Zachary Silver / Sun Senior Editor

September 12, 2018

KANTOR | Get Ready to Pump The Brakes — For Now

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When Cornell football loses this weekend, don’t think much of it.

Yes, Cornell has not had a winning season in 13 years, and to finally break out of that funk, it’ll need all the wins it can get. But this is not one of them.

It is very likely that Delaware is going to take Cornell to the cleaners this Saturday. When the Red traveled down to Newark last year, the Blue Hens won with ease. Starting the first drive of the game with a fumble, the Red fell behind early, eventually losing 41-14 to Delaware.

Cornell is purported to have improved in multiple areas since last season. Specifically, the offensive and defensive lines did not graduate many players last year. The units gained experience and even added depth over the offseason.

Another bonus for Cornell heading into week one is the return of junior running back Chris Walker. Once Walker had his season-ending ACL injury in 2017, Cornell ceased to be competitive in the Ivy League.

And the list goes on, concerning this 2018 roster and the positives surrounding it.

So having said all of that, Cornell does at least have a shot at stunning the Blue Hens and starting off the season with a win. Just don’t count on it.

This is not to discount the improvements Cornell has made over the offseason. They are just a bit outmatched here. First off, Delaware has more talented players (they can also give athletic scholarships while Cornell can not) — plain and simple . The Blue Hens already have had two games under their belt. Delaware was able to shake off the rust in their first game in a loss to Rhode Island, but have since rebounded with a convincing victory over Lafayette.

So while Delaware will be hitting its stride in week three, Cornell will be beginning their season where the Blue Hens were two weeks ago — shaking off the rust. Perhaps the Red will be a bit more “fresh” than the Blue Hens, but it’s marginal. The chemistry and rhythm built through in-game experience is certainly more valuable.

So there you have it. Cornell is probably, but not definitely, going to lose. But don’t lose sleep over it. If and when they fall to Delaware Saturday, move past it.

This out-of-conference road game is a tune-up more than anything. Delaware is going to be one of Cornell’s toughest opponents this season. If they put together some good looking drives and defensive stands, then that’s the victory right there. They can then ride that momentum into the coming weeks when it actually matters against Yale and Harvard.

The goal of Cornell football every year is to win the Ivy League Championship. A win or a loss against Delaware has no direct effect on the team achieving that goal. The success of the 2018 season does not rest on the outcome of this weekend.

After this weekend Cornell still has nine games. And in those nine games, Cornell arguably has a better chance at winning than this weekend. Just like a bad play in any sport, you move past it. Cornell football fans should do the same after whatever happens this weekend. Because after its opening tilt this weekend, this 2018 squad will have plenty of time to prove what it’s worth.