The first call for candidates for the Yale football team was issued on September first and resulted in a squad of sixty candidates and all indications pointed to a strong eleven. In the first game of the season against Wesleyan the Yale defense proved to be too strong for the visitors while Knowles distinguished himself by a number of long runs.
The playing of Yale against Holy Cross on the following Saturday was a distinct disappointment to all followers of the blue eleven, the game being marked by frequent fumbles and generally ragged playing. A week of good hard practice under Tom Shevlin seemed to be of no avail and the eleven played to a no score tie with the University of Maine. The chief weakness lay in the backfield which was far below expectations, while the line, although it held the Maine eleven scoreless showed that great improvement was also necessary in this department. This poor showing resulted in another week of gruelling practice at the end of which Yale showed marked improvement in her attack and general play against Lafayette on October 11. The ends were still rather weak, both Carter and Avery showing need of improvement while on the other hand Captain Ketcham and Cornish played each a remarkably good game.
Lehigh was beaten on the following Saturday by the score of 37-0 in a game which showed that the Yale team had benefited by mistakes in the previous games. Distinct advances were brought out in departments of the game in which Yale had before been seriously lacking. This was, especially true in the case of the forward pass, which netted many long gains. The progress of the team could hardly be noticed in the game against Washington and Jefferson on account of the poor condition of the playing field. The Yale team excelled in rushing through the line and in kicking. The surprise of the season came when Colgate won a 16-6 victory over the Yale eleven. The Colgate attack was powerful and sustained and this combined with fumbles on the part of Talbot and Knowles resulted in Yale's defeat. After this defeat the Yale team took a distinct brace and showed in the game against Brown that they still had a powerful attack and excellent individual players in spite of the slump of the week previous. Both the touchdowns came as an indirect result of Wilson's brilliant return of punts, while both he and Dunn showed themselves to be consistent ground gainers.
Although in her last game of the season before meeting Harvard Yale succeeded only in holding Princeton to a 3-3 tie, yet it was clear to all that Yale played a somewhat superior game to the Tiger eleven. The development of the team was most marked in its handling of punts and in rushing offensive play and showed that it had made a great recovery in anticipation of the final game against Harvard today.