Harvard and Brown kick off the Ivy League season Saturday evening at Brown Stadium in its first night game.
Brown will install temporary lighting for the Homecoming matchup against the Crimson. Four banks of Musco lights will illuminate the stadium, with two banks of temporary lights above the stadium on either side of the field.
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Harvard is an impressive 111-23-2 in season-openers (.827). The Crimson has won its opening game in seven of the last nine years and is 10-6 on Opening Day under current head coach Tim Murphy.
Our of The Gates
Harvard has won its Ivy League opener in 10 of the last 11 seasons with nine of the wins coming against Brown and the other coming against Columbia.
Saturday's game will be the 110th meeting between Harvard and Brown in a rivalry that dates to 1893. Harvard holds a 78-29-2 series lead and has won nine of its last 10 against the Bears.
Brown leads the series in Providence at Brown Stadium 17-9.
Last Year's Meeting
Harvard linebacker Jon Takamura batted down a desperation pass in the end zone as Harvard defeated Brown, 24-21, at Harvard Stadium. Takamura also had an interception earlier in the game that led to the eventual game-winning touchdown catch by Matt Luft as the Crimson came back from a 14-10 halftime deficit.
One week after missing a 40-yard field goal as time expired, Brown would not attempt one from 42 yards after recovering an onsides kick with 30 seconds left. faced with fourth down from the Harvard 25, the Bears instead opted to try the end zone.
Collier Winters completed 18 of 27 passes for two TDs while running for a game-high 66 yards and another score.
Don't Go Anywhere
Harvard and Brown games in recent years have been memorable.
Last season, Harvard led 24-14 before Brown scored with 34 seconds remaining to make it interesting before holding on for its third-straight win under the lights of Harvard Stadium.
In 2008, season, Harvard was cruising with a 13-0 lead before heavy rains arrived in Providence, R.I. and made for a wild ride as Brown came back to win, 24-22.
It was Harvard that rallied from double-digit first-quarter deficits to defeat Brown in 2004 and 2005. The Crimson came back from a 16-0 hole to win, 38-35, in double-overtime in 2005, and Harvard overcame deficits of 21-0 and 31-10 to prevail, 35-34, in 2004.
In 2006 it was Brown that tried a late comeback. Trailing 21-0 in the second and 31-7 in the fourth, Brown cut the margin to 31-21 before a late TD iced the game for Harvard, 31-21.
In 2007 - in the first night game at Harvard Stadium, Brown led Harvard, 17-14, before the Crimson scored a touchdown in the final minute of the first half and added a second half field goal while holding the Bears to just 49 yards rushing in a 24-17 victory. Harvard's defense came up with three sacks, three interceptions and 10 quarterback hurries in the victory.
Harvard's Last Time Out
Andrew Hatch threw for three touchdowns and Harvard won its 10th-straight home opener, 34-6 over Holy Cross.
Hatch was 20-for-25 passing for 276 yards as the Crimson won for the 11th time in the last 14 games against the Crusaders (1-2).
Hatch and Lorditch then got together one more time to cap the Crimson scoring and go up 34-0 on a 43-yard touchdown with 7:13 left in the game.
Harvard kept control of possession, while the Crusaders could not, converting 7 of 12 first downs compared to 5 of 13, and keeping the ball seven minutes longer.
Blaise Deal led all defenders with 11 tackles while adding an interception.
Brown's Last Time Out
Zachary Tronti scored on a 1-yard run in the second overtime and Brown won its season opener 33-30 over Stony Brook.
Tronti, who also scored on a 4-yard run in the first overtime, finished with 77 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
The Seawolves (1-2) tied the game in the first overtime and started with the ball in the second. After Miguel Maysonet ran for 7 yards, he was tackled for a loss of 2 and Stony Brook quarterback Michael Coulter threw an incomplete pass as the Seawolves settled for a field goal.
Brown's Joe Springer completed 23 of 43 passes for 250 yards a touchdown and three interceptions.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 17th season as Harvard's head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 105-55 record with the Crimson and a 137-100-1 overall head coaching record, which includes five years at Cincinnati and two years at Maine. Murphy is one of just five coaches to win 100 games since the formation of the Ivy League in 1954. Murphy has led Harvard to five Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008). He is 11-6 all-time against Brown including a win while the head coach at Maine.
Brown Coach Phil Estes
Phil Estes is in his 13th season as Brown's head coach, and he brings a 73-47 record with the Bears into the game. Estes has had the Bears at .500 or better in 10 of his first 12 years in Providence. He is 3-9 against Harvard.
With 105 career victories on the Harvard sideline, head coach Tim Murphy ranks second on the Crimson's all-time wins chart. Murphy is 12 wins away from Joe Restic's school record 117 wins (from 1971-93).
Ivy Era Coaches
Since the formal naming of the Ivy League in 1956, just five coaches have reached the 100-win plateau with two of them being Harvard men.
Carm Cozza, Yale: 179
Bob Blackman, Dartmouth 127
Al Bangnoli, Penn: 123
Joe Restic, Harvard: 117
Tim Murphy, Harvard: 105
The Story Behind The Camo
Over the past two seasons, members of the Harvard coaching staff have donned camouflage hats in honor of the Crimson football players who are serving in the armed forces. Corey Mazza and Matt Drazba are currently members of the Marines.
Harvard is currently on a four-game road winning streak, tied with Bethune-Cookman and Penn for the second-longest streak in the nation behind James Madison (7).
Road Trip Huh?
From 2000-09, Harvard posted a 36-11 in road games. The Crimson was 27-7 in Ivy League road games during that span.
Harvard is an impressive 112-23-2 in season-openers (.821). The Crimson has won its opening game in eight of the last 10 years and is 11-6 on Opening Day under current head coach Tim Murphy.
Let There Be Light
Harvard played its fourth straight home-opening game under the lights at The Stadium on Sept. 18, 2010 in a 34-6 win over Holy Cross. Harvard is 4-0 in those openers.
This season, Harvard started its sixth different quarterback on Opening Day in the last seven years with senior Andrew Hatch. 2009 All-Ivy League selection Collier Winters will likely miss this season with an injury.
Last year, Winters earned all-conference honors in his first season under center; In 2008, two-time Ivy Player of the Year and current Green Bay Packers' player Chris Pizzotti '09 started the openers; In 2007 it was All-Ivy QB Liam O'Hagan starting at Holy Cross. Pizzotti started the 2006 opener; Richard Irvin started in 2005, and current Buffalo Bills' QB Ryan Fitzpatrick '05 started the 2004 season-opener.
Though it may be hard to believe, wide receiver Chris Lorditch recorded his first career multi-touchdown game with a pair of scores against Holy Cross on Sept. 18.
Complete Game Notes
For complete games notes in PDF format, click on the link at the beginning of this page.