College Football

Forcing fumbles something Patriots practice, study on film


Forcing fumbles something Patriots practice, study on film

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick has made everyone aware, in the past, that his teams practice forcing fumbles and causing turnovers everyday.

As he re-iterated on Friday, it's "part of defense" in the NFL.

New England leads the league in forced fumbles as a team, with 26, while recovering 18 of those and returning three of them for touchdowns. All are a league-high.

So, needless to say, practice is paying off.

"We work on stripping the ball everyday, recovering them everyday, and we talk about opportunities to get the ball back, and we watch film," said Belichick on Thursday, as his Patriots prepare for Sunday's game in Miami.

As for watching film before practicing those turnovers, Belichick said he focuses on pretty much everything, while thinking about how to get that football. After watching film on team's opposing ball-handlers, Belichick said he then continues to "rotate and keep drills fresh" throughout the season.

So causing turnovers isn't just about taking advantage of the opponent's mistake. It's also about practicing those techniques, and studying that opponent's ball-handling on film.

"Carry it, throw it, whatever opportunities we have," said Belichick. "If we see certain types of plays, certain techniques, point those out. If we're in a situation where we have an opportunity to be in the throwing lane, or disrupt the ball, or strip it out. Or if we read this, we could have a chance to undercut the route and intercept it . . . We watch plays and talk about those things, sure."

Yale beats Harvard 24-3 in 'The Game'


Yale beats Harvard 24-3 in 'The Game'

Kurt Rawlings threw for 177 yards and a touchdown to lead Yale over rival Harvard 24-3 on Saturday at Yale Bowl in New Haven, Conn., securing the Bulldogs' first outright Ivy League championship in 37 years.

Yale beat its rival for the second year in a row, this time capping a 9-1 season (6-1 in the Ivy League) and running its all-time record in the series known as "The Game" to 67-59-8. It's the first time the Bulldogs have won two in a row in the rivalry since a three-year winning streak from 1998-2000. Yale went 3-7 last season.

Yale's defense held Harvard (5-5, 3-4 Ivy) to 164 total yards, sacked Harvard QB Jake Smith six times and forced four Crimson turnovers, including a fumble that was returned 19 yards for a touchdown by the Bulldogs' Malcolm Dixon.