With the 129th Harvard-Yale Game fast approaching, the News spoke with senior running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 about his hopes for his last match as a Bulldog. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, he earned the running backs award for last year’s spring practice.
Q: How is the season going so far?
A: Well, it’s been kind of a tough season. The record isn’t great, although the season has been somewhat rewarding in other ways.
Q: In what other ways has it been rewarding?
A: I’ve gained a lot respect for my teammates because we’ve continued to fight, beginning to end. We’ve been tested a lot, but we’ve been playing in every game. We’ve definitely bought into what coach Reno is selling to us. It’s hard not to care, but we try to be physical and just deal with whatever adversity may come our way.
Q: What’s the game plan for Harvard-Yale?
A: Well, basically speaking, it’s the same game plan we’ve had all year. It’s kind of a situation where what we do is what we do. We try to tailor it to put ourselves in the best position. Generally, it’s the same every week, but we might do certain things to put ourselves in the best situation. Harvard’s a good team: strong in front, good linebackers, and strong in secondary also. It’s a good defensive match. We’re all excited to go out and play. The reason why we come to Yale is to play in this game. It’s going to be a good match up.
Q: Harvard lost its last game to Penn, who we beat earlier in the season. How does that affect the team’s mindset going into Harvard-Yale?
A: I mean, it was very encouraging for us, as we beat Penn earlier in the season. But there is no transitive property of football. We still have to go out there and handle business in order to have a favorable outcome this weekend.
Q: Several of the quarterbacks are currently injured. How does this affect the team?
A: Actually, we’re in a pretty good position. We’re all rallying behind Henry Furman, who does a very good job as quarterback. He had been switched to wide receiver earlier this year, but he’s going to be playing as quarterback for the rest of the season. He played really well against Princeton last weekend, and I have all the confidence in the world he will do well this weekend. You really need a quarterback to play football, and he makes my job a lot easier.
Q: The team has played well in some of its seemingly most challenging games. What is it about the team that plays so well under pressure?
A: Honestly, it goes back to what coach Reno preaches every day. He wants us to not get too high when things go well and not get too low when things go bad. He tells us to keep our nose to the grindstone. I personally feel the most excitement surrounding big games because they give me a chance to be remembered and make history. Most of my teammates feel the same, so we’re really excited.
Q: Are we going to do this again for Harvard?
A: Yes, that’s the plan. We got to take care of business this weekend. My class hasn’t beaten Harvard since we’ve been here, so we are looking forward to it.
Q: How are you feeling about the fact that this is your last Harvard-Yale game?
A: It’s somewhat surreal in the sense that it’s almost here — only a couple days away. You always feel like you have more time, but the season’s really flying by. I’m excited for one more opportunity to play against Harvard. There’s just something special against playing against Harvard, especially at Harvard, in their environment. It’s certainly always something memorable.
Q: What are your hopes for the team after you leave?
A: I have the utmost confidence that they’ll improve next year. There are lots of young players who are ready to step in and a great coaching staff. I am excited to have one more chance for this year’s team to really leave our mark on the program by beating Harvard.
Q: How do you hope that Provost Salovey approaches athletics when he assumes the presidency on June 30?
A: I was really encouraged by the fact that he came to speak to us after practice yesterday. It was a really big show of support, and I hope he continues after in this manner. I feel like athletics are important in any college and people should support us. I am obviously biased as an athlete, but I think it’s a part of being at college.