Friday, September 25, 2009

Match of Champions Tonight on WHRB

I said last week I wanted to start off each pregame post with a video. This week's video: Harvard Scores a Touchdown against Brown in the first ever night game at Harvard Stadium.

Now that tradition has been carried out, let's turn our attention to the game, the official kickoff to the Ivy League season.

Both teams return under the lights at Harvard Stadium as the Crimson kick off their 2009 Ivy League and Home Campaigns. Both teams enter at 0-1 with inconsistent signal callers, but a talented running and receiving corps. Both teams want to avoid 0-2, especially since in Ivy League play, only eight teams have recovered from an opening Ancient Eight loss to go on and win the Ivy Title- Harvard being the latest to do it, last year. Of course, last year's loss at Brown is a storyline too. For the Johnnies, they want to get revenge on the only blight in their 9-1 record and 6-1 conference record. For Bruno, it's all about proving last year's game in the torrential downpour in Providence wasn't a fluke.

Last week's key stats: Collier Winters had 195 yards and two touchdowns in the air for the Crimson, while throwing no interceptions against a talented Holy Cross secondary. Dominic Randolph threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns against a talented Harvard secondary. The result was a 27-20 loss that knocked Harvard to the "also receiving votes" part of the national polls.

Kyle Newhall threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns against a weak Stony Brook secondary, and was also picked off two times. Brown's defense earned three turnovers, but the game was lost on special teams, with a missed extra point and a missed game winning field goal being enough to send Brown to 0-1.

Everything else Harvard-Brown will be covered by the pregame show, hosted by Scott Reed and James Yoon, which starts at 6:30 tonight. The pregame includes the Harvard player of the game for last week, Derrick Barker, an interview with Coach Murphy, and a snippet of an interview with ESPN's Ivan Maisel, in addition to analysis of Harvard-Brown.

And of course, Alasdair Wilkins, Tom Brennan and Kara Hollis will have the game itself at 7pm. Kara also sat down with Pat Long and Captain Carl Ehrlich for the halftime show "Kicking a Touchdown." This match of the reigning Ivy League champions is sure to be a great one, especially with an expected crowd of over 20,000. If you're not one of the 20,000 making it out to the stadium, the game will be on 95.3 FM and

So since everybody else has got the Harvard-Brown game well in hand, let's turn to the rest of the Ivy League, after the jump.

Cornell (1-0) travels to the Yale Bowl to face the Elis (1-0) in this weekend's only other all-Ivy match-up. Cornell lead 9-7 after the first quarter before exploding with 24 points of offense against Bucknell (1-2), who grabbed a consolation safety at the end of the 4th Quarter to make the score 33-9. Yale QB Patrick Witt gave up a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown for the Hoyas of Georgetown (0-3), but it wasn't a costly error as the Bulldogs cruised to a 31-10 victory.

Dartmouth (0-1) host the #7 New Hampshire Wildcats (2-0) for bragging rights in the Granite State. Dartmouth is coming off a 34-15 home loss to Colgate (3-0) while New Hampshire is coming off a 23-16 road win against Division I-A opponent Ball State (0-3). Dartmouth are winless in their last 18 games in the Granite Bowl, a streak dating back to 1979.

Columbia (1-0) plays host to Central Connecticut State (1-1). Columbia is coming off a win versus intercity rival Fordham (0-2). Columbia QB M.A. Olawale had two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns, while Fordham QB John Skelton had 383 yards and four touchdowns, but also three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. Central Connecticut State gave up points on four of their first five defensive outings to fall 33-14 at William and Mary.

Princeton (0-1) travel to Harvard's opponent next week, Lehigh (0-2). Lehigh lost their last game two weeks ago to the Villanova Wildcats (3-0) 38-17, with Villanova defeating Penn last week to remain undefeated. Princeton got off to a good start against the Citadel (1-1), getting out to a 7-0 lead, before giving up 38 straight points to lose 38-7.

Penn (0-1), coming off their 14-3 defeat against the Villanova Wildcats (3-0), remain in Pennsylvania for a road match-up versus Lafayette (1-1), who Harvard plays on October 17th. Lafayette gave up 363 yards and 22 first downs in their 19-13 loss last week to Liberty. Penn limited Villanova to only 187 total yards and 59 passing yards, but the advantage in yards did not translate to the scoreboard.

That's going to do it for the blog's pregame coverage of the Ivy League kickoff weekend. Our pregame coverage on the air is at 6:30pm, the kickoff is at 7pm, both on 95.3 FM and And I'll be one of the screaming masses in the Crimson Crazies student section (my time as a media member for this game ends with this blog, so I'm free to cheer and not be objective tomorrow for probably the only game all season) so hopefully I'll be thrilled and inspired to share details of a fan's experience of the game and possibly some photos. Then it's back to objective media mode on Sunday when we'll have a recap of the game on Sportstalk.

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