Harvard names the Princeton football team for the hall of fame. Two nights before the game at the Tiger mass meeting Coach Roper said: "Every man on the team can do the hundred in less than 11 seconds, and the Lord knows why we should be called the underdog." That he was right was proved when Princeton rose to almost unattainable heights of perfection and marched through the best Harvard could offer to trounce the Crimson 34--0.
Pinceton Played Superlatively
Dartmouth has played some great games this fall, so has Notre Dame, Syracuse, or Illinois, but no team has displayed such superlative football throughout an entire battle this season as was seen in the Stadium on Saturday. From beginning to end Princeton was well nigh faultless.
If Coach Roper had brought up a steam-driven wedge, he would not have received better results than he did from his line of forwards. A gaping hole was awaking the Tiger carrier every time; an impenetrable blockade was awaiting the Crimson runner. A day before the game Princeton undergraduates had said "Watch Beatile." Those who took their advice saw one of the prettiest exhibitions of line play that has been seen in the Stadium for many years. He was uncontrollable as he plunged through the Harvard attack or pushed aside the Crimson defense to make a path for a driving back. None will forget the moment when he intercepted a Harvard pass near mid-field and pounded his way 45 yards for a touchdown, regardless of three or four attempts to drop him.
Howard, Stout, and McMillan made similar performances at their respective positions. The remaining linemen are not mentioned, not because their work was in any way deficient, but because if one attempted to name the strong points of the Princeton team one would have to name nearly the whole squad.
In the backfield two men in particular were adding their names to football annals, Slagle and Williams. Nothing phased Slagle on Saturday. Whether he was running, passing, kicking, or tackling he was equally proficient. Slagle is only a sophomore and Harvard will have to cope with him two more years.
When Dinsmore hobbled off the field in the early part of the second period and Williams came on, the Nassau stands were far from elated at the change. But when the final whistle blue the second pilot was a hero. Not only did he show good judgement in his choice of plays, but he stood second only to Slagle in running. His 20-yard run for touchdown on the first play of the final quarter was worthy of the greatest.
Leaving individualities and looking at generalities, the Tiger's most impressive characteristic was its interference. With few exceptions the Harvard defense was put out of play, and nothing but secondary defense saved the day. The interference was particularly noticeable on end runs when one by one the Crimson tacklers were dumped and an almost clear field lay before the Tiger carrier.
It is difficult to discuss the general policy of the Black and Orange in regard to strategy, for almost anything it tried worked. Its trick plays were a big advantage. They accounted for substantial gains and were seldom diagnosed by Harvard largely on account of the speed and precision with which they were executed. A Tiger back would turn, fake an exchange, turn again and plunge through a hole made vacant by the stratagem.
Harvard Had Many Weaknesses
It is impossible to lay one's finger on any particular deficiency in the Harvard team. Such an overwhelming defeat is explained by weaknesses in many departments of the game, which when all brought together in one contest, result in a disasterously feeble combination. Journalistic writers in general think the Crimson squad was slightly overtrained. This belief was gained by the lack of punch, pep, vitality or whatever one may wish to call it displayed last Saturday. But this can also be explained by the psychological effect made by the Tiger's first attack. It told Harvard that it was up against a strong Princeton team out to win and playing as it had never played before. The Crimson soon realized that it lacked the necessary comeback, that it was doomed from the start.
Stafford alone approached doing what the coaches expected of him. Time and again it was this 145-pound pilot who dropped the Tiger after he had broken through the forward line. His judgment on punts was usually good, except for one occasion when the ball took an awkward bounce and failed to roll over the goal line as he had expected. On running back punts he was ineffective because he received practically no support in the way of interference.
To sum up the battle, an apt remark was overhead as the crowd left the Stadium: "I have never seen a worse team and a better one on the field at the same time.