Harvard Football Kicks Off 2014, Hosts Holy Cross Friday on ESPN3

Game Info

Home Team

Visiting Team
Series Record
Last Meeting
Game Notes

Sept. 19
Harvard Stadium
Eric Steckling, Scott Sudikoff
Live Stats
Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Holy Cross (2-1, 0-0 PL)
41-24-2 (Harvard leads)
W, 41-35 (3ot) (10/5/13)
Harvard vs. Holy Cross (PDF)

Conner Hempel and the Crimson host Holy Cross under the lights of Harvard Stadium (Gil Talbot). 

The Storyline
The Harvard football team will open its 141st season of play Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. under the lights of Harvard Stadium. This will mark the first time since 2011 that the Crimson and Crusaders have squared off in the first game of the season. 

The game can be viewed live online on ESPN3/WatchESPN and immediately after on-demand on the Ivy League Digital Network (IvyLeagueDigitalNetwork.com). Live stats are also available at GoCrimson.com.

Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League.

Multiple subscription options are available to fans including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.

Social Stream
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all three platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.

Fans use #HarvardHolyCross for the football game this week.

Opening Day
Harvard has won 11 of the last 13 season openers and is an impressive 115-23-2 (.829) in the first game of the season. Under current head coach Tim Murphy, the Crimson is 14-6 on opening day. 

Series History
Friday's game will be the 68th meeting between Harvard and Holy Cross in a rivalry that dates back to 1904. Harvard holds a 41-24-2 edge in the all-time series and is 18-14-1 against the Crusaders since 1980 when the two schools began playing annually.

The Numbers
Holy Cross stands at 2-1 on the year after topping Central Connecticut State by a score of 20-7 last weekend in Worcester, Mass. Quarterback Peter Pujals ran for 131 yards on 21 carries and added 15 completions for 156 yards and two touchdowns through the air, while defensive back Luke Ford made 11 tackles and intercepted a pass for the Crusaders. 

Harvard opens its season while much of the country is already in its third week of play. The Crimson, which captured a share of the program's 15th Ivy League title last season, went 9-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play in 2013 and was narrowly voted to finish second in the Ancient Eight this fall.

Last Meeting
On Oct. 5 of last year, Paul Stanton, Jr., scampered for a 17-yard touchdown run in the third overtime, helping Harvard knock off Holy Cross, 41-35, in Worcester, Mass. The Crimson's Conner Hempel completed 14-of-25 passes for 162 yards and two TDs, while Peter Pujals went 33-of-50 for 345 yards and four TDs in a losing effort for the Crusaders. Stanton finished the day with 21 carries for 103 yards and two scores on the ground.

Into The Night
After 1,204 games, Harvard played its first night game Sept. 22, 2007. The Crimson is 7-0 all-time in night games at Harvard Stadium following its 41-23 win over Brown last fall. Harvard is 3-0 at home at night against Holy Cross and 4-0 vs. Brown.

The Crimson drew 18,898 fans to its first-ever night game in 2007 against Brown at The Stadium. A year later, in its 2008 opener against Holy Cross, the Crimson drew 20,462 in the first Friday night game at The Stadium. 17,256 fans attended Harvard's night game against Brown last season.

Non-Conference Call
Harvard has won 26 of its last 33 non-league games dating back to 2003 (.788). Harvard went 3-0 against non-conference teams last year, topping San Diego, 42-20, Holy Cross, 41-35, in triple overtime, and Lafayette, 35-16.

Since the 2011 season, Harvard has rattled off eight straight victories against non-Ivy League opponents.

Hodges Up For Butkus Award
Senior Zack Hodges (Atlanta, Ga.) was one of 30 players from the FBS and FCS levels to be named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation's top linebacker. Hodges was the lone FCS candidate on the Butkus Award Watch List.

Hodges finished 2013 with a team-high 6.5 sacks, while also adding 40 tackles.  He also forced three fumbles, recovered three fumbles, recorded six quarterback hurries and made an interception.

Hodges Among Best In FCS
Zack Hodges is also on the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Preseason All-America Honors
Nick Easton '15 (center): The Sports Network Preseason All-America Second Team

Zack Hodges '15 (defensive end): FCS Preseason All-America First Team; The Sports Network Preseason All-America First Team; College Sports Madness Preseason All-America First Team;  BSN FCS Preseason All-America Second Team

Patriot Games
Harvard has amassed a 199-137-8 (.590) record against opponents currently in the Patriot Football League. The Crimson holds a .500 record or better against every team in the conference. The Crimson plays three Patriot League teams this fall: Holy Cross, Georgetown and Lafayette.

Where We Left Off
Paul Stanton, Jr., (Kenner, La.) scored four times, twice on the ground and twice with TD receptions, as the Crimson knocked off Yale, 34-7, in New Haven, Conn., beating the Bulldogs for the seventh-straight season Nov. 23, 2013. Harvard also captured a share of the program's 15th Ivy League title in the process. Stanton's four TDs against Yale tied the school record for The Game with Eddie Mahan '16 (four TDs in 1915). 

Preseason Prognostication
The Crimson was chosen second in the Ivy League football preseason media poll in August. Harvard received eight first-place votes and trailed Princeton (nine first-place votes) by one point in the poll. 

2014 Ivy League Preseason Media Poll:
Rank School             Points
1. Princeton (9)       128
2. Harvard (8)          127
3. Dartmouth           91
4. Penn                    79
5. Yale                     68
6. Brown                  65
7. Cornell                 34
8. Columbia             20

Crimson Colored Ivy
Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, Harvard has been the winningest team during league play. The Crimson also has a conference-best 250 victories.

Team         W             L          T         Ivy Titles
Harvard    250         147         9              15
Dartmouth  236        162         9              17
Yale         232         166         8              14
Princeton 218         183         5              10
Penn        218         184         4              16
Cornell     177         224         5              3
Brown      175         224         7              4
Columbia 93           308         5              1

Harvard is the only Ivy League school with a winning record against all other Ivies.

Harvard 7
Yale 6
Dartmouth 4
Princeton 4
Penn 3
Brown 2
Cornell 2
Columbia 0 

Harvard's lowest winning percentage is .517 against Princeton.

Harvard Most Popular In Mass.
According to a survey released by TicketCity in August, Harvard is the most popular college football team in Massachusetts. The results of the survey were calculated using several pieces of data: the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers the team had; Google analytics as to the number of searches for the teams in their home state; and median ticket pricing data on the secondary market.

Give 29 The Ball
Running back Paul Stanton, Jr., rushed for 15 touchdowns in 2013, including two-plus in the wins over Brown Sept. 28, Holy Cross Oct. 5, Lafayette Oct. 19, Penn Nov. 16, and Yale Nov. 23. Stanton also had two scores in the triple overtime loss to Princeton Oct. 26. Stanton's 17 total touchdowns ranked second in the Ivy League. His 17 TDs rank third all-time in a single-season in school history.

Home Opener
Harvard has won the last 13 home openers.

Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 21st season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters Friday's game with a 137-62 record with the Crimson and a 169-107-1 overall head coaching record, which includes five years at Cincinnati and two years at Maine. Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, only two Ivy coaches have compiled more wins than Murphy's 137 and he is just one of five coaches to win 100-plus games. Murphy has led Harvard to seven Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013). He is 14-5 all-time against Holy Cross.

Holy Cross Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore is in his 11th season as Holy Cross's head coach, and he brings a 58-57 record with the Crusaders into the game. Gilmore has had the Crusaders at .500 or better in seven of his first 10 years in Worcester. He is 3-7 against Harvard.

Top Target
Wide receiver Ricky Zorn (Dallas, Texas) led Harvard with 50 receptions and 700 receiving yards last season. He also made three touchdown catches. Zorn Ranks 11th in school history with 1,264 receiving yards and 13th with 86 career receptions.

Better Than Average
With nine wins last year, Harvard clinched its 115th season at .500 or better in the program's 140-year history. It also marked the Crimson's 15th-straight year at .500 or better.

Clean Sheet
Harvard's 34-0 win over Columbia on Nov. 9, 2013 marked the Crimson's secnd shutout in as many seasons. During head coach Tim Murphy's tenure in Cambridge, Harvard has held opponents scoreless 10 times, including four times against Columbia and two times against Dartmouth.

Harvard shutouts since 1994:
Oct. 26, 1996 vs. Princeton    W, 24-0
Nov. 1, 1997 at Dartmouth    W, 24-0
Nov. 15, 1997 vs. Penn           W, 33-0
Nov. 4, 2000 vs. Columbia       W, 34-0
Oct. 11, 2003 at Cornell         W, 27-0
Sept. 18, 2004 vs. Holy Cross W, 35-0
Nov. 6, 2004 vs. Columbia       W, 38-0
Oct. 28, 2006 at Dartmouth   W, 28-0
Nov. 3, 2012 vs. Columbia       W, 69-0
Nov. 9, 2013 at Columbia       W, 34-0

Zack's Sacks
With his 6.5 sacks last fall, defensive end Zack Hodges now has 18.5 in his career (3.0 as freshman, 9.0 as sophomore). He now ranks fifth in program history with 18.5 sacks, only 0.5 behind Marc Laborsky '02, Michael Berg '07 and Brag Bagdis '08 for second. Chris Smith '98 holds the Harvard record with 20.5.

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

Carm Cozza             Yale                         179
Al Bagnoli                 Penn                        146
Edward Robinson     Brown                        140*
Tim Murphy              Harvard                    137
Bob Blackman,         Dartmouth & Cornell 127
George Woodruff    Penn                         124*
Tuss McLaughry       Brown & Dartmouth 120
Joe Restic               Harvard                    117
Lou Little                  Columbia                110
*-pre Ivy League formation

Harvard On National TV
The Crimson will play at least four games on national or regional television this season.

2014 Ivy League Football NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Regional Schedule for Harvard:

Date                        Game                      
Sat., Nov. 1              Harvard at Dartmouth
Sat., Nov. 22            Yale at Harvard

2014 Ivy League Football Fox College Sports Schedule: 

Date                        Game                      
Sat., Oct. 11             Cornell at Harvard

In addition, Harvard's games vs. Holy Cross Sept. 19, Lafayette Oct. 18 and at Princeton Oct. 25 will be shown live on ESPN3/WatchESPN.

We're Headed To (Triple) OT
Twice last season, the Crimson went to triple overtime in a contest, defeating Holy Cross, 41-35, Oct. 5, and falling to Princeton, 51-48, Oct. 26.

This marks the first time in team history Harvard has gone to two 3OT games in a single season. In 2005, Harvard defeated Yale, 30-24, in three overtimes and topped Brown, 38-35, in double OT, the only other year Harvard has had two games decided in extra time.