October 27, 2000

Ivy Showdown

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This is where things get interesting.

With a five-way logjam atop the Ivy football standings, the loser of this weekend’s contest between Princeton (2-4, 2-1 Ivy) and Cornell (2-4, 2-1 Ivy) could be knocked out of title contention.

“I think this weekend is critical for everyone in this race, because at this point some people are going to get behind you, you are going to move ahead of some people and some momentum is going to be created,” Cornell head coach Pete Mangurian said.

So when both teams trot onto Schoellkopf Field tomorrow at 1 p.m., those in the Crescent will be treated to a must-win game for both teams.

For the Red, the possibility of winning this game rests on how consistently it can play. Last week, Cornell spotted Brown 42 points before getting on the board right before the half.

Junior quarterback Ricky Rahne feels the team cannot let that happen again.

“We have to execute. We have to do it from the first play, we can’t wait until two minutes left in the first half to start playing offense,” he said.

“We can’t do what we have been doing in the first half,” junior wide receiver Tim Hermann agreed.

However, once the offense starts to play, it is a rather impressive machine. Against the Bears, the Red stormed back to score 34 points in the final two quarters of the game, behind Rahne’s 446-yards of passing in the game, a new school record. His first touchdown of that game was the 35th of his career, breaking the mark previously held by present-quarterbacks coach, Bill Lazor ’94.

“One half they can’t be stopped, the next half they can’t do anything right,” Mangurian said of his Jekyll and Hyde team.

When the Tigers have the ball, Brian Danielewicz may be under center. If this occurs, he would be the fourth different quarterback to start for first-year head coach Roger Hughes in seven games. Tommy Crenshaw had his wrist broken in week three, his back-up Jon Blevins had a severely sprained ankle the next week and David Splithoff broke his jaw on the last play of last week’s loss to Harvard. Blevins may be able to play for the Tigers, but Danielewicz is the only health person on the squad.

“Our mentality doesn’t change much, we still have to get after them,” senior defensive lineman Tom Crone said, regarding the possibility of chasing down the Tigers’ new quarterback.

No matter who Princeton puts on the field, the Red defense must stop the run. On the season, opponents are averaging over 290-yards per game on the ground against the Red.

If the Red is to stop the run, it will key on Kyle Brandt, who has 327 yards and four touchdowns this season.

“We have to stop the run. If it is their fourth string quarterback, we need to make him make the plays. We have to make them earn everything they get,” Crone said.

One advantage Cornell has going into this game is that it is the first regular home game for squad on the season. After a 2 p.m. start time against Yale for Homecoming activities, and a 6 p.m. kickoff against Colgate due to television, the Red is ready for its normal pregame schedule.

“This is our first regular home game. We’ve had the 2 o’clock start and the 6 o’clock start. It’s going to be nice to have the same routine as we used to,” Rahne said.

But when the ball is teed up at 1 p.m. tomorrow, all the team will need for motivation is this simple fact:

“There is a championship four games away [and] we have to win every week to do it,” Mangurian said.

Archived article by J.V. Anderton