Harvard will look to get back on track tomorrow when it faces struggling Colgate at Soldier's field.
The Crimson has had its share of difficulties this season--a porous defense matched with a somewhat erratic offense, but its problems are small compared to those of the Red Raiders.
Colgate began the season with a 45-7 thrashing at the hands of BU, but followed with an impressive victory over Dartmouth.
It has been all downhill since the victory over Dartmouth though, as the Red Raiders have lost three straight games and suffered several key injuries along the way.
Most recently, Colgate lost star linebacker Brian Gianci, who broke his arm in last week's loss to Buffalo. Like Gianci, quarterback lan Prisuta and tailback Daymon Smith have also been lost for the season.
In addition to those season-ending injuries, Colgate has several players, including replacement quarterback Bill McDuffee, banged up and most likely out of action for Saturday's game.
The Red Raiders will turn the quarterbacking duties over to freshman Mark Lindell. Lindell has seen action this season but was benched after a 4-19, 24 yard effort against Buffalo.
Colgate will look to offset its shaky passing game with a running attack led by tailback Dana Farland. Farland, who rushed for 169 yards against Buffalo, has played well since taking over the starting job from the injured Smith.
The Red Raider defense has also had its troubles this season. It has held an opponent under 20 points only one time this year.
Colgate knows that the key to its defensive effort tomorrow will be stopping the Harvard rushing tandem of Kweli Thompson and Eion Hu.
"Our linebackers have to play run first and read the pass to try to get in the throwing lanes," Colgate coach Ed Sweeney said.
The Red Raider defense has been generous on the ground this season, giving up over 200 yards a game.
The game will be Colgate's fourth straight on the road, and it will be looking to snap a seven game road winless streak.
It will be the sixth time the two schools have met on the gridiron, with Harvard holding a 3-2 edge in the series. The teams last played in 1978 with Harvard winning 24-21.
With a win, Harvard will move to 3-2 on the year, surpassing its win total for all of last season.
This game could also go a long way to providing the Crimson with momentum heading into the thick of the Ivy schedule. It is essential that the Crimson head into next week's game with Princeton with a win.
To get that win, the Harvard defense, which kept the Crimson in the game last week against Cornell and has the ability to shut down Colgate, must flex itself from the outset.
On the offensive side of the ball the key lies on the ground. Harvard must establish its running game early and finish off long drives.
"We are going to run the football," Hu said. "If we do that successfully, we will win."
The Crimson and the Red Raiders will kick-off Saturday at 1:00.
Game Notes: The game features two interesting coaching reunions. First, Harvard's offensive coordinator Mike Foley graduated from Colgate in 1978. He led the Red Raiders to a 10-1 season and a 38-21 win over the Crimson in 1977. He then went on to coach his alma mater from 1981-1992. He was the head coach from 1988-1992.
The school's head coaches also share a common tie. Harvard's Tim Murphy and Colgate's Sweeney coached together at BU from 1982-1984. Murphy was the Terriers' offensive line coach, while Sweeney served first as defensive coordinator and then assistant head coach.