Dudek at the Core of Yale Bulldogs Nearly Undefeated Season


Zane Dudek hasn’t slowed down a step since making the transition to the Ivy League at Yale and as a Freshman Dudek has helped lift the Bulldogs to their first share at the Ivy League Title since 2006. (Picture via Twitter)

                  by Jake DeLuca

It wasn’t much of a question around the WPIAL that River Hawks running-back Zane Dudek was the real deal. Now that he is playing football at Yale, the Ivy League is starting to get that same message if they haven’t already.

The Yale Bulldogs have improved from 3-7 last year to nearly undefeated this season sitting at 8-1 going into their final game.

“It’s been an awesome season, it’s so much fun being around these guys. The older players have said the culture has changed from this last year to this year. That’s why we’ve been winning, we love playing together and that adds to it all,” Dudek said of his team.

With 9 games played already, the Bulldogs sit at 8-1 and already have a share of title – the first time since 2006, but with a win on Saturday against their biggest rival Harvard, Yale can clinch their first out-right title since 1989.

This Saturday’s game against Harvard has a lot more weight to the whole team, Harvard has been the arch-rival to Yale since the two teams started playing and Zane is starting to get that message from his teammates.

“You want to look at it as it’s like any other game, but everyone talks about how sweet it is. 50 or 60,000 people there. I cannot wait to see that atmosphere for myself. I asked the older guys if it’s everything it’s cracked up to be and they say, yes and then some. So I can’t wait to get out there Saturday,” Dudek said.

Individually, Dudek has been just as impressive as always. This season he leads the team in rushing yards (1,069), rushing touchdowns (14), and he is still putting up a crazy 8.0 yards per carry.

Earlier in the year, Zane was nominated for the Jerry Rice Award which is awarded yearly to the most outstanding freshman player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

“It’s nice to think about, but during the season I don’t’ like to think about that kind of stuff. The way I look at it is that I would never be there without my offensive line. It’s more about them than me – it’s more about the quarterback, wide-receivers and the team putting me in those positions. I look at it as an offensive team award, that’s what it means to me.”

New Haven Connecticut will be happy to have Zane Dudek’s services for the next three years and the rest of the Ivy League will keep trying to catch him.