Winters threw for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he was still under pressure the entire afternoon.
The Harvard passer was sacked five times for 31 yards—more sacks than the Crimson had allowed in its past three games combined.
A sloppy day from the offensive line didn’t end there. One week after a 395-yard rushing game against the Big Green, Harvard managed only 163 against the Lions.
Much like the rest of the team, the line had an inauspicious start to Saturday’s game. Harvard attempted just one run play all quarter—a six-yarder from Boden—and relied almost exclusively on the arm of Winters.
The group also made a number of mental errors—an unusual set of mistakes for one of the better lines in the Ivies.
“They played uncharacteristically, I think, in the first half,” Columbia coach Norries Wilson said. “[Freshman offensive tackle Will Whitman] is going to be a great player at offensive line.”
In one two-play stretch in the first quarter, the offensive line committed three false starts, putting the Crimson in a third-and-25 situation. Later in the same drive, the team was hit with another false start in the red zone. Harvard took two more false starts in the second quarter before settling down.
“We felt like their front four—they rotated eight guys—was very athletic, and they were very good,” Murphy said. “At times, they put a lot of pressure on us today, and at times it got ugly. The pocket got compressed, [and] we had a couple of turnovers under pressure.”
CATCH AND RELEASE
With the way the Crimson struggled in the first half, the game could have gone very differently if not for solid performances from Harvard’s receivers. Winters used seven receivers in the game, but there were two clear standout performances.
Junior tight end Kyle Juszczyk had one of his best games of the year, picking up 118 yards and scoring twice. Senior wide receiver Chris Lorditch also passed the 100-yard mark and scored a touchdown of his own.
Both Juszczyk and Lorditch had 41-yard receptions in the second half on a pair of plays that opened up the game for good.
In the third quarter, Lorditch hauled one in along the sideline before cutting inside to get to the end zone and give Harvard a 28-14 lead.
Eight minutes later, Winters found Juszczyk wide open downfield. The junior tight end out-ran the defense and dove in just before Columbia could catch him.
“The reason I kind of dove to the end zone is that I wasn’t really sure if anyone was close to me,” Juszczyk said. “I’m sad to say, I’m not really used to being behind the defense. There’s normally some guys in front of me. But I’m getting used to it now.”
—Staff writer E. Benjamin Samuels can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.