No. 14 Harvard Hosts Penn Saturday at Noon, Live on Versus TV

Chris Lorditch celebrates a 41-yard touchdown pass during a 35-14 Harvard victory on Nov. 5, 2011 (Jon Luszcz) Buy Now
Chris Lorditch celebrates a 41-yard touchdown pass during a 35-14 Harvard victory on Nov. 5, 2011 (Jon Luszcz)

The Particulars
A familiar scene will unfold at historic Harvard Stadium this Saturday as the nationally-ranked Harvard Crimson plays host to the University of Pennsylvania in a game with Ivy League title implications at The Stadium. 

The game will be carried live on Versus TV. Randy Moss will handle the play-by-play, Ross Tucker the color commentary and Carolyn Manno will be the sideline reporter. Check your local listings for channel assignments.

The game will also be shown live on-demand 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.

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.

Where We Stand
Harvard controls its destiny in the Ivy race as the lone undefeated team in league play at 5-0. Brown and Penn are still in the hunt at 4-1. A win today would clinch Harvard's 14th Ancient Eight title and the sixth for head coach Tim Murphy.

Brown, which Harvard handled, 24-7 on Sept. 23, defeated Penn two weeks ago by a 6-0 score in Providence, R.I. Yale, despite falling to both Brown and Penn, remains in contention with a 3-2 league mark heading into today's game against Princeton. 

Series History
Saturday's game will be the 82nd meeting between Harvard and Penn in a series that dates to 1881. Harvard holds a 45-34-2 series lead and has won four of the last seven meetings against the Quakers. Penn has won the last two meetings however, including a 17-7 decision in torrential rains here in 2009.

Last Year's Meeting
Special teams miscues by Harvard led to the first 17 Penn points in a 34-14 loss in Philadelphia. Harvard drove into Penn territory four times in the fourth quarter but got just seven points. The Quakers ended two of those drives with interceptions and also stopped Harvard on downs with 56 seconds left.

Gino Gordon '10 carried 21 times for 110 yards and a touchdown and Collier Winters completed 21 of 44 for 219 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted three times.

Brandon Colavita carried 17 times for 122 yards and two TDs for Penn.

Harvard's Last Time Out
Collier Winters threw for 323 yards and three touchdown passes and Harvard pulled away in the second half for a 35-21 win over Columbia to make Tim Murphy the winningest football coach at Harvard with 118 wins.

With the scored tied 14-14 at halftime, Winters scored on a one-yard run with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter to begin a string of 21 straight points. Winters then hit Chris Lorditch and Kyle Juszczyk on a pair of 41-yard touchdown passes for a 35-14 lead with 13:23 to play in the game.

Winters finished 20 of 30 through the air while Treavor Scales and Zach Boden combined for 136 yards and a touchdown on just 21 carries. Juszczyk had seven catches for 118 yards and two scores while Lorditch caught four passes for 123 yards.

Ross Morand returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown for Columbia, which has lost nine straight and 13 of its past 14.

Penn's Last Time Out
Billy Ragone passed for three touchdowns and a career-high 254 yards and Pennsylvania topped Princeton 37-9.

Ragone threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Joe Holder in the first half and had second-half TDs of 54 and 23 yards to Ryan Mitchell.

The Tigers blocked two punts in the first quarter, taking possession at the 11-yard line on both occasions, but settled for two field goals.

After Jeff Jack's 3-yard touchdown gave Penn a 14-6 lead, Patrick Jacob kicked his third field goal for Princeton, a 44-yarder with 2:16 to go before halftime.

Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 18th season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 118-59 record with the Crimson and a 150-104-1 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 6-11 all-time against Penn. 

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 Bagnoli, Penn: 136
Bob Blackman, Dartmouth: 127
Tim Murphy, Harvard: 118
Joe Restic, Harvard: 117

All-Time Ivy Coach Victories
Carm Cozza, Yale: 179
Edward Robinson, Brown: 140
Al Bagnoli, Penn: 136
Bob Blackman, Dartmouth: 127
George Woodruff, Penn: 124
Tuss McLaughry, Brown & Dartmouth: 120
Tim Murphy, Harvard: 118
Joe Restic, Harvard: 117

Penn Coach Al Bagnoli
Al Bagnoli is in his 20th year on the Penn sideline and brings a 136-60 record with the Quakers into Saturday's game. Bagnoli has led Penn to eight Ivy League titles and is 13-6 against Harvard.

The Matchup
Offense vs. defense is the billing on Saturday as Harvard takes the Ivy's top-ranked offense against Penn's top-ranked defense.

Harvard ranks ninth nationally at 440 yards per game and ranks eighth nationally in scoring at 36.5 points per game.

Penn ranks 19th nationally in total defense, allowing just over 314 yards per game. The Quakers are also 19th in pass efficiency defense in a matchup that will prove interesting as the Crimson enters play as the country's third-best team in efficiency ratings.

Harvard In The National Statistics
Category                   Rank  Number
Rushing Offense      31           180.6
Passing Offense       24           258.6
Passing Efficiency    3           161.99
Total Offense           9             439.3
Scoring Offense       8               36.5
Rushing Defense      12             99.6
Pass Efficiency Defense              27   113.8
Total Defense           38           337.3
Scoring Defense       10             18.0
Net Punting              13             37.3
Kickoff Returns       5               25.8
Turnover Margin      27               .75

Harvard has finished with at least seven wins in each of the last 11 years, and is the only program in Ivy League history to have such a stretch of success. Four years ago, Harvard became the first Ivy team with seven such seasons together.

The current stretch is the Crimson's best 11-year run since a 28-year streak of seven-plus win seasons came to an end in 1911. The program won 78 games over the past 10 seasons with just 21 losses.

Better Than Average
In 2011, Harvard clinched its 112th season at .500 or better in the program's 138-year history. It marked the Crimson's 13th straight year at .500 or better.

Harvard has averaged 500.2 yards of offense over its past five games.

Harvard has allowed just one 100-yard rusher this season. In five games, the Crimson defense has held the opposing team's leading rusher to 51 or fewer yards (Holy Cross - 37, Lafayette - 15, Cornell - 46, Bucknell - 1, Dartmouth - 51).

After having just two 300-yard rushing games from 2000-07, Harvard has had a 300-yard rushing game in each of the past four seasons. Harvard finished with 395 rushing yards in a 41-10 win against Dartmouth in 2011.

Four for Forty
Harvard scored at least 40 points in four straight games (Cornell, Bucknell, Princeton, Dartmouth), marking the first such occurrence since 1890.

Harvard has scored at least 30 points in five straight games in a single season for the first time since 1893.

Harvard has reached the 30-point plateau in six of its last eight road games.

In its last 50 Ivy League games, just three teams have managed 400-yards of total offense against Harvard. 

Half Full
The Crimson is 56-2 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 26 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 40 games including five times each in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Magic Numbers
Harvard is 278-5-1 all-time (.980) when the Crimson scores 30 or more points.

The Stadium
Harvard's record at Harvard Stadium since 2001 is 47-9 while winning 27 of its last 31 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 1,251st varsity football game. The Crimson has an all-time record of 819-381-50 (.672).