Any athlete and coach wants to measure themselves against the best, and that was our mindset coming into Saturday’s game against Harvard. The Crimson had won 17 straight games overall, 13 straight Ivy League contests, were nationally ranked in the Football Championship Subdivision and were, by any and all measures, one of the top teams in college football.
My only disappointment in Saturday is that we didn’t play our best. While the old axiom that it is never as good or bad as you thought it was once you watch film, there’s no doubt we could have executed better in all three phases of the game. A small number of key mistakes on offense, defense and special teams turned a competitive game for the first quarter into our first game that was decided before the final two minutes.
We’ll have a shot to redeem ourselves this weekend, and I fully expect our whole team will have learned from last weekend’s experience. We’ll be playing Sacred Heart for the first time in our 128 seasons, and for many reasons it will be a great challenge. They are coming off a nine-win season and a second straight Northeast Conference title and NCAA tournament berth. They finished ranked nationally in the top 25 at the end of last season for the first time in school history. The contest will serve as their homecoming and will be just its second home game, so we expect they’ll be more than ready for us. It will be important for us to match their energy right from the start.
I’ve gotten so many messages of support after a tough weekend, and I appreciate them. Cornell is a special place because of the special people. Service to others is one of the most important lessons in educating young men, and that lesson is easily demonstrated in the Wilson Project started by one of our special student-athletes, junior tight end Nick Bland. If you get a chance, read up on the Wilson Project and understand how proud and honored I am to coach the young men in this program. I hope many of you can join us in Connecticut this weekend, or welcome the team back to Ithaca next weekend when we play Brown. Thanks for all you do. Go Big Red!
David J. Archer 05′
The Roger J. Weiss ’61
Head Coach of Football