On Saturday, football will make the 54-mile hike northeast to Hamilton, New York to face Colgate for its third game of the season.
Coming off of a lopsided loss against Yale, Saturday’s game poses as an opportunity for the Red to stay above water and shift momentum in a positive direction for the long season ahead.
Cornell has a mixed but rich history at Andy Kerr Stadium. While Cornell beat Colgate at home last year, it has lost the past two games to the Raiders on the road. The two teams sport a long standing rivalry dating back over a century. The competition has always been neck and neck; the all time record currently sits at 50-49-3 favoring Cornell heading into the weekend.
After reviewing film from last weekend’s game, head coach David Archer ’05 has emphasized the team’s technique in practice this week.
“Our focus is really going to be on our technique,” Archer said. “Our eyes, our hands and our feet.”
Improper technique may simply come down to the Red’s inexperience.
“We have a lot of young guys on the team,” said senior offensive lineman Joe Kelly.
Kelly is the lone senior on an offensive line stacked with newcomers.
“A lot of it is reviewing what you learned from games, getting a lot of game experience,” Kelly said of helping his inexperienced teammates prepare. “I love it. The new guys have such great energy. They come ready to work everyday. It’s put some pressure on me to be right in what I do.
Unlike Cornell, the Raiders start an experienced veteran offensive line led by senior AJ DeSantis.
Successful penetration of the backfield will be a key to the Red’s success on Saturday, which could make Archer rely slightly heavier on the blitz.
Senior linebacker Jake Stebbins leads the team in tackles with 16, including a fumble recovery against Virginia Military Institute. Senior corner Paul Lewis III is also having a strong beginning to the season with 12 tackles. The team has seven sacks on the year.
On the other side of the ball, the Red has been underperforming on offense. Cornell trails its opponents in nearly every offensive category except for penalties and time of possession. Last year, the game against Colgate was a breakout game for the offense. Cornell will hope to get the ball moving against the Raiders again on Saturday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium.
Prediction (Aaron Snyder, Sports Editor): Cornell 14 Colgate 17
I’m 0-2 in these predictions and I really have no idea what to make of this team. They were impressive in week one and looked like a totally different team in week two. This is a winnable game, depending on which Cornell team shows up on Saturday. Archer indicated that the team might’ve been overconfident after its season opening win. That shouldn’t be an issue this week. I think Cornell will be competitive on the road against Colgate, but I’ll need them to assuage some of my doubts before I pick them to win. Still, this isn’t a confident pick and I wouldn’t be surprised to fall to 0-3.