This week, two of the nation’s unbeaten teams play tricky challengers: one in prime time on Friday night, and the other takes on a rival in one of the marquee games of Saturday.
Columbia (2-3, 1-1) at Dartmouth (5-0, 2-0), Friday October 25th, 6:00 PM, Memorial Field, Hanover, NH, ESPNU, WatchESPN (subscription req’d)
The Big Green have to be entering this Friday Night ESPNU game thinking they are going to have a stern test, thanks to Columbia’s surprising and comprehensive 44-6 beatdown of Penn last week. Lion QB Ty Leinart ran for nearly 100 yards and scored 3 TDs in the game, but this week he goes against a Big Green defense that has only allowed 41 total points in five games this year. Things won’t come easy for either team, but Dartmouth should have enough nonetheless to get by the Lions at home in a suprisingly close game. Dartmouth 20, Columbia 13
Penn (2-3, 0-2) at Yale (4-1, 1-1), Saturday October 26th, 12:o0 PM, Yale Bowl, New Haven, CT, NESN, ESPN+ (subscription req’d)
Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong for the Quakers last week went wrong, while Yale won in stunning, surprising fashion over Richmond last week 28-27 thanks to two scores in the last two minutes of the game. It’s hard to imagine more momentum for Yale to continue their winning ways and for Penn to continue their struggle from last week. Yale 27, Penn 12
Harvard (4-1, 1-0) at Princeton (5-0, 2-0), Saturday October 26th, 1:00 PM, Powers Field at Princeton Stadium, Princeton, NJ, ESPN+ (subscription req’d)
This Saturday will be the 112th meeting between these two longtime rivals, and it’s promising to be an excellent game, not to mention the most serious threat of Princeton’s long 15 game unbeaten streak. The Crimson have rattled off four straight, thanks to stellar special teams and defense (the Crimson lead the nation with over 5 sacks per game), while the Tigers have kept their impressive streak alive with stifling defense, too, as they rank 5th nationally in total defensive yards allowed (288 per game). The only thing that seems to be certain is that this should end up being a very low-scoring game, with the home team, barely, pulling this one out. Princeton 16, Harvard 13
Brown (1-4, 0-2) at Cornell (1-4, 0-2), Saturday October 26th, 1:30 PM, Schoellkopf Field, Ithaca, NY, ESPN+ (subscription req’d)
Sort-of the forgotten game on this slate, somebody has to win, and guessing here that’s the home team, despite their loss last week to their big regional rivals Colgate last week. Cornell 31, Brown 21
Chuck has been writing about Lehigh football since the dawn of the internet, or perhaps it only seems like it. He’s executive editor of the College Sports Journal and has also written a book, The Rivalry: How Two Schools Started the Most Played College Football Series.
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