PRINCETON, N.J.--The good news: on Saturday, Harvard beat Princeton 35-21 and entered into a share of first place in the Ivy League.
The bad news: the Crimson still hasn't made a field goal since the second quarter of the season opener.
This may strike you as an odd piece of bad news. After all, the golden arm of Neil Rose and the punishing legs of Matt Leiszler gave Harvard a large cushion, which pretty much made the assistance of special teams unnecessary.
Then again, what if Rose or Leiszler had been less prolific on Saturday? What if the game came down to Harvard's ability to make a field goal? Does Cornell ring a bell? How about The Game two years ago?
With Harvard's two missed field goal attempts against Princeton, the woeful Crimson placekickers are now a combined 1-for-9 on the season. Harvard, with a .111 average, easily has the worst kicking game in the Ivy League. To match this futility, Princeton would have to miss its next 68 field goals, Cornell its next 47, and Penn its next 44.
To understate things, Harvard has a problem. More importantly, the Crimson is struggling in the one area of Ivy League football where it is crucial to be competent.
This season, seven games involving Ivy teams have been decided by three or fewer points. Harvard has been on the losing end of two of those contests with a two-point loss against Holy Cross, and the heartbreaking one-point loss to Cornell.
Now that we've established the importance of a good kicking game, we should wonder as to what has accounted for eight straight missed field goals? One theory involves the names of our kickers. Anders "Oh no, he" Blewitt and Robbie "Wide" Wright are perhaps the two worst names to have as field goal specialists.