If the Bill Parcells dream-world of mistake-free football really exists, then the 1995 edition of Harvard's gridiron squad is holding a non-stop first-class ticket to Tuna Town while Fordham is stuck in economy class with a changeover in Tulsa.
In two games, Harvard (1-1, 0-1 Ivy) has turned the ball over once and has been penalized six times for 46 yards. On the other hand, Fordham (1-3) has turned the ball over 11 times (six fumbles, five interceptions) in four games and has been penalized 33 times for 285 yards.
The Crimson hopes to make this discrepancy even more pronounced today, when Harvard hosts Fordham at Harvard Stadium at 1 p.m.
Although this contrast is the most obvious one to draw between the two teams, theses stats get to the heart of the differences between the teams' styles.
Although Coach Tim Murphy continues to preach a balanced attack, Harvard has focused on a ball-control, grind-it-out offense so far this season that is centered around junior tailback Eion Hu. Fordham's attack, however, is wide-open and quarter-back-centric.
"Hopefully those things will surface tomorrow," Murphy said. "When you throw the ball as much as Fordham does, both bad and good things can happen.. On one hand, you are one throw away from changing your field position significantly. On the other, removers occur more frequently."
Despite its propensity to gift-wrap the ball for opponents, the Fordham offense has actually compiled some pretty impressive statistics in four games. The Rams are averaging 353.3 yards per contest in total offense, while senior quarterback Joe Moorhead, who holds several Fordham offensive records, is averaging 276 passing yards.
"Joe Moorhead is a threat every time he has ball," Murphy said. "We need to get pressure on him. We want to play zone but we will blitz him if we have to. We do not want to let him get in his rhythm. He can pick you apart if he does."
The Ram-shackle running game is a different story. Fordham uses a one-back, three-receiver set and senior running back Won Kyu Rim gets the ball about as often as that offensive package implies.
Rim has yet to prove too worrisome to opposing defenses; he has 150 net yards on the season and has been tackled for 30 yards worth of losses.
Finally, only 23 of Fordham's 78 first downs have come on the ground.
"Fordham does not have a strong running game, but their offense [read: passing game] has chewed up a lot of offensive yardage," Murphy said.
Harvard has a strong running game and has chewed up a lot of offensive yardage as well. Last week, workhorse back Eion Hu (229 yards on 29 carries, three touchdowns) propelled the Crimson to a record 572 yards of total offense.
Still, Murphy isn't quite satisfied.
"We would like to mix it up more," Murphy said. "Last week against Colgate, we ran the ball at will. But we have to be successful against their run defense. We will throw it about 30 times per game."