It was poetry in motion, a true fusion of fluidity and form. It was sweet music on the football field.
Or maybe it was more, as one observer noted on Saturday, "like a bunch of sixth graders playing against a bunch of fourth graders."
Bucknell offense versus Harvard defense. That's what we're talking about.
That's what the Harvard coaches and players will likely be talking about today, too, since they gave up 42 points and 504 total yards to Bucknell after yielding 32 points to Columbia a week ago.
"You have to defend against the big play," said Harvard Captain Ed Kinney. "You can't let the other team get vertical downfield and throw over you, but that's what we did."
Yes, that is what they did, Bucknell quarterback Rob Glus threw for 164 yards and a career-high four touchdowns--by halftime.
And in the second half, with the Crimson keying more on the pass, the Bison went to their mighty-mite running back. Rich Lemon, who finished the afternoon with 187 yards on 28 carries, including a 65-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.
The Bucknell players and coach, evidently not wanting to add insult in injury, spoke delicately.
"It's never easy," said Glus, the quarterback. "You have to execute. You have to make plays."
"I thought their defensive backs were decent," said John Sakowski, a Bucknell receiver who caught 2 passes for 83 yards. "As a reserving unit, we just tried to take what they gave us."
Delicate words, aside, though, this was an afternoon on which the Harvard defense gave a lot. It was obviously too much for Coach Tim Murphy.
"We were beaten by a better football team, but we have to give ourselves a better chance than we did today," he said.
"What put us behind the 8-ball was when we made it look easy for them [with the 28 first-half points]. They didn't have to work for those points."
Indeed, the Bison's first two touchdowns came on almost identical plays, gentle job passes over the middle.
And the third and the fourth both came on simple bombs, one a 54-yard pass, and the other a 46-yard heave.
Although Harvard managed to claw to within 28-14 at halftime, an inability to shut down the Bucknell offense doused any comeback hopes harbored by the Crimson.
After two games and 74 points given up, Harvard's porous defense has become its most ominous early-season weakness.
Looking toward the season's final eight games, including next week's context at Holy Cross, Kinney, an outside linebacker, pointed to several areas of needed improvement.
"We need to get upfield, get more pressure on the quarterback, and just fight for the ball more."
And, failing that, they need to call out the sixth graders.