Jason Ben Nathan / Sun Senior Photographer

October 28, 2017

Around the Ivy League: Least-Likely Squads Sit Atop Standings

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Entering the season, Princeton, Harvard and Penn were the overwhelming favorites to finish the 2017 season at the top of the Ivy League standings. Now, seven games into the 2017 campaign, it’s Yale, the preseason No. 4 pick, and Columbia and Cornell, the preseason second to last and last picks, respectively, who have set the mark in the league standings, all sitting at 3-1 in the Ancient Eight.

In addition to Cornell’s upset, last-minute win over Princeton Saturday night, here’s a look at what’s happening around the Ivy League.

Penn 17, Brown 7

The Quakers marched into Providence Saturday hoping to salvage an Ivy win over the league’s doormat. And that’s exactly what Penn did. Nick Robinson found Justin Watson on the first play of the game for an 80-yard touchdown, and each team would find the end zone once more before the end of the first quarter, with Robinson and Watson later connecting again and Brown quarterback Nick Duncan pounding in a five-yard touchdown run. Penn’s Jack Soslow then booted a 51-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half to put his team up 17-7, which would end up as the final score with no points in the second half.

Still searching for its first Ivy win, Brown travels next to first-place Yale for a Friday night matchup while Penn will return to Franklin Field for a rivalry matchup against Princeton.

Yale 23, Columbia 6

Columbia’s magical undefeated start came to an end Saturday, falling to Yale on the road while totaling only 206 yards of offense. The Bulldogs kept the Lions off the board until there was just 1:18 left in the third quarter. After scoring to make it 16-6, Columbia went for a two-point conversion, which failed, and Yale added another touchdown in the fourth to cruise to a victory. Columbia was picked off twice, amassed a mere 31 yards on the ground and allowing 251 to temporarily stymie its 2017 Cinderella run.

The Lions welcome Harvard next weekend, hoping to get back in the win column. Yale will next host Brown under the lights of the Yale Bowl.

Harvard 25, Dartmouth 22

The Crimson was able to put together a win against Dartmouth in what has been an all-around underwhelming season for Harvard, but it did not come easily. Dartmouth got out to an early lead, scoring twice before allowing six points to the Crimson after a touchdown and failed PAT with just 13 seconds left in the half. The score by Harvard started a streak of 25 unanswered points for the Crimson until a late touchdown and two-point conversion from Dartmouth put the Green within a field goal. But the Crimson was able to stave off the last-minute comeback, improving to 4-3 on the year and 2-2 in the league.

Harvard heads to the concrete jungle to take on Columbia next weekend, while Dartmouth will host first-place Cornell in Hanover.