October 6, 2000

Football Takes on Harvard in Clash of Ivy Unbeatens

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In a rematch of the most exciting football game played on East Hill last year, Cornell will travel to Cambridge, Mass., to play Harvard tomorrow.

The Red (1-2, 1-0 Ivy) comes off a tough loss to Lehigh, in which it gave up 28 points in the second half.

Head coach Pete Mangurian feels that his team needs to focus on it’s own problems before worrying about the challenges Harvard presents.

“Our problems were not with the opponent, our problems are with ourselves. We have to fix those and everything else will take care of itself,” he said.

Come game time Cornell will have to focus on a Crimson team (2-1, 1-0) which is averaging over 420 yards of offense per game.

However, the Red counters with a powerful offense lead by junior quarterback Ricky Rahne. Rahne just moved into second place in the Cornell record books for passing yards. He presently has 3,547 yards, 150 yards behind Bill Lazor ’94, who serves as Rahne’s quarterback coach.

Rahne may need a big performance against Harvard due to the questions surrounding junior running back Evan Simmons. Simmons left the Lehigh contest on the first play of the second half injured and did not return. He has been practicing with the team.

Mangurian feels that in order to win, his offense must continue to function normally, even if Simmons is unable to play.

“We are going to run our offense regardless of who is in there. We are not going to change our offense due to injury,” Mangurian said.

Senior wide receiver Joe Splendorio felt that even if Simmons is able to play, the offense will still have to move he ball through the air effectively.

“I don’t think there is going to be any more pressure on us, [but] I think there is always a lot of pressure on us in this offense,” Splendorio said.

The Red also knows the importance of this contest, as both teams are undefeated in Ivy play on the year.

“Every Ivy League game is do or die. Everybody on the team realizes we have to come and get it done this week,” Splendorio said.

Rahne had similar thoughts, and feels that tomorrow’s game may be yet another close game, in a series which the Crimson leads 32-30-2.

“It’s a great game, and it is always close,” he said.

Archived article by J.V. Anderton