Saturday, October 24, 2009

Harvard Hopes to Fiercely Fight Princeton on Homecoming Day

Today's Video: Tom Lehrer's Fight Fiercely Harvard

It's an Ivy League rivalry weekend between the Harvard Crimson and the Princeton Tigers, as the two Ancient Eight foes face off in field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and, of course, football. The football game also marks a new tradition for the Johnnies, as today is the first Harvard "Homecoming" Game.

Last week for the Crimson, (3-2, 2-0 Ivy) was a disappointing loss against the Lafayette Leopards (5-1) as they could not get anything going in the 35-18 loss. Harvard fell behind early on two turnovers which Lafayette converted for touchdowns, and they were down 21-3 at the half. Collier Winters added two late consolation scores for the Crimson in the fourth quarter with a 14 yard pass to Marco Iannuzzi and a 47 pass to Chris Lorditch. Lafayette rushed for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns, while QB Rob Curley went 21 for 31 with 210 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Things weren't much better last week for the Princeton Tigers (1-4, 0-2 Ivy) as they fell to Ivy League rival Brown 34-17. The Tigers passing defense was torched by Kyle Newhall, who put up 309 yards en route to two touchdowns and an interception. Princeton only was able to rush for 52 yards on the day. QB Tommy Wornham had both touchdowns, one through the air and another on the ground.

We'll have more on this game in just over an hour (at 11:30 am) during the Harvard pre-game show with Scott Reed and James Yoon on 95.3 FM and, before kickoff at 12:00 pm brought to you by Alasdair Wilkins, Tom Brennan, and Kara Hollis.

After the jump, we'll look around the Ivies in the first week where no team has out of conference play, something which will continue for the rest of the year.

Around the Ivy League

The Brown Bears (3-2, 1-1 Ivy) travel up to Ithaca, NY to face the Cornell Big Red (2-3, 1-1 Ivy). For the Brunos last week against Princeton, it was all about Buddy Farnham, who had the seventh best game in Ivy League history after amassing 309 all purpose yards, including an 80 yard pass and a 92 yard punt return, both for touchdowns, as Brown is now on a three game winning streak. Trending the other way are the Cornell Big Red, who are now mired in a three game losing streak after last week's 39-27 loss to the Fordham Rams on Cornell's homecoming. The Cornell rush defense only allowed 87 yards, but Fordham had no reason to run as the Rams put up 420 yards through the air, including 5 touchdown passes. Cornell had a balanced attack, with 268 yards passing and 264 rushing, but five turnovers, including 4 interceptions by QB Adam Currie helped Fordham knock off the Big Red.

The Columbia Lions (2-3, 1-1 Ivy) look to end a two game losing streak as they face the Dartmouth Big Green, a team trying to end a losing streak that's up to seventeen games. Columbia had 192 passing yards, but they lost 20 on the day in the rushing game. That coupled with 6 turnovers by QB M.A. Olawale (3 INTs, 3 Fumbles) left Columbia on the losing end to Penn 27-13. Dartmouth, meanwhile, traveled to Worcester, MA last week to face the dynamic Dominic Randolph and the Holy Cross Crusaders. Both teams did well in the passing game, with QB Connor Kempe putting up 312 yards for Dartmouth, while Dominic Randolph put up 264 yards, but Holy Cross had a more dynamic rushing game, outrushing the Big Green 167-64. Despite the even stats, Holy Cross was up 34-0 in the fourth quarter and the Big Green added two consolation touchdowns.

In the late game, the Penn Quakers (3-2, 2-0 Ivy) travel up to the Yale Bulldogs (3-2, 1-1 Ivy). Last week, the Bulldogs faced the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in what was either a battle of really good defenses, or really inept offenses, as the Elis bested the Hawks 7-0. The lone touchdown came in the third quarter from LB Paul Rice, who ran 40 yards on a fake punt play for the score. Yale finished the day with 189 yards (86 passing, 103 rushing) while Lehigh had 197 yards (60 passing, 137 rushing) and both teams combined for 7 turnovers. Penn, meanwhile, is looking to extend a three game winning streak after their win last week against Columbia, their 13th straight against the Lions. Keiffer Garton was back under center after dealing with some early season injury problems, and he threw two touchdowns and two picks while amassing 104 yards. Penn also had 118 yards in the rushing game, but the story was Penn's defense, which forced 7 turnovers on the day to give them the 27-13 win.

And that's going to do it for the blog's preview of this week's games. Tune in to 95.3 FM WHRB and at 11:30 for more in-depth analysis, some midterm grades for the Crimson, an interview with Coach Murphy, and more, all part of our pre-game coverage on WHRB. And stick around for the kickoff live from Harvard Stadium at 12 pm.

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