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"Football is a war of attrition at this point in the season."
So spoke Harvard football Coach Tim Murphy two weeks ago--and that was before he lost his starting quarterback.
It's official: Junior Vin Ferrara, ranked as one of the Ivy League's top passers through the first eight weeks of the season, will sit out The Game on Saturday. Ferrara tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during last week's contest at Penn and will undergo surgery within two weeks near his home in New Jersey.
Joining Ferrara on the sidelines Saturday will be Dan Vereb, a starting offensive tackle who went down with a knee injury against Brown, and Kweli Thompson, a running back plagued by bruised ribs.
The Game, meanwhile, waits for no one. Into Ferrara's place will step junior Steve Kezirian, the hero in the Colgate game.
And into Kezirian's backup quarterback slot will move freshman Jay Snowden, who (gulp) saw his first action of the season last week.
Although sales information remained incomplete as of last night, officials indicate that a sellout of The Game may occur.
"Harvard sales have been excellent, but I still have to wait and see about the sales down in New Haven," said Ed Carey, who is in charge of ticket distribution.
Capacity at The Stadium stands at 30,898, excluding the track seating at field level, and a sellout would give Harvard the biggest Division I-AA football crowd in New England this season.
Several Crimson players stand poised to take individual honors after Saturday's game.
Sophomore running back Eion Huneeds 134 yards to become Harvard's second 1000-yard rusher ever. A five-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, Hu ranks 19th in the country in Division I-AA with 108.25 yards per game and stands as a prime candidate for Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
Junior Tim Griffin goes into the game clinging to a narrow lead as the top-ranked punter in the Ancient Eight, with a 38.7 yards per kick average.
Juniors Kevin Dwan and Justin Frantz lead the team with 89 and 87 tackles for the season, respectively, and both have outside chances of overtaking the school record of 101.
ESPN2 and Other Stuff
Harvard and Yale fans around the country shall suffer no more. The Game will be televised nationally by ESPN2, with Brad Nessler on play-by-play and Gary Danielson handling color commentary...Saturday's Game marks the 111th meeting between the two teams. The series dates back to 1875 and is led by Yale, 60-42-8...And for those of you who are really fans, don't forget that this season marks the 75th anniversary of Harvard's 1919 Rose Bowl Championship, a 7-6 win over the fighting Oregon Ducks...In other Ivy League games Saturday, league champion Pennsylvania hosts Cornell, Princeton travels to Dartmouth, and Columbia hosts Brown.
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