Harvard Football Visits Cornell for Road Test Saturday
Eric Medes paces the Crimson with 25 tackles through three games (Gil Talbot).
Harvard looks to continue its momentum as it takes its 3-0 overall record (1-0 Ivy League) into a road contest at Cornell Saturday afternoon. The Big Red stands at 1-2 and 0-1 in conference play, while the Crimson is tied for first in the Ancient Eight with Yale, Princeton and Penn. Harvard is coming off a 41-35 triple overtime victory at Holy Cross, while the Big Red fell at home to Colgate, 41-20.
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Saturday's game will be the 75th meeting between Harvard and Cornell n a rivalry that dates back to 1890. The Crimson has won seven in a row in the series and leads, 40-32-2, all-time. Harvard has taken 11 of the last 12 meetings between the conference rivals since 2001.
For the second straight season, Harvard is off to a 3-0 start. The Crimson began 2012 with a 5-0 mark.
In Harvard's triple-overtime thrilling win at Holy Cross Oct. 5, Paul Stanton, Jr., who rushed 103 yards and two TDs on the day, ran for a 17-yard score to give the Crimson a sudden, 41-35 win. With the Crimson trailing, 21-14, with 38 seconds left, Harvard quarterback Conner Hempel found Cameron Brate in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard strike, forcing overtime. Tyler Ott caught a three-yard pass from Hempel in the first overtime, and Stanton, Jr. added a one-yard score in the second extra session before winning it a frame later. The Crimson recovered four fumbles and added six sacks on the day.
The triple-overtime victory was the first extra session game for Harvard since topping Yale, 30-24, in three overtimes in 2005 and tied that game as the longest in 140 years of Harvard football.
The Big Red is 1-2 on the year after dropping back-to-back games to Yale, 38-23, and Colgate, 41-20. Cornell QB Jeff Matthews went 33-of-44 for 351 yards and two scores and became the Ivy League's all-time leading passer with 9,303 yards, moving ahead of Brown's James Perry (9,294). The Big Red led, 20-17, at the half, but the Raiders outscored Cornell, 24-0, in the final 30 minutes to pick up the win.
Crimson NCAA leaders
Through three games, placekicker David Mothander is tied for first in the nation in field-goal percentage (1.000), while quarterback Conner Hempel stands third in passing efficiency (174.8), seventh in completion percentage (.679) and eighth in passing yards per completion (14.6). Defensively, Zach Hodges is first in fumbles recovered (1.0 per game), while Norman Hayes is second in interceptions per game (0.7) and D.J. Monroe is second in passes defended (2.0 per game). Monroe also ranks ninth in solo tackles (6.7 per game), and Hodges is ninth in tackles for loss per contest (1.8).
Last season, quarterback Colton Chapple threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns, as Harvard cruised past Cornell, 45-13, at Harvard Stadium on Oct. 6, 2012 before 10,215 fans at Harvard Stadium The Crimson finished the game with a 21-0 run and amassed 30 first downs.
Harvard boasts the best overtime record among Ivy League schools at 5-1. Here is a look at each team's record in overtime:
Columbia.......................................... 3-3 (.500)
Cornell............................................... 5-5 (.500)
Dartmouth...................................... 4-6 (.400)
Harvard............................................. 5-1 (.833)
Penn................................................... 6-6 (.500)
Princeton......................................... 8-7 (.533)
Yale...................................................... 5-3 (.625)
TOTAL......................................... 35-36 (.489)
Harvard's All-Time Overtime Games
S21, 1996 at Columbia............. L, 13-20
O17, 1998 vs. Holy Cross....... W, 20-14
O25, 2003 vs. Princeton......... W, 43-40
S24, 2005 vs. Brown.... W, 38-35 (2ot)
N19, 2005 at Yale......... W, 30-24 (3ot)
O5, 2013 at Holy Cross W, 41-35 (3ot)
Harvard has scored a defensive touchdown in each of the first three games. Zach Hodges (Atlanta, Ga.) had a 53-yard fumble return for a score at San Diego Sept. 21, and Jaron Wilson (Carmichael, Calif.) ran 51 yards for a TD after intercepting a pass against Brown Sept. 28. In the triple-overtime win at Holy Cross Oct. 5, Eric Medes (Philadelphia, Pa.) added a four-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Harvard on National TV
The Crimson will have four of its contests broadcast live on national television this season, three on the NBC Sports Network and one on Fox College Sports. Harvard's TV games include: Brown Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m., Princeton Oct. 26 at 1 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
2013 Ivy League Football Fox College Sports Schedule:
Sat., Sept. 28 Holy Cross at Dartmouth
Sat., Oct. 12 Yale at Dartmouth
Sat., Oct. 19 Princeton at Brown
Sat., Oct. 26 Princeton at Harvard
Sat., Nov. 2 Penn at Brown
Sat., Nov. 16 Columbia at Cornell
Sat., Nov. 23 Brown at Columbia
Harvard has won 25 of its last 32 non-league games dating back to 2003 (.781). 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 2-0 against non-conference teams this year, having downed San Diego, 42-20, and Holy Cross, 41-35, in triple overtime.
Harvard is 22-9 in its last 31 road games (.710). 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 2-0 away from home and has three road contests remaining.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 20th season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 131-61 record with the Crimson and a 163-106-1 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 131 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 13-6 all-time against Cornell.
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 144
Edward Robinson Brown 140*
Tim Murphy Harvard 131
Bob Blackman, Dartmouth & Cornell 127
George Woodruff Penn 124*
Tuss McLaughry Brown & Dartmouth 120
Joe Restic Harvard 117
Lou Little Columbia 110
*-pre Ivy League formation
Cornell Head Coach David Archer
David Archer is in his first season as Cornell's head coach, and he brings a 1-2 record with the Big Red into the game. Archer has yet to face Harvard.
Best In The FCS
Harvard has had considerable success over the past 12 seasons, ranking No. 1 among the Football Championships Subdivision's top 10 in winning percentage.
1. Harvard 98 24 .803
2. Montana 133 35 .792
3. North Dakota State 87 29 .750
4. Dayton 89 33 .730
5. Appalachian State 118 44 .728
6. San Diego 95 40 .704
7. Penn 85 37 .697
8. Northern Iowa 107 47 .695
9. Georgia Southern 102 54 .654
10. Grambling 94 52 .644
Pick It Up
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.
Hodges added another fumble recovery at Holy Cross Oct. 5 and now has four takeaways on the season. Hodges ranks first in the nation with 1.0 fumble recoveries per contest.
Better Than Average
In 2012, Harvard clinched its 113th season at .500 or better in the program's 139th-year history. It marked the Crimson's 14th-straight year at .500 or better.
The Crimson has won 14 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.
Red Zone? No Problem
Harvard was 4-for-4 in the red zone against San Diego in the opener Sept. 21. The Crimson was also perfect inside the 20-yard line at Holy Cross Oct. 5, scoring a TD on each of those possessions.
The Crimson went 5-of-7 in the red zone against Brown Sept. 28 and is now 14-of-16 on the season with 12 touchdowns and two field goals.
Harvard Among Ivy Leaders
Conner Hempel (Union, Ky.) is second in the Ancient Eight with 267.7 yards passing per game, and placekicker David Mothander (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) has the league lead in scoring for kickers (7.3 points per game).
Punter David Bicknell (Boca Raton, Fla.) is averaging a league-best 43.0 yards per punt, and Norman Hayes (Tucker, Ga.) has two interceptions to rank tied for first in the conference. Zach Hodges is tied for the league lead with 1.83 tackles for a loss and is second with 0.83 sacks per contest. Hodges also leads the way in the Ivy with three fumble recoveries.
As a team, Harvard paces the Ancient Eight in passing efficiency (168.9) and punting (40.0). The Crimson is also first in sacks (3.67 per game) and turnover margin (+2.0).
Where We Are Now
Saturday's game will be Harvard's 1,265th varsity football game. The Crimson has an all-time record of 832-383-50 (.677).
Harvard has reached the 30-point plateau in 13 of its last 16 road games and has scored at least 40 in five of its last 10.
Harvard has reached double figures in scoring in 64-straight games and 101 of its last 102 contests. The last team to hold Harvard to single digits was Penn (9) in 2002.
The Crimson is 67-3 (.957) when leading at halftime since the start of the 2003 season. Harvard last surrendered a halftime lead against Princeton on Oct. 20, 2012 (led 20-0, lost 39-34).
Into The Night
After 1,204 games, Harvard played its first night game Sept. 22, 2007. The Crimson is 8-0 all-time in night games at Harvard Stadium following its 41-23 win over Brown Sept. 28. Harvard is 4-0 at home at night against Brown.
Harvard will play one more night at home this season: 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. 17,256 fans attended Harvard's night game against Brown this year.
Harvard is 290-5-1 (.981) all time when the Crimson scores 30 or more points.
Harvard has scored points in a school-record 151 consecutive games. The Crimson has not been shut out since a 24-0 loss to Columbia in the 1998 season opener.