The start of the football season is just hours ahead of us, but before we delve into a whirlwind 10-game season, The Back Page took some time to check in with Harvard coach Tim Murphy to talk about the Crimson’s upcoming opponent—Holy Cross—the benefit of night games, and the looming concern about ongoing concussions. On Monday, look for Murphy’s sound off about Harvard’s opening effort on the gridiron.
What Murphy said: “Obviously having the benefit of playing their third game, [Holy Cross has] worked some kinks out. I think they know where they are [personnel-wise], they’re probably a little bit more disciplined than you are the first game in terms of penalties and things like that.”
What Murphy means: On paper, the Crimson should be a better team than Holy Cross. The Crusaders lost their NFL-caliber quarterback Dominic Randolph to graduation, and, following a 31-7 drubbing at the hands of Massachusetts, the team does not appear strong coming into tonight’s contest. Nonetheless, “discipline” goes a long way early in the season, and Murphy will have to make sure that his players are ready for a well-prepared opponent. It would be shocking if this game were a shootout with both squads breaking in new quarterbacks, so, as Murphy emphasized in the preseason, mistake-free football will prove key for a victory under the lights.
The Crimson confirmed today that men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker has secured a verbal commitment from 2011 big man Kenyatta Smith.
The No. 13 center in the nation according to Scout.com, Smith, a senior at Flintridge Prep School (La Canada Flintridge, Calif.) chose Harvard over Vanderbilt and league rival Penn.
After a weekend with no home games to speak of, Harvard athletics boast four home games this weekend, which should provide Crimson fans plenty of opportunities to cheer on their favorite teams.
The women’s soccer team is looking to regain its momentum after losing three straight games—including a 3-0 loss to BU yesterday afternoon—and falling to a 1-3-1 record. The team takes on the University of Rhode Island tonight at 7 p.m. at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The Crimson is looking to score its first home win this season, and the first 75 fans in attendance will score a free T-shirt.
Harvard Stadium is well known for its likeness to the Roman Coliseum. But Harvard Stadium filled with thousands of cheering fans? And with two football teams battling it out under the stars and the bright lights?
It’s not only war. It’s something magical.
“It’s going to be something else when we step out there,” said sophomore running back Treavor Scales. “I have a feeling that when those lights come on, everybody [will know] it’s time to go.”
The Crimson is hoping to start off strong as Saturday night’s game marks the opening of its season. Selected by the national media in a preseason poll as the likely winners of the Ivy League, Harvard will first test itself against reigning Patriot League champion Holy Cross (1-1).
In the world of Ivy League athletics, some things never change: Princeton dominates preppy women’s sports like lacrosse and field hockey; Brown manages to squander winning opportunities; and former basketball players find homes in obscure professional leagues overseas. This past week was no exception to the norm as the No. 4 Princeton field hockey team kept its undefeated streak alive, the Brown men’s soccer team won only one game despite three shutouts from its goalkeeper, and two former Columbia basketball players signed contracts to play in the English Basketball League.
Brown goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand had a week to remember. In three games and 310 minutes of play, Grandstrand did not let a single ball find the back of the net, knocking away all 13 shots he faced. Grandstrand was named Ivy League and ECAC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. But despite its keeper’s stingy defense, Brown managed only one victory on the week, a 1-0 win over South Carolina. In the Bears’ other matchups against Providence and Hofstra, neither team scored, resulting in two 0-0 deadlocks.