Harvard still has chance at Ivy title vs Yale
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP)
If only they still had ties.
Harvard would have a chance at winning the Ivy League title outright on Saturday if college football games still ended in ties, like they did 45 years ago when the Crimson famously ''beat'' Yale 29-29. Instead, after Harvard's triple-overtime loss to Princeton on Oct. 26, and the best that the Crimson can do now is defeat their archrival in New Haven and hope the Tigers lose their season finale.
That would lead to, of all things, a tie for the Ivy League championship.
That would be a fitting result on the 45th anniversary of the most famous entry in one of college football's oldest rivalries. In 1968, Yale jumped to a 22-0 lead in the matchup of unbeaten teams and still led 29-13 before Harvard scored 16 points in the final 42 seconds. The Harvard student newspaper, The Crimson, trumpeted the result with the headline, ''Harvard Beats Yale 29-29.''
This year, Harvard (8-1, 5-1 Ivy League) can only win the conference title with some help from Dartmouth.
But first the Crimson need to beat their archrivals at Yale (5-4, 3-3).
Here are five things to look for in the 130th edition of The Game:
AT STAKE: A victory would keep Harvard in contention for its 15th conference championship, which would break a tie with Yale for third-most in Ivy history. Princeton is 6-0 in the Ivies heading into its game against Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., which starts 90 minutes after the Crimson and Bulldogs meet at the Yale Bowl. Harvard has won six in a row against Yale - a first for the rivalry that started in 1875 - and 11 of the last 12, but Yale still leads the series 65-56-8.
SIXTY MINUTES: Harvard opened a 38-0 lead with less than 5 minutes gone in the second half against Penn last week. Then the Quakers scored the next 30 points and drove to the Crimson 19 before linebacker Joshua Boyd broke up a pass to stop the comeback. Don't expect Harvard to let up on the road against Yale.
THE HISTORY: Milestones abound for the nation's oldest rivalry. It's the 130th matchup between two of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the country. It will be the 600th football game at the Yale Bowl, which is gearing up for its 100th birthday in 2014.
THE FUTURE: Four freshmen are starting on the Yale defense and making an impact for the Bulldogs. Cornerback Spencer Rymiszewski was honored as the conference rookie of the week after blocking a punt and adding six tackles at Cal Poly on Oct. 5. Safety Robert Ries earned league honors on Sept. 28 with nine tackles along with an interception and an interception against Cornell. Defensive lineman Victor Egu had a sack and a forced fumble on the same play at Cal Poly. And cornerback Foyesade Oluokun was Ivy rookie and defensive player of week after 12 solo tackles against Brown two weeks ago.
TOP CLASS: With six straight wins in the rivalry, there is no one on the Harvard team that has ever lost to Yale. If the Crimson extend the winning streak to seven, the class of 2014 would be the fourth in a row to graduate unbeaten in the rivalry. Harvard had never won six in a row before last year, but Yale won eight in a row in the 1880s.