Dartmouth invades the Stadium at 2.30 o'clock this afternoon a heavy favorite over a fighting Harvard team that will try to bring a Crimson victory over the Green for the first time in four years. Harvard has won one game this year, Dartmouth has lost one. In defeat, Dartmouth looked potently strong; in victory, Harvard appeared a doubtful quantity. It is essentially a dark-house eleven that will wear the Crimson at the opening whistle.
Four Harvard players who started last year's one-sided contest will be in action with the first kick-off today. To be sure, Dartmouth has got the same number of veterans in the lineup, but most of the new Dartmouth faces were substitutes last season, and one, Dooley, was the star of the Harvard-Dartmouth clash two years ago.
New Ends Have Done Well So Far
Harvard's new players, on the other hand, have not all proved their worth. Meadows and Saltonstall, the ends, have done exceedingly well in the early contests, but neither has played in a contest of major importance. Putnam and French are brilliant Sophomores whose big test comes today. Whoever replaces Daley at guard, whether it be Simonds, Goodwin, or Stewart--the chances favor Simonds--will be in his first big game. Gamache, like Dooley, played two years ago, but unlike the Indian star, did not emerge from their contest covered with glory. Captain Coady was not in the starting lineup a year ago.
Harvard looks forward to today's battle with optimism. Yale's win over Dartmouth made in clear that the Hanover aggregation is not unbeatable. But Harvard is not basing any false hopes of the Indians' showing at New Haven. Two years ago Dartmouth barely tied Yale, but a week later defeated Harvard. That year Dooley was largely blamed for the failure of the Dartmouth attack at the Bowl. But within seven days he was bailed as the hero of the Green's success in the Stadium.
Last week Dooley again came in for a good share of the blame. His choice of plays was considered poor, his passing worse. But with memories of the 1924 game still rankling. Harvard will not make the mistake of rating Dooley lightly.
Crimson Knows Green Plays?
For the past week the Crimson eleven has been working out against a strong eleven of ineligibles, coaches, and alumni, we'll drilled in Dartmouth plays. The experience has been valuable; just how valuable will be seen when the Crimson defense is tested this afternoon.
Harvard's weak spots this season have been putting and defense against the forward pass. French will do the putting today, but even if he shows great improvement. Harvard will be on the short end of the kicking game. Dooley and Black of Dartmouth are splendid blockers. Defense against the forward pass has been the slogan for the last week, Dartmouth has lost Oberlander, and has no one adequate to replace him. Harvard should step the Dartmouth passing attack.
The burden of the Green rushing offense will fall on the Crimson tackles Pratt and Coady. Coady has not regained his form of last season yet, but is back in shape and should be a big obstacle to the Dartmouth advance. Pratt, barring a tendency to play too high, is an effective tackle. Lindner and Clark are able replacements.
Gamache at center is out to make Harvard fonget his erratic pass which spoiled the Crimson's best scoring chance two years ago. The light Harvard pivot played brilliantly against Holy 'Cross, and bids fair to make Harvard cease longing for the eligibility of Turner.
Four years ago Harvard defeated Dartmouth, 12 to 3. That was the last year that Buell and Owen wore the Crimson--the last year of Harvard's football supremacy. The following season, with Haws the hero the Hanoverians trampled to a 16 to 0 win. Dooley held Harvard from scoring the next season, Dartmouth winning 6 to 0; and last fall Oberlander's passes bewildered the Harvard team and the Green ran wild to triumph 32 to 9. No such walkaway should take place today? Dartmouth may score early and often; but Harvard has a strong offense for the first time in four years, and the Green will not be the only team to gain ground. With Miller fit again, Harvard should have a strong rushing attack; with French, Sayles, and Putnam completing the backfield, and the strongarmed Guarnaccia in reserve, the Crimson forward passes are to be feared by even the strongest opponent. And as Glenn Warner has often said, the best defense is a strong defense. Harvard will give Dartmouth a battle every inch of the way this afternoon