November 2, 2007

Football Recovers From Loss, Readies For Green

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The football team will look to get over its dramatic 34-31 loss last Friday to Princeton tomorrow in its road contest against Dartmouth. Last weekend, the Red missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt that would have tied the game with time expiring.
“It was one that hurt a lot, especially with the game being on Friday. It gave us a whole extra day to think about it before film [viewing],” said junior safety Gus Krinm. “But once we started to watch the film, we started to focus on Dartmouth.”
“It’s hard for everybody,” said senior safety Michael Boyd. “You keep thinking about it but you just have to put it behind you. I think that coaches and players here have done a good job responding to the loss and understanding our capabilities here as a team.”
According to head coach Jim Knowles ’87, in order for the Red to earn a victory this weekend, it will have to return to the program’s traditions.
“We built this program on stopping the run,” Knowles said. “We didn’t do that last week. We built this program on taking care of the ball, we didn’t do that last week.”
In the loss to Princeton, Cornell allowed 277 yards on the ground and turned the ball over six times. Rushing defense might be another issue this weekend because the Green has a potent rushing attack.
“The focus [in practice this week] has been stopping the run,” Boyd said. “Once we get them to be one dimensional, we will be able to open up the defensive game plan. We’ll be able to blitz more, get to the quarterback and hit him,”
The Green averages 148.3 yards on the ground with a multiple running back attack.
“We really did a bad job at stopping the run last weekend against Princeton,” said junior safety Gus Krimm. “We have been focusing a lot more on stopping the run and finishing tackles.”
Krimm and the Red will also look to limit its turnovers while creating more on the defensive side.
“We are also behind in our takeaways,” Krimm said. “We have been focusing on getting the ball on the ground and getting interceptions.”
Another point of emphasis for the Red this week in practice has been the play of its offensive line. Last weekend, the line allowed the Tigers to sack junior quarterback Nathan Ford three times and only opened the running game for 83 yards. With senior running back Luke Siwula still doubtful for the contest, sophomore running back Randy Barbour will look to the line to open up the rushing attack.
“We are confident in Randy,” Knowles said. “The offensive line has to step it up though. It’s up to them to open up the field for the running game.”
While the rushing attack has a good chance of succeeding this week — due to Dartmouth’s defense, which allows 195.1 yards per contest — the emphasis this week has not been on the opponent but on the team itself.
“Regardless of who we are playing this weekend, we have to go out there and play better,” Knowles said.
The contest marks the second weekend in a row that the contest will be televised. With the game being broadcast on the YES Network, the Red will have an opportunity to increase the team’s exposure.
“We definitely embrace it [the game being aired on the network],” Knowles said. “You want the team to get that exposure. But, as a team, we don’t talk about it too much but we are excited for it.”