Harvard vs. Cornell
Both Harvard and Cornell enter Saturday as the lone undefeated Ivy League teams (Gil Talbot).
The No. 16/22 Harvard football team welcomes Cornell to Harvard Stadium Saturday, Oct. 8 as the only two undefeated Ivy League teams square off at 1 p.m. Harvard enters the contest 3-0 overall and 1-0 in Ivy League. For the second-straight week, an unbeaten team arrives in Cambridge, with Cornell siting at 3-0 and 1-0 in Ancient Eight play. The game is being broadcast live on One World Sports and the Ivy League Digital Network.
Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, surpassed long-time Harvard head coach Joe Restic (1971-93) by coaching in his 221st game with the Crimson against Brown. Murphy is just one win away from 160 wins, boasting a 159-63 record. Restic was 117-97-6.
Harvard holds a 46-32-2 advantage in the all-time series against Cornell. The series dates back to the first meeting in 1890, a 77-0 triumph for the Crimson. The win was the first of 10 straight to begin the series between to the two schools and mirrors the 10-game win streak the Crimson is currently on against the Big Red. Harvard took last season's meeting in Ithaca, 40-3. Cornell's last win in the series came in 2005 on its home turf.
The winner of today's matchup will stand as the only undefeated team in the conference, as Harvard and Cornell begin the day at 3-0 and the only two teams in the league without a loss. The Crimson posted its best yardage total through the air last weekend in its victory over Georgetown, as 358 of its 535 total yards came via the pass. Harvard was dominant in the game, racking up 33 first downs to the Georgetown's nine.
Leading the Crimson offense is senior quarterback Joe Viviano. On the year, Viviano completes passes at a 66.7 percent clip (56-of-84) with six passing touchdowns and three more on the ground. Senior tight end Anthony Firkser has caught 16 of those passes for 336 yards and four scores, while sophomore wide receiver Justice Shelton-Mosley has caught 15 passes through two games for 177 yards. The ground game has been led by Semar Smith, tallying just under 90 yards per contest. Defensively, Luke Hutton owns 17 total tackles.
Cornell's offense eclipsed 500 yards in its win over then-No. 25 Colgate, going for 567 with 454 of those coming as pass yards. Dalton Banks has thrown for 920 yards (306.7 per game) with seven touchdowns against three interceptions. On the ground, the Big Red average 127.0 yards per game, including 90.0 from Chris Walker. Defensively, Justin Solomon owns 24 tackles and an interception.
Last Time Out
Joe Viviano threw three first half touchdown passes, and Anthony Firkser made five catches for a career-high 147 yards and two touchdowns to lead Harvard to a 31-17 victory over previously-undefeated Georgetown Friday night at Harvard Stadium. Harvard totaled 535 yards of total offense, including a season-high 358 yards passing, with Tom Stewart (111 yards) and Cam Tripp (37 yards, 1 TD pass) also contributing under center. Junior running back Semar Smith led the rushing attack with 72 yards on 12 attempts, while Noah Reimers added 57 yards on the ground. It moved the Crimson to 14-0 all-time in games played under the lights in Cambridge.
Third and Got It
The Crimson is converting nearly 60 percent of its third-down opportunities (.577), a number that leads the FCS. Harvard has also connected on half of its fourth-down tries.
Dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season, Harvard has rattled off 16-consecutive wins on the road, setting a new Ivy League and program record (breaking the Crimson record set from 1974-77). The streak is the longest in the FCS and second longest in all of Division I (Ohio State, 19).
The Crimson last lost on the road, 30-21, at Penn Nov. 10, 2012, and has gone more than three full seasons without dropping a game away from Cambridge.
Dartmouth owns the next-longest road win streak, rattling off 14 in-a-row from 1995-97.
The duo of Justice Shelton-Mosley and Anthony Firkser has combined for 513 yards on 31 catches this season, each averaging over 102 yards per game. Both surpassed 100 yards receiving in the opening contest against URI, and Firkser neared the 150 mark against Georgetown last week. The tight end has four touchdowns to his credit through three games.
Through three games, the Crimson ranks 13th in the FCS in both rushing and scoring defense, allowing 96.7 yards and 20.0 points per game. The 20 points allowed is the best in the Ancient Eight. Last season, Harvard ranked first in the FCS in rushing defense (84.4 rushing yards allowed per game) and was second in scoring defense (13.0 points allowed per contest).
Ivy Coaching Wins
Tim Murphy ranks third all-time in Ivy League wins.
Carm Cozza Yale 135
Al Bagnoli Penn/Columbia 113
Tim Murphy Harvard 111
Bob Blackman Dartmouth/Cornell 100
Joe Restic Harvard 92
With the victory over Rhode Island, Harvard has now won 14 of the last 16 season openers, including five in a row, and is an impressive 118-23-2 (.832) all-time in the first game of the season. Under current head coach Tim Murphy, the Crimson is 17-6 (.739) on opening day.
Better Than Average
With nine wins last year, Harvard clinched its 117th season at .500 or better in the program's 143-year history. It also marked the Crimson's 17th-straight year at .500 or better.
Harvard Owns New England
Since 1994, the Crimson owns a record of 115-43 (.728) in games played in New England. Since the 2001 campaign, Harvard stands at 90-16 (.849), and the team is 36-3 since the start of 2012 (.923) in contests held in the region.
September Under Murphy
Since Tim Murphy began patrolling the Harvard sideline in 1994, the Crimson is 39-13 (.750) in games played in the month of September. Harvard boasts a 30-6 (.833) mark since 2001 and has won 13 straight in September.
Harvard is 36-9 in its last 45 road games (.795). The Crimson is 28-5 (.844) in its last 33 Ivy League road games.
Harvard has scored points in an Ivy League and school-record 181-consecutive games. The Crimson has not been shut out since a 24-0 loss to Columbia in the 1998 season opener.
Brown held the previous Ivy record (162 games), which was stopped on Oct. 13, 2012 (19-0 loss at Princeton).
Successful Signal Callers
Eleven of the last 12 Harvard QBs have won their first career start. Six of those games have come on the road.
Garrett Schires... vs. Lafayette.. Oct. 18, 2003
Richard Irvin........ at Holy Cross. Sept. 17, 2005
Liam O'Hagan..... vs. Brown Sept. 24, 2005
Chris Pizzotti...... vs. Holy Cross Sept. 6, 2006
Jeff Witt.............. at Brown........ Sept.13, 2006
Andrew Hatch..... vs. Holy Cross Sept. 18, 2010
Colton Chapple... at Lafayette... Oct. 2, 2010
Conner Hempel... at San Diego.. Sept. 21, 2013
Michael Pruneau at Cornell....... Oct. 12, 2013
Scott Hosch........ at Brown........ Sept. 27, 2014
Joe Viviano.......... vs. Rhode Island..... Sept. 16, 2016
Going For Four
Harvard has won at least a share of the last three Ivy League titles and is seeking to become the first team to capture four consecutive Ancient Eight titles since Penn (1982-86). This marks the first time the Crimson has won three straight crowns.
The other schools to win three straight: Yale (1967-69), Dartmouth (1969-73), Yale (1979-81) and Penn (1982-86).
Harvard players have earned several preseason honors. Sophomore Justice Shelton-Mosley, a wide receiver, was selected to the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Performer of the Year Watch List. Shelton-Mosley also earned STATS FCS Preseason All-America honors, and senior captain Sean Ahern was tabbed to the Lott Impact Award Watch List. Ahern was the only FCS player on the Lott Impact Award Watch List.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 23rd season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters this week's game with a 159-63 record with the Crimson and a 191-108-1 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 one Ivy coach has compiled more wins than Murphy's 159 and he is just one of five coaches to win 100-plus games. Murphy also owns 111 Ivy League wins, third most all-time. Murphy has led Harvard to nine Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015). He is 16-6 against Cornell.
Cornell Coach David Archer
The second-youngest Division I head coach in the nation, David Archer is in his fourth season as the leader of the Big Red. Archer is a former student-athlete at Cornell, as well as a six-year assistant coach at his alma mater. As a player, he spent three years starting on the offensive line and as a coach, he oversaw recruiting efforts, while also leading the running backs, offensive line and linebackers. As the head coach, Archer is 8-25 overall and 5-17 in Ivy play. Against the Crimson, he is 0-3.
Offense Clicking Under Murphy
With its 51-point performance vs. Rhode Island Sept. 16, Harvard improved to 38-1 (.974) under head coach Tim Murphy (since 1994) when scoring 40 or more points. The lone loss was at home against Princeton, 51-48, in triple overtime Oct. 26, 2013.
Since 2000, Harvard is 31-1 (.969) when it does not fumble and 32-0 when not committing a turnover.
Crimson Colored Ivy
Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, Harvard has been the winningest team during league play. The Crimson also has a conference-best 264 victories.
Team W L T Ivy Titles
Harvard 264 148 9 17
Dartmouth 247 164 9 18
Yale 240 172 8 14
Penn 227 190 4 17
Princeton 225 191 5 10
Brown 181 232 7 4
Cornell 180 237 5 3
Columbia 94 321 5 1
Harvard is the only Ivy League school with a winning record against all other Ivies.
Harvard's lowest winning percentage is .533 against Princeton.
Harvard In The National Polls
Harvard appears at No. 19 in the FCS Coaches' poll and No. 22 in the STATS media poll this week.
Harvard in the national polls in 2016:
FCS Coaches' STATS
Presesaon 19 (127) ARV (294)
Sept. 5 21 (98) ARV (183)
Sept. 12 22 (102) ARV (153)
Sept. 19 19 (127) ARV (277)
Sept. 26 19 (169) 25 (323)
Oct. 3 16 (227) 25 (706)