The scoreboard showed Dartmouth with ten points when time expired, but you would have thought it was 40 listening to Harvard coach Joe Restic after the game.
"They ball-controlled us," he said. "Look at the sheet here and you can see that."
A peek at the statistics sheet indicates that Dartmouth held the ball for almost 37 of the 60 minutes, much of this on extended drives that failed to produce scores. Most disturbing, however, was the ease with which a Dartmouth offense that had been doing a collective impersonation of Rip Van Winkle all season moved the ball both in the air and on the ground in an unspectacular fashion.
Junior quarterback Jeff Kemp, who has completed about one-third of his passes all season, connected on 12 of 22 for 133 yards behind five sophomores on an offensive line decimated by injuries. Big Green coach Joe Yukica pointed to his effective running attack as the key to Kemp's success.
"This was the first time all season that we've been able to set up our passing attack with a good running game. Moving (Jeff) Dufresne (102 yds. in 27 carries) to tailback really helped us, and I was very pleased with our offensive line considering the injuries we've had," Yukica said.
According to Restic, a poor game by the Crimson defense helped even more. "We just didn't play defense with the intensity we showed in the first few games of the season, especially in the first half. We're talking about them taking it to our unit which we thought was our strength."
The lack of intensity was reflected by penalties in some crucial situations, such as a fumble recovery by defensive end Tony Finan that was negated by the defensive line jumping offsides. "We had some foolish penalties," Restic said.
Dartmouth gained 180 yds in 54 carries, most of that on the cutting running of Dufresne. "They're big on the cutback," Crimson linebacker Matt Sabetti said yesterday. "When you play a team like that, guys on the other side of the ball have to be alert. I guess we just weren't up to snuff."
It wasn't as though Dartmouth pulled any tricks out of a great green bag either. "They ran outside a little bit to start the game, but I think that was a diversionary tactic because they came right back to running from tackle to tackle, which is what they do best," Sabetti said. "They didn't show us anything we didn't expect. From my point of view it wasn't the coaches fault."
"When you lose a game like this one, you lose it together," Sabetti continued. "I think we're all to blame."