WILLIAMSBURG, Va.--With its 24-0 loss at the hands of William & Mary Saturday, the Harvard football team suffered its second consecutive shutout defeat. Going back to the first game of the season, the Crimson (now 1-2 overall, 1-0 Ivy) has not scored in nine quarters--and has managed only a field goal in its last 10 periods.
Harvard came close a couple of times against the Tribe, though. In the final minute of the first quarter, Crimson place-kicker Andy Maretz had a shot at a 42-yd. field goal. But kicking into a stiff breeze, Maretz's attempt landed harmlessly in the front of the endzone.
Then, late in the third quarter, a Harvard drive gave Maretz an opportunity for another 42-yarder--but this one, with the wind, was blown wide.
Not since 1964 has Harvard been shut out twice in the same season. And to find the last time that the Crimson has been shut out in two consecutive games, you have to go all the way back to 1941, when the gridders were blanked by Penn (19-0) and Cornell (7-0) in the first two weeks of the season.
Overall, Harvard has suffered back-to-back shutouts 10 times since 1900, but has never in that time been blanked on three consecutive weekends (except during the "informal" 1917 war-abridged season).
In the hot seat I: Picturesque Cary Stadium in Williamsburg provided a unique settings for Harvard football.
Surrounded by pine trees, the 15,000-seat arena's traditions included a field-goal-kicking contest at halftime (part of an airline promotion) and cheerleaders who hurled dozens of miniature plastic footballs into the stands during breaks in the action.
The public address system carried numerous lost-child announcements and even one marrage proposal. Honest.
Not to overlook the temperature, which was announced at a sweltering 87 at game time.
65 inches of dynamite: Magical Michael Clemons made believers out of the entire Crimson team after the 5-ft., 5-in. running back danced, slithered and spun his way to two touchdowns and over 150 yards of total offense.
Overall, the senior tailback had six plays which went for 10 or more yards--including three runs from scrimmage, two punt returns, and one pass reception.
In the hot seat II: Bill Koehler started at quarterback for Harvard in place of the injured David Landau (separated shoulder).
Although Koehler didn't have a bad day statistically (11-for-20, 99 yards, one interception), he missed a couple of open receivers downfield and was sacked five times. He had very little protection all day.
Koehler did exhibit good scrambling skills, gaining 76 yards on 11 carries (although the five sacks reduced his net gain on the afternoon to 44 yards). Still, it seems likely that Landau will get the starting job back when his shoulder heels.
Same time, last year: Harvard faces Cornell this Saturday at the Stadium. The game will start a half-hour early, at 1 p.m., as it is the PBS game of the week. The Big Red is currently 2-1 overall, 1-0 Ivy after a 33-22 loss to Lafayette last weekend.
Last year, Harvard defeated Cornell, 20-17, at Ithaca, N.Y., on Rob Steinberg's 27-yd. field goal with nine seconds left in the final quarter. Crimson quarterback Brian White had one his finest days of the year, completing 15 of 23 passes.
In other Ivy League action Saturday, Army pounded Yale, 41-24, Brown dumped Princeton, 24-10 and Penn knocked off Columbia, 42-7.