First Place On Line as Football Travels To Penn on Saturday

Jonathan Mason (2) and the defense celebrate a fumble recovery during Harvard's 23-7 win over Columbia (Gil Talbot/ Harvard Athletics) Buy Now
Jonathan Mason (2) and the defense celebrate a fumble recovery during Harvard's 23-7 win over Columbia (Gil Talbot/ Harvard Athletics)

The Particulars
Harvard takes to the road Saturday for a pivotal Ivy League matchup at league-unbeaten Penn. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.

Where We Stand
Harvard, Penn and Yale (vs. Princeton this weekend) are the only three schools that control their own destiny with two weeks remaining. Penn still has a chance at an outright championship while Yale sports a record identical to Harvard in what will lay the foundation for a frantic final two weeks on play.

Series History
Saturday's game will be the 81st meeting between Harvard and Penn in a series that dates

to 1881. Harvard holds a 45-33-2 series lead and has won four of the last six meetings against the Quakers.

Unwelcome Wagon
Harvard'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 2-12 in its last 14 visits dating back to 1982.

Last Year's Meeting
Penn defeated Harvard, 17-7, in torrential rains last season at The Stadium. The Quakers withstood a late charge from the Crimson, stopping them on three consecutive plays within the 5-yard line including a fourth down play from the one. Penn ended the drive, stopping Harvard quarterback Collier Winters at the goal line on fourth down with 2:40 left to play to get the ball back.

An early second half touchdown from Winters to Chris Lorditch was the only blemish on a Quaker defense.

A close fourth down call went Penn's way as well early in the game as Kyle Olson was ruled to have crossed the goal line on a QB sneak before fumbling the ball into the hands of a Harvard player.

Despite driving rain throughout the entire game, Olson and Keiffer Garton combined to go 20-for-32 for 181 yards and one touchdown for the Quakers.

Harvard's Last Time Out
Harvard cruised past visiting Columbia, 23-7 at The Stadium last weekend.

Harvard led 23-0 before Columbia got on the board late in the third quarter. The Crimson started the scoring with a 29-yard field goal from David Mothander before Gino Gordon capped a wild series of plays with a 5-yard touchdown run for a 10-0 lead at the 3:47 mark of the second quarter.

In the second half, Treavor Scales contributed an 11-yard touchdown run to mark the fourth time this season that three different Harvard players have rush for a touchdown.

Gordon collected his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, finishing with 109 yards. Defensively, the team was led by Matthew Hanson, Collin Zych and Nick Hasselberg who all totaled nine tackles. Josue Ortiz, who leads the league in sacks and tackles for a loss, registered stats in both categories on the day with 2.0 tackles behind the line and one sack.

Penn's Last Time Out
Billy Ragone passed for two touchdowns and ran for another score as Pennsylvania defeated Princeton 52-10.

Ragone completed 11 of 16 passes for 182 yards. He also scored on a 12-yard run and was part of a 396-yard rushing effort by the Quakers, which amassed 600 yards in total offense.

Penn cruised to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and led 31-10 at halftime.

For Princeton, which surrendered 394 rushing yards Harvard, Andrew Kerr had six catches for 51 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Dixon.

Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 17th season as Harvard's head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 110-57 record with the Crimson and a 142-102-1 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 five Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008). He is 6-10 all-time against Penn. 

Penn Coach Al Bagnoli
Al Bagnoli is in his 19th year on the Penn sideline and brings a 129-57 record with the Quakers into Saturday's game. Bagnoli has led Penn to seven Ivy League titles and is 12-6 against Harvard.

Elite Company
With 110 career victories on the Harvard sideline, head coach Tim Murphy ranks second on the Crimson's all-time wins chart. Murphy is seven wins away from Joe Restic's school record 117 wins (from 1971-93).

Ivy Era Coaches
Since the formal naming of the Ivy League in 1956, just five coaches have reached the 100-win plateau with two of them being Harvard men.

Carm Cozza, Yale: 179
Al Bangnoli, Penn: 129
Bob Blackman, Dartmouth 127
Joe Restic, Harvard: 118
Tim Murphy, Harvard: 110

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