Defending Ivy League Champions Meet Friday Night at Harvard Stadium

Defending Ivy League Champions Meet Friday Night at Harvard Stadium

Pictured: Collier Winters throws a pass in the Crimson's season-opening game at Holy Cross. Winters threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns while running for 40 against the Crusaders.
Photo: Gil Talbot

The Particulars
Harvard football, now in its 136th season, plays its first home game tonight against the Brown Bears in an Ivy League tilt between the reigning co-Ivy League champions. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. 

Follow At Home
All Harvard home football games will feature live streaming audio and video. Fans can visit the Multimedia page to purchase a single game event or a season pass. The real-time broadcast includes a television-quality, four-camera production with play-by-play commentary from longtime radio voice Bernie Corbett and color commentary from analyst and former QB great Mike Giardi '94.

On Radio
All Harvard games can also be heard on a variety of radio stations including AM 1120 (Boston), 1390 (Plymouth), 970 (Sturbridge) as well as Harvard's student station, WHRB-FM 95.3. 

Live Statistics
All Harvard home football games will feature live game statistics. Fans can visit the Live Stats page to follow along on their computer.

The Promotions
Kids 12 & under enter free to every home football game this season. Harvard stadium is an affordable family friendly venue, so we encourage you to bring your children and their friends to experience what Crimson football is all about! There is no limit to the number of children that may accompany an adult. 

Friday is "Faculty & Staff Night" at the Stadium. Harvard Faculty and Staff may receive up to four free tickets with a valid Harvard ID. Tickets may be reserved prior to the game or picked up day-of-game by bringing your Harvard ID card.

A student shuttle bus is available Friday nght and will run from 5-7 p.m. from the Quad and Harvard Yard to the Stadium.

Harvard's Last Time Out
Ranked in every Top 25 poll in the country heading into last week, the Crimson dropped a close 27-20 decision to then-No. 23 Holy Cross on the road as the Crusaders - preseason favorites to win the Patriot League - improved to 3-0.

Behind first-year starter Collier Winters, Harvard marched 79 yards on its opening possession capped by a five-yard touchdown pass to Gino Gordon to take an early 6-0 lead. A game-experienced Holy Cross team took advantage of several first-game miscues from the Crimson however, and scored the next 20 points before Gordon struck again with a two-yard run in the third quarter.

At that point the game was up for grabs as the two teams traded long touchdown passes before the home side forced a fumble on Harvard's final drive of the game to finally secure a victory.

Winters was impressive in his first outing, throwing for 195 yards and running for 40 more while Gordon collected 93 total yards and Chris Lorditch finished with 89 receiving yards.

Brown's Last Time Out
Last year in its win against Harvard, Brown capitalized from a missed extra point. In its opener at Stony Brook on Saturday, the Bears were victimized by the same thing as the Seawolves held on for a 21-20 victory over their Ivy League counterparts. Still, Brown had a chance to win on the last play of the game, but Drew Plitcha's 40-yard field goal attempt was wide right as time expired.

It capped a wild finish as Stony Brook rallied in the game's last minute, scoring the game-winning touchdown with 47 seconds remaining on a 10 yard scoring pass from Michael Coulter to Donald Porter, to grab a 21-20 lead.

First year QB Kyle Newhall played well, completing his first 11 passes en route to 29 of 45 for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Buddy Farnham made 12 catches for 121 yards.

Series History
Friday's game will be the 109th meeting between Harvard and Brown in a rivalry that dates to 1893. Harvard holds a 77-29-2 series lead and has won eight of its last nine against the Bears.

Out Of The Gates
Harvard has won its Ivy League opener in nine of the last 10 seasons with eight of the wins coming against Brown and the other coming against Columbia.

Last Year's Meeting
Harvard was stopped inches short of the goal line on a two-point conversion run with 1:03 left after Harvard had scored a touchdown to force the dramatic stand as Brown held on for a 24-22 victory in Providence, R.I. last season.

A missed extra point in the first quarter rain forced the two-point conversion try later on.

Chris Pizzotti '09 started 9-of-10 for 163 yards while Matt Luft caught four passes for 99 yards in the opening quarter as Harvard led, 13-0.

The Crimson turned the ball over on two consecutive touches in the second, however, allowing Brown to take a halftime lead that it would not relinquish.

Don't Go Anywhere
Harvard and Brown games in recent years have been memorable. Last season, Harvard was cruising with a 13-0 lead before heavy rains arrived in providence, R.I. and made for a wild ride as Brown came back to win, 24-22.

It was Harvard that rallied from double-digit first-quarter deficits to defeat Brown in 2004 and 2005. The Crimson came back from a 16-0 hole to win, 38-35, in double-overtime in 2005, and Harvard overcame deficits of 21-0 and 31-10 to prevail, 35-34, in 2004.

In 2006 it was Brown that tried a late comeback. Trailing 21-0 in the second and 31-7 in the fourth, Brown cut the margin to 31-21 before a late TD iced the game for Harvard, 31-21.

In 2007 - in the first night game at Harvard Stadium, Brown led Harvard, 17-14, before the Crimson scored a touchdown in the final minute of the first half and added a second half field goal while holding the Bears to just 49 yards rushing in a 24-17 victory. Harvard's defense came up with three sacks, three interceptions and 10 quarterback hurries in the victory.

Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 16th season as Harvard's head coach, Tim Murphy enters Friday's game with a 97-53 record with the Crimson and a 129-98-1 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 11-3 all-time against Holy Cross.

Brown Coach Phil Estes
Phil Estes is in his 12th season as Brown's head coach, and he brings a 65-44 record with the Bears into the game. Estes has had the Bears at .500 or better in nine of his first 11 years in Providence and led Brown to its first outright Ivy League championship in 2005 and a share of the crown with Harvard last season. He is 3-8 against Harvard.

Ivy Honors
Wide receiver Chris Lorditch and running back Gino Gordon were named to the Ivy League Honor Roll this week.

Complete Game Notes
For complete games notes in PDF format, click on the link at the beginning of this page.