Yale meets Holy Cross in a key FCS non-conference matchup on Saturday, September 17.
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The game (2 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV, but anyone in the US can watch Yale vs Holy Cross live on ESPN+ right here:
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Yale vs Holy Cross Preview
Yale opens the season with a tough test against No. 12 Holy Cross (2-0) on Saturday.
The Crusaders edged the Bulldogs 20-17 last year when Derek Ng hit a 47-yard field goal for the win with 48 seconds left. Yale built a 14-0 lead in the second quarter of that game but gave up 10 points in the final seven minutes of the half.
Holy Cross went to a 10-3 record and an FCS playoff appearance, but the Crusaders fell short against Villanova. Yale went on to finish 5-5 last year.
This year’s Holy Cross squad has a strong start going with an FBS win amid a 2-0 start. The Crusaders beat Merrimack 31-17 to open the season and then upset FBS Buffalo 37-31 on when Sluka found Jalen Coker on a 46-yard touchdown pass for the win.
“We always say, ‘Why not Holy Cross?'” Coker said via the Telegram and Gazette’s Jennifer Toland. “Everyone has their own idea of who’s going to make it, who’s going to go farther than everyone else. We believe here it’s going to be us.”
“I was running for a long, long time,” Coker added about the play “I didn’t know Sluka threw it yet. I looked back, and then I saw the ball and jumped up in the air. It’s ‘see ball, catch ball,’ so I jumped up and caught it, and I got in the end zone. That’s really all it was.”
Holy Cross has a solid quarterback in Matthew Sluka, who has a 60.5% completion rate and five touchdowns versus an interception thus far. Sluka poses a threat on the ground with 6.5 yards per carry and a touchdown in two games.
“He’s really become a true dual threat,” Yale head coach Tony Reno said via the Telegram and Gazette. “He’s obviously always been an incredible runner who is really hard to tackle and just plays savvy running the ball. He has developed into this extraordinary passer. That was on display at the end of last year, and obviously this year, he’s getting that much better.”
Yale enters the season with high expectations, looking to bounce back from a 5-5 campaign. The Bulldogs lost four of those games in one-score contests last season. This year’s squad returns numerous key players.
“We’ve got some good film on them,” Bulldogs captain and tackle Nick Gargiulo said via the Yale Daily News’ Spencer King and Amelia Lower. “That’s our big advantage. We’ve gone through the game week three times so at this point [so] it’s almost like we’re on game four.”