Captain Norman Hayes and the Crimson are 4-0 on the road this fall (Gil Talbot).
In one of five undefeated teams remaining in Division I, No. 17/17 Harvard heads to Penn, looking to clinch a share of the program's 16th Ivy League title. The Crimson heads into the game 8-0 and 5-0 in the Ancient Eight, while the Quakers are 1-7 and 1-4 in league play. Penn will celebrate its Senior Day Saturday in a pre-game ceremony.
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.
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 #HarvardPenn for the football game this week.
Saturday's game will be the 85th meeting between Harvard and Penn in a rivalry that dates back to 1881.
The Crimson controls the all-time series, 47-35-2, overall and stands 34-23-1 in 58 previous Ivy League contests against Penn. Harvard is 4-3 vs. the Quakers since 2007, and the home teams have won in each of the last four seasons. Penn has also taken three of the last four meetings between the rivals in Philadelphia.
Last Year's Meeting
In Harvard's 38-30 win over Penn Nov. 16, Conner Hempel completed his first 11 passes of the day, finishing 21-of-25 for 227 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He also led all players in the game with 65 rushing yards, including a two-yard TD run. Paul Stanton, Jr., dashed for two scores on the ground, while captain and linebacker Joshua Boyd '14 grabbed his first interception since 2010 and paced the team with eight tackles.
The Crimson went up 38-0, early in the second quarter, but the Quakers went on a 30-0 run to close the gap with 4:30 to play in the fourth stanza. On Penn's final offensive play at the Harvard 19, Boyd broke up a pass, sealing the victory for Harvard on Senior Day, as the Crimson improved to 8-1 on the year.
Ivy Title Picture
With just two games remaining, the Crimson remains in sole possession of first-place in the Ivy at 5-0. Dartmouth, Princeton and Yale are all 4-1. A Crimson win Saturday would guarantee at least a share of the program's 16th Ivy title and eighth under Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football. In other key action, the Tigers and Bulldogs play in New Haven, Connecticut, while the Big Green hosts Brown.
Last Time Out
Linebacker Connor Sheehan returned two interceptions for touchdowns (48, 49 yards), and linebacker Matt Koran also had a pick six (34 yards) as the Crimson defense shut down Columbia, 45-0, Nov. 8. Semar Smith finished with 11 rushes for 114 yards and a score, and quarterback Scott Hosch completed 10-of-19 passes for 136 yards and a TD.
Harvard ranks first in Division I in scoring defense (9.4 points allowed per game), is second in rushing defense (81.0 ypg.), second in first downs allowed (130), sixth in fourth-down conversion defense (.267) and ninth in total defense (290.9 yards allowed per game).
No Points For You
Harvard has not allowed more than 18 points in a game this fall. The last time the Crimson has reached this late in the season with surrendering so few points in a game was in 1982. Harvard allowed 17 points to Army and Holy Cross in weeks three and eight, respectively.
In Harvard's win over Columbia, linebacker Connor Sheehan returned two interceptions for touchdowns (48, 49 yards). With that performance, he tied the Harvard game, season and career record for interception returns for TDs. He now shares the game and season records with Dante Balestracci '04 (2000 vs. Dartmouth) and the career record with Balestracci and Steven Williams '98.
Brothers In The Endzone
Brothers Seitu Smith and Semar Smith both scored touchdowns in Harvard's victory over Columbia Nov. 8. Seitu, a senior had a 22-yard TD grab late in the second quarter, and Semar rushed for a three-yard score early in the third stanza.
The Crimson has now shut out Columbia for three-straight seasons and 189:31 of action overall, dating back to 2011. This marks the first time the Crimson has shut down opponents in that many games since holding Brown scoreless in 1932, 1933 and 1934. Harvard has outscored the Lions, 148-0, the last three years.
With its 8-0 record, Harvard is just one of two remaining undefeated FCS teams (Coastal Carolina) and one of five Division I teams (Florida State, Marshall and Mississippi State) in the country.
Keep On Going
Harvard has the FCS's longest current winning streak. The Crimson has won 12 straight dating back to its dramatic 24-21 win over Dartmouth at Harvard Stadium Nov. 2, 2013. The current 12-game streak is tied for the ninth longest in team history. The program's longest was 24 games from 1890-1891.
The Crimson's 12-game win streak is tied for second in Division I (Florida State 25, Mississippi State 12).
Dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season, Harvard has rattled off nine-consecutive wins on the road, including a 4-0 mark this fall. The streak is the longest in the FCS and third longest in all of Division I (Ohio State (12), Florida State (11).
The Crimson last lost on the road, 30-21, at Penn Nov. 10, 2012.
With his 0.5 sacks against Princeton Oct. 25, defensive end Zack Hodges now has 24.0 in his career (3.0 as freshman, 9.0 as sophomore, 6.5 as junior, 5.5 as senior) and is the school's all-time leader.
The all-time Ivy League sack leader is Penn's Michael Turner (1990-93), who finished his career with 31.0.
Running The Ball
Harvard has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 22-straight games. The last time the Crimson was kept out of the end zone on the ground came in a 39-34 loss at Princeton Oct. 20, 2012.
Senior quarterback Conner Hempel is Harvard's all-time leader in completion percentage (.667, 216-of-324).
This season, junior QB Scott Hosch ranks 33rd in the nation in completion percentage (.615, 96-of-156), while Harvard quarterbacks are 18th overall in the country (.641, 141-of-220).
Andrew Fischer ranks seventh in the country in kickoff returns, averaging 27.4 yards per return. Fischer also stands 24th in punt returns (9.8 avg.).
With his performance this year, Fischer now ranks third in school history in career kickoff return average (23.9).
Stanton Hits The Record Books
With his 84 yards on the ground vs. Columbia Nov. 8, Paul Stanton, Jr. 11th in team history with 1,753 career rushing yards on 293 carries (6.0 avg.) Stanton is also now tied for sixth in the Harvard record books with 23 rushing touchdowns, having found the back of the end zone seven times this fall.