Well Done in the Trenches, Men
The unsung heroes of fullback Matt Johnson's 323-yd. effort against Brown were the men in the trenches, the offensive line.
While the Crimson linemen haven't yet come up with a collective name, like Dartmouth's line ("Vanilla Thunder"), their collective effort cannot be understated.
Doug Rosenberry, Mike Harrington and the crew blew through the Brown defensive line and created gaping holes for Johnson to fly through.
A key reason Johnson was so successful running the ball up the middle--his strength--was the superior effort of the line.
"I tell you that about all of the yards were up the gut," said Rosenberry, the hulking 6-ft., 2-in., 295-lb. red-headed tackle. "We started trying to run to the outside, but coming out in the second half, we said 'what the hell', and ran it up the middle, up the gut. By the end of the game, he couldn't even stand up."
As a whole, Harvard's blocking was the best it has been all season. Receivers and running backs hit their blocks and cleared space for Johnson and Robb Hirsch, who also put forth a tremendous effort with 103 yards and a key late touchdown.
The Stretch Drive
With two games to play in the season, this weekend's contests mark the stretch drive for the Ivy League title.
While five teams in the Ancient Eight remain in the hunt, only three-Dartmouth, Princeton and Harvard--have a realistic shot at an Ivy championship.
Of these three, first-place Dartmouth (5-2-1 overall, 4-0-1 Ivy) is the solid bet to repeat as Ivy champion. In fact, the Big Green's only obstacle to an undefeated Ivy season will be Princeton, which plays Dartmouth at Hanover, N.H. in two weeks time (this week, Dartmouth should have little trouble with cellar-dweller Brown at the Siberian Ivy).
Second-place Princeton (7-1, 4-1) will have a tougher road to the championship. But it, like Dartmouth, can do so by winning the remainder of its games. The Tigers meet Yale at home this week and Dartmouth in two weeks. Winning in front of the rabid rowdies at the home of Big Green will be a difficult feat.
Third-place Harvard (3-4-1, 3-1-1) is going to have to win the rest of its games and get some help from its, uh, friends.
In addition to Harvard's need to win the remainder of its games, Yale must defeat Princeton this week and Princeton must defeat Dartmouth next week. Harvard would then share the Ivy title with the Big Green.
Johnson Ivy Player of Week
Johnson's career performance earned him honors as Ivy Player of the Week on offense.
Johnson's total shattered the previous Ivy record of 288 yards, set by Cornell's Scott Oliaro last season, and Harvard's school record of 233 yards, which was set by Vernon Struck in 1933.