Jack Dittmer and the Crimson are 2-0 at home this fall (Gil Talbot).
Heading into the second half of the season, No. 23/RV Harvard will play its second of three straight home games, as the Crimson hosts Princeton in a key Ivy League matchup Saturday afternoon on Fox College Sports. Eric Frede and Steve DeOssie will have the call on TV.
Due to blackout restrictions, the Saturday's game will not be archived on the Ivy League Digital Network until 24 hours after the end of the contest.
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Saturday's game will be the 106th meeting between Harvard and Princeton in a rivalry that dates back to 1877. Harvard has only faced Yale (129 times), Dartmouth (116 times) and Brown (113 times) more in its history than Princeton.
In Harvard's 35-16 non-conference win over Lafayette last weekend, quarterback Michael Pruneau (Plano, Texas) threw for three scores on 17-of-29 passing for 263 yards overall. Pruneau connected with tight end Cameron Brate (Naperville, Ill.) for two TDs, while also finding wide receiver Andrew Fischer (Diamond Bar, Calif.) for a 50-yard touchdown. Wide receiver Ricky Zorn (Dallas, Texas) paced the unit with four catches for 103 yards, and running back Paul Stanton, Jr., (Kenner, La.) continued his strong fall with 113 yards on 21 carries, while also posting two three-yard TD runs.
Defensively, the Crimson forced four turnovers, including three interceptions and one fumble recovery. D.J. Monroe (Columbia, S.C) and Joshua Boyd (Hyde Park, Mass.) led the way with seven tackles apiece.
After trailing Brown, 17-0, early in the second quarter, Princeton rolled off 39 straight points to grab a 39-17 Ivy road win over the Bears last week. Princeton earned 30 first downs and amassed 566 total yards, led by quarterback Quinn Epperly, who threw 22 times and completed 14 passes for 233 yards in the air. The Tigers also ran the ball 48 times for 264 yards and had five TDs on the ground, including three by Epperly, who also rushed for 95 yards.
Ivy Title Hunt
With five conference games remaining, Harvard sits in a first-place tie in the Ivy League with a 2-0 record, along with Princeton and Penn. Yale and Dartmouth are also in the mix at 1-1, while Brown, Cornell and Columbia trail at 0-2.
Through five games, placekicker David Mothander (San Luis Capistrano, Calif.) is tied for first in the nation in field-goal percentage (1.000). Defensively, Zach Hodges (Atlanta, Ga.) is first in forced fumbles (0.60 per game), second in tackles for a loss (2.1 per game), fourth in sacks (1.1 per game) and sixth in fumbles recovered (0.60 per game). D.J. Monroe stands second in passes defended per game (1.8), and Nnamdi Obukwelu (Brockton, Mass.) stands seventh in sacks per game (1.0).
As a team, Harvard ranks second in team passing efficiency (173.70), second in turnover margin (1.8), third in rushing defense (80.8) and fourth in completion percentage (.691).
Hodges Up for Buck Buchanan
Defensive end Zach Hodges was recently added to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch list, given to the nation's premiere defensive standout.
Hodges leads Harvard with 10.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks this season. He has also forced three fumbles, recovered three fumbles and made an interception.
Give 29 the Ball
Running back Paul Stanton, Jr,. has rushed for eight touchdowns, including two each in the wins over Brown Sept. 28, Holy Cross Oct. 5 and Lafayette Oct. 19. Stanton's eight touchdowns are tied for second in the Ivy League. He needs two more rushing TDs to tie Gino Gordon '11 for eighth most in a single season in school history.
Crimson In The Top 25
With its 5-0 start, Harvard is now ranked No. 23 in the FCS Coaches Poll and is receiving 180 votes in The Sports Network Poll, or fourth outside the top 25. The Crimson entered the top 25 last week, as the team was rated No. 25 in the FCS Coaches Poll.
For the second straight season, Harvard is off to a 5-0 start. The Crimson began 2012 with a 5-0 mark. Harvard has not started 6-0 since the 2004 season when the Crimson finished with a 10-0 record.
With Harvard leading, 34-10, entering the fourth quarter, Princeton scored four touchdowns in the final 11:19 of the game to earn a dramatic, 39-34, win over the Crimson on Oct. 20, 2012 in Princeton, N.J. The Tigers notched the final score of the game with a 36-yard pass from Quinn Epperly to Roman Wilson with only 13 seconds remaining on the clock. Harvard quarterback Colton Chapple '13 threw for 448 yards and five touchdowns, with Kyle Juszczyk '13 making 15 receptions for 192 yards and three TDs in the loss.
Dominance At The Stadium
The Crimson has won 15 straight home games. Harvard's last loss at home came against Lehigh, 21-19, on Oct. 16, 2010. Harvard has also claimed 10 consecutive wins against Ivy opponents at home since falling to Penn, 17-7, on Nov. 14, 2009.
Harvard owns the second longest home win streak in the FCS (Sam Houston State - 19) and is third overall in Division 1.
Current Longest Home Win Streak
1. Sam Houston State - 19 games
1. Michigan - 19 games
3. Harvard - 15 games
3. South Carolina - 14 games
Harvard on National TV
The Crimson will have five of its contests broadcast live on national television this season, three on the NBC Sports Network and one on Fox College Sports. Harvard's TV games include: Brown Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m., Lafayette, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m., Princeton Oct. 26 at 1 p.m., Penn Nov. 16 at noon and at Yale for the 130th Playing of The Game Nov. 23 at noon.
Sat., Sept. 21 Lehigh at Princeton
Sat., Sept. 28 Brown at Harvard
Sat., Oct. 12 Lehigh at Columbia
Sat., Nov. 9 Cornell at Dartmouth
Sat., Nov. 16 Penn at Harvard
Sat., Nov. 23 Harvard at Yale
2013 Ivy League Football Fox College Sports Schedule:
Sat., Sept. 28 Holy Cross at Dartmouth
Sat., Oct. 12 Yale at Dartmouth
Sat., Oct. 19 Princeton at Brown
Sat., Oct. 26 Princeton at Harvard
Sat., Nov. 2 Penn at Brown
Sat., Nov. 16 Columbia at Cornell
Sat., Nov. 23 Brown at Columbia
Harvard has won 26 of its last 33 non-league games dating back to 2003 (.788). Harvard went 3-0 against non-conference teams this year, having downed San Diego, 42-20, Holy Cross, 41-35, in triple overtime, and Lafayette, 35-16.
Since the 2011 season, Harvard has rattled off eight straight victories against non-Ivy League opponents.
Kick Is Good
David Mothander (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) has made all four field goal attempts and is 20-of-20 on PAT chances this season, good for 32 points.
Mothander has made his last 36 kicks, including six field goals and 30 PATs, since missing a PAT in Harvard's win over Columbia last Nov. 3.
Harvard is 23-9 in its last 32 road games (.719). The Crimson is 16-5 in its last 21 Ivy League road games (.762). In 2012, Harvard posted a 2-2 mark away from Cambridge. This season, Harvard stands 3-0 away from home and has two road contests remaining: at Columbia Nov. 9 and at Yale Nov. 23.
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 20th season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 133-61 record with the Crimson and a 165-106-1 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 two Ivy coaches have compiled more wins than Murphy's 133 and he is just one of five coaches to win 100-plus games. Murphy has led Harvard to six Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011). Murphy serves as president for the American Football Coaches Association this season. He is 14-5 all-time against Princeton.
Ivy Era Coaches
Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, just seven coaches have reached the 100-win plateau, with two of them being Harvard men.
Carm Cozza Yale 179
Al Bagnoli Penn 145
Edward Robinson Brown 140*
Tim Murphy Harvard 133
Bob Blackman, Dartmouth & Cornell 127
George Woodruff Penn 124*
Tuss McLaughry Brown & Dartmouth 120
Joe Restic Harvard 117
Lou Little Columbia 110
*-pre Ivy League formation
Bob Surace is midway through his fourth season as Princeton's head coach, and he brings an 11-24 record with the Tigers into this game. Surace is 1-2 against Harvard, with the victory coming in 2012, 39-34, in Princeton, N.J.
Harvard made three interceptions in its win over Lafayette at Harvard Stadium Oct. 19. The Crimson also picked off three passes in its victory against Brown Sept. 28, also at home.
Norman Hayes (Tucker, Ga.) paces the team with two interceptions on the year.
Better Than Average
With five wins this year, Harvard has clinched its 115th season at .500 or better in the program's 140th-year history. This also marks the Crimson's 15th-straight year at .500 or better.
Best In The FCS
Harvard has had considerable success over the past 12 seasons, ranking No. 1 among the Football Championships Subdivision's top 10 in winning percentage.
1. Harvard 100 24 .806
2. Montana 135 35 .794
3. North Dakota State 89 29 .754
4. Dayton 91 33 .734
5. Appalachian State 118 46 .720
6. San Diego 96 41 .701
7. Penn 86 38 .694
8. Northern Iowa 107 49 .686
9. Georgia Southern 103 54 .656
10. Grambling 94 54 .635
Pick It Up
In Harvard's opener at San Diego, defensive end Zach Hodges (Atlanta, Ga.) had two fumble returns, including one for a 53-yard touchdown. Hodges became the first Harvard to return a fumble for a touchdown since Peter Ajayi did it against Columbia in 2008.
Hodges added another fumble recovery at Holy Cross Oct. 5 and now has four takeaways on the season. Hodges ranks sixth in the nation with 0.60 fumble recoveries per contest.
Red Zone? No Problem
Harvard was 4-for-4 in the red zone against San Diego in the opener Sept. 21. The Crimson was also perfect inside the 20-yard line at Holy Cross Oct. 5, scoring a TD on each of those possessions.
Harvard is now 22-of-27 on the season in the red zone with 18 touchdowns and four field goals.