Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Set To Tangle With Big Red In Ithaca
By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob)
The Harvard Crimson continued their winning ways last Saturday with a lopsided 41-2 road win over the Georgetown Hoyas.
The Crimson put on a dominating offensive performance, rushing for 177 yards and passing for 280 while limiting the Hoyas to 46 on the ground and 155 in the air.
Harvard’s Justice Shelton-Mosley had a special afternoon against the Hoyas as he amassed 169 total yards in the win at RFK Stadium. Shelton-Mosley’s 91-yard punt return for a touchdown was the longest in Harvard history and (tied Columbia’s Travis Chmelka) as the third-longest in Ivy League history.
Jake Smith got the starting nod at quarterback for the second consecutive week and completed 11-of-21 passes for 139 yards in three quarters of work. Joe Viviano saw limited action in Coach Tim Murphy’s platoon system connecting on 5-of-10 for 66 yards.
The Crimson 2-1 (1-0) will return to Ivy League action on Saturday when they face a potential trap game against Cornell 0-3 (0-1) in Ithaca, NY (1:30 p.m.).
Harvard’s secondary had a strong outing against Georgetown and they will be tested again this week against Cornell.
The Big Red has an outstanding quarterback in junior Dalton Banks who will pose a challenge for the Harvard secondary. Banks passed for 239 yards (22-of-43) in a 21-7 loss to Colgate last week.
However, Banks had four picks and was sacked nine times. Harvard leads the all-time series, 47-32-2, and has won 14 of the last 16 meetings.
The Crimson won last year’s meeting, 29-13, at Harvard Stadium.
Bob’s Prediction: Murphy’s recipe for platooning Smith and Viviano at quarterback is looking better each week. The Big Red will throw an early scare at the Crimson but Harvard should pick up Ivy win No. 2. PREDICTION: Harvard 38, Cornell 17
Next week: Harvard will return home to host Lafayette on Saturday, Oct. 14. The game will be the Crimson’s final non-conference clash of the season.
Around the Ancient Eight: The Ivy League is off to its best non-conference start since 1970 with a 13-3 record in the first three weeks of the 2017 season. Columbia pulled off the upset of the early season when they defeated preseason title favorite Princeton, 28-24. It was the Lions’ first win over the Tigers since 2010 and their first 3-0 (1-0) start since 1996.
Columbia wide receiver Ron Smith caught 10 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns, to lead the Lions against the Tigers.
Dartmouth 3-0 (1-0 Ivy) remained unbeaten, as well as winning their Ivy opener, when the Big Green edged Penn 2-1 (0-1) as time expired, 16-13.
Yale 3-0 (1-0) and Dartmouth 3-0 (1-0) will put their unbeaten records on the line when they square off in Hanover, NH on Saturday (1:30 p.m. ESPN3).
(Report compiled from various Ivy League media sources).
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