
On the following Saturday Syracuse was defeated by the score of 12 to 6. This was the first real test of Yale's strength and the outcome was not particularly favorable, for the university team was scored upon for the first time since Harvard won two years ago. Reilly made a 25-yard run for a touchdown after receiving a long pass from Daly. Philbin made the other score soon after the game started, Yale having recovered a fumble on the 10-yard line.
In the game with Tufts, which Yale won, 17 to 0, little improvement was shown. The team did not have the usual snap and dash, and was not up to standard in defensive play. Deming punted well, and the touchdowns were made by consistent gaining. In the next game Yale defeated Holy Cross by the score of 12 to 0. Yale improved to some extent in versatility of attack, but played with little vigor. Many forward passes were successfully executed by both teams. Corey and Deming did the scoring, which, however, was by straight playing.
On October 17, West Point defeated Yale 9 to 3. Yale was outclassed in every department of the game, and the work in general was ragged. The individuals played well, but without unity. West Point made the first touchdown after intercepting a forward pass, and Dean later kicked a field goal from the 38-yard line. In the last quarter Kilpatrick made a 20-yard run to West Point's 24-yard line, whence Daly scored a drop-kick.
One week later Yale and Vanderbilt played a no score tie. Marked improvement over the work at West Point was shown in the offense and defence, but lack of team-play was still noticeable. Vanderbilt was well versed in the new game and completely bewildered the Yale players by its well-executed de layed passes.
The following Saturday, Colgate was defeated by the score of 19 to 0. The Yale team played more as a unit and improvement in its method of attack was evident. New football was used almost entirely, much ground being gained by wide end runs and delayed passes. The forward pass was also used with success. Touchdowns were made by Kilpatrick and Strout, while Daly kicked a goal from the 12-yard line. The best individual work was done by Daly and Howe, who played fullback for the first time this year.
During the week Yale had a mid-season slump and on Saturday Brown won easily, scoring 21 points. The relative merits of the two teams should not, however, be judged by this score, as Yale was overwhelmed less by Brown's superiority than by the fact that they took advantage of every blunder. The Yale ends were weak, and the backfield handled punts very poorly.
On last Saturday, the Yale team seemed to make a wonderful recovery from its slump of the week before, and, aided by the individual work of Kilpatrick and Howe, the latter having returned to his old position of quarter back, defeated Princeton by the score of 5 to 3. Yale's only score was a touchdown by Kilpatrick after he oaught a long forward pass from Howe. On the other hand, the team-work showed only slight improvement from the week before.
Criticism of Individual Players.
The Yale season opened with a lot of good material on hand. In spite of the fact that several prominent players were lost by graduation, a sufficient number of veterans remained to form the nucleus of a good team.
During the first part of the season Field Coach Coy introduced open play to a considerable extent, but later G. Foster Sanford, who became prominent in the coaching, laid particular emphasis on old style football, with the result that when open play was encountered in the West Point and Brown games, the team was unable to meet it effectively.
Just before the Princeton game, however, Walter Camp and Shevlin were called upon to help out in the crisis. Open play was immediately introduced again, and the results of this change in tacties were evident by the excellent showing against Princeton. A new shift play was introduced in which the tackles play back, and just before the ball is passed rush in the the one side of the line or the other, making it difficult for the opposing line to shift in time to meet the attack. This play met with marked success against Princeton.
As to the individual players, Yale has a line from tackle to tackle that has shown its ability to stand severe hammering by its oponents. Thus the like lihood of Yale's being scored upon by the straight line-bucking game is very remote. For ends Yale has two stars in Kilpairick and Bomeisler, who have been handicapped by injuries, but who are in shape for the Harvard game. At quarterback Yale is weak. Strout, Merritt and Corey are not capable of filling Howe's place, and the latter has returned to his old position, still playing as much as possible the position of a back. For the backfield Yale has Daly, Reilly, Kistler, Field, Freeman and Baker. The first four are all of the plunging type of player. Freeman inclines to that method but is also capable of skirting the ends. Baker is the one man of them all who is similar to Pendleton of Princeton or Sprackling of Brown. In Howe and Baker Yale has two very speedy backs, dangerous in an open field. Daly and Field, with Reilly and Kistler as substitutes, are two unusually good defensive backs.