Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
When Harvard and Dartmouth faced each other last, The Crimson pulled off a decisively one-sided victory over The Big Green, 41-10. With blizzard-like conditions around them, Harvard had three different players rush for more than 100 yards and 2 touchdowns each.
Last week for Dartmouth, The Big Green faced The Columbia Lions, with a come-from behind victory in the 4th quarter with only a 1:09 remaining on the clock. QB Alex Park lead a mammoth 91 yard drive; completing three straight passes to Ryan McManus, ran for 13 yards himself, and then hit McManus again for the first down to put the Big Green at the Lions 15yard line. A series of penalties to both teams would follow a few short passes, but nonetheless Park was able to find TE Dean Bakes for the winning touchdown.
Last week for Harvard, The Crimson were upset as they lost 39-34 to Princeton Tigers. Despite Harvard leading 34-10 going into the Fourth Quarter, The Tigers pulled off a massive 29 point run to which The Crimson had no answer. Harvard was plagued all game by a series of both offensive and defensive mistakes, such as a blocked extra point attempt and punt, as well as a fumble, interception, and blocked FG attempt during Princeton's 4 back-to-back touchdowns.
Be sure to tune-in into what is sure to be a great game, as Harvard seeks to make-up for its loss last week while Dartmouth looks to maintain momentum coming off their victory.
Friday, October 5, 2012
The Big Green fell 28-21 to Penn last week. Dartmouth probably deserved to lose the game, being modestly out-gained and out-first-downed. Much of the difference was a result of Penn sacking Alex Park four times. Park had an otherwise strong game, throwing for 279 yards and two touchdowns on 72% passing. Dartmouth had a chance to get the ball back late, but the Quakers killed the final 3:33 (and three timeouts) by picking up a pair of rushing first downs. Meanwhile, good old Eli again had his defense torn to shreds, this time at the hands of Colgate. Though terrible, Yale's defense was at least balanced, allowing 275 yards through the air and 267 more on the ground. Raider QB Gavin McCarney threw for two touchdowns and rushed for four more. Neither Dartmouth nor Yale could slow the run last week, and this game features two good backs in Dominick Pierre (350 yards on the season) and Tyler Varga (319). Dartmouth's O-Line has allowed 11 sacks through three games; Yale's D has only recorded three. Neither team is much better on the other side of the ball either. This figures to come down to the fact that Yale can't stop the pass, and that Park (two INTs) takes better care of the ball than Yale freshman Eric Williams (eight).
Columbia (1-2) at Lehigh (5-0)
Lehigh comes in ranked 10th in the country. A skeptic might point out that their last three wins have been by eight points combined. Which, true, maybe Lehigh isn't the tenth-best outfit in the FCS. But Columbia lost by 27 to Princeton last weekend. This shouldn't be close.
Brown (2-1) at Rhode Island (0-4)
Rhody is terrible this year. Their closest loss was a 31-10 filling-in at the hands of Villanova. They've been out-gained by 300 yards per game. At the risk of overusing italics, they've averaged 2.2 yards per carry. They're awful. Bruno is coming in off a 37-10 shellacking of Georgetown. Patrick Donnelly (62% completions, 7 TD to 2 INTs) has been an efficient replacement for the graduated Kyle Newhall-Caballero, and Spiro Theodhosi is now up near 350 yards on the season. Brown should win their third Governor's Cup in four years.
William & Mary (1-4) at Pennsylvania (1-2)
Penn's victory over Dartmouth was their first of the season. The Quakers also recorded their first (four) sack(s) of the season. Billy Ragone was his usual shifty self in the run game, and had his best day passing on the season (only 165 yards, but on just 18 attempts and with no interceptions). Although they let Dartmouth back in the game (they held a 20-0 lead at one point), it was overall a solid road win. W&M also got their season's first win last week by crushing Sun Belt Conference-bound Georgia State. Three of their losses earlier this year were by three, three, and one (at Maryland, no less!) point. Jerome Couplin and Brian Thompson give the Tribe a pair of extremely active safeties; I expect them to force an error or two on Ragone's part.
Princeton (1-2) at Lafayette (3-1)
The Tigers got in the win column last week, but it was against Columbia so I'm not sure it counts. The Lions were held to 1.3 yards per carry. The game could have been even more lopsided, as of Princeton's nine drives that got inside the Columbia 30, only three ended in touchdowns (four more ended in short field goals and two in turnovers). Leaving that many potential points on the field probably won't work against a solid Lafayette team. The Leopards lost for the first time last week, coming up three points short at Robert Morris. Lafayette is not a particularly strong team offensively, but on defense they've already picked off 11 passes. If Connor Michelsen, who has been generally a non-factor so far this year, can keep the ball out of Lafayette's secondary's hands, the Tigers have a shot.
Picks About Which I Am Extremely Confident
Dartmouth 31 - 20 Yale
Lehigh 34 - 10 Columbia
Brown 24 - 10 Rhode Island
William & Mary 23 - 17 Penn
Lafayette 24 - Princeton 20
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Last week, The Crimson had a massive victory over the Holy Cross Crusaders, overpowering them 52-3. Chapple threw 13-18 for 260 yards and 4 touchdowns, in addition to running one in himself. This game set the school record for most points in a half , with 49 of the 52 points coming in the first half. Not to be outdone, The Big Red had a 15-10 victory over the Bucknell Bisons, with Matthews throwing for 278 yards and running in a touchdown of his own.
Be sure to tune-in folks, it's sure to be one of the most memorable games of the season.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Following the graduation of all-time great running back Nick Schwieger (as well as 15 other starters) expectations for Dartmouth this year were tempered. Despite that, the Big Green have started their season 2-0, blasting Butler 35-7 before squeaking by Holy Cross 13-10 on the road last week. Dominick Pierre has picked up where Schwieger left off, running for 255 yards and three touchdowns so far. Penn, meanwhile, has started 0-2 for the fifth time in six years. Quarterback Billy Ragone, who was first-team All-Ivy as a sophomore, is not obviously the Quakers' starter at this point; fellow senior Andrew Holland has attempted 60% of the team's passes so far (with only two interceptions to Ragone's five(!)).
Colgate (1-3) at Yale (1-1)
The Raiders' only win this year came two weeks ago against the terrible Sacred Heart Crusaders. Jordan McCord leads a strong ground attack, averaging better than 136 yards/game so far. Colgate's rush defense is as porous as their offense is potent, having been gashed for 230 yards/game so far. There might be room to run for Bulldog freshman back Tyler Varga, who has almost 200 yards in his first two games. The young Elis have generally been good at moving the ball, but have been killed on turnovers--they've surrendered the ball nine times already. The Raiders' Gavin McCarney might not torch Yale like Cornell's Jeff Mathews did last week, but he should hold onto the ball better than his freshman counterpart Eric Williams.
Princeton (0-2) at Columbia (1-1)
Princeton used a fumbled punt to pull close to 13th-ranked Lehigh two weeks ago, but couldn't complete the comeback, losing 17-14. Last week things were even closer, as they lost 21-20 on a last-minute Georgetown field goal. They may have found an answer at running back in freshman Di Andre Atwater, who accumulated 92 yards on just 15 carries. That said, the Tigers have been outgained in both games, and need Conner Michelson to be something more than a warm body at quarterback. The Lions, meanwhile, have opened with a 10-9 win over Marist and a 20-13 loss at the hands of Fordham. Apart from Marcorus Garrett's 140 yards/game on the ground, I'm not sure Columbia is all that good at anything. Still, the Tigers are in the same boat, and the game is in Manhattan.
Brown (1-1) at Georgetown (3-1)
Following a 24-21 win over Holy Cross in their opener, Bruno couldn't keep up with the Crimson last week, falling 45-31. Spiro Theodhosi has rushed for at least 85 yards in both games so far, and senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly has been extremely efficient. Georgetown, meanwhile, is already on their third Ivy League opponent of the year, including a 24-21 loss to Yale and the aforementioned win over Princeton. The Hoyas are powered by a tough ground game on both sides of the ball, having more than doubled their opponents' rushing output so far (845 yards to 406). Expect a big day from Donnelly, but a bigger one from the Hoyas.
Cornell (1-1) at Bucknell (1-2)
The Ivy nightcap features a Cornell team that flexed its muscles--specifically those involved with throwing a football--last week against Yale. Jeff Mathews hit on 29-of-39 for 340 yards and three touchdowns in the 45-6 evisceration. Cornell did lose their opener to Fordham, but that may not provide a blueprint for Bucknell to follow: Cornell only put up seven point in the first half due to a missed 26-yard field goal and two Big Red punts from the Fordham 38. For the Bison to have a chance, they will likely need dual-threat quarterback Brandon Wesley to avoid turning the ball over.
Predictions About Which I Am Supremely Confident
Penn 27 - 23 Dartmouth
Colgate 23 - 20 Yale
Columbia 17 - 13 Princeton
Georgetown 31 - 27 Brown
Cornell 31 - 20 Bucknell
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Harvard entered the fourth quarter down 7-13, but was able to score three touchdowns to pull away
from San Diego and seal their 10th straight victory. This win came with some major help by Harvard's running game, who rushed a total of 195yds. vs San Diego's paltry 2yds. In the air, San Diego was a bit more dominant, the Toreros throwing for 354yds. vs the Crimsons 209yds. But in spite of this, the Crimson defensive line proved too wily, recording 7 sacks and 10 tackles, as well as stopping a key San Diego play late in the fourth that would have tied the game at 20.
Players of the game include Colton Chapple, who threw 16-of-29 pass attempts for a total of 209 yards and two touchdowns in the air, and Trevor Scales, who had a phenomenal game, rushing for 173 yards in 19 carries, averaging an astonishing 9.1ypc, and leaving the game with two touchdowns.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
The 2012 version of the Sports Spring Orgy will include season reviews for all 41 varsity athletic programs at Harvard. It will also feature our yearly award show; a new episode of our renowned football halftime show Kicking a Touchdown; and farewells to WHRB Sports' prolific and dashing members of the Class of 2012.
Join us Monday at 95.3FM in the greater Boston area, or online at WHRB.org.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
by Scott Reed
Here are some notes and thoughts following a day of press conferences and open practices here at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
-Harvard is here to win. The players seem very focused. Senior Co-captain Oliver McNally had this quote: "we're not just happy to be here and win our first solo Ivy title and just throw in the towel. We're here to win, and that's what we're we're expecting to do."
-Vanderbilt is very, very good - they just beat #1 overall seed Kentucky for the SEC title, after all- and seems intent on not being upset in the first round again. They are likely the strongest of the 5-seeds in the 2012 tournament. The others? Wichita State, Temple, and New Mexico. John Jenkins and Jeffrey Taylor on the offensive end will be difficult to stop.
-The size and power of the Commodore front court is an advantage for Vanderbilt. Taylor stands at 6-7 and averages sixteen points and six rebounds a game. Together with six-foot-eleven Festus Ezeli, he represent sa match-up issue for Harvard interior players Keith Wright and Kyle Casey.
-The homecoming of Taylor, who graduated from nearby Hobbs High School, is a big story for the local media here in Albuquerque. Around half of all questions directed to the Vanderbilt players this afternoon dealt with Taylor's return.
-The altitude may play a factor tomorrow. During the open practice today, Harvard players were visibly straining to get through the workout. The Crimson seemed like they still had to acclimate to the altitude, which at Albuquerque is about 5,300 feet above sea level. Vanderbilt, course, will face the same issue. It was difficult to see whether the Commodores were affected today, as their open practice was more of an informal shootaround.
-The games may not sell out -there are reportedly a few thousand tickets available for the games tomorrow and Saturday. That both New Mexico State and New Mexico play tomorrow in Portland at the same time would be a contributing factor - not that it matters to the Crimson of course, appearing in their first NCAA tournament since 1946.
-Baylor, who is competing in the South Regional here in Albuquerque, seems very athletic in person. Vanderbilt and especially Wisconsin, whom the Crimson could face in the Round of 32, are better draws for Harvard athletically.
-Colorado, also in the South Regional, is fighting for some respect, for themselves and the much-maligned Pac-12. Buffalo coach Tad Boyle: "We've got work to do though on a national scale in terms of respectability. We've got an opportunity tomorrow night to start on that journey." Colorado plays UNLV in the opening round.
-Tomorrow will be exciting. Tune in to 95.3FM in the Boston area to hear WHRB's coverage of Harvard-Vanderbilt. The game will tip at 4:40 eastern, with coverage beginning at 4:00.
Quotes on Harvard from Vanderbilt players Jeff Taylor, John Jenkins, Festus Ezeli, and Head Coach Kevin Stallings in Albuquerque on Wednesday, March 14th.
On Harvard's man-to-man defense:
Jenkins: "We're going to have to work for our baskets and have good screening and moving around the ball very well. We've played good defensive teams the whole year, so it's just another team we;ve got to be ready for."
Taylor: "I know certain guys will probably get more attention from their defense than others. But we'll be ready for it. Our offense has been pretty good all year, so we're not too worried about it."
On Harvard's frontcourt:
Ezeli: "They're very talented. Both guys, i think... the five man was the "Player of the Year" last year. They're really talented. It's like I said, its going to be another game with tough match-ups. They're good defensively too So we're just going to have to fight the whole game."
First thoughts on learning about their matchup with Harvard:
Jenkins: "I haven;t seen them play much this year. I saw them play once against Princeton, and I was very impressed with how well they moved the ball on offense and how patient they were. I didn't think we'd ever be playing them but it's going to be a good game."
Stallings: "I think, first of all, the thing that stands out is they;re very very well-coached. They have a definite plan on offense. They play extremely well together on both ends of the floor. Their team defense is exceptional as is their willingness to share the ball and move the ball and get it to the best option on that particular possession. So I think that that's the first thing that I see is just the chemistry that their team plays with on both ends and just how well set-up they are and how well-coached they are."
On Harvard's disciplined style:
Stallings: "But I think with Harvard, I think its just, like our team, they've got a team that they've grown up. They've grown this team up. They're juniors and seniors, for the most part. They've played a lot of basketball together. They;re used to each other, I think that as much as anything else that really helps because there is an inherent chemistry with teams like that, and it seems like they certainly have that."
On Amaker's recruiting:
Stallings: "Tommy's done a great job... He has to get players that can do the academic work at Harvard Monday through Friday and then he's got to try to beat Boston College on Saturday, That;s what they say about us. They want us to be Harvard Monday through Friday and beat Alabama on Saturday. And he's obviously doing a great job. His record the last couple years, hes starting to maybe separate himself a little bit and separate his program a little bit from a lot of people in that league. That's the sign of obviously a job well done. Very, very well done, actually."
Quotes from Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker in Albuquerque on Wednesday, March 14th.
On competing with schools like Vanderbilt in recruiting:
"Certainly its a challenge for us to put ourselves in those categories with some of the great institutions with playing in the larger conferences. When you think of Vandy and the SEC and Stanford and the Pac-10, Pac-12, many other schools around the country, Northwestern and the Big Ten. Thats kind of a goal of ours, to see if we can get involved in those circles.
We've been able to do it. Our staff has worked incredibly hard to identify those prospects and try to build relationships with those kids and the various individuals around them. Certainly having some success here with our program, I think, has allowed us to gain some traction and a foot hold to make our way and to identify kids that fit the profile for Harvard.
That's a neat thing for us to be in those circles with Vandy, and Northwestern, and Stanford and those schools with the kids that we're trying to compete for."
On selling Harvard to recruits:
"There are other great places and great alums and son on and so forth, but we think we have a niche here, and we wanted to present that as an option for the kids that we thought would be viable candidates for our campus. I was just excited to have the opportunity to represent Harvard and still am, and hopeful that we can continue to do what we've started and the journey that we've been on. Its been a lot of fun. We've been able to kind of take it in a direction that we have a lot of traction about it. We're hopeful that the momentum will continue to grow."
On his reaction to learning that Vanderbilt would be the opponent:
"Very honestly, I thought right away how tough its going to be. I've had a chance to peek on different games that Vandy has played throughout this season, and certainly I think the marquee game was just played in terms of their upset of Kentucky.
But I knew right a way of a veteran team, a team that can score. Very athletic, more athletic than people give them credit for being in the SEC with incredible athletic teams that have been known throughout the years in that league.
I think Vandy matches up with all those teams. So I knew right away how challenging this match-up would be because of their coach, Coach Stallings. I've known him for a number of years and have a great deal of respect for what he's done and accomplished in his career.
This team, I think this team has been built, in my opnion from the outside looking in. You can imagine this team being built for an opportunity to make a deep run with their experience, the veterans, their balance and their athleticism.So it didn’t surprise me they were able to make that run through the SEC tournament. Were just hopeful that we can match their intensity. I think they’re focused. They’ll be a team that having come off a few early round losses in the past, will be very motivated and very focused. I’m hopeful that we can match those things."
On the athleticism of Lance Goulbourne:
"Well, you've characterized it very well. He's very athletic, 6'8'', an older player, veteran player and very experienced player. I think he's from what I've been able to watch and see thus far is he's very comfortable and has embraced who he is and what his role is. That says a lot about a low of players if you can do that. It's easier said than done.
But he has appeared that he really relishes his role in being that, as you mentioned, setting screens, getting offensive rebounds, keeping balls alive, sprinting the floor, blocking shots, doing a lot of things that maybe most people, unless you're an astute basketball person or coach are sometimes overlooked. I think he's a big piece of the puzzle for their ballclub."
On the Vision Amaker had for Harvard
We’re very excited about having the opportunity to represent Harvard and thinking of this as the possibilities and potential associated with our great name, we just felt were enormous. We just felt if there was somehow to bring some energy and excitement, present this option to a few kids that could see this as an incredible challenge and opportunity. I just thought that the vision could provide something that we're seeing right now. Harvard basketball being relevant, being national, playing in big games, winning championships, getting to the NCAA tournament.
On Vanderbilt’s Size:
“They are, obviously, athletic and big, Ezili in the middle. I don’t know if I mentioned or not but another thing is they’re balanced. That’s something we talk about our ball club a lot is having great balance. Well’, they’re incredibly balanced with front line, strength, athleticism, scoring and incredible perimeter shooting.
There are no holes with this basketball team. There is no question about it. I think as many people are starting to talk around the country with teams that have a chance to make deep runs in this tournament, I think Vanderbilt is one of those teams that are at the forefront of everybody’s mind.
On who might step up:
“I don’t think we have any one person. That’s been the beauty of our team all year. When we speak of our balance, that’s the key for us. I like ot think the game of basketball should be played in a way that the go-to guy is the open guy. We’ve adopted that in a lot of ways.”
On John Jenkins
“He’s as good of a shooter that we’ll face in our tenure at Harvard. Certainly he leads the SEC in scoring. He he has deep range. It’s been talk about his quick release. They do a number of things to get him shots, get him open. He has good size.He’s a terrific basketball player. You don’t lead the SEC in scoring and win the conference tournament without being an outstanding player and one of the top players in the country. We’re hopeful that we can make it difficult for him as we’ve talked about having awareness and trying to make it incredibly difficult for him to get easy shots.”