Harvard vs. Princeton
The Crimson looks to bounce back from road loss to Holy Cross.
No. 23/RV Harvard football continues on the road, snapping back to Ivy League play at Princeton Saturday, Oct. 22. Sitting at 4-1 overall and 2-0 in Ancient Eight play, Harvard visits a Princeton team with an identical record after posting a 31-7 win over Brown a week ago.
Saturday's game will be the 109th all-time meeting between Harvard and Princeton with the first game having been played in 1877 (1-0 Harvard win). The Crimson trails the series, 54-47-7, but leads the series since Ivy League play began in 1956 (31-27-2). Despite a two-game winning streak for Princeton against Harvard from 2012-13, the Crimson has taken seven of the last nine contests between the Ancient Eight rivals, including the last two meetings.
The Crimson was tripped up for the first time since 2011 in nonconference play, falling at Holy Cross, 27-17. The Crimson has been led through the air by senior quarterback Joe Viviano, who missed last game, but has completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 7 touchdowns against no interceptions. Viviano also has 183 rushing yards and three touchdowns with his feet.
Leading the receiving corps is senior h-back Anthony Firkser who has 30 receptions through five games for 499 yards (99.8 yards per game). Firkser owns five touchdowns. On the ground, Semar Smith has seen action in four games, rushing for 339 yards (84.8 yards per game) and six scores.
Princeton is on a three-game winning streak, besting Columbia (48-13), Georgetown (31-17) and Brown (31-7) after dropping a 42-28 decision at Lehigh Sept. 24. Chad Kanoff has taken the majority of snaps under center, completing 89-of-145 for 927 yards and four touchdowns, but John Lovett has also seen action in all five games, connecting at a 68 percent clip with four scores. Lovett has added 224 yards of offense on his feet, including 10 rushing TDs.
Defensively, Luke Catarius owns 35 tackles to pace the Tigers, including 3.0 for a loss and one interception. Dorian Williamson has made two picks, as the Tigers have scored 49 points off 12 takeaways.
Last Time Out
In the first of three-straight games away from home, Harvard could not overcome an early deficit, falling to Holy Cross, 27-17, on Saturday afternoon at Fitton Field.
In his first-career start, sophomore Tom Stewart completed 19-of-33 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown. Senior Anthony Firkser and sophomore Brian Dunlap each caught six passes for 72 yards, with Dunlap recording his second-career touchdown in the second quarter. Sophomore Noah Reimers added a touchdown on the ground, compiling 36 yards on 11 carries.
Turnovers plagued the Crimson, as the loss snapped its FCS-leading and Ivy-record road winning streak at 16 games. The Crimson's non-conference winning streak was also halted at 16 games; Holy Cross was also the last non-Ivy team to top Harvard, earning a victory in 2011.
Third and Got It
The Crimson is converting over 50 percent of its third-down opportunities (52), a number that ranks fourth in the FCS. Harvard has also connected on 60 percent of its fourth-down tries (3-of-5).
The loss at Holy Cross Oct. 15 snapped a 16-consecutive road win streak, an Ivy League and program record (breaking the Crimson record set from 1974-77). The streak was the longest in the FCS. Dartmouth owns the next-longest road win streak in the Ivies, rattling off 14 in-a-row from 1995-97.
The duo of Justice Shelton-Mosley and Anthony Firkser has combined for 744 yards on 53 catches this season, each averaging over 80 yards per game. Both surpassed 100 yards receiving in the opening contest against URI, and Firkser neared the 150 mark against Georgetown. The tight end has five touchdowns to his credit through five games.
Through five games, the Crimson ranks 11th and 15th in the FCS in rushing and scoring defense, respectively. The Crimson has allowed 100.0 yards rushing and 20.0 points per game. The 20.0 points allowed is the best in the Ancient Eight.
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 112
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 a win at Princeton, Harvard can clinch its 118th season at .500 or better in the program's 144-year history. It will mark the Crimson's 18th-straight year at .500 or better.
Since 1994, the Crimson owns a record of 116-44 (.730) in games played in New England. Since the 2001 campaign, Harvard stands at 91-17 (.850), and the team is 37-4 since the start of 2012 (.925) 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 36-10 in its last 46 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 183-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 13 Harvard QBs have won their first career start. Seven of those games have come on the road.
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 160-64 record with the Crimson and a 192-109-1 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 160 and he is just one of five coaches to win 100-plus games. Murphy also owns 112 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 Princeton.
Against Brown, Murphy surpassed long-time Harvard head coach Joe Restic (1971-93) by coaching in his 221st game with the Crimson against Brown. Restic was 117-97-6.
Princeton Coach Bob Surace
Midway through his seventh season as head coach at Princeton, Bob Surace (Princeton '90) boasts an overall record of 29-36 and is 19-24 in Ivy League
contests. Surace led the Tigers to a share of the Ivy League title in 2013. He owns a 2-4 record against Harvard, having defeated the Crimson in 2012 and 2013.
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 265 victories.
Team W L T Ivy Titles
Harvard 265 149 9 17
Dartmouth 248 164 9 18
Yale 241 173 8 14
Penn 228 190 4 17
Princeton 226 191 5 10
Brown 181 233 7 4
Cornell 180 238 5 3
Columbia 94 322 5 1
Harvard is the only Ivy League school with a winning record against all other Ivies.