Harvard Football Looks for Continued Dominance of Princeton on Saturday

Zach Hodges leaps to pressure Bucknell QB Brandon Wesley during a 42-3 win over Bucknell at Harvard Stadium on Oct. 15, 2011 (Gil Talbot) Buy Now
Zach Hodges leaps to pressure Bucknell QB Brandon Wesley during a 42-3 win over Bucknell at Harvard Stadium on Oct. 15, 2011 (Gil Talbot)

The Particulars
Harvard returns home to The Stadium on Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Princeton Tigers.

The game will be shown live on with Bernie and Mike Giardi '94 on the call. The game is part of the football season pass and can also be purchased as a one-time event. Streaming is offered on computers, iPads and iPhones. For those unable to watch the game live, it will also be available as an archived event immediately following the completion.

The game can be heard on the radio (WBNW 1120 AM, WPLM 1390 and WESO 790) with Corbett and Giardi '94 on the call as well as WHRB-FM 95.3 with students Scott Reed and Charlie Hobbs.

Series History
Saturday's game will be the 104th meeting on the football field between these two schools. The Tigers hold a 52-44-7 edge but have seen the Crimson dominate play of late.

Harvard has won 13 of the last 15 meetings including a nine-year victory march enjoyed by Harvard from 1995-2004.

In its last 11 games, Harvard has averaged better than 32 points per game while never scoring fewer than 24 points.

Last Year's Meeting
Ivy League Player of the Year Gino Gordon '11 carried 20 times for 204 yards and Treavor Scales 16 times for 134 yards as Harvard used its ground game to defeat Princeton 45-28.

Gordon's 26-yard touchdown run tied the game 7-7 in the first quarter and Scales' 46-yard score in the second put the Crimson ahead 14-7.

After going three-and-out on three straight pass plays on its first possession, Harvard gained 394 rushing yards.

Collier Winters, who was injured for Harvard's first five games, started the second half and threw two touchdown passes.

Andrew Kerr had two touchdown catches for the Tigers, who utilized a variety of trick plays to remain in contention until the fourth quarter when Grant Sickle blocked a punt and Mike Cook '11 fell on it in the end zone for a Crimson score.

Harvard's Last Time Out
Colton Chapple's passing and a rugged defense led Harvard to a 42-3 rout of Bucknell last weekend.

Chapple threw for five touchdowns, becoming just the second QB in school history to throw for five scores in a game. He also became the first QB at Harvard to throw for at least four touchdowns in consecutive games. He accomplished the feat in just 25 minutes as the Crimson forced five Bucknell turnovers.

Three of Harvard's five touchdown drives covered less than 40 yards each.

Cameron Brate and Kyle Juszczyk each caught two touchdown passes for the Crimson. Seitu Smith III scored the other touchdown for Harvard on a 91-yard kickoff return after a Bucknell field goal in the fourth quarter. Smith became the 10th Harvard player to return a kickoff 90-plus yards for a score.

The Crimson intercepted Bucknell quarterback Brandon Wesley four times and came up with four sacks. The Bison were held to minus-five yards rushing and 140 total yards. With less than three minutes left in the third quarter, Bucknell had just 36 yards of offense. The last time Harvard held an opponent under 150 yards of offense was Nov. 17, 2008 when the Crimson held Yale to 109 yards in a 37-6 win.

Harvard also churned out 223 yards on the ground against a Bucknell team that entered the game ranked fourth nationally in run defense.

Princeton's Last Time Out
Brown's Dan Smithwick returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown 57 seconds into the game and the Bears didn't let up in a 34-0 win over Princeton on Saturday.

Smithwick's interception of Tommy Wornham was a sign of things to come for the Tigers' offense. Princeton managed just 208 yards of total offense, including just 82 yards through the air.

Wornham led the Tigers with 75 yards on 11 of 27 passing and 45 more on 10 carries.

The Matchup
Saturday's game pits Princeton's league-leading rushing attack - at nearly 170 yards per game - against Harvard's vaunted rushing defense. The Crimson allows just 55.4 yards per game on the ground and that leads the Ivy League and is tops nationally. The Crimson surrenders just 2.07 yards per carry. 

Harvard is coming off a dominating game against Bucknell last week during which the Crimson drove back the Bison to the tune of minus-five yards.

Despite Princeton's solid run-game, the Tigers are last in the Ivy in scoring at just 15.6 points per game. Princeton is the only league team with fewer than 11 touchdowns (7) and will face a stern test against a Harvard team that leads the Ivy and ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense at just 14.8 points per game.

With Princeton relying heavily on its run-game, the Tigers have allowed just six sacks -one behind league-leaders Brown and Dartmouth. Harvard leads the league and ranks fourth nationally in defensive sacks with 18.

Both teams have had outstanding punt units this season. Princeton utilizes two punters, Joe Cloud and Otavio Fleury, who combine for 37.1 yards in net punting. Harvard's Jacob Dombrowski averages 42.0 yards per kick and leads the league with five kicks of 50-plus yards.

Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 18th season as Harvard's head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 115-59 record with the Crimson and a 147-104-1 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 13-4 all-time against Princeton. 

Princeton Coach Bob Surace
Bob Surace '90, a key member of the 1989 Ivy League champion Princeton football team, was named the Charles W. Caldwell Jr. '25 Head Coach of Football at Princeton University, on Dec. 23, 2010.

The 22nd head coach at Princeton, Surace was a first-team All-Ivy center in 1989. He had prior head coach experience at Division III Western Connecticut State University, where he put together an 18-3 record in 2000 and 2001. He is 0-1 against Harvard.

Offensive Output
In defeating Cornell 41-31 and Bucknell 42-3, Harvard scored 40 or more points in consecutive games for the first time since 2005 when the Crimson won vs. Dartmouth (42-14) and at Columbia (55-7) in weeks 7 and 8.

Going To The Chapple
Colton Chapple recorded two historical notables during just 35 minutes of action in a 42-3 win against Bucknell.

Chapple became the first Harvard player to throw for at least four touchdowns in consecutive games (four at Cornell and five vs. Bucknell).

He also became just the second Harvard QB to throw five TDs in a single game, matching Carroll Lowenstein '52 ('54), who did so against Davidson in 1953. A total of 544 games had passed since that performance. 

Colton Chapple has a league-high 12 touchdown passes and a league-low two interceptions, one of which came off a dropped, deflected pass.

Run or Pass?
In addition to throwing five TDs against Bucknell, Colton Chapple was also the game's leading rusher with 96 yards gained and 71 net yards against a Bucknell team  that entered play allowing just 60 yards per game.

Seitu (pronounced sigh) Smith III became first Harvard freshman to return a kickoff for a touchdown when he returned a 91-yarder in the third quarter following Bucknell's only points of the day. He is the 10th Harvard player to return a kickoff 90-plus yards for a touchdown.

Individual National Ranks
Colton Chapple ranks second nationally in passing efficiency (169.2), leading the Ivy League by an astonishing 20 points.

Seitu Smith III ranks second nationally in kickoff return average (33.92).

Jacob Dombrowksi ranks 17th nationally in punting (42.03).

Josue Ortiz ranks 13th nationally in sacks (5).

Team National Ranks
Harvard ranks first nationally in rushing defense (55.4 ypg).

Harvard ranks fourth nationally in both scoring offense (14.8 ppg), sacks (3.6 per game) and kickoff return average (27.33 yards per return).

Harvard ranks seventh nationally in net punting (38.84).

Harvard ranks 16th nationally in turnover margin (+1 per game).

Harvard ranks 18th nationally in total defense (312.6) and passing efficiency (149.73).

Closer to Home
Harvard ranks first in the Ivy League in total offense (391.4), scoring offense (32.0), rushing defense (55.4), scoring defense (14.8), net punting (38.84), kickoff returns (27.33), turnover margin (1.00), passing efficiency (149.73), sacks (3.6), and tackles for a loss (7.0).

Turning the Page
After failing to force a turnover in the opener at Holy Cross, Harvard has forced 14 turnovers in the last four games.

Tight Ends
Harvard has featured a two tight end system for much of the season with much success. Kyle Juszczyk and Cameron Brate have combined for 6.6 catches, 96.4 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game this far.

Movin' On Up
Wide receivers Chris Lorditch and Adam Chrissis both rank among Harvard's all-time top 10 in receptions and are members of the school's 1,000-yard club.

Chrissis enters Saturday in ninth place on the all-time time receptions list with 86 and he ranks 12th in yardage at 1,059. 

Lorditch ranks 10th all-time with 84 catches and stands eighth with 1,288 yards (15.3 yards per catch).

In its last 47 Ivy League games, just two teams have managed 400-yards of total offense against Harvard. 

Half Full
The Crimson is 53-2 when leading at halftime since the start of the 2003 season. Harvard last surrendered a halftime lead against Lehigh on Oct. 16, 2010 (led 17-0, lost 21-19).

Run Stoppers
Harvard has held 13 of its last 23 Ivy League foes under 100 yards rushing dating back to the 2008 season

Going back to 2006, the Crimson has held Ivy foes under 100 yards in 23 of 37 games including five times each in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Magic Numbers
Harvard is 275-5-1 all-time (.980) when the Crimson scores 30 or more points.

The Stadium
Harvard's record at Harvard Stadium since 2001 is 45-9 while winning 25 of its last 29 there. The team has four undefeated home marks in that stretch (6-0 in 2001, 5-0 in 2004, 5-0 in 2007, 5-0 in 2008).

Where We Are Now
Saturday's game will be Harvard's 1,248th varsity football game. The Crimson has an all-time record of 816-381-50 (.672).