Harvard Football Heads on the Road to Face Columbia Saturday
Harvard owns a 3-0 record on the road this fall (Gil Talbot).
Following a three-game homestand, Harvard football hits the road to face Columbia in an Ivy League matchup Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The game will be shown exclusively on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Follow Harvard Athletics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay connected with all the breaking news from around Cambridge and to get inside access to your favorite Crimson programs.
Saturday's game will be the 72nd meeting between Harvard and Columbia in a rivalry that dates back to 1877.
The Crimson controls the all-time series, 56-14-1, overall and stands 48-8-1 in 57 previous Ivy League contests against Columbia. Harvard has rattled off nine straight wins against this Ivy rival and has won 13 of the last 14 meetings dating back to 1999. During that stretch, the Crimson is 5-1 vs. the Lions in New York.
In Harvard's dramatic, 24-21, win over Dartmouth last week, placekicker Andrew Flesher (Little Rock, Ark.) drilled a 23-yard field goal with only 48 seconds left to break a tie and give the Crimson its third Ivy win of the year.
Flesher made two other field goals in the game (34, 32 yards), finishing the game with 10 points. Running back Paul Stanton, Jr., (Kenner, La.) took 26 handoffs and ran for 146 yards, including a career-high dash of 63 yards. Wide receiver Ricky Zorn (Dallas, Texas) caught four passes for 40 yards and also tossed a 32-yard TD pass on a reverse to wide receiver Andrew Berg (Los Gatos, Calif.). Quarterback Conner Hempel (Union, Ky.) went 18-of-27 for 135 yards and ran for 70 on the ground.
Columbia is coming off a 52-12 defeat against Yale in New Haven, Conn. Quarterback Trevor McDonagh completed 20 passes and finished with 204 yards passing. His favorite target was wideout Chris Connors ,who made nine receptions, amassing 81 yards. Linebacker Zach Olinger (nine tackles) and defensive lineman J.D. Hurt (eight tackles) paced the Lions' defensive effort.
Crimson NCAA leaders
D.J. Monroe (Columbia, S.C.) stands first in passes defended per game (1.9). Zach Hodges (Atlanta, Ga.) is ninth in forced fumbles (0.43 per game), 12th in tackles for a loss (1.5 per game) and 14th in fumbles recovered (0.43 per game).
As a team, Harvard ranks fifth in turnover margin (1.5), 10th in rushing defense (107.0), 11th in fumbles recovered (10) and 15th in completion percentage (.656).
With his 5.5 sacks this fall, defensive end Zach Hodges now has 17.5 in his career (3.0 as freshman, 9.0 as sophomore). He now ranks sixth in program history with 17.5 sacks, only 0.5 behind Don Peterson '89 for fifth. Chris Smith '98 holds the Harvard record with 20.5.
Hodges Up for Buck Buchanan
Defensive end Zach Hodges was recently added to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch list, given to the nation's premiere defensive standout.
Hodges leads Harvard with 10.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks this season. He has also forced three fumbles, recovered three fumbles, recorded six quarterback hurries and made an interception.
Give 29 the Ball
Running back Paul Stanton, Jr., has rushed for 10 touchdowns, including two each in the wins over Brown Sept. 28, Holy Cross Oct. 5 and Lafayette Oct. 19. Stanton also had two scores in the triple overtime loss to Princeton Oct. 26. Stanton's 10 touchdowns are third in the Ivy League. He is tied with Gino Gordon '11 (2010) for eighth most rushing TDS in a single season in school history and is one shy of tying Eion Hu '97 (1994) and Clifton Dawson '07 (2005) for sixth.
Harvard has won two games this season on plays in the final minute of action. Paul Stanton, Jr. scored on a 17-yard rush in triple overtime at Holy Cross (W, 41-35), and Andrew Flesher drilled a 23-yard field goal with 48 ticks left on the clock against Dartmouth (W, 24-21).
Leading 7-0 after the first, Harvard set a modern program record with five touchdowns and 35 points in the second stanza to take a 42-0 lead, en route to a 69-0 win against Columbia on Nov. 3, 2012. The 69 points were the most in a game for Harvard since 1946 and established a new Ivy record for margin of victory in a conference game. Quarterback Colton Chapple '13 tossed three touchdowns and ran for one more, helping Harvard muster 585 yards of offense. The Crimson rushed the ball 52 times, finishing with 328 yards on the ground.
Ivy Title Hunt
With three conference games remaining, Harvard sits tied with Penn for second place in the Ancient Eight with 3-1 conference marks. Princeton is alone in first at 4-0, while Brown, Dartmouth and Yale are tied for fourth with 2-2 records in Ivy play. Cornell and Columbia are 0-4 and tied for seventh.
Sturdy Hands at TE
Tight end Tyler Ott made three touchdown catches against Princeton Oct. 26. Ott caught 23, 10 and five-yard passes from Conner Hempel in the game, becoming the first Crimson tight end to have three TDS in a game since Kyle Juszczyk '12 made three TD grabs against Princeton on Oct. 20, 2012. Ott's three TDs also tied a program record for a single game.
Four Scores Through The Air
For the second time this season, Conner Hempel threw for four touchdowns, as he had four scores through the air against Princeton Oct. 27. Hempel also tossed for four TDs in the season opener at San Diego Sept. 21.
Wide receiver Ricky Zorn had 168 receiving yards on eight catches, including an acrobatic 33-yard TD, against Princeton Oct. 26. Zorn now paces the Crimson with 36 receptions and 568 receiving yards on the season. He is averaging 81.1 yards per game overall and 105.8 in games played at Harvard Stadium. In the Crimson's 24-21 win against Dartmouth Nov. 2, Ricky Zorn took the ball on a reverse and connected with Andrew Berg for a 32-yard TD strike.
In his 20th season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 134-62 record with the Crimson and a 166-107-1 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 134 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 and 2011). He is 15-4 all-time against Columbia.
In the triple-overtime contest against Princeton Oct. 26, defensive back Norman Hayes (Tucker, Ga.) and Eric Medes (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) both recorded 16 tackles, a season-high for the Crimson. Medes paces the Crimson with 56 tackles overall and with 35 tackles in three conference contests.
Since 2007, Harvard is 12-0 following a loss. The Crimson has not lost consecutive games since weeks nine and 10 of the 2006 season.
Columbia Head Coach Pete Mangurian
Pete Mangurian is midway through his second season as Columbia's head coach, and he brings a 3-14 record with the Lions into this game. Mangurian previously served as head coach at Cornell from 1998-2000, going 16-14 overall and 11-10 in conference games. Mangurian is 2-2 against Harvard, with both victories coming when he was head coach at Cornell (1999, 2000).