The Harvard football team gets its final chance to flush out any remaining kinks today before finishing its season with five straight Ivy games.
The Crimson (2-2 overall, 1-1 Ivy) battles Fordham (1-3) for the first time in school history, today at 1:30 p.m. at The Stadium.
Harvard will try to stop a two game losing streak, after it started the season with victories over Columbia and Northeastern. Last week, Harvard lost to Cornell, 20-17.
"We're over last, week," junior tight end Andy Lombara said. "We're trying to bounce back from two straight losses."
The Rams, coached by former Harvard assistant Larry Glueck, edged Brown last week, 35-28. It was the first time Fordham had beaten an Ivy opponent since Harry Truman was President.
"[Fordham has] been playing pretty well," junior free safety Sean Koscho said. "It's supposed to rain. That can't help either."
Last week against Brown, Fordham freshman Darren Wallace had a career game in only his third collegiate outing, and his first start. The 160 lb. tailback scampered for 198 yards, eclipsing the Rams' single game rushing record for freshmen. In that game, Wallace scored two touchdowns, including one where he juked the Bruins for 65 yards.
"He's pretty quick," Koscho said. "They also throw the ball a lot."
Junior Gary Brennan leads the Rams aerial attack. Against Brown, Brennan threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions. Fordham went to the air 31 times that day.
Brennan's favorite target is sophomore Tom Garlick, who has snared 22 passes on the year.
Other offensive threats are fullback Tony Iastello, who has run for 121 yards thus far, and sophomore flanker John Potamousis, whose 19 receptions place him second behind Garlick.
Defensively, left cornerback Brad Jordan has a team-high four interceptions. Linebacker Matt Stover and safety Bryan Dunphy anchor the defense with 38 and 29 tackles, respectively.
"They have a strong defense," said Lombara, who leads the Crimson with ten catches.
Glueck hopes to avoid giving up the big play, a problem that has plagued the Rams in the early season.
Against Princeton, the Tigers faced third down and 15 yards to go, when the Rams defense fell lame, allowing a 57 yard touchdown catch. Hofstra collected twice on big plays, with a 44 yard score and a 77 yard touchdown pass.
The Rams, who employ a 3-4 defense, look to contain senior running back Andy Bell, who has gained 229 yards on the ground. In addition, they must neutralize quarterback Adam Lazarre-White, who has completed 58 percent of his passes for 427 yards.
"They really want to beat us," Lombara said.
NOTEBOOK: In Ivy action today, Penn hosts Columbia and Yale visits Dartmouth.