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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

YALE'S SIX VICTIMS BEAR WITNESS TO EARLY SEASON PROWESS OF BLUE ELEVEN

Brilliant Backfield Responsible for Clean Sweep of Opponents--Harvard Team Has Less Enviable Record on Account of Slow Development

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

A direct comparison of the Harvard and Yale elevens throughout their seasons to date shows unmistakably that the Bulldog team has played the better football all along, although going through a tougher list of opponents, and has shown a remarkable scoring power which has netted the Blue over 200 points. The Harvard season, on the other hand, has been marked by a distinct lack of any offensive power. The eleven developed slowly and it was not until the Princeton game that it showed the high quality of finish and co-ordination commonly associated with Crimson teams. Moreover, Yale is to date undefeated while Harvard has been downed twice and tied once.

Yale Overwhelms North Carolina.

Yale opened its season with a terrific rush against North Carolina on October 6, and rolled, up 59 points, and almost repeated the feat on the next Saturday by downing Georgia 40-0. The opposition was not strong enough to test Yale in any way, but only proved it had a wealth of material, especially of fast backs.

Bucknell on the next week end was the first eleven to score on Yale, although they did it in semi-darkness in the last few minutes of play. The Bowl was so dark the spectators could not follow the ball at all and Bucknell had recourse to long passes which happened almost by chance to be successful. The Yale showing was lamentable, the worst in fact throughout the season. The attack was only brilliant in spots, while the defense was miserably weak. The Bulldog lost the ball several times on downs and showed no ability to stop the visitors' passing game.

Brown is Third Victim.

In the Brown game on the following week Yale found itself and trounced the Bear 21 to 0. It was in this game, against a strong opposing team, that the Yale attack was first let loose and proved to be all that could be desired. No less than six Blue backs stood out as brilliant ball carriers and the wealth of material at New Haven was even more apparent when substitutes sent in proved almost as strong as the men they replaced.

The Army was Yale's first real objective and the Bulldog eleven in that game even more emphasized its terrific running attack, and what is almost as important, an ability to come form behind and win by a comfortable margin. In the second half the eleven played almost super football and utterly bewildered the cadets by a 31 to 10 score. Furthermore the Yale team was brilliantly handled by Richeson, who showed that at last Yale had found a heady field general who was in addition an extraordinary broken field runner.

Comes From Behind and Beats Army.

In the next week a slight slump came in the Yale play as might have been expected after the Army contest. Maryland invaded the Bowl with a strong eleven which proceeded to cross the Blue goal line twice before the first period had ended. Yale was dumbfounded. Soon, however, the visitors' attack began to break and the Bulldog eleven awoke to the task before it. in the second half, showing another great comeback as decisive as the one against the Army. Yale launched her offensive and ultimately won 16 to 14. But the Blue defense throughout the game was weak and Tad Jones therefore spent the next week in strengthening it before the Tizer encounter.

Reaches Climax in Princeton Game.

Showing itself the greatest offensive team developed at New Haven in years. Yale swept through and around Princeton last Saturday for a 27 to 0 victory. Gone was the defensive weakness of the Maryland encounter, gone the inability to stop an overhead attack such a Buckle had used so effectively. In fact in no department of play was Yale weak. All of her previous points of ineffectiveness seemed to have been eliminated. True, the Tigers were not in excellent physical trim; yet had they been it is doubtful if the Blue attack could have been stopped.

The game proved the real crowning point to a successful season of six victories over elevens of power and ability. It proved conclusively that Jones had eradicated the evils of the Yale play in the earlier contests and had brought his eleven steadily forward into a splendid machine.

The Crimson likewise opened her season successfully on October 6 against Rhode Island State, winning 35 to 0. The visitors failed to show anything in the way of an offensive and Fisher took the opportunity to test his substitutes. The play therefore was distinctly individual and lacking in co-ordination.

Middlebury sprang the real surprise on the following Saturday when it invaded the Stadium and forced Harvard to a 6-6 tie. The giant Crimson line was badly outplayed, and what was more, outfought. Harvard even, lost the ball on downs when a yard advance would probably have meant the winning touchdown. The game showed that although Fisher's eleven had potential power, it was at that time woefully weak in actual playing ability.

Holy Cross Beaten by Narrow Margin.

Holy Cross came next and went down to a 6-0 defeat although the Harvard team play had not materially improved. It was necessary for Fisher to reach the Holy Cross goal line by a special trick play, using Pfaffmann to pass when he was expected to kick. The visitors stopped Harvard's straight attack time and again, and the Crimson forwards still proved unwieldy and at times awkward in carrying out assignments.

But it remained for Dartmouth to furnish Harvard a real test, and in that test the Crimson was found wanting. The score, 16-0, told truly the superiority of the Hanover machine. Fisher's line lacked anything resembling a sustained charge and there was no offense worthy of the name.

Team Finds Itself Against Tufts.

Against Tufts Harvard found herself for the first time. There was a distinct change in the play; the team showed itself a unit; and the forward line and backfield worked with new coordination. Also the first signs of hard, rugged backing up of the line by the defensive backs were noticeable. The interference was still slow and lacked momentum at the moment of contact with the defensive players. But the team as a whole played "heads up" football throughout the contest.

Springs Surprise at Princeton.

It was chiefly the preponderance of power in its forward line that enabled Harvard to win form Princeton 5 to 0. It was its lack of backfield power which prevented it from making a touchdown against the Tiger just as it had failed to make a touchdown against Dartmouth. The Crimson line had a superlative lift and the Tigers were forced to the uttermost to hold their ground at all. The game proved that at last Fisher had transformed the latent power of his heavy forwards into actual strength, usable when the occasion demanded; yet the game also showed that Harvard still lacked a running attack of real ground-gaining ability.

Brown a Stumbling Block.

Against Brown the Crimson stumbled and fell yet the game offers no criterion by which the comparative strength of Harvard and Yale may be judged. True the Bulldog trounced Brown 21 to 0 while that same Brown team defeated Harvard 20 to 7. But Fisher kept Hubbard, Coburn, Jenkins, Lee, McGlone, and Cheek out of the contest, and its result would certainly have been different had they been in. It is doubtful it the Brown center could have blocked Pfaffmann's disastrous drop kick had Hubbard been in the Crimson line. The score of the game, however, proves at least to some extent the calibre of the Crimson substitutes. Undoubtedly they are much weaker than Yale's.

The Harvard season has been marked by the team's extraordinarily slow development and by its lack of scoring ability. In its later games the line has shown encouraging improvement and brilliant defensive work. At no time on the other hand, has the backfield really come up to the mark and to date no sustained attack has been forthcoming.

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