The Cornell football team finally gets a normal home game this week.
Not a 2 p.m. start time after a Homecoming celebration.
Not a 6 p.m. start time thanks to television.
A normal home game.
And the Red needs one.
Last week the offense forgot to show up before half-time, leaving the squad 42 points behind Brown.
Then came the second half, in which junior quarterback Ricky Rahne led the offense to 34 points, a ton of yards, and one touchdown being called back from making the should-have-been rout a great game.
But that sort of game is exactly what the Red needs to avoid this weekend.
Sure the fourth-quarter fireworks make for exciting games (and better stories), but they don’t always make for a quality game.
This weekend the Cornell football team needs a boring win. Extremely boring.
The offense needs to come to play, starting at 1 p.m. Not at 3 p.m.
The team needs to score in the first half, in the first quarter.
The offense can score through the air, or on the ground, but it needs to score.
The squad also needs to control the ball. Either by a short passing game, or by getting a running game going for the first time all year.
But the defense shouldn’t be on the field for 35 minutes again this week. It has to step it up as well.
Princeton may very well start it’s fourth quarterback of the season tomorrow. This almost guarantees that it will try to run the ball down the throat of the defense. The Red might consider having a bunch of guys close to the line of scrimmage to prevent this.
I’ve certainly oversimplified the situation. And I have no doubt that Pete Mangurian and his staff know a hell of a lot more about football than I do.
But I do know that this team needs to remember how to win a boring football game. This squad needs to reassert itself in the Ivy League. To prove to everyone in the league, including itself, that this team is a legitimate title contender.
Cornell may be 2-1 on the league, except for a blocked field goal and a missed field goal (both makeable), this team is winless. Not just in the league, on the year.
Tomorrow is a pivotal game for the squad, not just in terms of the standings, but in terms of mettle.
If the Red can do without the fireworks, but quietly and methodically dominate the Tigers, it may be able to take the momentum to a title.
Otherwise, the only consolation for Cornellians will be that hockey starts next week.
Archived article by J.V. Anderton