“The simple key for our team to win,” said head coach Terry Cullen, “is to put the ball in the end zone.”
Scoring touchdowns has been the biggest flaw for the 0-3 Red. Cullen noted that the team’s offense has been moving the ball pretty well, however, it needed to finish the drives and score more points. Something that will hamper the Red’s hopes of scoring more points will be the absence of junior quarterback Alec Macaulay. Macaulay hurt his throwing shoulder in the Navy game last week, but Cullen believes he could play next week against Penn. “The Macaulay injury hurts us at two key offensive positions,” Cullen said.
“Since [sophomore Nick] LiVigne will move from wide receiver to play quarterback, there’ll be a slight drop-off in both positions.”
LiVigne does have some experience starting for the Red, as he started the season opener against Penn. But Cullen noted that the sophomore has really thrived at the receiver position, evident by his solid effort against Navy, when he caught seven passes for 58 yards.
Princeton, who also stands at 0-3, has lost the last nine contests against Cornell. The Red leads the all-time series 49-27-4. Besides the Red’s problems of putting the ball in the end zone and finishing drives, Cullen seems concerned about the team’s defensive effort against the Tigers.
“Princeton’s offense is scary good,” Cullen said. “They control the clock well, they had something like 42 minutes of possession time against Army, which we have to counter.” The Red defense has been a very good unit except for about three or four plays in each of its games. Cullen noted that those plays have really contributed to the squad’s 0-3 start. Other injury notes for the Red come from the defensive line, which will be without senior Mike Schreck and junior Nick English.
Yet junior Amos Smith will be returning to the lineup after a one-game absence. Besides worrying about the Xs and Os in this game, Cullen realizes that there is more at stake for his team this week. Looking for its first victory, and playing the one team in the league the Red perenially plays well against, the squad believes it is essential to put forth a strong road effort and notch one in the win column.
“This game is huge for us because we really have to learn how to win,” Cullen said. “We have to throw the ball well offensively and not give up the big play on defense. If we do that, we’ll be fine.”
Archived article by Josh Fox
Sun Staff Writer