Every Eli wants to forget this over-hyped matchup. Coming into the game, both the Bulldogs and the Crimson were undefeated in Ivy League play. However, The Game did not live up to its expectations as Harvard dominated Yale in a 36-7 upset. Runningback Mike McLeod ’09, the Bulldogs’ workhorse on offense, had suffered a toe injury against Penn earlier in the season, and the injury clearly affected his play in The Game. With the running game ineffective, the Elis had to rely on their Ivy :eague worst passing offense which, in the end, was only able to generate 43 yards on an embarrassingly low three completions. As soon as the game started, the Crimson took control after quarterback Chris Pizzotti hit Matt Luft for a 40-yard touchdown pass within the first minutes of the game. Harvard continued to dominate on both sides of the ball for the rest of the game, only allowing then-freshman punt returner Gio Christodoulou ’11 to score on an 87-yard punt return late in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs. The loss ended the Elis’ hopes for their first undefeated season since 1960.
After losing five consecutive times to Harvard, the Bulldogs were finally able to pull off a victory against the Crimson, 34-13, for the Ivy League Championship. However, the team had to share the title with Princeton due to the Bulldogs’ loss to the Tigers the previous week. The Elis relied on a monster defense that limited Harvard’s Clifton Dawson — the all-time Ivy League leading rusher — to just 60 yards rushing and held the Crimson passing attack to just 13-of-32 passing for 154 yards. McLeod put the Bulldogs up early after a one-yard touchdown run, but Harvard was able to answer right back with a one-yard run by Dawson to tie the game. But it was all Yale from then on out. After five consecutive scores by the Bulldogs, including a defensive fumble returned for a touchdown by defensive back Steven Santoro ’09, the Elis ran away with the victory.
This one turned out to be the fifth consecutive loss for the Bulldogs to the Crimson in The Game, 30-24. At the beginning of the contest, after scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the first half and another to begin the third quarter, the Bulldogs appeared to be in control. But Dawson, a transfer from Northwestern, then passed 16 yards for a touchdown to Liam O’Hagan for the Crimson in what may have been the turning point of the game. The Crimson were able to put up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, while the Elis could only muster up a field goal, sending the game into overtime with the score tied, 24-24. In what would be the first overtime in the rivalry’s history, Yale turned the ball over two times but was able to stop the Crimson twice to send the game into a third series of possessions. After captain and quarterback Jeff Mroz ’05 threw for an interception, Dawson punched in the score for the Crimson on a 2-yard run to seal the win for Harvard.