Colgate (3-3, 1-1 Patriot) has an all-time record of 531-418-50 over its 113-year-long football history. A little quick math shows that tomorrow’s game with Cornell (1-3, 0-2 Ivy) is the 1,000th game for the Raiders’ program.
While the contest has no such numerical significance for the Red, it will be an important matchup for both sides as they both try to recover from disappointing losses last week.
Colgate is coming off a 14-10 loss to Princeton that snapped its three-game winning streak as well as the 13-game winning streak it held against Ivy League opponents. A couple of late-game heroics for the Tigers — a 73-yard touchdown pass with 2:46 left and an interception with 0:52 remaining — left the Raiders disappointed.
Meanwhile, Cornell did battle with Harvard last weekend and surrendered over 50 points for the second time in its last three games. The Red stayed within one score of the Crimson for the majority of the game, but Harvard regrouped at the half and outscored Cornell 28-6 in the second frame to pull far out of reach.
“I wish that the NCAA would ban halftime and just say, ‘Take a minute break like we do between the quarters and come out, turn the ball around, and let’s go,'” said Red head coach Tim Pendergast of his team’s second-half collapse.
The recent history between the two teams doesn’t bode well for Cornell. Colgate has won the last five contests at Schoellkopf and the last six overall against the Red, although that streak has not been marked with Raider dominance. Three of the last four meetings between the teams were decided by a touchdown or less.
Last year’s contest ended in a 35-32 Colgate victory, although Cornell made the Raiders sweat at the end as Ricky Rahne ’02 tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the final three minutes to make the game interesting.
Colgate is led offensively by quarterback Tom McCune, whose 13-for-33 performance against Princeton was uncharacteristic of his season so far. McCune has five touchdowns and just three interceptions this year, while completing 53.9 percent of his passes.
On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Ryan Disch leads the team with 62 tackles despite having missed a game two weeks ago. Disch has dished out double-digit tackle figures in all of the contests he’s played in this season.
For the Red, the combination of senior quarterback Mick Razzano and classmate Keith Ferguson has become an increasingly potent one as the season moves along. Ferguson caught 12 passes for 154 yards and a pair of scores last week against Harvard, earning him a spot on the Ivy honor roll. Meanwhile, Razzano’s 193 passing yards were a career high.
With 159 career catches, Ferguson needs just seven more receptions to move into second place on Cornell’s all-time list.
“Every week we think we’re sure we can attack any secondary. It’s not because they are giving up 100 or 300,” he said. “But we’re definitely going to try to run the ball. We’re not going to take what they give us, we’re going to take what we want to take.”
Running the football has become a more viable option for the Red, as sophomore tailback Marcus Blanks, senior tailback Brian Ulbricht, senior fullback Nate Archer, and even Razzano have all proven themselves as strong ball carriers.
“I think we’re going to continue to do what we do every week,” said Razzano. “We’re going to try to run the ball and we’re going to try to throw the ball, and we have to be successful at both.”
Archived article by Alex Fineman