Harvard at Penn
The Crimson has won at least seven games for an Ivy record 16-straight seasons (Gil Talbot).
The No. 22/24 Harvard football team hits the road for the final time this season, as the Crimson pays a visit to Philadelphia to take on Penn Friday evening in a game that will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network. A Harvard victory would clinch at least a share of the program's fourth-straight Ivy League title and 18th overall in program history. The Crimson enters the week 7-1 overall and 5-0 in Ancient Eight games, while the Quakers stand 5-3 and 4-1.
Harvard boasts a record of 3-1 in road contests, and Penn is 3-1 in games played at Franklin Field in 2016. The Crimson has won a program and Ivy record 13-straight conference games on the road.
Friday's game will mark the 87th all-time meeting between the Ivy rivals, with the Crimson leading the series, 48-36-2. Last season, the Quakers emerged with a 35-25 victory at Harvard Stadium, snapping Harvard's 22-game win streak. Since 2001, Harvard has won eight matchups, while Penn has taken seven. Since the 1997 campaign, either Harvard or Penn has captured at least a share of the Ivy crown on 17 occasions.
In the 28-21 win over Columbia Nov. 5, wide receiver Adam Scott, who was tabbed Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, made seven receptions for 109 yards, including two grabs for TDs. QB Joe Viviano completed 17-of-34 passes, finishing with 260 yards and three TDs. Defensively, Raishaun McGhee paced the Crimson for the second-straight week in tackles, making 10 stops.
For the year, Viviano is completing 62.0 percent of his passes (124-of-216) and has 1,616 yards through the air. He has thrown 13 TDs, while rushing for five more. Semar Smith (62.3 yards per contests) is the team's leading rusher and has scored seven touchdowns on the ground, while Justice Shelton-Mosley is averaging 77.8 receiving yards per game.
Penn was topped at Princeton, 28-0, Nov. 5. QB Alex Torgersen is 151-of-232 (.651) for 1,684 yards and 14 touchdowns. Torgersen's favorite target is Justin Watson, 68 recptions for 889 yards (111.1 avg.) and seven TDs. On the ground, Tre Solomon is averagin 88.5 yards per game and has seven rushing TDs.
Ivy Standings Picture
With two conference games remaining, Harvard sits in sole possession of first place at 5-0. Penn and Princeton are tied for second at 4-1. Harvard is off to its third-straight season with a 5-0 conference mark.
Harvard has rattled off 13-straight Ivy League road wins, a program and conference record.
13 – Harvard (2013-present)
12 - Harvard (1974-77)
12 – Penn (2002-05)
12 – Penn (2008-11)
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).
The duo of Justice Shelton-Mosley and Anthony Firkser has combined for 1,074 yards on 78 catches this season, each averaging over 75 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 seven touchdowns to his credit through seven games.
The Crimson ranks 13th and 19th in the FCS in rushing and scoring defense, respectively. The Crimson has allowed 100.9 yards rushing and 20.3 points per game.
Tim Murphy ranks second all-time in Ivy League wins.
Carm Cozza Yale 135
Tim Murphy Harvard 115
Al Bagnoli Penn/Columbia 114
Bob Blackman Dartmouth/Cornell 100
Joe Restic Harvard 92
Better Than Average
Harvard has clinched its 119th season at .500 or better in the program's 143-year history. It also marks the Crimson's 19th-straight year at .500 or better.
Harvard is 38-10 in its last 48 road games (.792). The Crimson is 30-5 (.857) in its last 35 Ivy League road games.
Since 1994, the Crimson owns a record of 118-44 (.728) in games played in New England. Since the 2001 campaign, Harvard stands at 93-17 (.845), and the team is 39-4 since the start of 2012 (.907) in contests held in the region.
Harvard has scored points in an Ivy League and school-record 186-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. Six of those games have come on the road.
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.
Third and Got It
The Crimson is converting 47.4 percent (64-of-135) of its third-down opportunities, a number that is 14th in the FCS.
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 163-64 record with the Crimson and a 195-109-1 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 163 and he is just one of five coaches to win 100-plus games. Murphy also owns 115 Ivy League wins, second most all-time. Murphy has led Harvard to nine Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015). He is 9-13 vs. Penn.
Penn Coach Ray Priore
Nearing the end of his second season as head coach with the Quakers, Ray Priore (Albany '85) boasts an overall record of 11-6 overall and 10-2 in Ivy games. He led Penn to a share of the Ivy League crown last year and is 1-0 against Harvard.
Down The Stretch Into November
Since 2007, the Crimson owns a 27-4 mark (.871) in contests played during the month of November.
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 32-1 (.970) 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 268 victories.
Harvard ripped off 16-straight wins over non-Ivy opponents from 2011-16. It marked the longest streak in Ivy League history.
16 – Harvard (2011-2016)
10 – Yale (1999-2002)
10 – Princeton (1993-96)
10 – Dartmouth (1994-97)
10 – Cornell (1970-74) – 1 tie
Harvard has won 34 of its last 42 non-league games dating back to 2003 (.810).
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.
The Crimson is 94-4 (.959) when leading at halftime since the start of the 2003 season. Harvard last surrendered a halftime lead against Penn on Nov. 14, 2015 (led 25-21, lost 35-25).