Junior tailback Eion Hu thinks he can get in the end zone every time he gets the ball, but he is only really happy when he can get across the goal-line standing up.
Hu, who is in the process of rewriting most of Harvard's rushing records, picked up against Colgate right where he left off during his Ivy League Rookie of the Year season last year: shredding defenses for huge numbers and shouldering a huge part of the Crimson's offensive load.
So, just how big is huge? Hu ran the ball 29 times for personal-best 228 yards and 132 in the first half. The powering back also scored a new career-high three touchdowns--all standing up. And, Hu can put another trophy in his case for his efforts: Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week.
"Hu does not impress us with spectacular runs," Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. "However, every time you look up, he's got five more and five more....He's just an amazing running back."
Hu looked more versatile--and more spectacular--against Colgate than he has against any other team to date. Hu has been categorized in the past a north-south runner--one of those brawny backs who just steps on people.
On Saturday, however, things were different. Hu was all over the field: inside, outside, far-side, near. Hu still dragged the defense three extra yards after it hit him, but he was positively electric between the tackles and the sideline.
"Murphy called the outside plays a lot: the outside runs and the options. But I didn't go into the game expecting to use that play so much....Our linemen trapped really well, so I didn't even need any speed to get out around them."
Hu's most impressive run of the day was the infrequently used option pitch that Harvard called for on the first-half touchdown drive. Quarterback Vin Ferrara, who executes the option maybe three times per game and rarely pitches the ball, rolled right towards the Harvard sideline and then pitched outside to Hu just before getting nailed. Hu took off for a 34-yard gain, which is now the longest run of his career.
Explained Hu, "That was a dangerous play, but it worked. There was a guy right between Vin and me."