This weekend, fans will descend upon Ivy League football stadiums in droves, filling every available seat and pushing the limits of the standing-room-only sections. Traffic will be a nightmare in Ithaca, Philadelphia, Hanover, and Cambridge as Ancient Eight supporters clog each and every road leading to the big games—alright, maybe not so much over in Ithaca.
Hours before the official start times, the tension and anticipation will be palpable. Tailgates will dominate the schools’ other athletic fields, and the smoke from the grills will blanket the surrounding areas. As the opening kickoffs sail through the air, the roar of the crowds will be heard for miles in every direction.
Maybe I’m hyperbolizing just a little bit. After all, this isn’t the SEC or the Big Ten. I guess we can only dream.
But why am I so fired up this week? Because it’s the start of the second half, baby. From here on out, only Ivy League matchups remain. Every game counts, and some teams will fight to stave off elimination starting this very weekend.
Here. We. Go.
YALE AT PENN
In the words of Markelle Fultz, Yale will be excited to head to (City) and face off against (Team Name) this Saturday.
The 76ers rookie muffed an Instagram post after being drafted first overall this past June, but he eventually corrected himself and made his appreciation for the city of Philadelphia known. Like Fultz, Yale will also appreciate a trip to the City of Brotherly Love. The Quakers have faltered the past three weeks, losing consecutive games to Dartmouth, Central Connecticut State, and Columbia.
The two Ivy defeats came in excruciating fashion. On the last play of the game against the Big Green, quarterback Jared Gerbino scored as time expired to secure the 16-13 victory for Dartmouth. A week after being doubled up by Central Connecticut State, 42-21, the Quakers took a red-hot Columbia squad to overtime when receiver Justin Watson caught a 17-yard touchdown pass. Penn even took the lead in overtime with a field goal, but on Columbia’s last-chance drive, quarterback Anders Hill tossed a 24-yard pass to secure the 34-31 win.
For all of Penn’s woes, Yale has had a polar opposite season. Most recently, the Bulldogs hosted Holy Cross and picked the Crusaders apart in a 32-0 drubbing.Yale has lost just once, and it was on one of Dartmouth’s miraculous nail-biter wins.
Look for Penn to lose a close league matchup once again.
Pick: Yale 24, Penn 21
COLUMBIA AT DARTMOUTH
Looking at this game from a football perspective, it’s hard to pick against either school. Columbia is a perfect 5-0, and it has defeated Ivy mainstays Princeton and Penn. Dartmouth also sits at 5-0 and 2-0 in the Ancient Eight, and it has defeated Penn and Yale.
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