Crimson Gridders Meet Quakers In Second Division Battle Today
Two weeks ago it seemed extremely dubious that two of the three favorites for the Ivy football championship would be fighting at Philadelphia to stay out of the second division.
But when Harvard and Pennsylvania meet at Franklin Field today, the stakes are all too clear. The loser will leave the field with three defeats in Ivy play, and with Dartmouth. Yale and Princeton still unbeaten, three defeats could be enough to doom the loser to the bottom half of the League.
Harvard's season has been quite disappointing, but Penn's has been little more than a disaster. The Quakers had 20 Lettermen returning from last fall's squad that lost only to Harvard and Yale, and they opened the season with fairly easy triumphs over Bucknell and Brown. Then they played Dartmouth Penn's offense depends on its quarter-back-and the Red and Blue had lost both Berne Zbrzeznj and Mike Hickok with shoulder separations in the Brown game.
Dartmouth murdered the Quakers. 44-0 rolling up 509 yards rushing, and although Penn rebounded to top Lehigh a week later a rejuvenated Princeton offense ripped the porous Quaker defense through and through last Saturday 42-?. The Quaker offense has ground to a halt. It's defense is practically nonexistent when it must encounter any squad with a formidable ground game. And it lost a third quarterback, sophomore Phil Procacci with a broken jaw in the Lehigh game.
Hickok is back now, but an old injury prevents him from passing. Sophomore Terry Groome, who also played last week is plagued with inconsistency. So the job fails to defensive back John Brown. who played quarterback as a freshman, to direct the sputtering Penn offense. And against a Harvard defense that came alive to smother Dartmouth last week, it will be no easy task.
But Harvard must score against Penn, and for morale. it should score quite a bit. It will face no easier defense for the remainder of the fall, and if it fails to move the ball today, it can hope for little more success against Princeton. Yale, or even Brown.
Harvard will be without the services of fullback Gus Crim, who injured a kidney against Dartmouth last Saturday.
It has been six years since a Penn squad has beaten Harvard, but until 1967, the Crimson had poor luck at Philadelphia. Two years ago it shattered Penn, 45-7. to break the Franklin Field jinx. Last year, in a "battle of the undefeateds," it tore the Quakers apart, scoring 21 points in the opening quarter and rolling to an easy 28-6 victory. A triumph today would provide needed reassurance that the Cornell and Dartmouth debacles were unrepresentative of Harvard's talent.