Giardi Nabs Starting Quaterback Job

Sophomore Passer Tallies Five TD's as Crimson Downs Brown, 43-40, in Scrimmage

Forget about the six-man Battle Royale over the quarterback position.

Forget about Harvard's past weakness at quarterback.

Coach Joe Restic's Multiflex offense has found itself a field general.

After passing for 236 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for two touchdowns in the Crimson's pre-season victory over Brown last Saturday, 43-40, sophomore passer Mike Giardi has landed the starting job, Restic said.

"It was no decision," Restic said. "If [Giardi] puts points on the board like he did today, we won't need a number-two [quarterback]."

Restic has reason to be happy.

Harvard's offense has experienced a metamorphosis. Gone is the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offensive attack of last season.

Granted, last weekend's scrimmage was against Brown, which is not known for its defensive prowess. It was the same Bears squad off of which Harvard scored 52 points last year.

But the contest served to showcase Giardi's many talents.

He can run the option. Or roll out and hit receivers downfield. Or dish off to a back. Or scramble for yards. Or drop back into the pocket and go long.

In fact, Giardi would have thrown for over 300 yards and a fourth touchdown against the Bears had a holding call not nullified a pretty 79-yard scoring strike down the left flank.

After the game, Restic spoke of Giardi as a proud father might speak of his son.

"You saw it today," Restic said. "That was the Multiflex. He has such a grasp of it. He has poise. He takes charge. You gain leadership by way of execution."

Harvard's backfield--one of the richest in the Ivies--was a key element to Giardi's success.

As Giardi rolled out and eluded Brown tacklers, he dished off at the last minute to Mike Hill, Kendrick Joyce, Robb Hirsch and Matt Johnson, who scampered for good yardage. Their threat took the pressure off Giardi.