However, Harvard Coach Tim Murphy knows that putting teams away requires more than just hanging on to the ball.
“Looking back, the things that could have helped us last year were being more secure with the ball, making that clutch field goal at the end and a defense that could finish people off,” Murphy said last week.
As optimistic as Murphy is about remedying the first concern, he feels just as good about the latter two.
Safety In Numbers
The Crimson defense loses only two of last year’s regulars, strong safety Mike Brooks ’01 and defensive tackle R.D. Kern ’01. While they will be missed, Murphy is thrilled at the prospect of a defensive unit that returns nine starters—many of them seniors.
“We’ve got some men in the trenches,” Murphy said. “We’ve got kids who have played. In our league, where you don’t have fifth-year players, playing juniors is a lot different than playing seniors. Having so many seniors will, I’m sure, have an impact.”
Captain Ryan FitzGerald, who will again anchor the defense at left tackle, believes that the large number of seniors will make his leadership role much easier.