Harvard at Rhode Island
Harvard has won 14-straight non-conference games (Gil Talbot).
The No. 22/RV Harvard football team opens its 143rd season Friday evening, as the Crimson hosts Rhode Island at Harvard Stadium. Harvard, which is coming off a 9-1 season and third-straight Ivy League title in 2015, welcomes the Rams who sit 0-2 this fall. Friday's game will be broadcast on the American Sports Network (NESNplus in New England) and the Ivy League Digital Network. Dave Armstrong and Richard Baldinger will have the call. Check out the full TV listing for the game here.
The season opener marks the first of three Friday contests for Harvard in 2016 (Georgetown Sept. 30 and at Penn Nov. 11).
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. The ILDN is also available on Apple TV and Roku. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Harvard has won 13 of the last 15 season openers and is an impressive 117-23-2 (.831) in the first game of the season. Under current head coach Tim Murphy, the Crimson is 16-6 (.727) on opening day.
Friday's game will be the third all-time meeting between Harvard and Rhode Island. The Crimson won the first game in 1923 at Harvard Stadium, 35-0, and earned a 41-10 victory last season in Kingston, Rhode Island.
The Rams are coming off a 35-7 loss at home to Albany in their CAA opener Sept. 10. Running back T.J. Anderson led the way for the URI offense with 15 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. URI linebacker Justin Hogan recorded a game-high 17 stops, but the Rams surrendered 252 yards on the ground by Albany.
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 17th Ivy League title last season, went 9-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play in 2015 and was voted to finish first in the Ancient Eight this fall.
Harvard vs. The CAA
With Harvard's 41-10 win at Rhode Island last year, the Crimson boasts a record of 24-4-2 against schools currently in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
Last Time Out
Scott Hosch '16 threw four touchdown passes and finished with 320 yards passing and 60 yarda rushing to lead the Crimson to a 38-19 win over Yale in The Game in New Haven, Connecticut on Nov. 21, 2015. Justice Shelton-Mosley caught two of those TD passes and amassed 119 yards receiving, while Ben Braunecker '16 also made two touchdown grabs and had 88 receiving yards. Jacob Lindsay '16 led the Harvard defense with 11 tackles.
Harvard players have earned several preseason honors. Sophomore Justice Shelton-Mosley, a wide receiver, was selected to the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Performer of the Year Watch List. Shelton-Mosley also earned STATS FCS Preseason All-America honors, and senior captain Sean Ahern was tabbed to the Lott Impact Award Watch List. Ahern was the only FCS player on the Lott Impact Award Watch List.
Nation's Best D
Last season, Harvard ranked first in the FCS in rushing defense (84.4 rushing yards allowed per game) and was second in scoring defense (13.0 points allowed per contest).
Ivy Coaching Wins
Tim Murphy ranks third all-time in Ivy League wins.
Al Bagnoli Penn/Columbia 113
Tim Murphy Harvard 110
Bob Blackman Dartmouth/Cornell 100
Joe Restic Harvard 92
Dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season, Harvard has rattled off 15-consecutive wins on the road, setting a new program record (breaking record set from 1974-77). The streak is the longest in the FCS and second longest in all of Division I (Ohio State, 18).
The Crimson last lost on the road, 30-21, at Penn Nov. 10, 2012, and has gone more than three full seasons without dropping a game away from Cambridge.
With nine wins last year, Harvard clinched its 117th season at .500 or better in the program's 143-year history. It also marked the Crimson's 17th-straight year at .500 or better.
Harvard Owns New England
Since 1994, the Crimson owns a record of 112-43 (.723) in games played in New England. Since the 2001 campaign, Harvard stands at 87-16 (.845), and the team is 33-3 since the start of 2012 (.917) in contests held in the region.
September Under Murphy
Since Tim Murphy began patrolling the Harvard sideline in 1994, the Crimson is 36-13 (.735) in games played in the month of September. Harvard boasts a 27-6 (.813) mark since 2001 and has won 10 straight in September.
Harvard is 35-9 in its last 44 road games (.795). The Crimson is 27-5 (.844) in its last 32 Ivy League road games.
Harvard has scored points in an Ivy League and school-record 178-consecutive games. The Crimson has not been shut out since a 24-0 loss to Columbia in the 1998 season opener.
Brown held the previous Ivy record (162 games), which was stopped on Oct. 13, 2012 (19-0 loss at Princeton).
Keeping Points Off The Board
For the 50th time in the Tim Murphy era, the Crimson held an opponent to less than 10 points, as Harvard topped Princeton, 42-7, on Oct. 24, 2015. In those 50 games, the Crimson owns a 48-2 record (.960).
Going For Four
Harvard has won at least a share of the last three Ivy League titles and is seeking to become the first team to capture four consecutive Ancient Eight titles since Penn (1982-86). This marks the first time the Crimson has won three straight crowns.
The other schools to win three straight: Yale (1967-69), Dartmouth (1969-73), Yale (1979-81) and Penn (1982-86).
Harvard Coach Tim Murphy
In his 23rd season as Harvard's all-time winningest head coach, Tim Murphy enters this week's game with a 156-63 record with the Crimson and a 188-108-1 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 one Ivy coach has compiled more wins than Murphy's 156 and he is just one of five coaches to win 100-plus games. Murphy also owns 110 Ivy League wins, third most all-time. Murphy has led Harvard to nine Ivy League championships (1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015). He is 1-0 vs. Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Coach Jim Fleming
Jim Fleming is in his third season as head coach of the Rams. The former head coach at Sacred Heart from 2000-01, Fleming came to URI prior to the 2014 season after a stint as defensive coordinator at Central Florida from 2012-13. Fleming is 0-1 vs. Harvard.
Offense Clicking Under Murphy
With its 42-point performance vs. Princeton last year, Harvard improved to 37-1 (.974) under head coach Tim Murphy (since 1994) when scoring 40 or more points. The lone loss was at home against Princeton, 51-48, in triple overtime Oct. 26, 2013.
Since 2000, Harvard is 31-1 (.969) when it does not fumble and 31-0 when not committing a turnover.
Harvard has won 32 of its last 39 non-league games dating back to 2003 (.821). Harvard finished 3-0 against non-conference opponents in 2015.
The Crimson has rattled off 14-straight victories against non-Ivy League opponents. The last non-Ivy team to defeat Harvard was Holy Cross (30-22) Sept. 17, 2011.
Harvard has reached double figures in scoring in 61-straight games and 127 of its last 128 contests (.992). The last team to hold Harvard to single digits was Penn (7) in 2009.