Over the course of a season, there are thousands of opportunities to win, but only 10 come on the field in front of spectators. The other opportunities come in the form of daily weight training, film study, conditioning, and mental preparation. The many, many wins we are seeing include incredible gains in the weight room, a better understanding of our offensive, defensive and special teams systems, as well as the ability to recruit the top student-athletes we can find from all over the country – those things aren’t always easily seen from outside the walls of Schoellkopf Memorial. They are there nonetheless. When things start to click, and we put a complete 60 minutes together, we will have a win on the scoreboard.
This past weekend we weren’t able to cash in on one of those opportunities in a 31-14 loss to Lehigh. With a great Homecoming crowd in the Crescent, we fell behind 17-0 in the first quarter. The defense played heroically to stop the high-scoring Mountain Hawks until midway through the fourth quarter and the offense manufactured two scoring drives to get back within a field goal. Lehigh was able to put the game way late with a sustained touchdown drive, then scored a very late touchdown after we were forced to go for a fourth down and failed to convert, allowing Lehigh a short field.
In spite of the rough start we have a team that shows up for practice each day and that is fighting and clawing for success every Saturday. Their character and resilience has been tested time and again this season, and they come ready to fight. They have extraordinary grit and determination, and they are exactly what Cornell Football needs right now. We are entering what I call “The Ivy Run” of our season. Every game is important, but the last five weeks of our season are five straight Ivy League contests. The tough opening schedule to the season has helped us face almost every situation a football game can present. Having that game experience will no doubt help us in The Ivy Run. I told the team that our fight and desire is clearly established and something to continue to feed off of. Now we must concentrate on our preparation this week. Our goal in practice this week is to have our best week of preparation yet! This includes meeting time, recovery, hydration, making sure our academics are in order and thriving…all things that have an effect on our football preparation. We have begun to slightly scale back the practices, and will continue to taper them throughout The Ivy Run so we can be the team with the most energy each Saturday.
Our players and staff continue to feed off your positive energy as we push forward this program we all love. We have five more weeks in the arena, and we’ll do everything in our power to get better each day. This weekend we head to Providence to play an always difficult Brown team that has been in the top three in the final Ivy League standings in six of the last seven seasons. It’s a challenge our players continue to want to face. If you can’t make the 12:30 p.m. kickoff at Brown Stadium, the contest will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Hope to see you there – Go Big Red!
Don’t forget to register for the Cornell Football at Brown Tailgate
David J. Archer 05′
The Roger J. Weiss ’61
Head Coach of Football