September 19, 2008

Jack-Of-All-Trades No Longer

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Remember when Kordell “Slash” Stewart played quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and he also lined up as a wide receiver and running back? Cornell junior Stephen Liuzza is made from the same mold.
In 2007, he demonstrated triple-threat capabilities as a wide receiver, running back and quarterback. Filling in for the injured Nathan Ford at quarterback against Dartmouth on Nov. 3, 2007, Liuzza amassed 423 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. These numbers represent the third-highest single game offensive outburst in school history.
By the end of his sophomore campaign, Liuzza had tossed for 538 yards on 52-of-81 passing and a touchdown while accumulating an additional 347 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
However, the days of Liuzza taking the snap from under center then moving into the backfield to take the direct snap on the very next play are over — except for a few wrinkles — according to head coach Jim Knowles ’87.
“The guy who has matured the most is Stephen Liuzza because he’s always been in that quarterback-receiver combo bind and this year he’s strictly a receiver,” Knowles said. “We will always have a package for him because [in case] of an injury we always want to have that threat behind there, but we are training him to be a wide receiver.”
Although Liuzza’s versatility provides an added dimension for the Red on offense, Liuzza, functioning primarily as a wide receiver, should be able to eclipse the 23 receptions for 196 yards he registered last season.
“This year, I think we’re trying to keep it a little more basic and do our bread-and-butter kind of things,” Liuzza said.
“If they need me I can step in, but right now we’re just trying to concentrate on doing our normal kind of stuff and executing better.”