Coming off of a disappointing 13-6 loss at the hands of Penn, the Red sprint football squad is attempting to come up with the right gameplan to beat Navy for its first victory of the season.
The game against Penn was marred by sloppy play by both teams, but the Red was unable to make up for its mistakes by moving the ball down the field with any regularity.
This may have been partly due to Penn’s stifling defense, as the Quakers intercepted four Red passes on Friday night. But, according to head coach Terry Cullen, what his squad needed to do most was not pass with greater precision, but pass with greater irregularity.
“We should have run the ball earlier and more often against Penn,” Cullen said. “Next week against Navy we are going to have to do that if we want to win.”
By running the ball more often, the Red will be relying heavily on junior running back Michael Fullowan. Fullowan has been the offensive star of the Red in years past, but in the first game of this season he accumulated only 60 yards on the ground, including a 21-yard scramble. Even though he scored Cornell’s only touchdown against Penn, he caught it coming out of a four wide-receiver set rather than coming out of the backfield. If the Red hopes to leave Schoellkopf Field with a victory this Friday night, it will have to establish a running game. If it fails to do this, the pressure on senior quarterback Alec Macaulay will be intensified, as Navy will most likely opt for an increased number of defensive backs, which will lessen the positive effects of the Red’s play-action passing game.
“Even though our lone touchdown against Penn came from the four-wide shotgun, it wasn’t as effective as I would have liked for the most part,” Cullen said.
However, while the Red knows what it needs to improve upon in order to beat Navy, the squad is also aware of what went right against Penn. On the defensive side of the ball, the Red performed with an intensity that was absent from the offensive side. They did not allow an offensive touchdown all day, and held the Quakers’ offense to just two field goals.
“Our defense and our special teams are really what kept us in the game against Penn,” Cullen said.
The defense racked up nine sacks against Penn, punishing quarterback Mike Loguidice in the process and effectively eliminating the Quaker passing game. Senior Steven Baron, who recorded three sacks and seven tackles, led the Red defensive charge.
Baron was helped by classmate Chris Deutschman and junior Jason Zittel, who tied for the team lead in tackles with 10 each. The Red is looking for production of this same caliber from these players during its matchup with Navy, as the defense’s performance will be essential to Cornell’s success.
Archived article by Jacob Lieberman
Sun Staff Writer