FOOTBALL | Harvard edges past Yale, 14–10

Harvard players celebrate an interception to end Yale's hopes of a last-minute upset.
Harvard players celebrate an interception to end Yale's hopes of a last-minute upset. Photo by R.J. Rico.

R.J. Rico blogged live from the Yale Bowl during the 126th Harvard-Yale football game.

Harvard Wide Receiver Matt Luft catches the wining touchdown pass.
Harvard Wide Receiver Matt Luft catches the wining touchdown pass.
Yale's running game was consistently shut down in the 14-10 loss.
Yale's running game was consistently shut down in the 14-10 loss.


  • Future

    There may have been some check writing to Coach Williams from Harvard based on these fourth quarter play calls



  • ’12

    Coach Williams needs to take responsibility for his fake punt call, it cost us the game

  • Saddened

    4th & 22 from your own 20 — GO FOR IT! . . . ridiculous.

  • Yale ’72

    The fake punt was the worst play call I’ve ever seen. I sincerely hope that the coach is fired for that idiocy.

  • TD

    Tom Williams needs to GO! Worst play call I have ever seen. What a load of crap.

  • Yale Grad/Fan

    4th and 22 fake punt with a few minutes to go and the lead(and a punter averaging over 50 yards per), say it aint so!!…followed by having no one back to return the Harvard punt w less than a minute to go…Cozza may have been conservative but he would have win this game…

  • Yale Football Alum

    What was he thinking? As talented as these kids are, and as well-rounded, Coach Williams has to acclimate to the Ivy League where the kids dont have the athletic skills of his former Pac Ten teammates. Absurd call, absolutely absurd.

  • Bob from Boston

    The only thing that makes sense regarding the coach’s call is that Bellichick called him and sent in the play, hoping it would work, to vindicate his going for 4th and five last weeekend.

  • Joel

    Even if Yale had punted and Harvard were to start from around its 25 or 30, there’s no guaranty, the way they were moving at the end, that they would not have scored- AT LEAST a field goal to send the game into OT. That way, Harvard would really have had to earn it rather than almost having it handed to them. That being said, it’s still rather incomprehensible that we’ll never know what would have happened if Yale had been allowed to play by the book.

  • Furious

    This loss is on the coop. Never though tshirts would determine the outcome of a game.

  • Harvard (Winthrop House)

    Go ahead Yalies–whine about your coach.
    The simple fact is that your entire athlectic department needs an overhaul. (Don’t believe us? Just ask your alums–several of whom work here and played sports at Yale). At least Princeton gives us some competition. See you next year in Cambridge! PS-Have a nice winter in New Haven

  • John Harvard

    Seriously, Harvard has a rivalry with Princeton. With Yale, it’s more like beating up your little brother: fun for a while, but ultimately, not even satisfying. C’mon Yale, you’re embarrassing.

  • Disappointed

    Let’s not waste 10 years or so like we did with Seidlecki. Let’s try again to get Yale great Dick Jauron now that he’s available. No coach in his right mind would have made that call late in the 4th quarter with a fine punter and Harvard out of time outs.

  • Yale (Morse College)

    Go ahead Harvard – snipe on our newspaper comments section.
    The simple fact is that your student body never misses an opportunity to reveal themselves as a bunch of morons.
    At least Princeton has a sense of humor.

  • Alum

    Sad to say but #12 is exactly right. The only thing that matches AD Tom Beckett’s hot air is the mediocre to poor results of his teams over more than 15 years.

  • Tanner

    So is the Alumni happy with their pushing Jack Siedeki “upstairs” for this. I thought Yale was lucky to be ahead because Harvard kept doing stupid things, fake feild goals, multiple 4th down plays. The odds of Yale gaining 22 yards was less then the odds of Harvard fumbling the punt. Also the coach should have called a time out before Harvards last 4th down attempt, the one that worked. The Defense had been on the field most of the 2nd Half.

  • pj ’63

    I have been watching football for over 60 years and Coach William’s call on 4th and 22, has got to be THE most idiotic I have ever seen.

    To quote Williams himself: “The argument that I hear is that there aren’t enough qualified African-American coaches out there,” Williams said. “But the question is: How hard are you looking?”

    Today he made the answer absolutely clear, “not hard enough”.

    He should NEVER be allowed to coach another Yale game.

  • Billy C

    In College Football the better team wins after 60 minutes right? Why all the crying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 0 points by the Bulldogs in the second half is why they lost. The momentum Switched, and they took it to us. Coach Williams did notcall for another interception by Witt did he? Coach did not loose that game, 11 guys with a 4-6 record did!

  • yale ’83

    The coach was quoted in the media tonight as saying he was “playing to win” and wanted to put “the pedal to the metal” when selecting the fake punt play. Whatever happened to playing the odds? The defense was having a good day against a very good Harvard offense–what is the more likely outcome, that we gain 22 yards on a fake punt, or that our defense can contain Harvard for 2 1/2 minutes–or at least hold them to a field goal? There is just no rational reason for the coach’s decision. This error was only compounded at the very end of the game when Harvard punted with about 40 seconds left, and Yale rushed 11 men, so that no one was available to receive the punt and try and get reasonable field position. Again, what odds are better: that we are going to block the kick, or that our punt return guy can get us reasonable field position so that we don’t have to go so far in our last three plays? It just makes no sense. What is more depressing is the feeling of helplessness for alums like me: Yale kept Siedlicki around even though he turned losing to Harvard into a tradition, and now we are going to have a reckless coach that can be here for a decade or more.

  • Charlie Weis

    I’m here to apply for the new head coaching vacancy.

  • ralph

    no way the worst play call ive seen in 35 years going to yale games. too all those who pushed jack aside .what are you thinking of know. did you ever think that harvard has are number the last 10 years or so.its a long winter.

  • mmpeters


  • Agreed

    #14 is right. Get Dick Jauron.

  • Yale10

    They are laughing at Williams on ESPN right now. This guy probably won’t be able to land another job after he is fired for that dumb call and poor coaching all season.

  • Richard

    Went to The Game with my family. Loved the Yale Precision Marching Band at half-time.

    They showed more coordination than did this new coaching staff and our new head coach.

    After twenty-two years of being a die-hard fan of Yale football, I am wondering just when the “magic” disappeared, and if it was really Jack Siedlecki who made it vanish.

    Mr. Williams might be a nice guy personally but if they ‘show him the door’ tomorrow, I will not be displeased. He’s both inept and insensitive: there were football seniors who did not get to play on Saturday, and that is unforgivable in my view.

  • Ancient Alum

    Question: For how many years are coaches given a first
    contract? Can we find out? If it’s for two years,
    begin looking now. All of the good things I have
    read of Coach Williams pale when compared to
    this [ choose your own adjective] play-calling
    mistake. It hurts to think of the seniors on the
    team !

  • another ancient alum

    Lets face it: Yale’s leadership simply would not willing to fire its first black coach after one season, even if many now realize that his hiring was a mistake.

    It appears to me that he was hired in desperation as the clock was ticking away on the recruiting season, and earlier choices had turned down the job.

  • Get Dick Jauron?”

    Dick Jauron will be 60 years old at the start of next year. In eleven (11) years as a head coach, he has one (1) winning season and ten (10) losing seasons, and has been fired three (3) times.

  • alum

    Princeton finished ahead of us in the standings, but they fired THEIR coach today

  • yale ’83
  • Joe Altschuler ’65

    Ya really have to ask what Coach Williams was thinking when he called this play. There is no good way to rationalize it. I understand that the Ivy Title was not on the line for Yale here but you have to play the percentages and the percentages tell you, me and everyone that this play was not only wrong it was one that nobody else( except perhaps Bill Belichek) would have called…terrible…beyond terrible!!! Yale had to punt, no ifs ands or buts…nobody watching could believe what they were seeing! how could a guy who knows football like Coach Williams does do this..just incomprehensible to all of us!!!