Begin the body count.
Harvard suffered enough of a humiliation on the scoreboard Saturday against Cornell, but--to add injury to insult--the Crimson must now travel to Lafayette with several key injuries.
First on the hospital rolls: senior split end Colby Maher. Running a sideline pattern, Maher went down with a knee injury about four minutes into the third quarter against Cornell.
Maher's absence will be felt more on special teams than on offense. The Kirkland senior, who recorded no receptions against Cornell, has been the Crimson's strongest kickoff returner since his sophomore year. (In his 1990 rookie season, he was ranked 14th nationally in kickoff returns with a 24.7 yard/return average.)
Quick senior split end Chris Taylor will start in place of Maher.
Second on the injured list is senior halfback Kendrick Joyce. Joyce didn't dress for the Cornell game, with sophomore Mike Wallace and flashy junior Esan Simon filling in for him. The Leverett resident is slated as "questionable."
Casualties from the William & Mary defeat two and half weeks ago, senior defensive tackle Phil Furse and senior defensive back Rob Sonne, round out the list. Both sat out the last two games with ankle injuries. For Saturday, Furse is "questionable"; Sonne, however, could return to action.
Gorillas in the Mist: Here's one way to explain Harvard's unspectacular 31-13 loss to Cornell.
Cornell has been blamed all year for starting out slow, and finishing strong, while it's been vice versa for the "second-half collapse" Crimson.
So does that explain how Cornell managed to rattle off 21 straight points in the second half Saturday?
Well, Big Red Coach Jim Hofher doesn't think so. The young, intense coach said his team played solid from beginning to end.
"The sportswriters have been saying we start out slow. Today, I'm very pleased with the effort we displayed. It takes 60 minutes to play a game, and we played all 60. Our fellows won the second half," Hofher said.
With Cornell having thrown the "slow starters" monkey off its back, two questions come up: Can Harvard discard its primate?
And, secondly, on whose back will Cornell's monkey land? A word of advice to Harvard fans: Don't look up.
Harvard Notes: Harvard Co-Captain Robb Hirsch picked up a season-high 63 yards Saturday, enough to give him over 1000 career yards...Junior Esan Simon looked flashy as can be at end of the Cornell game, picking up 17 yards and one touchdown on three attemps. The lithe and fleet-footed halfback put in a similar late-game performance against Holy Cross. Message to Coach Joe Restic: How about trying him at the beginning of the game this time?...Same with tight end Read Hubbard, who made three catches for 87 yards. Hubbard is showing flashes of brilliance each game, but they're just that. The rest of the time he's relegated to blocking, even when the rushing game--which failed miserably against both Holy Cross and Cornell--doesn't work.
Ivy Notes: Coach Buddy Teevens may be gone from Dartmouth, but that doesn't mean his winning ways have left Hanover, N.H. In fact, with John Lyons in command, Dartmouth picked up its first victory over Holy Cross since 1977--a 48-0 thrashing to top that...One reason for the Big Green's continued dominance is junior quarterback Jay Fiedler, currently the seventh best signal-caller in Division I-AA. Fiedler got his third Ivy Offensive Player of the Week nod for his 23-for-34, 307-yard air-fest against the Crusaders...Linebacker extraordiaire Chris Zingo was voted Defensive Player of the Week for his manhandling of the Harvard's offensive line. Zingo tallied 11 solo tackles and 13 overall...New Canaan, Conn. is not known for many sports other than lacrosse--unless you count golf and croquet--but the Nutmeg State suburb has a new star product: Princeton sophomore Tom McInerney. McInerney stole the starting quarterback spot from Joel Foote and led the Tigers to their fourth straight victory, throwing for 103 yards (5-for-6) and rushing for 52 yards on 12 carries against Brown. So much for country club living.