November 12, 2001

Football Can't Produce When It Needs To

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If last year’s football team was characterized by its carpe diem mentality, then this year’s version has been tarnished by its inability to capitalize in dire situations.

In 2000, when scenarios required a swift drive down the field or a timely defensive stop, Cornell was routinely up for the challenge. Ask Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Columbia. On the other hand, aside from its stalwart defensive effort in the final minutes against Dartmouth two weekends ago, this year the Red hasn’t yet proven crunch-time credibility.

Such was the case against Columbia this Saturday. Particularly in the second half, when it saw a 21-13 lead change into a 35-21 deficit, Cornell was unable to find ways to stand tall when it counted.

“After we scored on the first possession of the third quarter,” head coach Tim Pendergast said, “we left the door open for Columbia and they took advantage of that.”

The most obvious example came on the Red’s final drive. Down 35-28 with about 2:00 to go, senior quarterback Ricky Rahne —