Harvard: Harvard Crimson (3-1) at Holy Cross Crusaders (3-3)

Harvard will look for their fourth win of the season as they visit Worcester to battle a much improved Holy Cross team that is coming off of their highest offensive output of the season after beating Brown 47-31 last weekend.

Here are three keys to this game for the Crimson.

1. Set a physical tone early: Holy Cross’ defense is undersized but fast. They can really pursue and they are well coached. Harvard should set a physical tone early by running the football and slowing the game down. Holy Cross is feeling it on offense and they want to play fast. The Crimson need to take the air out of the ball a little bit and force Holy Cross to play their pace.

2. Jake Smith needs to play well: Quarterback Jake Smith has been terrific thus far for the Crimson. He needs to continue to play at a high level and run this offense the way he has the last three weeks. Holy Cross will bring pressure today, especially inside pressure. Smith needs to hang in there and deliver.

3. Limit the big plays: Holy Cross has been able to make more big plays the last two weeks than they have at any other point this season. They haven’t been able to drive the ball however. Harvard needs to limit the big plays and force Holy Cross to have to drive the ball in order to score points.

Final score: Harvard 31 Holy Cross 17: Holy Cross is playing much better offensively so they will be in this game but I don’t think they have enough firepower to keep up with Harvard. The Crimson have hit their stride offensively and their young defense is playing much better. Harvard should win what will be an entertaining game.

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