Yale upsets Army 49-43 in overtime
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Yale has had bigger wins over Army, but not in decades, and none more surprising.
Tyler Varga ran for five touchdowns including from 3 yards out in overtime to give Yale a 49-43 upset of the Black Knights in the renewal of a rivalry that dates back 121 years.
Varga had 185 yards rushing on 28 carries for the Bulldogs (2-0). His fourth touchdown, a 10-yard burst through tacklers with 1:42 to play in regulation, tied the game at 43.
It was the first win for the Bulldogs over an FBS team since they dropped down to what was then I-AA in 1982.
''This is huge,'' Varga said. ''There are 105 guys who believed we could get something done...but outside of that, I don't know who believed. But all that counts is us.''
Daniel Grochowski missed a 42-yard field goal wide left as time expired and a 25-yarder to the right in overtime for Army (1-3), which has lost three straight.
Army quarterback A.J. Schurr ran for 135 yards and a touchdown and threw for 94 and another before leaving the game with an injury in the third quarter.
Angle Santiago, who started the first three games, came in to rush for 88 yards and two scores, while passing for another 117 yards.
''Our guys played their butts off and played as hard as they could,'' said Army coach Jeff Monken. ''There was no overconfidence.''
The teams, who had not played since 1996, combined for 1,222 yards of offense.
Yale, a heavy underdog from the FCS, did not lead in regulation. The Bulldogs trailed by 14 points in the third quarter after Army linebacker Jeremy Timpf picked off a pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown.
But Yale fought back, tying the game at 36 on a 73-yard scoring drive with 21 seconds left in the third quarter. Varga burst up the middle from 18-yards out for his third touchdown of the day. He also scored on runs of 15 and 2 yards.
Aaron Kemper's 74-yard run set up a 1-yard plunge by Santiago that put Army back up 43-36 early in the fourth quarter.
Yale began the tying drive at the Army 45 after punter Bryan Holmes pinned the Cadets deep in their own territory.
Army had 597 yards in total offense, 386 of that on the ground.
But Yale put up 625 yards. Roberts completed 23 of 40 for 290 yards and a touchdown. His 22-yard touchdown to Ross Drwal down the left sideline cut Army's lead to 36-29 in the third quarter.
''We decided that we weren't going to let the moment be too big for us and we were going to step up to the moment, and that's what we did today,'' Roberts said.
Schurr had 135 yards rushing in the first half. His 43-yard scramble just before the half gave Army to a 21-14 lead going into the break. He also hit Edgar Poe in the end zone with a beautiful back-shoulder pass from 22-yards out to give the Black Knights a 14-7 lead
Yale tied the game twice, first at 7-7 with a 65-yard drive, scoring when Roberts fooled the Army defense with a fake handoff to Tyler Varga and ran 13 yards around the right side for a touchdown. They made it 14-14 on a 2-yard plunge from Varga, set up when Stephen Buric made a diving 26-yard catch.
The teams have played 46 times since 1893, but this was Army's first trip to the Yale Bowl since 1988 and the first game against Yale since 1996.
Yale leads the series 22-16-8 edge, but had not beaten Army since a 14-12 win in 1955.
This season, the Black Knights needed a waiver from the NCAA to play the game without hurting their bowl eligibility, because Yale does not offer scholarships and does not play in the FCS postseason. The game was played as part of a season-long celebration in New Haven of the 100th anniversary of the Yale Bowl.
''You could feel the energy,'' Roberts said. ''You could feel all the alumni and people that were here to celebrate the Yale Bowl and to celebrate this team and we fed off that.''