It’s fall, and the boys are back in town. Harvard Football returns to the field, to the bright lights, and to electric, muscular action on Sept. 18 with its first game against Patriot League champion Holy Cross at 7 p.m. The home game will usher in the Crimson’s 137th football season, and with it a new chance to build on the team’s successful legacy.
The period just ended was dubbed the “decade of dominance” for the Crimson, who were ranked as the second-winningest team in the nation in their subdivision. In this preseason, confidence in the Crimson has been high.
During the Ivy League’s annual media day in August, Harvard was selected by national media as the likely winner of the Ivy League championship this fall. Quarterback Collier Winters’11 and defensive back and captain Collin Zych ’11 earned accolades from the Sports Network, which named them preseason Ivy League Players of the Year. The network picked the Crimson to finish second, and selected Winters as the league’s top offensive threat and Zych as its top defender.
But a recent practice injury to Winters makes for an uncertain future. Head coach Tim Murphy is hopeful, but cautious, calling the team a work in progress.
“The kids have done a good job in the preseason, and overall the work ethic has been impressive,” said Murphy. “All in all, our attitude has been outstanding, and we have great leadership from our captain Collin Zych and the senior class in general.”
Under Murphy, the Crimson posted the second-highest national winning percentage in the Football Championship Subdivision and seventh-highest in all of Division I. With a record of 76-23, Harvard’s .768 winning percentage from 2000 to 2009 trailed only Montana, while Football Bowl Subdivision schools Texas, Boise State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Florida were the only schools to finish in front of the Crimson.
“Defensively we are ahead of the offense at this stage, but I fully expect us to be a strong offensive team. But we have to gel to get there,” said Murphy. “We need to be a mentally and physically stronger and tougher team than we were a year ago to beat the very best teams on our schedule.”
All five of Harvard’s home games will be streamed live at GoCrimson.com, with play-by-play commentary from Bernie Corbett. In a new offering this season, member fans will be able to watch the complete games as archived events, starting a few hours following each contest.
For more on Harvard football, and to view a complete game schedule, visit GoCrimon’s website.