By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob)
Harvard’s bid to remain in the 2017 Ivy League title hunt will hinge on a win when they host Buddy Teeven’s Dartmouth Big Green on Saturday at Harvard Stadium.
Last week Princeton senior quarterback Chad Kanoff had a day for the record books as he completed all 20 of his first-half passes and finished 31-of-35 for an astounding 88.6 completion percentage as the Tigers overwhelmed Harvard 52-17.
Kanoff completed his first 21 passes and finished just shy of the FCS single-game completion percentage record of 88.9. Kanoff totaled 421 yards, eighth-best in Princeton history, and moved from 21st to 15th on the all-time Ivy League passing list.
The Tigers racked up 573 yards of total offense in the win.
There were a few highlights for the Crimson as freshman quarterback Jake Smith passed for his season-best 268 yards and running back Charlie Booker III rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown. Luke Hutton led the Crimson defense with 10 tackles.
The Big Green enters Harvard Stadium after a 22-17 loss in last week’s showdown with the Columbia Lions.
The Crimson defense will face another talented Ivy quarterback in Dartmouth’s Jack Heneghan who passed for 331 yards (21-of-36, TD) against Columbia. Hunter Hagdorn, was Heneghan’s favorite target as he had eight catches for 100 yards.
Eric Meile led the Big Green defensive effort with a game-high 16 tackles.
Saturday’s game will be the 121st all-time meeting between Harvard and Dartmouth, with the first game having taken place back in 1882. Harvard leads the all-time series 70-45-5 and has won 13-straight games over the Big Green.
Bob’s Prediction: Harvard has proven their ability to bounce back after a disappointing loss this season, so this week is no exception. PREDICTION: Harvard 28, Dartmouth 17
Next week: Columbia will invade Harvard Stadium on Nov. 4 (1 p.m. ILN/SNY).
Around the Ancient Eight: The other big game this weekend is in the Yale Bowl when Yale 5-1 (2-1) hosts Coach Al Bagnoli’s surprising Columbia Lions 6-0 (3-0) on Saturday (SNY/ILN).
Yale, which is coming off a huge 24-19 comeback win at Penn (Elis first at Franklin Field since 2007) last week, will be looking to break the Lions bubble.
A win by Columbia this week would give the Lions not only their first 4-0 start in Ivy League play, but also their third 7-0 start in program history and first since 1932. Columbia’s seven-game win streak, dating back to last season, is the longest since 1934-35. Another win would match the Lions’ longest winning streak, previously set twice, most recently from 1933-34.
Bagnoli’s Lions were picked to finish seventh in the preseason polls. Columbia will be looking to continue their best start since 1996.
With identical 2-1 Ivy records Cornell and Princeton will look to remain in the title chase when they square off on Saturday night in Princeton, NJ (7 p.m. NBCSN).
The Crimson’s Justice Shelton-Mosley leads the nation in punt returns for touchdowns (two) and return average (21.5). Shelton-Mosley is also 26th in kickoff returns (24.6).
Yale’s freshman running back Zane Dudek has been named to the Rice Award Watch List.
Dartmouth’s upcoming matchup with Brown on Friday, Nov. 10, will be held in historic Fenway Park.
(Report compiled from various Ivy League media sources).
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