They say revenge is the best motivation. If so, Harvard football has plenty of anger to take out on Brown tomorrow.
Harvard (6-1, 4-0 Ivy) is alone atop the Ivy League, but some players still feel that they have something to prove against the Bears.
The last two years, Brown (5-2, 2-2 Ivy) 1995's 47-8 final was followed by a 31-7 rout last year.
"There's definitely a revenge factor involved," said sophomore running back Chris Menick. "They crushed us the last two years. And they were the only team which kept throwing, trying to score more points. We'll be fired up."
"Our whole defense remembers that game," said sophomore linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski.
Not everyone is as anxious to emphasize revenge, however.
"I think it's a motivator but not the main one," said Harvard Coach Tim Murphy. "The major fact is that Brown stands in the way of an Ivy title."
Furthermore, Murphy does not necessarily agree with the premise that Brown has been piling points on Harvard late in the game.
"If you look at the last two years, they put some points on us in the first half by running the ball extremely well," Murphy said.
This year, Brown's offense boasts some of the best numbers of any in the league, including 31 points and 461 yards per game.
Quarterback James Perry has thrown for 16 touchdowns in replacing two-time All-Ivy first teamer Jason McCullough.
His favorite target, wide receiver Sean Morey, already has gone over 1,000 yards receiving for the season. His 49 catches, 10 of which have been for touchdowns, have resulted in six 100-yard games this year. Last week, in a 37-12 shellacking of Cornell, Morey caught seven passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns.
"We're not going to do anything special against him, but we're going to make sure we pay attention and know where he is," said junior cornerback Glenn Jackson.
But the players stress that Brown is far more than a one-dimensional attack.
"They've got so many weapons," Kacyvenski said. "They're real balanced."