The Crimson opens its Ivy League and home campaign Saturday against Brown at Harvard Stadium. The game will be shown live nationally on NBC Sports Network and will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Harvard will open its home schedule with a night game for the sixth time in seven seasons.
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Saturday's game will be the 113th meeting between Harvard and Brown in a rivalry that dates back to 1893. Harvard holds an 80-30-2 series lead and has won 11 of its last 13 against the Bears.
The Crimson has won 13 straight home games. Harvard's last loss at home came against Lehigh, 21-19, on Oct. 16, 2010. Harvard has also claimed 10 consecutive wins against Ivy opponents at home since falling to Penn, 17-7, on Nov. 14, 2009.
Harvard has won the last 12 home openers.
Harvard opened its 140th season of play with a 42-20 win at San Diego last Saturday. In the Crimson's first trip to the west coast since 1949, quarterback Conner Hempel – making his first career start – looked like a veteran, throwing for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Andrew Fischer grabbed two of those touchdown passes, accounting for 71 receiving yards on six catches. On the ground, sophomore Paul Stanton, Jr. gained 64 yards on six carries and added a touchdown run. Defensively, Zach Hodges recovered two fumbles – bringing one back – and Norman Hayes paced the group with 12 tackles and an interception.
Brown enters the game at 1-0 after handily defeating Georgetown, 45-7, last Saturday at Brown Stadium. Senior tailback John Spooney rushed for 102 yards, ran for two scores and caught one more in the season opener for the Bears. The ground game accounted for 268 yards, while senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly completed 19-of-27 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Brown's defense narrowly missed a shutout, holding off the Hoya offense for 58:32.
Harvard has won its Ivy League opener in 12 of the last 14 seasons with 11 of the wins coming against Brown and the other coming against Columbia.
Last season, running back Treavor Scales rushed for 136 yards and four touchdowns, carrying the then-No. 24 Harvard football team to a 45-31 victory at Brown. Quarterback Colton Chapple completed 30-of-40 passes for 351 yards and a touchdown, adding 43 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Seitu Smith caught eight passes for 92 yards and a TD, while tight end Cameron Brate brought in eight passes for 72 yards.
After 1,204 games, Harvard played its first night game Sept. 22, 2007. The Crimson is 7-0 all-time in night games at Harvard Stadium following its 52-3 win against Holy Cross in 2012. Harvard is 3-0 at home at night against Brown.
Harvard will play two night games at home this season: Sept. 28 vs. Brown and Nov. 2 vs. Dartmouth.
The Crimson drew 18,898 fans to its first-ever night game in 2007 against Brown at The Stadium. A year later, in its 2008 opener against Holy Cross, the Crimson drew 20,462 in the first Friday night game at The Stadium.
After throwing for 345 yards and four touchdowns in his first-career start, junior quarterback Conner Hempel (Union, Ky.) was tabbed the New England Football Writers Association Gold Helmet Award winner this week.
The Crimson was chosen second in the Ivy League football preseason media poll in August. Harvard received five first-place votes and trailed Penn (11 first-place votes) in the poll.
2013 Ivy League Preseason Media Poll:
Rank School Points
1. Penn (11) 129
2. Harvard (5) 121
3. Brown (1) 88
4. Dartmouth 76
5. Princeton 73
6. Cornell 57
7. Yale 46
8. Columbia 22
Harvard on National TV
The Crimson will have three of its contests broadcast live on national television this season, all on the NBC Sports Network. Harvard's TV games include: Brown Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m., Penn Nov. 16 at noon and at Yale for the 130th Playing of The Game Nov. 23 at noon.
Sat., Sept. 21 Lehigh at Princeton
Sat., Sept. 28 Brown at Harvard
Sat., Oct. 12 Lehigh at Columbia
Sat., Nov. 9 Cornell at Dartmouth
Sat., Nov. 16 Penn at Harvard
Sat., Nov. 23 Harvard at Yale
Harvard has won 24 of its last 31 non-league games dating back to 2003 (.774). The Crimson was 3-0 against non-Ivy foes last year, defeating San Diego, 28-13, Holy Cross, 52-3, and Bucknell, 35-7. Harvard stands 1-0 against non-conference teams this year, having downed San Diego, 42-20.
Harvard is 21-9 in its last 30 road games (.700). The Crimson is 15-5 in its last 20 Ivy League road games (.750). In 2012, Harvard posted a 2-2 mark away from Cambridge. This season, Harvard stands 1-0 away from home.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 20th season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 129-61 record with the Crimson and a 161-106-1 overall head coaching record, which includes five years at Cincinnati and two years at Maine. Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, only two Ivy coaches have compiled more wins than Murphy's 129 and he is just one of five coaches to win 100-plus games. Murphy has led Harvard to six Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011). Murphy serves as president for the American Football Coaches Association this season. He is 12-7 all-time against Brown.
Ivy Era Coaches
Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, just seven coaches have reached the 100-win plateau, with two of them being Harvard men.
Carm Cozza Yale 179
Al Bagnoli Penn 143
Edward Robinson Brown 140*
Tim Murphy Harvard 129
Bob Blackman, Darmtouth & Cornell 127
George Woodruff Penn 124*
Tuss McLaughry Brown & Dartmouth 120
Joe Restic Harvard 117
Lou Little Columbia 110
*-pre Ivy League formation
Brown Head Coach Phil Estes
Phil Estes is in his 16th season as Brown's head coach, and he brings a 93-57 record with the Bears into the game. Estes has had the Bears at .500 or better in 13 of his first 15 years in Providence. He is 4-11 against Harvard.
Best In The FCS
These teams have both had considerable success over the past 12 seasons with each ranking among the Football Championships Subdivision's top 10 in winning percentage.
1. Harvard 96 24 .800
2. Montana 132 34 .795
3. North Dakota State 85 29 .746
4. Appalachian State 118 42 .738
5. Dayton 88 32 .733
6. San Diego 93 40 .699
7. Penn 84 36 .700
8. Northern Iowa 107 46 .699
9. Georgia Southern 101 53 .656
10. Grambling 94 50 .652
In Harvard's opener at San Diego, defensive end Zach Hodges (Atlanta, Ga.) had two fumble returns, including one for a 53-yard touchdown. Hodges became the first Harvard to return a fumble for a touchdown since Peter Ajayi did it against Columbia in 2008.
Double The Fun
Wide receiver Andrew Fischer (Diamond Bar, Calif.) caught two passes for touchdowns (10 yards and 30 yards) at San Diego Sept. 21. In the process, he became the first Harvard wideout to have two TD receptions in a game since Chris Lorditch against Holy Cross in 2010.
Better Than Average
In 2012, Harvard clinched its 113th season at .500 or better in the program's 139th-year history. It marked the Crimon's 14th-straight year at .500 or better.
Harvard was 4-for-4 in the red zone against San Diego in the opener Sept. 21. The Crimson scored a touchdown on all four of those drives, three by passes from Conner Hempel and one on a run by Paul Stanton, Jr (Kenner, La.).