Good news comes in pairs for the Harvard football team.
A day after learning that ESPN’s College GameDay would set up shop in Cambridge for the annual Harvard-Yale game, the Crimson was promoted to No. 14 in the FCS Coaches Poll. The ranking marks the team’s highest since 2011, when Harvard claimed an outright Ivy League title.
At 9-0, the Crimson is one of two undefeated teams in the FCS. The other, Coastal Carolina, inhabits first place in the Coaches Poll after a 52-21 shellacking of Monmouth last Saturday.
An unblemished record is not the only attribute that distinguishes this season’s Harvard squad. Of the 121 teams in FCS football, Harvard boasts the stingiest scoring defense, allowing a measly 11.0 points per game.
November has crept up without a warning, masked by deceivingly warm weather. With the next two months come the end of the fall sports regular season, and teams are now focusing on the post-season tournaments.
While you may have been keeping up with their stats, you may have missed some of Harvard’s athlete’s most entertaining tweets. Here at The Back Page, we have compiled a few tweets that made us chuckle.
New England may have the NFL’s most successful team of the past decade, but if professional football’s return to Boston demonstrated anything Friday night, there is a long way for it to go inside the city limits.
In the first professional football game at Harvard Stadium since 1970, the Boston Brawlers—a new Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) franchise—emerged victorious, 28-10, over the visiting Blacktips in front of a reported crowd of 3,265. The actual attendance did not appear to come close to that figure.
The FXFL, which debuted earlier in October, aims to become a feeder system for the National Football League. Unlike its companion leagues, the NFL has historically had no minor league akin to the NBA’s D-League or baseball’s affiliate system, leaving a tight bottleneck for players exiting the college ranks and looking for professional employment.
The most illustrious name to fall through the cracks Friday was Brawlers quarterback Tajh Boyd. The former Clemson star, who won the Orange Bowl nine months ago, played less than a quarter in the first half, throwing a 54-yard back shoulder fade to Jasper Collins for the team’s only touchdown of the half. Boyd added three more touchdowns in the second half, with former Florida running back Emmanuel Moody contributing 225 total yards, to break the game wide open.
Boyd was the highlight of a game that was otherwise sloppy, with numerous dropped balls and holding penalties delaying play throughout the first half. Blacktip quarterback Joe Clancy had perhaps the most difficult night of all, completing only 12 of 31 passes for 114 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and nine dropped balls.
Boston moved to 1-2 with the victory, while the Blacktips fell to 0-2. The Brawlers will conclude its home season the following week against Brooklyn on October 31. The Blacktips are currently a traveling team with no home games scheduled.
--Matt Clarida contributed to the reporting of this story.
Though men's soccer's Andrew Chang netted Athlete of the Week honors this week, here were some other performances that garner recognition.
Fischer had a career game in the Crimson’s Ivy League opener against Brown on Saturday. The junior scored his first touchdown of the season with 2:11 left in the opening quarter.
It had been 12,327 days since a Harvard graduate caught a touchdown pass in an NFL regular season game.
On Sunday, Baltimore Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk ’13 became the most recent player to accomplish the feat, the school’s first player to do since former Crimson punter and wide receiver Pat McInally ’75 scored a touchdown for the Cincinnati Bengals on December 21, 1980.
Juszczyk scored the first touchdown of his NFL career on his first NFL reception, a nine-yard pass from quarterback Joe Flacco with 7:24 left in the second quarter. The catch put the Ravens ahead of the host Cleveland Browns, 10-7, in a game that Baltimore would ultimately win 23-21.