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Penn football beats Dartmouth at Franklin Field. Penn 17 Kyle Olson Dartmouth 36 Royce Egeolu Credit: Katie Rubin

With two games out of the way this season, the Big Green has picked up right where they left off last year — and the year before that.

After falling to New Hampshire, 44-14, on Saturday, Dartmouth now has lost 14 consecutive contests dating back to the 2007 season. Its last victory came against Cornell on Nov. 3 of the same year.

To their credit, the Big Green racked up over 300 yards of offense against the top-ranked defense in the FCS.

However, Dartmouth couldn’t hold on to the ball, as it fumbled three times and threw two interceptions.

The Big Green are untested against Ivy League teams. A win probably won’t come against Penn, and after next week, they have just one non-conference game against Holy Cross in a lineup of eight opponents.

Dartmouth’s best shot at victory may come on its Homecoming weekend against Columbia. If the Big Green can’t pull that one out, they could be headed for another defeated season.

Winters’ time. Harvard and Brown were picked first and third, respectively, in the Ivy League preseason poll.

The two wasted no time displaying how top-heavy the conference may be this year as the Crimson eked out a 24-21 victory against the Bears in Cambridge on Saturday.

The real story, though, was Harvard junior quarterback Collier Winters, who had his second multi-touchdown game of the season in as many chances.

Winters opened up against then-No. 23 Holy Cross with 195 passing yards and two TDs.

Against the Bears, the Claremore, Okla., native was even better, notching 223 yards in the air, two passing touchdowns and a score on the ground. Winters has amassed 106 rushing yards in two games, the most on the team.

After missing the entire 2008 season with an injury, Winters has returned in full force this Fall.

Defense wins … period? For the latter-ranked half of the Ancient Eight, the pecking order has yet to be established.

Yale demonstrated its mediocrity Saturday, falling 14-12 to Cornell. More importantly, it demonstrated that anything can happen between Ivy League opponents, and there are infinite ways to lose a game.

With three first downs the entire game, Cornell had an abysmal offensive outing. It scored just one offensive touchdown (on the first play from scrimmage), and went 2-for-18 on third-down conversions.

But, as is often the case with Cornell, the defense prevailed with three interceptions. Special teams also played an important role. The Big Red gained 73 return yards and held their opponents to none.

The difference between a winning and losing record in conference play this season may not be heavily dependent on offensive performance. On any given Saturday, the team with the better defense on the field has a chance to win the game. That should make the standings a bit more exciting come November.

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