After Penn football’s exciting come-from-behind victory over Colgate this Saturday, we decided to take a look at how each of the other teams in the Ivy League fared opening weekend.
The Bears had an exciting start to the season, defeating Bryant, 44-38, in double overtime to start the season with a win. After being down 24-10 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Brown stormed back and scored 21 points to force overtime. After trading scores in the first overtime, the Bears stopped the Bulldogs to open the second overtime before senior running back Allen Smith scored on second down from the four-yard line to walk it off for the Bears.
In their opening game, the Lions took on the Marist Red Foxes, looking for their fifth opening day win in a row. The Lions did not disappoint, scoring 21 points in the first quarter to kick off a convincing 38-3 victory over the Red Foxes. Kicker Alex Felkins hit a 53-yard field goal — a Columbia record — to close out the first half, putting the Lions on top 31-0 with his record-breaking kick.
Cornell traveled to Lexington, Va. on Saturday to take on the Virginia Military Institute Keydets. The Big Red dominated through the first three quarters, taking a 28-2 lead into the fourth. In the final quarter, VMI quarterback Collin Ironside led the Keydets to a 20-point outburst, going 14-for-15 for 252 yards to help the home team pull within six. It wasn't enough, though, as the Big Red held on for a 28-22 victory to open the season.
The Big Green hosted the Valparaiso Crusaders on Saturday in their opening matchup. Dartmouth took a 7-0 lead on its opening drive and never looked back, taking a 35-13 win behind fifth year running back Zack Bair’s 169 rushing yards. The Big Green’s season-opening win makes it 12 straight victorious openers in a row for the program, the longest active opening day winning streak in the entire FCS.
Like Penn, Harvard opened up its season with a big come-from-behind win, defeating Merrimack, 28-21, in overtime to start the season off on a high note. With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Harvard was trailing 21-7 before senior running back Aidan Borguet scored to cut it to 21-14. After Merrimack went three and out, Harvard quickly drove down the field, and Borguet scored again to tie it at 21-21 and force the game into overtime. On the first play in overtime, Borguet scored his third touchdown in five minutes on a 25-yard reception to put Harvard on top, 28-21. On Merrimack’s chance in the extra period, the team got all the way to the five-yard line before a pair of sacks forced a turnover on downs and sealed the win for the Crimson.
The Tigers traveled down to DeLand, Fla. over the weekend to take on the 2-0 Stetson Hatters. After falling behind 14-7 to start the game, the defending Ivy League champions scored 32 unanswered points to open their title defense with a resounding 39-14 victory. Led by junior quarterback Blake Stenstrom’s 256 passing yards and two touchdowns, the Tigers earned their seventh straight opening day matchup.
The Bulldogs returned to action against FCS No. 13 Holy Cross on Saturday, losing 38-14 in their first game of the season. After a scoreless first quarter, Holy Cross scored 21 points in the second to take a 21-7 lead at the half, and Yale couldn’t make up the deficit. The Bulldogs were the only Ivy League team to lose this weekend, but they are looking to rebound next week against Cornell.