The Cornell sprint football team puts its longest winning streak in over a year and a half on the line tonight under the lights at Schoellkopf Field. Having posted a thrilling come–from–behind 16–13 victory over Princeton a scant two weeks ago, the Red (1–1, 0–0 CSFL) looks forward to knocking heads with traditional powerhouse Navy (1–1, 0–0 CSFL) at 7:30 p.m.
After edging out Frostburg State 24–20, the Midshipmen are coming off of a 21-7 loss at the hands of Army in their 18th Annual Anthracite Bowl. They were held without a point until late in the fourth quarter.
Statistically, Navy has the edge over the Red in almost every major offensive category: total offense (324 yards per game (ypg) –138 ypg), rushing (132 ypg — 48 ypg) and passing (192 ypg — 90 ypg). Cornell’s junior quarterback Ryan Dwyer showed signs of improvement last week, throwing for 103 yards, and, more importantly, no interceptions. The running game also began to resurface, led by sophomore Charlie Tam’s 51 yards. After being held for –21 yards against Pennsylvania, the Red backs picked up 115 yards against Princeton.
Defensively, Navy is clearly overmatched.
Having notched an incredible 11 turnovers in its first two games, the Red defense gives new depth to the word suffocating. Led by senior tri–captains Jon Krautmann and Imad Baggar, Cornell has picked off six passes (equaling the total for all of last season) and forced five fumbles. In fact, the defense scored the first points of the season for the Red, as senior Bo Sangosanya picked up a fumble in the endzone against Princeton. Sophomore Adam Romeiser has looked particularly sharp at cornerback, intercepting three balls while playing solid pass defense.
The key for the Red will be to stop Navy’s balanced run attack, led by three backs, each of whom averages over 25 yards per game. Navy’s quarterback has been prone to throwing interceptions, and the Red defense will undoubtedly give its offense multiple chances to score with good field position.
With a little Friday–the–13th luck, and a lot of forced turnovers, Cornell may very well add to its already impressive winning streak.
Archived article by Sumeet Sarin