No. 21/22 Harvard Hosts Bucknell Saturday at The Stadium

Harvard battered Cornell last week with four sacks and nine QB hurries (Photo: Gil Talbot)
Harvard battered Cornell last week with four sacks and nine QB hurries (Photo: Gil Talbot)

The Particulars
No. 21/22-ranked Harvard returns to Harvard Stadium Saturday afternoon for its final non-conference game of the year as the Crimson hosts the Bucknell Bison.

Bucknell will be making its second long trek to Massachusetts after having played at Holy Cross last week.

The game will be televised live on CBS Sports with Dave Ryan, Todd Christensen and Evan Washburn.

The Matchup

This is the second-straight year that Bucknell has visited Harvard Stadium and, like last year, the Bison enters play with one of the nation's top rushing defenses. Bucknell allows just over 65 yards a game on the ground - they are the only team in the top 20 in run defense with a losing record.

Harvard meanwhile leads the nation in rushing defense at just 48 yards per game. Harvard, which also leads the country in sacks per game (4.5), held Cornell to 13 rushing yards on 19 carries last week. 

Non-Conference Call
Harvard has won 22 of its last 29 non-league games dating back to 2003. The Crimson has gone undefeated four times in non-league games in that span with the last coming in 2008.

Series History
Saturday's game will be the 10th meeting on the gridiron between Harvard and Bucknell since 1955, and the Crimson holds a 5-3-1 series lead.

The teams have played all but one game of the series in Cambridge, Mass.

Last Year's Meeting
Colton Chapple's passing and a rugged defense led Harvard to a 42-3 rout of Bucknell last year.

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 II 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.

Harvard's Last Time Out
Colton Chapple threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score as Harvard scored the first 21 and last 21 points of the game to rout Cornell, 45-13.

Chapple connected with Andrew Berg on scoring strikes of 17, 9 and 15 yards, tying a Crimson receiving record for TD receptions, as Harvard led 21-0 with 14:31 left in the first half.

Highly-touted Cornell QB Jeff Matthews hit Luke Tasker with a 3-yard touchdown to start a 13-3 run for the Big Red, making it 24-13 with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter before Harvard turned up the pressure.

All told, Harvard held Matthews under 50 percent for the game (21-of-44, 307 yards), intercepted him twice, sacked him four times and hurried him nine times while breaking up eight passes.

Chapple, who was 24-of-36 passing for 362 yards, found Ricky Zorn for a 24-yard TD early in the fourth. After Treavor Scales' 6-yard TD, Chapple scampered for a 4-yard score. 

Bucknell's Last Time Out
John Macomber kicked two field goals and Holy Cross' defense held Bucknell to just 145 total yards as the Crusaders defeated the Bison 13-6.

Holy Cross snapped a four-game losing streak and defeated the Bison for the seventh time in its last eight meetings.

Macomber converted from 18 yards out midway through the second quarter. After a Matt Bellomo touchdown run extended Holy Cross' lead to 10-0, Macomber connected from 22 yards out to put the game away.

Macomber also pinned Bucknell inside its own 20 on three of his six punts.

Bucknell struggled offensively, turning the ball over twice and committing seven penalties.

Conference Call
Harvard's 11-game Ivy League winning streak is the second-longest such streak in the nation behind Lehigh's 15-game win streak in the Patriot League.

Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 19th season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Saturday's game with a 124-59 record with the Crimson and a 156-104-1 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 six Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011). Murphy serves as president for the American Football Coaches Association this season. He is 3-1 all-time against Bucknell. 

Bucknell Coach Joe Susan
Joe Susan is in his third year as Bucknell's 26th head coach in program history. Susan, a three-time letterwinner at Bucknell, served near-decade-long stints at Bucknell (1981-1990), Princeton (1991-1999) and Rutgers (2001-2009) before becoming the Bison head coach. He has had tenures at both the Football Bowl Subdivision (Rutgers, Memphis) and Football Championship Subdivision (Bucknell, Princeton, Davidson) levels. He is 8-19 overall and 0-1 against Harvard.

Harvard In The National Statistics
Category                              Rank          Number
Rushing Offense                 24                   196.0
Passing Offense                  7                     304.5
Passing Efficiency               2                     170.5
Total Offense                       5                     500.5
Scoring Offense                  5                       43.3
Rushing Defense                 1                       48.0
Pass Efficiency Defense      32                   114.5
Total Defense                      33                   323.5
Scoring Defense                  7                       14.2
Net Punting                         51                     35.3
Kickoff Returns                   78                     19.1
Punt Returns                        55                       8.2
Turnover Margin                 30                       .75
Sacks                                   1                         4.5
Tackles for a Loss               28                       6.8
Sacks Allowed                    36                       1.5 

Individuals In The National Statistics
Category                  Rank                 Name (stat)
Passes Defended     10              D.J. Monroe (6)
Rushing                   10    Treavor Scales (124.3)
Pass Efficiency        2     Colton Chapple (174.5)
Total Offense          7     Colton Chapple (327.5)
Punting                    15     Jacob Dombrowski (42.7)
Scoring                      7              Treavor Scales (10.5)
All-Purpose Yards       17           Treavor Scales (144.8)
Sacks                        4                  Zach Hodges (1.1)
                                26                 John Lyon (0.75)
Tackles for a Loss        7              Zach Hodges (1.6)