Mack the Knife: It Was Just Dartmouth

The Harvard football team is good, good enough to have a shot at the Ivy League title. But don't overstate the Crimson's chances just because it beat Dartmouth.

Harvard dominated a poor Dartmouth team in all phases of the game on Saturday and while the 49 - 7 victory helps Harvard in the Ivy standings, it didn't help to answer any questions about this team.

The Crimson passing offense has carried the team thus far this season. It was ranked 9th in Division I-AA going into Saturday's game, with just over 300 yards per game through the air. Furthermore, Harvard averaged over 28 points per game.

Quarterback Neil Rose and his receivers are largely responsible for this explosion of offense. Rose, a very accurate passer, has been able to get the ball to his receivers in stride.

Carl Morris, Kyle Cremarosa, Sean Meeker and the rest of the wideouts, for their part, have specialized in making Ivy League defensive backs look foolish and turning short passes into long gains.

But now the weather is getting colder. On Saturday, as the icy winds in Hanover, N.H., gusted to 25 mph, Harvard's passing game was slowed, not by anything that Dartmouth did on defense, but by the weather. The inclement conditions put the onus on the ground game to perform.

"We've always preached a balanced attack," Harvard Coach Tim Murphy said. "We've got to be able to pound the football."

Harvard did pound the ball against the Big Green, gaining 309 yards on the ground. Five Crimson running backs contributed to that total, none gaining over 100 yards.