This Time, Gridder Defense Was Ready

Simon Says

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--They had all been there before.

Harvard football Captain Kevin Dulsky had been there, and so had linebacker Kris Thabit.

Free safety Bryan Gescuk had been there, and so had cornerback Frank Capno.

They had all been there before.

Been there for the devastating loss at Cornell in the final minute of a game three weeks ago. Been there to suffer--really suffer--their first and only defeat of the 1987 season.

And been there to learn.

There is no substitute for having been there before.

When Brown took over the football with just over a minute remaining in Saturday's Crimson-Bruins contest here Saturday, trailing 14-9, Harvard put that experience to work.

Strong pressure on the quarterback and tight man-to-man coverage on the receivers combined to stop the Bruins on four downs--and lift the Crimson into sole possession of first place in the Ivy League.

The Harvard defense--ranked second in the Ivies going into Saturday's contest--had made a similar stand in the waning moments of its game with Princeton a week earlier.

They had all been there before.

"It helps just being there before," said Dulsky, who registered five tackles and two key sacks. "We just told ourselves that [what happened at Cornell] is never going to happen again. We can handle it a lot better now, having gone through it."

Certainly, there is nothing uncommon aboutleading a football game by less than a touchdownwith under a minute to play and the opponentdriving downfield.

Except when you've never been there before.

"We have a lot more confidence in ourselvesnow," said Thabit, who had three tackles againstthe Bruins. "We're not as nervous as we were [atCornell]. Against Princeton, we were a littlescared--we thought maybe a little deja vu. AgainstBrown, we had no doubt."