Tomorrow at noon, Princeton football (5–0, 2–0 Ivy) takes on rival Harvard (3–2, 1–1 Ivy) after traveling up to Cambridge on Friday. Normally, this game would be home for the Tigers, but due to the Ivy League’s changing schedule, Princeton will make the trip again. The Tigers will be looking to replicate their success from last year, when they won 52–17. In addition, this will be a chance for Princeton to continue climbing up the rankings. It has climbed to No. 18 in the AFCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. This is the team’s first time back in the top 20 since Princeton clinched the 2013 Ivy League title with a win over Yale and the highest it’s been since it was No. 15 on Oct. 23, 2006. The Tigers are also up to No. 23 in the STATS Football Championship Subdivision Top 25.
Princeton’s defense was the star in last week’s game and has been a dominant force all season. Senior co-captain Mark Fossati won the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week award with 12 tackles, two for loss, and a sack. Fossati, however, is part of a larger group that has been extraordinary statistically. Nationally, Princeton ranks second in scoring defense (8.6 points per game), sixth in total defense (253 yards per game), and seventh in rushing yards (85.6 yards per game). This is also the first time Princeton has held its first five opponents to 10 points or fewer since 1935, when a team that featured Pepper Constable ’36 finished fourth in the Heisman voting that season and went on to win the national championship.
Offensively, keep an eye out this weekend for a potential return from senior John Lovett, who was injured against Lehigh University two weeks ago. In his absence, junior quarterback Kevin Davidson performed phenomenally in his first collegiate start, completing 26 of 39 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns.
The Tigers’ stiff defense will be matched by a strong Harvard offense that is led by running back Aaron Shampklin. Shampklin has run for more than 100 yards three times this season, including several explosive runs highlighted by his 57-yard touchdown run last week against Holy Cross. Shampklin will pose a stern test for the Tigers’ run defense and was recognized as one of the top in the league at his position when he won the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week award the week of Sept. 17.
If you are unable to make the trip to Cambridge on Saturday, there are a number of ways for Princeton fans to watch the game across the country. With the Ivy League’s new television contract with ESPN, the game will be carried streamed live on ESPN+. On radio, the game will be carried on 103.3 FM, which can be accessed across the country through the TuneIn App for those not in the Princeton area.