For the first time since 2013, the Ivy League finished with an opening weekend record above .500. In addition to Cornell’s victory over Bucknell, Harvard, Brown, Princeton and Dartmouth all were victorious.
Harvard was the first of the Ancient Eight to kick off its season, taking on Rhode Island Friday night. Continuing where the team left off last year, the Crimson blasted past the Rams, 51-21. Led by a first-year starting quarterback, the three-time defending conference champions jumped out to a 24-0 lead and never looked back. The squad was picked to finish first in the Ivy League media poll in the preseason, and, after hanging up 564 yards of total offense on hapless Rhode Island, the Crimson seems poised to retain its title.
Last season, Penn came out of nowhere to win a share of the Ivy crown as well. A 49-28 loss to Lehigh to start the season does not bode well for the Quakers as they attempt to defend their title. Penn scored all 28 of their points in the first half, as quarterback Alek Torgersen accounted for three scores through the air and one more on the ground. But in the second half, the Raiders clamped down on the Mountain Hwks, shutting them out, while scoring three touchdowns of their own. Up next for Penn is Fordham.
Trailing 21-0 before the first quarter was over, Brown appeared to be down and out in the Bears’ season opener, but four straight touchdowns powered Brown to an opening day win over Bryant. Kyle Moreno, the Bears’ quarterback, engineered the comeback, registering three passing touchdowns and two rushing scores. Brown visits Rhode Island next weekend.
Princeton running back Joe Rhattigan rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers won a back-and-forth duel against Lafayette. There were five lead changes throughout the day, but Princeton came out on top, despite almost 200 fewer passing yards in the game. The Leopards struggled to contain the Tigers’ rushing game as all five of the Tigers’ scores came on the ground. Princeton travels to Lehigh Saturday.
For the first time in 40 years, Dartmouth defeated in-state rival UNH. Before Saturday’s 22-21 victory, the Green had posted a 0-18-2 record against the Wildcats, dating back to 1976. Dartmouth, a tri-champion from last season, scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to open its season with a win. The Green was the last team in Division I football to start its season, and will take on Holy Cross next.
Yale was embarrassed by Colgate, 55-13, at home to start its season. The Bulldogs were outgained 558-188 in total yards and only mustered 12 yards rushing on 21 attempts. Despite scoring the first points of the game, Yale failed to ever challenge the Raiders, who scored at least 10 points in each quarter. The Bulldogs are visiting Cornell this weekend.