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COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT / WEEK 4

800! It's Yale to the Victors

September 17, 2000

Its days as a football power are long gone, but Yale did something Saturday that no other school can claim.

The program won its 800 game as Rashad Bartholomew scored three touchdowns and rushed for a career-high 201 yards in a 42-6 victory over Dayton.

"Somebody has to question why you are there and the answer is longevity and tradition," Yale Coach Jack Siedlecki said before the historic victory. "And that's why we're on the verge."

Michigan is close on Yale's heels and figures to overtake the Bulldogs sometime this season or perhaps next. The Wolverines had a chance to win their 799th game Saturday but lost to UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

Yale began playing football seven years before Michigan. Walter Camp, Yale's first coach and known as the father of college football, helped devise the rules of the game after President Teddy Roosevelt considered outlawing what he thought was a brutal sport.

Yale's mark on the game runs deep. Yale is second to Notre Dame in the number of people in the College Hall of Fame. But the glamour of the big time faded with the Ivy League's long-standing policy against athletic scholarships and the 1982 downgrade to NCAA Division I-AA status.

But that didn't seem to quell the enthusiasm for the players who helped make the school the first to reach 800.

"We're part of history now," Bartholomew said. "It means a lot. We'll be able to look back and say we beat Michigan and everybody else."

Beat Michigan to the record at least.

The game ball carrying every team members' name will be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame on Monday, Siedlecki said.

Yale played and won its first game on Nov. 16, 1872, 3-0 against Columbia, with each team playing 20 players at a time.

BUT CAN HE POOCH?

Punters don't usually draw oohs and aahs from a crowd unless they get flattened by an opposing blocker.

Nick Harris got the oohs without the ouch.

California's punter dropped five punts inside the Illinois 10 and five more inside the 20.

Even the road crowd and opposing players took notice. After his first several punts fell inside the Illinois 5, Memorial Stadium buzzed each time Harris jogged onto the field.

"It was like golfing today, with a little backspin on the ball, except that I can't do that when I golf," Harris said.

Coaches and players here said it was the best effort by a punter that they had ever seen.

Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner, who was forced to start drive after drive from deep in his own territory, just shook his head.

"I kept thinking this guy's got to be kidding me," Kittner said. "He kicks one to the two-yard line and it bounces--to the one."

'WE'RE NO. 114, WE'RE NO. 114'

If anything, Buffalo and Connecticut showed there's not a whole lot of difference between No. 114 and 115.

Too bad there are only 115 Division I-A programs.

Buffalo not only lost its 18th consecutive game, it earned Division I-A's notorious "Mr. Irrelevant" crown.

Ryan Small ran for 137 yards and a touchdown as Connecticut hung on to defeat Buffalo, 24-21, in a meeting of this year's worst-ranked I-A schools.

Connecticut--in its first I-A season--and Buffalo opened the year ranked 114th or 115th in most every poll that featured all 115 I-A programs, leading some to refer to the game as "The Irrelevant Bowl."

BURNING RICE

Cos DeMatteo might never have the success in the NFL that Jerry Rice has, but the Chattanooga wide receiver took away a little of Rice's legacy by setting a Division I-A record for touchdown receptions in a game.

DeMatteo finished with six touchdowns in a 72-17 victory against--ironically--Mississippi Valley State, the school that Rice went to.

Chattanooga quarterback Chris Sanders teamed up with DeMatteo on scoring plays of 61, 8, 57, 28, 23 and 4 yards to break the mark of five held by Rice and five others. Rice did it twice at Mississippi Valley.

NO LONGER RED-FACED

After Nebraska fans turned Notre Dame Stadium into a sea of red last week for the Cornhuskers' visit to South Bend, Ind., the hometown faithful seemed embarrassed that their brethren had succumbed to the lure of the almighty dollar and released their tickets.

Things were back to normal this week when Notre Dame played host to Purdue with most of the sellout crowd of 80,232 donning Irish colors and supporting the home team.

After No. 21 Notre Dame walked away with a 23-21 victory over No. 13 Purdue, students poured onto the field to celebrate.

One fan carried a sign reading: "Welcome back sellouts."

FEELING IN THE GROVE

Grove City's (Pa.) R.J. Bowers is dancing his way to becoming the NCAA Division III career rushing leader.

Bowers rushed for 139 yards on 34 carries Saturday in a 27-7 loss to Wooster (Ohio), leaving him 16 yards short of the mark.

Bowers, who has 6,110 yards in four seasons, moved past Steve Tardif of Maine Maritime into second place behind Carey Bender of Coe, who gained 6,125 yards from 1991-94. Tardif totaled 6,093 yards from 1996-99.

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