October 15, 2001

Cornell's Defense Falters in Defeat

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292 yards passing; 220 yards running.

Those stats represent the damage that Harvard’s offense was able to exert on Saturday against Cornell. While much of the credit must go first to the likes of Crimson quarterback Neil Rose (292 yards, one TD), wide receiver Carl Morris (157 yard) and running backs Josh Staph (101 yards, one TD) and Nick Palazzo (66 yards, two TDs), much of the blame also lies with a Cornell defense that not only bent but also broke several times during the game.

“We didn’t particularly play well in any of the defensive positions,” head coach Time Pendergast said. “We flat out had breakdowns.”

Those breakdowns came in the form of allowing Harvard to successfully drive the length of the field several times.

Of the Crimson’s four scoring drives, three of them used up at least 67 yards of real estate.

Perhaps, as Rose pointed out during the post-game press conference, that was due to Cornell’s inability to surprise Harvard with an innovative game plan.

“We expected pretty much what they did,” he said. “It didn’t seem like they threw any curveballs at us.”

A more likely cause of the defense’s futility, however, was its inability to tackle —