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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | November 20, 2021

Harvard-Yale football: Memorable moments, all-time history

High Five: Top Harvard-Yale Moments

It's been more than 140 years since Harvard and Yale first battled on the gridiron. The Harvard and Yale football rivalry, known as "The Game," is the second-oldest continuing rivalry in college football. The Crimson and Bulldogs are the two winningest teams in the FCS, have 26 national championships, two Heisman winners, and 32 Ivy League crowns.

WINS: Here are the 9 winningest FCS teams in college football history

When Harvard and Yale met in 2021, it marked The Game's 137th all-time meeting. Harvard defeated Yale 34-31 in comeback fashion. However, the Bulldogs hold a 68-61-8 head-to-head edge in the all-time series.

However, there's more to this rivalry than wins and losses, with immense history throughout the series. Here are just a few notable historical figures that have attended The Game:

  • 1914: US. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft were among a crowd that saw Harvard win 36-0
  • 1932: All-time baseball great Babe Ruth and Crimson fan watch Yale defeat Harvard 13-0
  • 1935: U.S. President Gerald Ford was an assistant coach for Yale, who won 14-7.
  • 1955: U.S. President John F. Kennedy (then a senator) looked on, watching his brother Ted Kennedy play and score a touchdown for the Crimson. Yale won 21-7. 

Here are six moments chronicling Harvard and Yale's decorated pasts.

1875 — The first game

The first Harvard-Yale football game was held in New Haven, Connecticut in 1875. A mixture of a rugby and a soccer style game was played by the schools, with 15 athletes on each team. Harvard won the inaugural meeting 4-0.

MASCOTS: How Yale got the nickname 'Bulldogs': The true story | The best nicknames and mascots in the FCS

1968 — "Harvard beats Yale 29-29"

Yale entered The Game on a 16-game win streak. After leading 22-0 at one point in 1968, the Bulldogs led Harvard 29-13 with two minutes remaining. However, two Harvard touchdowns and two Harvard two-point conversions in the final 42 seconds left the game tied. 

After the game, the Harvard school newspaper, The Crimson, declared a Harvard victory with the headline "Harvard beats Yale 29-29". The remarkable comeback has gone down as one of the best in history.

MORE: These are the 15 oldest rivalries in college football

2004 — Prank doesn't stop Fitzmagic

Pranks are huge in the Harvard-Yale rivalry and the biggest prank may have come in 2004. Yale students Michael Kai and David Aulicino posed with others as the Harvard Pep Squad, passing out red and white construction paper to Harvard fans under the impression they would spell "Go Harvard" when raised into the air. However, Kai and Aulicino handed out the paper to spell out "We Suck" in the Harvard crowd. The prank was successful and drew national attention, getting featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live, MSNBC, and more.

Unfortunately for the Yale fans, the prank would be the bright spot of their day. On the field, Harvard, led by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, won 35-3. Fitzpatrick threw four touchdowns in the victory and the Crimson finished undefeated for the third time in the storied program's history.

2005 — Triple OT

2005 saw the first triple-overtime game in Ivy League history in the historic rivalry. After Yale led 21-3 in the third quarter, Harvard rallied to force overtime with scores that included a fourth quarter interception returned for a touchdown. The teams went scoreless in the first two overtimes before RB Clifton Dawson ran in for the game-winning touchdown. 

In total, The Game lasted almost four hours. If the contest had extended any longer, the Crimson and Bulldogs ran the risk of playing in the dark as the Yale Bowl had no lights.

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2014 — College GameDay at The Game

In 2014, College GameDay came to Boston for The Game. It was the first appearance for College GameDay at both Harvard and The Game, marking the second time GameDay covered an Ivy League Game. For those wondering, Lee Corso picked Yale and donned the Bulldog headgear.

The Game's on-field action did not disappoint. Harvard led 24-7 entering the fourth quarter before Yale stormed back to score 17 unanswered points, tying the game 24-24 with 3:44 remaining. The Crimson responded with an eight-play, 78-yard drive that resulted in QB Conner Hempel finding WR Andrew Fischer for a 35-yard touchdown with 55 seconds to go. A last-ditch effort from the Bulldogs ended with an interception, landing Harvard its eighth straight win.

GAMEDAY: Here's a history of College GameDay appearances

2018 — Fenway Park

For the first time since 1894, The Game was held at a neutral site, Fenway Park. The home of the Boston Red Sox hosted the 50th anniversary of the 1968 tie. The Game was a home run; it saw the highest combined scoring output in the history of The Game. A late Harvard run helped the Crimson pull away for a 45-27.

RELATED: Harvard-Yale to play 135th edition of 'The Game' at Fenway Park

Harvard vs. Yale: Scores, all-time series

YEAR Winner Score Location
1875 Harvard 4-0

Hamilton Park New Haven, CT

1876 Yale 1-0

Hamilton Park New Haven, CT

1878 Yale 1-0

South End Grounds Boston, MA

1879 Tie 0–0

Hamilton Park New Haven, CT

1880 Yale 1-0

South End Grounds Boston, MA

1881 Yale 1-0

Hamilton Park New Haven, CT

1882 Yale 1-0

Holmes Field Cambridge, MA

1883 Yale 23–2

Polo Grounds New York, NY

1884 Yale 52–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1886 Yale 29–4

Jarvis Field Cambridge, MA

1887 Yale 17–8

Polo Grounds New York, NY

1889 Yale 6–0

Hampden Park Springfield, MA

1890 Harvard 12–6

Hampden Park Springfield, MA

1891 Yale 10–0

Hampden Park Springfield, MA

1892 Yale 6–0

Hampden Park Springfield, MA

1893 Yale 6–0

Hampden Park Springfield, MA

1894 Yale 12–4

Hampden Park Springfield, MA

1897 Tie 0–0

Soldiers Field Cambridge, MA

1898 Harvard 17–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1899 Tie 0–0

Soldiers Field Cambridge, MA

1900 Yale 28–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1901 Harvard 22–0

Soldiers Field Cambridge, MA

1902 Yale 23–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1903 Yale 16–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1904 Yale 12–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1905 Yale 6–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1906 Yale 6–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1907 Yale 12–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1908 Harvard 4–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1909 Yale 8–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1910 Tie 0–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1911 Tie 0–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1912 Harvard 20–0

Yale Field New Haven, CT

1913 Harvard 15–5

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1914 Harvard 15–5

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1915 Harvard 41–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1916 Yale 3–6

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1919 Harvard 10–3

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1920 Harvard 9–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1921 Harvard 10–3

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1922 Harvard 10–3

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1923 Yale 13–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1924 Yale 19–6

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1925 Tie 0–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1926 Yale 12–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1927 Yale 14–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1928 Harvard 17–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1929 Harvard 10–6

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1930 Harvard 13–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1931 Yale 3–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1932 Yale 19–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1933 Harvard 19–6

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1934 Yale 14–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1935 Yale 14–7

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1936 Yale 14–13

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1937 Harvard 13–6

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1938 Harvard 7–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1939 Yale 20–7

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1940 Harvard 28–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1941 Harvard 14–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1942 Yale 7–3

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1945 Yale 28–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1946 Yale 27–14

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1947 Yale 31–21

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1948 Harvard 20–7

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1949 Yale 29–6

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1950 Yale 14–6

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1951 Tie 21–21

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1952 Yale 41–14

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1953 Harvard 13–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1954 Harvard 13–9

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1955 Yale 21–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1956 Yale 42–14

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1957 Yale 54–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1958 Harvard 28–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1959 Harvard 35–6

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1960 Yale 39–6

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1961 Harvard 27–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1962 Harvard 14–6

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1963 Yale 20–6

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1964 Harvard 18–14

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1965 Harvard 13–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1966 Harvard 17–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1967 Yale 24–20

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1968 Tie 29–29

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1969 Yale 7–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1970 Harvard 14–12

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1971 Harvard 35–16

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1972 Yale 28–17

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1973 Yale 35–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1974 Harvard 21–16

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1975 Harvard 10–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1976 Yale 21–7

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1977 Yale 24–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1978 Yale 35–28

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1979 Harvard 22–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1980 Yale 14–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1981 Yale 28–0

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1982 Harvard 45-7

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1983 Harvard 16–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1984 Yale 30–27

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1985 Yale 17–6

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1986 Harvard 24–17

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1987 Harvard 14–10

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1988 Yale 26–17

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1989 Harvard 37–20

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1990 Yale 34–19

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1991 Yale 23–13

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1992 Harvard 14–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1993 Yale 33–31

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1994 Yale 32–13

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1995 Harvard 22–21

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1996 Harvard 26–21

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1997 Harvard 17–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

1998 Yale 9–7

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

1999 Yale 24–21

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2000 Yale 34–24

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2001 Harvard 35–23

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2002 Harvard 20–13

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2003 Harvard 37–19

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2004 Harvard 35–3

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2005 Harvard 30–24 (3OT)

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2006 Yale 34–13

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2007 Harvard 37–6

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2008 Harvard 10–0

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2009 Harvard 14–10

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2010 Harvard 28–21

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2011 Harvard 45–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2012 Harvard 34–24

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2013 Harvard 34–7

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2014 Harvard 31–24

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2015 Harvard 38–19

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2016 Yale 21-14

Harvard Stadium Boston, MA

2017 Yale 24-3

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2018 Harvard 45–27

Fenway Park (Harvard Home) Boston, MA

2019 Yale 50-43 (2OT)

Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

2021 Harvard 34-31 Yale Bowl New Haven, CT

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