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Life of the Yale Party

Monday, September 24, 2007

Courtesy: Chris Elsberry, Connecticut Post

Tailback Mike McLeod slanted slightly to his left, and as he did, quarterback Matt Polhemus danced away to his right, raising his hands to signal a touchdown. McLeod was still 7 yards shy of the end zone when Polhemus did his referee imitation, but he knew McLeod would score. He saw the hole, gaping wide open on the left side, and he knew that no one from Cornell was going to catch his teammate.

And no one did.

"You saw that, did you?" said Polhemus, trying unsuccessfully to hide a smile. "After I handed him the ball, I saw that there was a lot of space over there and I just raised my arms. That was fun."

Right now, ladies and gentlemen, everyone on the Yale football team is having a lot of fun. Cornell was supposed to be a tough test, step one in the race for the Ivy League title. The Bulldogs, though, blew the Big Red off the field 51-12, led by McLeod's 151 yards -- and three touchdowns -- on a workmanlike 31 carries.

In two games for the Bulldogs, both solid victories, McLeod is already making a strong case to win the Payton Award. He is one of 16 finalists for it, the first time a Yale player has been nominated for the award. He has rushed for 308 yards on 62 carries with seven touchdowns. With just 22 career games under his belt, McLeod already has 2,361 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns.

Incredibly, he needs just three touchdowns to pass Derby native John Pagliaro (34 touchdowns) as Yale's all-time scoring leader, and with 1,032 more yards, he'll pass Robert Carr (3,393) as the school's all-time leading rusher.

And he's only a junior.

For Chris Elsberry's full story in the Connecticut Post, please click here.