The Crimson host the winless Cornell Big Red at Harvard Stadium this afternoon. The Crimson are coming off a big 38-13 win over Holy Cross last week.
Tim Murphy and his staff have the Crimson playing at an elite level and the Crimson look like one of the best teams in the Ivy League.
Here are three offensive and defensive keys for the Crimson.
3 Offensive Keys
1. Get the ground game going early: The Crimson hang their hat in their running game. They need to establish the running game early because it opens up so much of their offense.
2. Play both quarterbacks: Expect both Jake Smith and Charlie Dean to play today. It is a good opportunity to rep them both and get them into a rhythm.
3. Limit the turnovers: Mistakes keep bad teams in games. The Crimson have to avoid turnovers and mental mistakes. Otherwise, they will keep Cornell in this game if they don’t.
3 Defensive Keys
1. Keep getting pressure: The Crimson front seven has been tough to handle thus far. They will need to get consistent pressure on Cornell quarterback Richie Kenney and throw him off his spot.
2. Generate turnovers: Cornell is very generous with the ball. They have had a tendency to turn it over this far this season. The Crimson has the back seven that ballhawks so the expectation is that they will generate some turnovers today. Getting the offense extra possessions is important.
3. Set the tone! The Harvard defense has been as good as advertised thus far. Games like this are an opportunity to not only keep improving but to also make a statement.
Final Thoughts: On paper, Harvard should win this game but nothing is a given in the Ivy League. Cornell has traditionally been tough especially in Cambridge. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Big Red hung around for a half.