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The Game: Yale Bulldogs look to play spoiler in 133rd meeting with Harvard

Yale/Harvard set for battle in THE GAME

(Photo by Karen King - Double G Media)

(Photo by Karen King – Double G Media)

The 133rd meeting between Yale and Harvard takes place November 19 in Cambridge, Mass.

THE GAME is one of the highlights of the college football season with both teams typically entering the traditional battle with a lot on the line.

This year it is a tale of two teams at different ends of the Ivy League spectrum with Harvard (7-2, 5-1 Ivy League) hoping to gain a piece of the Ivy League title and Yale (2-7, 2-4) in a spoiler role and hopeful of staying out of the Ivy League basement.

Both teams enter THE GAME somewhat battered and bruised after suffering losses in last week’s action. Yale was thumped at home by Princeton 31-3 and Harvard was upended by Penn 27-14 in Philadelphia.

Yale will be banking on freshman quarterback Kurt Rawlings to lead them to an upset over the Crimson.

Rawlings will be getting his third career start and his ability to avoid the Harvard pass rush, and pass or scamper for extra yardage, could pose problems for the Crimson defensive secondary. Rawlings became the first freshman to throw a TD pass for Yale since Eric Williams in 2012.

On the other sideline, Coach Tim Murphy’s squad has been at the top of the Ivy League team stat categories all season long. The Crimson rank third in team offense averaging 397.8 yards pg. The defense has been just as good limiting the opposition to just 324.8.

The Bulldogs rank last and seventh respectively. Statistically, the Crimson enter the contest heavy favorites.

Penn defeated Harvard, and Princeton pulled away from Yale last week, setting up a three-way tie for first-place in the Ivy League standings.

If the Crimson, Quakers and Tigers all win on Saturday, it would be the fifth three-way tie for the title in Ivy League history and would mark the first time the feat was accomplished in back-to-back years, as Dartmouth, Harvard and Penn were the champions in 2015.

The Bulldogs lead the series 65-59-8, but the Crimson has won the last nine games. Yale is 28-27-5 at Boston (25-26-3 in Harvard Stadium), 30-31-3 at the Yale Bowl and 7-1-0 at neutral sites. There have been 55 shutouts since the first meeting in 1875, and the Elis are 28-20-7 in those contests.

Last year, Yale lost to Harvard 38-19 in front of 52,126 at the Yale Bowl.

The game will air on the Yale Football Radio Network (ESPN Radio AM-1300 in New Haven) with Ron Vaccaro and former Yale coach Carm Cozza on the call. The game will be broadcast live on the CNBC Sports Network (12:30 p.m. kickoff).


It’s Harvard and Yale and anything can happen, but not this year ….

FINAL: Harvard 34 Yale 3



This Saturday is the 30th time THE GAME has Ivy title implications for at least one squad, and Yale is 11-17-1 in those contests.

Harvard saw its 16-straight road contest winning streak end at Holy Cross on Oct. 15. It marked the longest road winning streak in Ivy League history.

Following the end of the regular season, the Ivy League will announce its football postseason awards voted on by the League’s eight head coaches.

Brown placekicker Ben Rosenblatt (Newton Center, Mass.) was named the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week in his team’s 24-21 win over Dartmouth. The junior nailed a 52-yard field goal, the ninth longest kick in Ivy League history and second-longest in Brown program history.

The All-Ivy teams (first, second and honorable mention), Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The finalists for the Asa S. Bushnell Cup, which recognize the League’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 29. The Bushnell Cup winners will be announced on Monday, Dec. 5.


Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

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Bob Whitney

Bob is a college basketball columnist here at He also covers Yale football and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
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