The Red took a long look in the mirror during halftime of Friday’s game against Princeton and decided an eight point lead was insufficient. With that, sprint football (1-1) ran away with the game, outscoring the Tigers (0-1) 10-0 in each of the last two quarters en route to a 46-18 drubbing.
Rebounding from being on the opposite side of a blowout against Army last week, the Red continued its recent dominance of Princeton, having triumphed in each of their last four meetings. Coach Terry Cullen admitted that his emphasis on basic execution during the week helped, but he credited the team leaders with the second half explosion.
“I didn’t say much of anything at halftime. Our game plan was sound and there were only a few minor adjustments to be made. The intensity came from the seniors stepping up to the plate and saying they had, had enough.”
Both teams clicked offensively in the first half, even though Princeton botched three point-after attempts. With three touchdown rushes by sophomore fullback Michael Fullowan, and two field goals from junior kicker Chris Garnic — who finished with 16 points on the day — Cornell took a 26-18 advantage into the locker room.
The offense continued to thrive the rest of the game, finishing with a total of 250 rushing yards and 232 yards passing. While Fullowan helped resurrect an anemic rush offense that carried for 143 total yards, sophomore quarterback Alec Macaulay ignited the air attack with 189 yards on 10-for-17 passing and two touchdowns.
Macaulay credited both the running game and the offensive line for “making the rest of us look good.”
While Cullen views his offense as “adequate to good” so far this year, his biggest gripe about the Army game was that Cornell “just never had the [expletive] ball.” His defense allayed any such fears in the second half of the Princeton game, intercepting the ball once and forcing the Tigers to punt five times.
Sophomore linebacker Chris Shaw noted the difference halftime made for the defense.
“It was really remarkable to see our intensity and confidence skyrocket in the second half. It was all from the coaches and older guys who got the rest of us fired up.”
Despite the Big Red’s success against Princeton, Cullen is concerned about his team’s meeting with Navy this Friday at 7 P.M. on Schoellkopf Field. A very young Cornell team has suffered through the injuries of two out of three captains, and so far only five of last season’s 22 starters have seen action. In Navy, Cullen sees a team without those problems.
“They are always dominant, and they’re pretty much returning everybody from last year,” said Cullen. “We’re going to have to figure out how to stop people if we want to hang with a team like that. I’m confident we can move the ball against them; whether we get it back is the problem.”
Archived article by Dan Schiff