It was 371 days ago--November 8, 1980--that the Harvard football team last won a game at Soldiers Field. Since then, Yale, Army, Holy Cross, Dartmouth and Princeton have romped through Cambridge without losing, and if Penn does the same thing at the Stadium today it will be the first time in this century the Crimson went a whole season without winning at home.
A loss to Penn would also, needless to say, turn the Crimson's slim Ivy title hopes into downright impossibility. As it is, Yale and Dartmouth each has to lose again, and then Harvard has to win--not tie--The Game in order to cop its first crown since 1975. No matter what Dartmouth or Harvard does this week, if Princeton doesn't beat Yale, The Game will not decide the title.
The Quakers (1-6 on the year) arrive in Cambridge having not won in six games and not beaten Harvard in nine years. Coach Jerry Berndt's squad has made a habit of miracle comebacks this season, succeeding in the opener against Cornell and falling just short in a couple of others (Brown, Princeton). But no miracle comeback could have saved the Lehigh (58-0) or Delaware (48-6) games, and Penn hasn't come within a touchdown of anybody since Brown four weeks ago.
The Crimson (4-3-1 overall, 3-1-1 in the Ivies) is coming off a pair of successful outings, at Brown (41-7) two weeks ago in its last Ivy encounter, and a 23-14 victory over William and Mary in Virginia last week. But those were on the road, where Harvard has not lost all season.
Still, the optimism that this could be the week for a win at the Stadium doesn't stem solely from the caliber of the opponent.
Harvard's offense, which has not scored 20 points in any home game this year, exploded for 296 yards in just the first half last week and has now clicked for 64 points in two games. A big reason for last week's production was quarterback Ron Cuccia, who played his finest all-around game for the Crimson, throwing for 114 yards and running for 71 more, silencing critics of (a) his passing and (b) the Multiflex--at least for now.
Another reason was fullback Jim Callinan, who rushed for 88 yards last week while winning the New England sports writers' Golden Helmet award. Callinan now needs 145 yards to break the single-season Crimson rushing record. He may get all of that today against a defense that has allowed 20 points in every game this year and 86 in the last two weeks.
Callinan's partners in the backfield, halfback Jim Acheson and flanker Steve Bianucci, are both sidelined with injuries today and will probably not play. Jim Garvey--Harvard's fourth-leading ball carrier this year with 73 yards--will fill in at flanker, and Scotty McCabe should sub for Acheson, who has been bothered by a bad shoulder all year.
The Crimson defense is also coming off a fine effort at William and Mary, and the finest performance came from sophomore linebacker Joe Azelby, who made or assisted on 24 tackles, intercepted a pass and caused a fumble. He also found time to put pressure on Tribe signalcaller Chris Garrity, and should do the same to the Penn quarterback, whether it is Gary Vura or Doug Marzonie.
The most dangerous Quaker on the field will be wide receiver Karl Hall, a diminutive speedster who has burned secondaries 33 times this year.
Hall should match up with Harvard cornerback Rocky Delgadillo, who can tie two school records with a pair of interceptions over the next two weeks. Delgadillo has six this year and 13 lifetime; Phil O'Donnell (class of '49) owns both marks.
And, finally, this will be the last home game for a number of seniors, including captain Pete Coppinger, Callinan, Acheson, Bianucci, Delgadillo, Paul Scheper, Dirk Killen, Harry Cash, Andy Hinton, Linus O'Donnell, Bill McGlone, Justin Whittington, Jim Connolly, Dan Kelley, Marc Mills, John Pendergast, Dave Sauve, and Jerry Zumbrum who should all see action, and others including quarterbacks Joe Lahti, Mark Marion and Mike Buchanan who probably won't Amazingly, this crew has a three-year record of 8-4 on the road and 6-8-1 at home.
Crimson Thumps Hapless Cornell, 27-10ITHACA, N.Y.--Cornell's reputation as an honest-to-goodness major college football team is on trial after Saturday's 27-10 loss to Harvard. Take
Callinan, Gridders Thrash Penn, 45-7The Harvard football team, which had never gone a full season without a victory at home, kept that 107-year streak
For Callinan, A Record-Breaking DayHarvard's all-time single-season rushing leader was talking Saturday after the 45-7 thrashing of Penn. He was talking about his 68-yard
Gridders Suffer Their First Ivy Loss; Green Defense Halts Multiflex, 24-10Sophomore Frank Polsinello, starting his first varsity game, sparked the Dartmouth football team to a 24-10 upset victory over Harvard
Hold On TightFirst he was hit so hard returning a kickoff against Army that he was knocked senseless and turned completely around
Gridders Dump William and Mary, 23-14WILLIAMSBURG, Va.--It was all ancient history by the time William and Mary's fourth-and-one rolled around with six minutes left in