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Holy Fat Men, Batman

The Football Notebook

By Jonathan Putnam

The Harvard football team's 41-0 thrashing by Holy Cross this past Saturday at the Stadium was disappointing, but not nearly as bad as it could have been.

. It was a non-league game and thus doesn't count in the Ivy standings.

. It was a blow-out almost from the start--arguably better for the gridders' morale than a last-second heartbreaker.

. Holy Cross, in rolling up the score and playing bush at the end of the game, may have unintentionally fired up the Crimson for the rest of its schedule, which continues this Saturday at William & Mary.

"We're still alive," a philosophic Harvard Coach Joe Restic said after the game. "It was a great day out there today-very sunny."

You never like a 41-0 loss, but it could have been worse.

Shut down, shutout: The Crimson's loss Saturday ended a school-record streak of 40 consecutive games without being shut out. The last time a team had blanked the gridders was on the final day of the 1981 season, when Yale romped in The Game, 28-0.

However, Harvard had not been shut out by a non-league opponent since 1977, when Massachusetts bested the Crimson, 17-0. Harvard's 41-point margin of loss Saturday was its largest since the 1964 season, when Dartmouth shellacked Harvard, 48-0.

Holy fat men, Batman: The Crusaders ran rampant Saturday, gaining 228 yards on 46 carries. Part of the reason for this success can surely be found on the scales.

The five Holy Cross offensive linemen weighed an average of 257 pounds. Right tackle Jim Miller (6-ft., 3-in., 280-lb.) was the biggest of the bigs.

Meanwhile, the Harvard defense line averaged a mere 209 pounds--nearly 50 pounds a man less than the Cross. None of the Crimson's front five weighed as much as any of the Crusaders' blockers.

Turnovers by land, sea, and air: Probably the most startling statistic emanating from Harvard's debacle involves interceptions. Crimson starting quarterback Landau set a dubious school record by tossing five interceptions in 16 pass attempts. Replacement Bill Koehler didn't do much better, and was touched for three interceptions in 13 tries.

Wingback George Sorbara even got into the act, tossing an interception on his only pass attempt--a halfback option. Overall, Crimson quarterbacks threw nine interceptions in 30 pass attempts, while completing only 11 tosses to the correct team.

One year ago: The Harvard-William & Mary game (whose eighth edition occurs this weekend) always evokes some measure of interest as it pits the nation's two oldest universities against each other in gridiron competition. But last year's game was actually a quite exciting contest in its own right.

In a drizzly Stadium, Tribe star-quarterback Stan Yagiello burned Harvard for a 44-yd. touchdown pass with just over two minutes left to give the visitors a 21-14 victory. Overall on the day, Yagiello amassed 306 yards passing.

Geoff Simon contributed to the reporting of this story.

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