Football Travels To Cornell In Battle Of Ivy League Unbeatens
Harvard returns to the road for a second consecutive week with a game against fellow Ivy League unbeaten Cornell at Schoelkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y.
- Download Complete Harvard Game Notes (PDF)
- Watch Tim Murphy at the Weekly New England Football Writer's Luncheon
- Ivy League Weekly Release
- Audio From Ivy Weekly Football Teleconference
Saturday's game will be the 74th meeting on the gridiron between Harvard and Cornell since 1890, and the Crimson holds a 39-32-2 series lead.
The Crimson owned the early series, capturing the first 10 games (1890-1913), while Cornell won 11 straight from 1986-1996.
Harvard has won seven of the last eight contests while averaging 34.5 points in those seven wins compared to 15.4 for Cornell. Harvard has scored at least 32 points in three straight years against the Big Red.
Last Year's Meeting
With Cornell looking for a 4-0 start in 2008, Harvard shut the door early en route to a 38-17 win at Harvard Stadium.
Then-freshman Adam Chrissis scored his first two career touchdowns and Levi Richards had his first touchdown as Harvard rolled. Chrissis, starting due to injuries to Harvard's regulars, scored on his first career reception, a 67-yard pass from Chris Pizzotti '08-09 less than two minutes into the game. Richards, also making his first start, pulled down a 21-yarder as Harvard claimed a 28-7 halftime lead.
Pizzotti completed 16 of 23 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns, while Matt Luft caught four passes for 139 yards.
Harvard's Last Time Out|
Harvard's defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions - one of which was returned 60 yards for a touchdown, as Harvard drubbed Lehigh, 28-14 in Bethlehem, Pa. last weekend.
Jon Takamura had an interception in his second straight game and returned it 60 yards for a score while also adding two of Harvard's four sacks. Collin Zych had two interceptions as well from the safety position. Harvard allowed just seven first downs in the first three quarters as it built a 28-7 lead.
Collier Winters threw two second-quarter TDs and Cheng Ho scored two TDs in his first start of the season, rushing for 132 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and adding a 13-yard touchdown catch.
Cornell's Last Time Out
Colgate ran for 344 yards in a 45-23 victory over Cornell last week. Nate Eachus ran for 129 yards and three touchdowns for the Raiders, which took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after Eachus scored on a 34-yard run and a 5-yard touchdown run by Jordan McCord, who finished with 98 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Cornell cut the lead to 21-10 in the second quarter on Nick Mlady's 1-yard touchdown run. But Colgate answered with 17 straight points, highlighted by McCord's 21-yard touchdown run and Eachus' 9-yard TD run to pull ahead by 28.
Cornell managed just 63 yards rushing while Ben Ganter threw for 217 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 16-for-32 passing.
In a departure from previous years, the Crimson's defense does not rank among the nation's "top 10" after the third week of the season. Instead, a solid if unspectacular unit still ranks among the Ivy's best after facing off against two of the nation's most prolific passing attacks from 2008 in Holy Cross and Brown as well as an athletic Lehigh team.
After failing to get significant pass pressure in its first two games, Harvard broke through in a big way at Lehigh with players speeding all over the field and forcing five turnovers, numerous mistakes and 10 quarterback hurries - including seven on first down throws to put the Mountain Hawks into second-and-long situations.
The Big Red's defense was on the field for a significant portion of the day against the Raiders, as Colgate was able to pick up 561 total yards.
Senior running back Randy Barbour needs 33 yards on the ground to become the 28th 1,000-yard rusher in Big Red history.
With 871 career punt return yards, senior wide receiver Bryan Walters, the Ivy League's Special Teams Player of the Week, is 31 yards away from matching the Ivy League record of 902 set by Penn's Mark Fabish 13 years ago.
The Big Red had an interception by Josh Gajdos, giving the team five in three games this season. Cornell had just five total interceptions during the 2008 campaign.
Out Of The Gates
After defeating Brown last weekend, Harvard has won its Ivy League opener in 10 of the last 11 seasons with nine of the wins coming against Brown and the other coming against Columbia.
Cornell defeated Yale two weeks ago in New Haven, Conn. while Penn (win at Dartmouth) and Columbia (win over Princeton) are also off to 1-0 starts in the league.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 16th season as Harvard's head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 99-53 record with the Crimson and a 131-98-1 overall head coaching record, which includes five years at Cincinnati and two years at Maine. Murphy has led Harvard to five Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008). He is 9-6 all-time against Cornell.
Cornell Coach Jim Knowles
Jim Knowles is in his sixth season at the helm of the Big Red (26-27). Knowles, an All-Ivy defensive end and three-year letterwinner on the gridiron, was hired by his alma mater as head coach on Jan. 30, 2004. He is 1-4 against Harvard.
Five For Fighting
Against Lehigh, Harvard forced five turnovers for the first time since causing five in consecutive games against Lafayette and Cornell in 2007.
Against Lehigh, the Crimson allowed just seven first downs in the first three quarters of play while finishing with four sacks, four pass breakups and 10 quarterback hurries.
With its win at Lehigh, Harvard became the ninth school in Division I to record 800 wins all-time ... The Crimson has an all-time record of 800-375-50 (.673).
Harvard has won 16 of its last 20 non-league games dating back to 2003. Last season, Harvard completed its nonleague schedule undefeated (3-0) for the fourth time in the last six seasons with wins over Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh.
Harvard is 33-11 in its last 44 road games since the start of the 2000 season. The Crimson is 24-7 in Ivy League road games during that span.
Patriot League Crossed Off The List
Cheng Ho has six career 100-yard rushing games with one each coming against the Crimson's current non-league opponents, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh.
His 132 yards at Lehigh on Oct. 3 represents a career-high for the senior back and 2007 All-Ivy League selection.
Harvard is 28-6 in games in which a Crimson running back has rushed for at least 100 yards over the past six seasons.
Harvard's last two interception returns for a touchdown have come against Lehigh. Jon Takamura returned a pick 60-yards for a score at Lehigh on Oct. 3. In 2008, Glen Dorris returned a pick off 21 yards for a score.
A Harvard player has recorded at least two interceptions in each of the team's last two games in the state of Pennsylvania. Last year Ryan Barnes had three interceptions at Penn. On Oct. 3 this season, Collin Zych had two picks.
Out Of The Gates
After defeating Brown on Sept. 25, Harvard has won its Ivy League opener in 10 of the last 11 seasons with nine of the wins coming against Brown and the other coming against Columbia.
Get Them Early
Dating back to the start of the 2003 season, Harvard is 40-1 when leading at halftime.
Where We Are Now
Saturday's game will be Harvard's 1,226th varsity football game. The Crimson has an all-time record of 800-375-50 (.673).
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.
Complete Game Notes
For complete games notes in PDF format, click on the link at the beginning of this page.