No. 16/25 Harvard Travels to Penn Saturday with Ivy League Title On The Line
A familiar scene will unfold at Franklin Field this Saturday as the nationally-ranked Harvard Crimson travels to the University of Pennsylvania in a game with Ivy League title implications.
Where We Stand
Saturday's winner will clinch at least a share of the Ivy League championship while the loser would need to win its Week 10 game and have Saturday's victor lose on the final week of play. Additionally, Dartmouth and Princeton remain one game back and could also share a piece of the hardware.
A Harvard victory would clinch Harvard's 15th Ancient Eight title, second consecutive and the seventh for head coach Tim Murphy.
Either Harvard or Penn has won the last five Ivy League championships with the Crimson owning three and Penn two.
The 1996 season was the last time a Harvard-Penn game didn't directly impact the Ivy title chase in one form or another.
Saturday's game will be the 83rd meeting between Harvard and Penn in a series that dates
to 1881. Harvard holds a 46-34-2 series lead and has won five of the last eight meetings against the Quakers.
Harvard has split the last four meetings at Franklin Field. It's 31-10 win against Penn in Philadelphia in 2004 was the Crimson's first win at Franklin Field since 1980. The Crimson had lost 11 straight road games to Penn prior to the 2004 victory. The Crimson also came away from Philadelphia with a win in 2008 behind a three-interception day from Ryan Barnes. However, Harvard is just 2-13 in its last 15 visits dating back to 1982.
Harvard has reached the 30-point plateau in 10 of its last 12 road games and has scored at least 40 in three of its last six.
Last Year's Meeting
Harvard limited Penn to 24 rushing yards as the Crimson dominated the visiting Quakers, 37-20 to claim the league's outright championship in Week 9 of the season.
After falling behind 7-0 on a series of bizarre occurrences, Harvard scored 37 straight points with running backs Treavor Scales and Zach Boden each averaging better than 7 yards per carry.
Collier Winters threw for a score and ran for a another and Josue Ortiz led the defense with 3.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, a fumble and a recovery and a game-high 10 tackles. Penn scored two late touchdowns for the final margin.
Harvard's Last Time Out
Colton Chapple passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in the first half as Harvard routed Columbia 69-0 in a milestone Ivy League victory.
The Crimson scored 35 points in the second quarter in the most lopsided win since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956.
It was Harvard's biggest margin over a current Ivy rival since beating Cornell 77-0 in 1890. The margin was its largest since a 69-0 drubbing of Coast Guard in 1946 and tied the program record for points in the modern era.
The Lions, who clinched their 38th losing season in 41 years, suffered their biggest loss since a 69-0 defeat against Rutgers in 1978 and gave up their most points since a 77-28 loss to Holy Cross in 1983.
After Harvard led 14-0 early in the second quarter, three consecutive Columbia turnovers led to Crimson touchdowns.
All told, eight different players scored a touchdown and 11 different players factored in either a sack or tackle for a loss.
Penn's Last Time Out
Billy Ragone passed for one touchdown and ran for another while the Pennsylvania defense forced four turnovers - including three interceptions and a last-minute fumble deep in its territory - as the Quakers outdueled Princeton 28-21.
Each of Ragone's scores catapulted the Quakers into the lead, including a game-winning, 3-yard TD run with 2:59 to play.
The Penn defense intercepted Princeton's Connor Michelsen three times, with C.J. Mooney returning the final pick for a 15-yard score which tied the game at 21-all at that point.
The turnovers undermined an effective offensive outing for the Tigers, who out-passed Penn 319-96.
Lyle Marsh ran for 104 yards on 19 carries.
7 Since 2000
Harvard has finished with at least seven wins in each of the last 12 years, and is the only program in Ivy League history to have such a stretch of success. Five years ago, Harvard became the first Ivy team with seven such seasons together.
The current stretch is the Crimson's best 12-year run since a 28-year streak of seven-plus win seasons came to an end in 1911.
Better Than Average
In 2012, Harvard clinched its 113th season at .500 or better in the program's 139-year history. It marked the Crimson's 14th straight year at .500 or better.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 19th season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 127-60 record with the Crimson and a 159-105-1 overall head coaching record, which includes five years at Cincinnati and two years at Maine. Murphy is one of just five coaches to win 100 games since the formation of the Ivy League in 1954. Murphy has led Harvard to six Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011). Murphy serves as president for the American Football Coaches Association this season. He is 7-11 all-time against Penn.
Penn Coach Al Bagnoli
Al Bagnoli is in his 201st year on the Penn sideline and brings a 140-66 record with the Quakers into Saturday's game. Bagnoli has led Penn to eight Ivy League titles and is 13-7 against Harvard.
Harvard In The National Statistics
Category Rank Number
Rushing Offense 16 214.1
Passing Offense 10 293.6
Passing Efficiency 3 164.1
Total Offense 4 507.8
Scoring Offense 3 42.4
Rushing Defense 1 43.4
Pass Efficiency Defense 32 117.6
Total Defense 20 313.6
Scoring Defense 6 15.0
Net Punting 45 35.9
Kickoff Returns 93 18.4
Punt Returns 68 7.1
Turnover Margin 17 .8
Sacks 1 5.2
Tackles for a Loss 8 8.2
Sacks Allowed 55 1.9
Individuals In The National Statistics
Category Rank Name (stat)
Rushing 35 Treavor Scales (94.6)
Pass Efficiency 2 Colton Chapple (170.11)
Total Offense 7 Colton Chapple (327.5)
Receptions/Game 37 Kyle Juszczyk (5.6)
All-Purpose Yards 77 Treavor Scales (105.1)
Punting 9 Jacob Dombrowski (43.2)
Sacks 3 Zach Hodges (1.12)
8 John Lyon (0.94)
Tackles for a Loss 2 Zach Hodges (1.88)
33 John Lyon (1.25)