Harvard’s Friday home opener against Brown is one of two main Ivy attractions in the next few days. Last year, the Bears took the Ancient Eight opener against the Crimson, 29-14, on their home field. This year, Harvard does not want to repeat last season’s less-than-stellar start. As of now, the Crimson has never lost a night game at home. They hope to continue this streak on Friday.
Here's who to look out for during this week’s contests:
Brown: The Bears’ senior quarterback, Kyle Newhall-Caballaro, proved that individuals could make a comeback. After missing most of last season due to injury, Newhall-Caballero had an impressive return outing last week, as he went 22-37 for a total of 292 yards as well as three touchdowns. If his success continues this week agaisnt the Crimson, Brown’s season will definitely be on the rise.
Harvard: If the Crimson wants to handle the Bears, senior quarterback Collier Winters must have a big impact on the game. Against Holy Cross, Winters passed for 265 yards and two touchdowns, but deuces were wild and he also had two interceptions. This summer, Winters won the “Air it Out” competition at Peyton Manning’s Passing Academy, beating both collegiate and professional athletes. He is going to need to repeat that accuracy this weekend and connect with teammates in order to beat Newhall-Cabellaro head-to-head.
The other Ivy matchup of the weekend is Cornell at Yale. Both teams are coming off wins last week and both squads have something to prove heading into the season. After a 1-6 season last year, the Big Red needs a massive upset to boost their morale. This game could provide just that boost if they were to win (believe me, they will have all of Harvard pulling for them). The Bulldogs, on the other hand, need to stay consistent and beat the “easier” teams in the Ivy in order to keep level with their main competition: Harvard and Penn. As both teams gave up over 300 yards last weekend, look for this game to be battled on the offensive end. Yale is favored to win this game easily.
Who to look our for (Quarterback Edition, Part II):
Cornell: As mentioned earlier, long distance completions were vital for the Big Red in its game against Bucknell. Sophomore Jeff Mathews was behind those long throws, connecting on 15-28 passses, including two touchdowns. Against Yale though, he may need to gain even more consistency.
Yale: The Bulldogs have, perhaps, the strongest quarterback in the league in senior Patrick Witt. Already, Witt is on good pace to break every passing record that former Yalies have held—he is the only quarterback in school history to complete greater than 60% of his passes. Due to his success last weekend, he is now third all time for the Bulldogs in completions and sixth in touchdown passes (three of which he threw last Saturday).
This weekend will definitely decide a thing or two among the Ivies. The thousands of fans that are expected to attend Friday night’s game should look up to the sky for the action. And after last weekend’s game against Holy Cross, let’s face it, up is the only way to go.