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Football

Cornell Out To Snap Crimson's Ivy Win Streak

Oct. 3, 2005

Game Notes vs. Harvard in PDF Format
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GAME INFORMATION
Game #4: Harvard at Cornell
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 8, at 1:00 p.m. ET
Site: Schoellkopf Field (25,597), Ithaca, N.Y.
2005 Records: Harvard (2-1, 1-0 Ivy); Cornell (1-2, 0-1 Ivy)
Series Record: Harvard lead 36-31-2
Last Meeting: Harvard won 34-24, Oct. 9, 2004, in Cambridge, Mass.
Radio: WHCU 870 AM, Barry Leonard (play-by-play), Buck Briggs (color)
TV: None
Live Stats: Available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: Available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: Available by calling (607) 254-BEAR

HEAD COACH Jim Knowles `87
The Roger J. Weiss `61 Head Coach of Football Jim Knowles is in his second season at the helm of the Big Red (5-8, .385) ... Knowles, an All-Ivy defensive end and three-year letter winner on the gridiron, was hired by his alma mater as head coach on Jan. 30, 2004.


ITHACA, N.Y. -- The Cornell football team welcomes a challenge, and this weekend it will face its biggest of the early season when Harvard visits Schoellkopf Field on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 1 p.m. The game will be the 70th meeting between the two programs in a series dating back to 1890. Harvard leads the all-time series 36-31-2, has won four straight over the Big Red and carries a nine-game Ivy League win streak into the game.

The game is part of Hall of Fame weekend, and two former Cornell football players will be honored with inductions and will be recognized at halftime of the game. John Sponheimer `69 and Dave Thomas `62 are part of an 11-member group that will enter the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies held on campus on Friday evening. Sponheimer was an Associated Press honorable mention All-America pick at defensive tackle in 1967 and 1968. He was also named to the Ivy League's Silver Anniversary All-Star football season team in 1981 by sportswriters, broadcasters, and the Ivy League coaches and administrators. Thomas was a three-year letter winner as a guard, earned ECAC Major College All-East first-team honors in 1961 and All-Ivy second-team mentions from the AP and the coaches.

Last weekend at Colgate, the Big Red's usually reliable defense struggled against the Raiders in a 34-20 loss. Colgate rushed for 194 yards and passed for 224 more to go along with three scores in the air. The Cornell rush defense, which ranked seventh in the country last year and did not allow a running back to reach 100 yards in a game, allowed freshman Jordan Scott to gain 153 yards on 42 carries in his first varsity start. Special teams coverage also played a big part in the loss, as a 59-yard kickoff return with under a minute remaining in the first half led directly to a late score to give the Raiders a 17-13 halftime lead. Colgate averaged 35.3 yards on kick returns and also gave up a 22-yard punt return.

The game will feature Cornell's ground game (238.0 ypg.), ranked 12th nationally and first in the Ancient Eight, against a Harvard rush defense allowing just 92.7 yards per game, a mark that ranks third in the Ivy League and 19th nationally. It will also pit two of the top runners in the Ivy League. Walter Payton Award candidate Clifton Dawson of Harvard is rushing for 133.7 yards per game (fourth nationally), while Cornell sophomore Luke Siwula isn't far behind. Siwula is averaging 133.0 yards per game, sixth in the nation, and joined all-time great Ed Marinaro as the only Big Red players to register at least 100 yards in each of their first three varsity starts. The native of nearby Cortland, N.Y., had a career-high 165 yards and a touchdown last weekend against Colgate.

The Crimson is in an unfamiliar situation -- entering a week preparing for a game after a loss. No. 11 Lehigh snapped Harvard's 13-game win streak, the longest in I-AA, with a 49-24 victory at Harvard Stadium last Saturday. After Harvard took a 17-14 lead in the third quarter, the Mountain Hawks closed by outscoring the Crimson 35-7 the rest of the way. Head coach Tim Murphy led his team to a perfect 10-0 mark in 2004, including a 34-24 win over the Big Red in Cambridge, Mass.

CLOSING IN ON 600 WINS: Cornell won its 595th game in program history with the season opening 24-7 victory over Bucknell. The Big Red is now five wins from becoming the 10th Division I-AA school to reach 600 wins. In all, 37 Division I programs (I-A and I-AA) have reached that mark, while 41 total NCAA schools at all levels have reached 600 wins.

CORNELL ALL-TIME: The Big Red is in its 118th season of football and has an overall record of 595-438-34 (.574). The program's 595 wins rank 10th among all Division I-AA schools. Over the years, Cornell has taken on 86 different opponents, with its most frequent opponent being Penn (112 meetings).

WINNING AT SCHOELLKOPF: The Big Red has played 434 games in front of fans at Schoellkopf Field, posting a 270-149-15 record (.639). Last season, the Big Red went 3-2 at home, the first winning season at home since 2000. The Big Red is 4-2 at Schoellkopf Field under head coach Jim Knowles `87.

LONG TIME HOME: This week's contest against Harvard begins a three-game stretch of home games at Schoellkopf Field, the longest such streak since playing four consecutive home games during the 2003 season. The Big Red doesn't want to follow that season, as Cornell went 0-4 and was outscored 117-51, including 27-0 by Harvard.

ROAD WOES CONTINUE: Cornell has lost 10 of its last 11 road games over the last three years, including both contests this season as a visitor. The only win came after Cornell had an unlikely comeback against Columbia last season, rallying from down 19 points in the fourth quarter in a 32-26 win.

THE STAMPEDE: Cornell's rushing game has been outstanding in the first three games of the season, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and posting 238.0 yards per game just a season after averaging just 93.7 yards on 2.5 yards per carry in 2004. The Big Red was nearly unstoppable in the season opener against Bucknell, running for 293 yards on 53 carries against the Bison. Cornell just missed surpassing 300 yards in a game for the first time since 1995, when the squad posted 356 yards against Yale. The Big Red has surpassed 200 yards rushing in two of three games and had 198 yards in the other.

EXCELSIOR: The New York state motto meaning "ever upward" has been taken literally by Cortland native Luke Siwula. Siwula continues to get better each week, improving his rushing total in each of the first three games of 2005. His latest effort, a 165-yard performance with a touchdown against Colgate was his most impressive yet. Siwula averaged better than eight yards per carry. Siwula had rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns against Yale and posted 102 yards and a score in the opener against Bucknell.

HOMETOWN BOY MAKES GOOD: While at nearby Homer HS, Luke Siwula rushed for 1,896 yards and scored 28 touchdowns en route to earning first-team all-league honors twice.

OVER AND OVER AND OVER: Luke Siwula is the first Cornell player to post three straight 100-yard games for the Big Red since Terry Smith in 1995. From Oct. 21-Nov. 4, Smith had 100 yards against Lehigh, 113 yards vs. Brown and 148 yards against Yale. It is the 14th different time in school history a running back has posted at least three consecutive 100-yard games.

100-YARD GAMES, 3.0: Luke Siwula joins all-time great Ed Marinaro as the only two players to post at least 100 yards rushing in each of their first three collegiate varsity starts. In 1969, Marinaro rushed for 162 yards against Colgate, 245 at Rutgers and 155 vs. Princeton as part of a four-game stretch to open his career. Below are both players numbers through three varsity starts.

Player           Att.   Yds.   TDs    Avg.
Marinaro (1969)  105    562    3      5.4
Siwula (2005)    67     399    4      6.0

T-REX: The "T" is for tackle, as Kevin Rex opened his senior season with a career-best 16 tackles in the season opener against Bucknell and answered that with a game-high 10 stops and an interception at Yale and 15 tackles at Colgate. After pacing the team in tackles a season ago with 86, Rex leads the Ivy League with 41 tackles in three games, nearly twice as many as his closest teammate (Patrick Potts, 21).

DON'T CROSS THAT LINE: The Cornell defense has done what it does best this season -- stopping the run. To highlight the efforts, the Big Red has made 20 tackles for loss so far this season, including nine in the season-opening contest against Bucknell's highly-effective option offense. Senior Kevin Rex leads the team with five tackles for a loss, while classmate Joel Sussman had three tackles for loss against Yale and four in his two games. Six players have at least two tackles for a loss and 10 different defenders have at least one.

AFTER ALL THIS TIME: It took 13 games, but an opposing running back has finally reached the 100-yard barrier against the Cornell defense. Colgate freshman Jordan Scott ran for 153 yards on 42 carries (3.6 ypc.) to snap the streak against the Big Red defense. During that run, Cornell defended against All-America backs Clifton Dawson (Harvard), Nick Hartigan (Brown) and Jamaal Branch (Colgate), as well as Yale's highly-touted Mike McLeod. The only players to reach 100 yards in a game during that span were quarterbacks, as Bucknell's Daris Wilson (139 yards in 2004) and 2004 Ivy League Player of the Year Ryan Fitzpatrick of Harvard (102 yards in 2004) both reached the milestone.

SWITCHEROO: Cornell has scored seven touchdowns on offense this season, with each coming on the ground. Big Red opponents have scored nine times, with eight coming in the air and just one coming on a rush.

NOT WASTING TIME: Senior Joel Sussman missed the season opener against Bucknell with a knee injury, but wasted little time reminding Yale that he is an All-Ivy caliber talent. On Yale's first offensive play, Sussman broke through the line and recorded a sack, one of his three tackles for a loss in the contest. Sussman continued to be a menace to opponents against Colgate with 10 tackles. A preseason first-team All-Ivy selection by I-AA.org, Sussman has recorded a school record six blocked kicks in his career to go along with 153 tackles and 12 tackles for a loss.

DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS: Sophomore whip Michael Boyd earned his first career start when the Big Red faced Bucknell, and the native of Pasadena, Texas, had a memorable debut. Boyd ranked second on the team with nine tackles, including two for a loss (-3 yards). He ranks third on the team with 20 tackles, including two for a loss. The team's Daniel N. Bondareff Freshman Scholar-Athlete award winner a season ago played in three games on special teams in 2004 and made one tackle.

POLLOCK SPENDS TIME IN OPPONENTS' BACKFIELD: Senior defensive tackle Matt Pollock has been one of the top run-stuffers in the Ivy League in each of the last three years and has continued that this season. He ranks fifth on the squad and first among defensive linemen with 14 total tackles, including two for a loss and one sack. In the season opener against Bucknell, Pollock was a terror. He made nine tackles, including one for a 5-yard loss. Pollock made 7.5 tackles for a loss (-26 yards) and blocked two kicks in 2004.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Junior receiver Anthony Jackson had the best game of his career in Cornell's loss at Yale. Jackson returned seven kickoffs for 162 yards (23.1 yards per return), just 36 yards shy of the school record of 198 set by Vince Bates against Brown in 2000. Jackson also made five catches for 48 yards, both team highs. He came back against Colgate to post 129 yards on six returns and caught four passes for 29 yards. On the year, Jackson ranks second on the team and 24th nationally in all-purpose yards at 137.0 yards per game.

THEY WALK THE LINE: Coming into the season, the Big Red offensive line was a big question mark. Despite the return of All-American Kevin Boothe, not one position on the line was going to be manned by the same person as in 2004. Boothe moved from right to left tackle, while junior Ted Sonnenberg switched from right guard to center. Into the lineup came first-time starters juniors Kevin Marchut (left guard), Brian McGuire (right guard) and Eric Miller (right tackle), as well as freshman reserve Steve Valenta. That group gelled well in its first game together, allowing no sacks in eight pass plays and just one tackle behind the line in 53 rushing plays against Bucknell. The Big Red line has helped Cornell average 5.1 yards per rush this season with seven rushing touchdowns and has allowed four sacks in 79 passing attempts.

AND IT'S A BIG LINE TO WALK: Cornell's two-deep on the offensive line averages 6-3 and 289 pounds, but the squad's starters are even bigger at 6-4 and 302 pounds. Senior left tackle Kevin Boothe, an All-America candidate and NFL prospect, is the biggest of the linemen at 6-4 and 327 pounds.

SETTING LONG RANGE (FIELD) GOALS: Senior A.J. Weitsman won the team's kicking job in preseason and showed why in the season opener against Bucknell, kicking a 45-yard field goal and connecting on all three extra points. His previous long was 40 yards. Weitsman then booted a pair of 40-yarders at Colgate, including a career-long 47-yard effort in the first quarter. He is now 4-of-5 on field goal attempts this year, including 3-of-3 from beyond 40 yards, and is 19-for-19 in career extra-point conversion kicks.

BIG BOOT: Sophomore punter Michael Bolling won the job in preseason, in large part because of what he lost. After slimming down to 227 pounds (shedding nearly 25 pounds since the beginning of 2004), Bolling has been a strong replacement for all-time punting leader Michael Baumgartel `05. In his first collegiate appearance, Bolling averaged 41.5 yards on four kicks, pinning Bucknell inside its own 20-yard line twice with a long kick of 50 yards. He has averaged 34.7 yards per punt this season and has placed eight of his 15 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

RUSH, RUSH: Senior Ryan Kuhn ranks second on the team in rushing, already piling up 242 yards on 47 carries for a healthy average of 5.1 yards per carry. His 80.7 yards per game ranks 48th nationally.

TUCK AND RUN: Senior quarterback Ryan Kuhn tripled his previous career high in rushing with 151 yards in the season-opening victory over Bucknell en route to Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors. Kuhn rushed for 116 yards and both of his touchdowns by halftime. He previously had scored two rushing touchdowns at Brown in his first collegiate start last season.

PASSING FANCY: Ryan Kuhn was very efficient in his passing (6-of-8, no INTs) against Bucknell, but his 49 passing yards were the fewest for a Cornell team in a game since the Big Red totalled 23 yards in a 21-17 win over Lehigh on Oct. 1, 1994. Despite playing in just five games with three starts in 2004, Kuhn managed two passes of more than 50 yards.

PASS ON THE PASS: Ryan Kuhn didn't need to about icing his arm after the game against Bucknell, as the Big Red attempted just eight passes among its 61 total plays. Cornell opened the game by running the ball on its first 23 plays (included were two shuffle passes) before Kuhn dropped back to attempt a pass with seven minutes remaining in the second quarter. Cornell then ran on its final 12 plays of the half. In the first 30 minutes, Cornell ran the ball on 35-of-36 offensive plays, gaining 239 yards on the ground.

QUARTERBACK SHUFFLE: Ryan Kuhn's 151 yards rushing against Bucknell are the most by a quarterback since Gary Wood `64 posted 168 yards against Yale in 1963. It was the fifth-highest total ever by a Cornell quarterback, as Wood holds each of the top four spots, including a 207-yard performance against Penn in 1962.

TWO FOR 100: Senior quarterback Ryan Kuhn (151 yards) and sophomore running back Luke Siwula (102 yards) each reached the 100-yard plateau in the Big Red's season-opening 24-7 win over Bucknell. It was the first time two Cornell teammates each reached 100 yards in the same game since Chad Levitt and Terry Smith posted big numbers against Yale in 1995. Levitt had 188 yards in that contest, while Smith registered 148.

DRIVING A FORD: Freshman quarterback Nathan Ford made his collegiate debut against Yale, playing the entire fourth quarter of the Big Red's 37-17 loss. He directed a pair of scoring drives, finishing the quarter 10-of-17 passing for 112 yards. He also gained another six yards with his feet. Ford set up the Big Red's second touchdown with a 37-yard pass to sophomore Luke Siwula down to the 1-yard line. Siwula then put it into the end zone on the next play. In two games off the bench, Ford has completed 13-of-24 passes for 123 yards. The native of Palo Alto, Calif., passed for 6,357 career yards and 72 touchdowns in high school while running for 19 more scores.

BLEYMAIER CATCHES ON: Freshman wide receiver Tom Bleymaier has made an outstanding impression on the Big Red coaching staff and the walk-on has earned immediate playing time. The 5-9, 155-pound native of Boise, Idaho, made his first two collegiate catches for a total of 19 yards against Yale and added two more receptions against Colgate for 24 yards. Bleymaier, who helped Bishop Kelly HS to an Idaho state title en route to first-team all-state honors, is the son of Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier.

ROMNEY STILL A WEAPON: Senior wide receiver Brian Romney has continued to be a weapon every time he touches the ball on offense or special teams. Romney caught five passes for 38 yards, had an 11-yard rush and returned three punts for 17 yards against Yale. With Cornell's reliance on the run in the season opener against Bucknell, Romney's stretch of 10 consecutive game with at least four catches came to an end. He had one catch for 12 yards in that game, but the playmaker was able to show off his return ability, bringing back two punts for a total of 41 yards, including a career-best 26-yard return. He has touched the ball 22 times (nine receptions, five rushes, eight punt returns) and has averaged 6.7 yards per touch.

ANOTHER BIG-PLAY LEMPA: Sophomore linebacker Doug Lempa, getting his first collegiate start due to an injury to senior tri-captain Joel Sussman, had quite a second quarter in the win over Bucknell in the season opener. Lempa intercepted his first career pass with 6:30 to play, then blocked a punt with 25 seconds to play in the half. Besides those two big plays, Lempa added five tackles in the win. Of course, the Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., native, has good blood lines. His older brother, Ryan `05, was an All-Ivy second-team performer and was a tri-captain for Cornell a season ago. Lempa has nine tackles on the season.

JUST FOR KICKS (BLOCKED): Cornell closed out the 2004 season by blocking a pair of field goals against Penn and picked right up where it left off with a blocked punt and field goal in the 2005 opener against Bucknell. After posting a school-record eight blocks a season ago (six of the nine opponent field goals, one punt and one extra point), the Big Red now has 10 blocked kicks in 13 games under head coach Jim Knowles.

JUST FOR KICKS (BLOCKED) II: Cornell's kick blocking schemes have been so intimidating that almost no one has been able to hit a field goal in the last two years. Big Red opponents are now just 4-of-14 with seven field goal attempts blocked in the last 13 games.

FRESHMEN ON THE FIELD: It is a Cornell tradition that in the home football opener each season, the freshman class is invited down onto the field prior to the game to form a tunnel for the team as it enters Schoellkopf Field. This year it must have looked like the freshmen never left the field. Eight freshmen saw time in the season opener against Bucknell (Tim Bax, Tom Bleymaier, Scott Boone, Brian FitzPatrick, Jamie Germani, Graham Rihn, Steve Valenta and Marcel van Eeden). Since then, Dario Arezzo, Horatio Blackman, Nathan Ford, Shane Kilcoyne, Matt Malleo, Lucas McCarthy and Brian Ostrowsky have all seen some game action, making it 15 rookies that have seen the field in 2005.

PLUS/MINUS: For the second straight year, Cornell limited its opponent to under 200 yards of total offense in the Big Red's home opener. After limiting Yale to 181 yards last season, Cornell kept Bucknell to just 195 yards this season. The Big Red defense has held four opponents under 250 yards of total offense in the last 13 games, something it had done just once prior in a game since 2000. Cornell also contained 2003 Division I-AA runner-up Colgate to 244 yards and Dartmouth to 236 yards a season ago. The only other time in this century that the Big Red had held an opponent under 250 yards was during the 2002 season when Brown tallied 248 yards of total offense.

FIRST NON-CONFERENCE WIN: The Big Red's victory over Bucknell was the first in a non-league game for head coach Jim Knowles `87. Cornell went 0-3 in non-conference play in 2004. The Big Red is now 1-4 in non-conference play the last two years.

NEW FACES ABOUND: Cornell football fans will have a hard time remembering who is who this year as 50 new faces have dressed for the Big Red in 2005. Included are 46 freshmen, a sophomore walk-on, one junior transfer and two players who returned after being away from the program a season ago.

BAND OF BROTHERS: The Big Red football team, including the coaching and support staff, will be wearing red wristbands that state the program's four core values -- commitment, pride, unity and toughness.

2005 CAPTAINS: A trio of seniors are serving as captains for the 2005 season. Offensive lineman Kevin Boothe, safety Kevin Rex and linebacker Joel Sussman are the tri-captains for Cornell's 118th season of football. Additionally, a member of the Big Red special teams also will join the captains for the coin toss prior to each game. Junior Stu Homan was the honorary captain this past weekend at Colgate.

WORST TO FIRST: Cornell's rush defense finished the 2003 season ranked last among the Ivy League's eight teams and was 104th out of 121 teams nationally in Division I-AA at 205.0 yards allowed per game. In 2004, the Big Red ranked first in the Ivy League and seventh nationally, cutting that average in half to 101.1 yards per game. The Big Red did not allow a running back to reach 100 yards in a contest a season ago.

2004 WINNING IVY RECORD MADE HISTORY: With its 4-3 Ivy League record in 2004, Cornell secured a winning record after going 0-7 in Ancient Eight play the previous year, just the second time that has happened in Ivy League history. The 1958 Yale squad went 0-7 before following that with a 4-3 mark in 1959. No team has ever won five games after going 0-7.

BOOTHE NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Senior Kevin Boothe has the reputation as being one of the can't-miss NFL prospects in Division I-AA and earned preseason All-America recognition from both the Sports Network (second team) and I-AA.org (third team). He is looking to be the first Cornell football player to earn All-America honors since current assistant coach Ricky Rahne `02 garnered honorable mention honors in 2000. The last player to earn first-team All-America honors was linebacker John Hanson in 1998.

BIG RED PLAYERS CLAIM PRESEASON ALL-IVY AWARDS FROM I-AA.ORG: Five Big Red football players, led by senior offensive lineman Kevin Boothe, were honored when I-AA.org released its annual conference awards. As a team, Cornell was picked to finish fifth among the eight teams in the Ivy League by the publication. Boothe was named Offensive Lineman of the Year, the top pro talent in the league and to the All-Ivy preseason first team. Classmate Joel Sussman was named to the All-Ivy preseason first-team at safety and was ranked the second-best defensive back and the fifth-best pro talent in the Ancient Eight. Senior running back Joshua Johnston and senior wide receiver Brian Romney were selected to be among the top five players at their respective positions in the Ivy League, while junior defensive lineman Jonathan Lucas was a preseason All-Ivy second team pick.

TWO ALUMS AMONG THREE NEW FACES ON COACHING STAFF: Former Big Red gridders Ricky Rahne '02 and Tim Simpson '94 have joined the staff as running backs and linebackers coaches, respectively. Zac Roper, a former graduate assistant coach at Mississippi while head coach Jim Knowles was on the staff, has also been hired as tight ends coach. Rahne returns to his alma mater after spending last season as an assistant at Holy Cross. He finished his career as the Big Red's all-time leader in nearly every passing category, earned the team's MVP honors three times. The three-year starter remains the career leader in completions (678), yards (7,710), touchdown passes (54) and 200-yard passing games (25). Rahne graduated with a degree in industrial and labor relations. Simpson opens his first season back at Cornell working with the linebackers after spending the 2004 season at Marist as the defensive line coach. He graduated with a degree in hotel administration after playing four seasons at defensive tackle for Cornell. Roper joins the Big Red coaching staff after working as an undergraduate and graduate assistant coach at Mississippi, tutoring the special teams. He also spent two years as an undergraduate assistant coach at Oklahoma.

COACHING STAFF RESTRUCTURED: In addition to the new hires, head coach Jim Knowles' staff has also been rearranged. Knowles takes over the defensive coordinator role, as last season's defensive coordinator, Clayton Carlin, moves over to head the offense and will work with the wide receivers. Carlin has also been promoted to assistant head coach. Brian Coon will remain with the offensive line, but has added the title of assistant offensive coordinator. Scott Kavanagh, who worked with the receivers a year ago, moves into a full-time position and will mentor the quarterbacks. On defense, longtime assistant Pete DeStefano has been named the associate defensive coordinator, while Rod Plummer will move from running backs to defensive backs coach. Brad Beerwinkel returns to coach the safeties and will add recruiting coordinator duties.

RETURNING ALL-IVY PLAYERS: After one of the greatest turnaround season in Cornell football history, five players were rewarded by being named All-Ivy and three of those players return in 2005. Additionally, Joel Sussman was a second team pick in 2002 and was headed to a second All-Ivy selection before being injured in the Harvard game on Oct. 9. He returns as a fifth-year senior in 2005.

  • Senior offensive tackle Kevin Boothe was a unanimous selection by the coaches on the offensive line. The left tackle started all 10 games and was ranked by ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. as one of the top 25 offensive linemen in the country. Boothe is a three-time All-Ivy selection and a two-time first-team pick. He was one of just eight unanimous first-team members and the only offensive lineman.
  • Senior safety Kevin Rex earned his first league honor with a second-team selection after leading the team in tackles (86) and standing among the team leaders in tackles for a loss (7.5), sacks (3.0), interceptions (2) and passes defended (5). He also forced a league-high four fumbles and recovered another. He did all of that despite changing positions mid-year after an injury to Joel Sussman. He had a career-high 14 tackles and a sack in the Big Red's historic fourth-quarter comeback win at Columbia on Nov. 13.
  • Senior wide receiver Brian Romney led the team and ranked in the top five in the Ivy League in both receptions (60) and receiving yards (760) in earning honorable mention All-Ivy accolades. He also grabbed two touchdowns. He was extremely durable, starting all 10 games, as well as consistent with at least four catches in each contest. The Ivy League Player of the Week on Nov. 1, Romney had two 100-yard receiving games in his first season at Cornell. For the year, the junior averaged nearly 13 yards per catch. Romney was also the team's primary punt returner, ranking fourth in the Ivy League in return yardage.

    POTTS AN ESPN THE MAGAZINE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT RETURNEE: Senior linebacker Patrick Potts was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District I football team in 2004. He joined Brad Kitlowski `05 in advancing to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration.

  • Potts stood fourth on the team with 55 tackles, with six tackles for a loss and three sacks. He also fell on a fumble to go along with two pass breakups. Potts had a season-high 11 tackles at unbeaten Harvard and posted two sacks and six tackles in the win over Dartmouth. He has also been tremendous in the classroom, recording a 3.45 grade point average in history.

    JOHNSTON ALSO RUNS WITH THE BALL IN THE CLASSROOM: Senior running back Joshua Johnston has also earned Academic All-District honors in the past from ESPN The Magazine. Johnston was the lone sophomore on the 2003 District I team after leading the Big Red in rushing yards two seasons ago. A two-time member of the Ivy League Honor Roll, Johnston rushed for 78 yards in a near-upset of nationally ranked Colgate and totaled 170 yards in the 2003 game. To be selected to the team, the student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or above and be a starter or key reserve. First-team all-district selections then go on to the national Academic All-America ballot. Kevin Rooney `04 was named first-team Academic-All-America in 2003, one of four Cornell student-athletes to earn that honor.

    AP NO. 1: Cornell is the only Ivy League school to be ranked No. 1 in the weekly Associated Press poll, holding the top ranking for three weeks (10/15-10/29) of the 1940 season. The No. 1 ranking ended with the historic "Fifth Down Game" against Dartmouth. The Big Red ended that campaign with a 6-2 record that included wins over Army, Syracuse and Ohio State.

    WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Cornell has won five national titles in its storied football history. The Big Red claimed at least a share of the 1915 (Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, National Championship Foundation and Parke Davis), 1921 (Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation and Parke Davis), 1922 (Helms, Parke Davis), 1923 (Sagarin) and 1939 (Litkenhous, Sagarin) titles. All five teams went undefeated and dominated their opponents. The 1915 team was 9-0 and outscored its opponents 287-50 with four shutouts. The 1921, 1922 and 1923 squads each went 8-0 and outscored their opponents 392-21, 339-27 and 320-33, respectively. The teams allowed more than one touchdown in a game just once during that 24-game span while scoring 40 or more points 14 times. The 1939 team was 8-0 and defeated Syracuse, Penn State and Ohio State.

    HISTORIC SCHOELLKOPF FIELD: Schoellkopf Field has been an indelible mark of Cornell football since it opened in 1915. A gift from Willard Straight `01 and the family of Henry (Heinie) Schoellkopf `02 made the construction possible for the current stadium. The Big Red's first year on the field was one of its best, going 9-0 and winning the national championship. In 1915, General Electric Company completed work on a flood searchlight system for the field, and in 1924 a construction project was completed to bring capacity from 9,000 to 21,500. In 1947 that was increased to its current capacity of 25,597 and a press box was added. In 1971 a gift was made to put artificial turf on the field, and it has since been resurfaced three times, the latest in 1999. A new press box was built in 1986. Schoellkopf Memorial Hall, which houses the Big Red football offices, locker rooms and a tradition room, is currently being renovated. Schoellkopf Field is the fourth-oldest Division I-AA stadium, opening in 1915. Only Penn's Franklin Field (1895), Harvard Stadium (1903) and the Yale Bowl (1914) are older. Its capacity of 25,597 ranks as the eighth-largest stadium in Division I-AA. Tennessee State's Coliseum seats 67,500 to lead all stadiums.

    ASSORTED NOTES:

  • Junior safety Adam Hollier's cousin is 2003 NFL co-MVP Steve McNair, the starting quarterback of the Tennessee Titans.
  • Sophomore Mike Pittore was a member of California's De La Salle HS team that had a national record 151-game win streak. The three-year starter on the defensive line helped De La Salle to three straight mythical national championships.
  • Senior wide receiver Brian Romney is the only member of the Big Red who is married. Romney and his wife, Angela Kay (DeMill), were married Dec. 19, 2003. The 5-9, 166-pound wide receiver was a honorable mention All-Ivy League selection a season ago.
  • Several Big Red players have parents who saw action for Cornell on the athletic fields. Freshman Shane Kilcoyne's father John `81 was a two-year letter winner on the gridiron for the Big Red. Senior linebacker Joel Sussman's father Don was a two-year letter winner for the sprint football team. Senior safety Jordan Calaguire's father Frank `73 played baseball.
  • Freshman Nathan Ford, the team's backup quarterback, and reserve safety Brant McKown are also expected to suit up for the Big Red baseball team. Freshman linebacker Marcel van Eeden will run track.
  • Junior Ryan Kiscadden helped the Big Red track and field team to its fifth Heptagonal title in three years by scoring in the outdoor meet, finishing fifth in the javelin with a toss of 199-10. Former Big Red offensive lineman Zach Beadle `05 was part of all five title-winning teams while competing in the shot put.

    STORIED RIVALRIES: The Big Red is involved in three of the top 20 most-played rivalries. Heading into the 2005 campaign, the Cornell-Penn series was ranked fifth in most games played with 111. The 92 meetings between Cornell-Columbia, ranks 12th, while Cornell-Colgate stands 17th with 86 games played. The Big Red's oldest active rivalry is with this week's opponent, Bucknell. Although the teams have met just 43 times, the squads first faced off during the 1888 season, Cornell's second year of football. The Cornell-Dartmouth and the Cornell-Penn series are the second-longest uninterrupted active series, as the teams have met every season since 1919, a span of 85 years. They trail only the Lafayette-Lehigh series, which has been played every year since 1897.

    WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY?: All of the Big Red's football games in 2005 are carried live on WHCU (870 AM) in the Ithaca area and on the internet at www.CornellBigRed.com. Barry Leonard returns for his eighth season in the booth and seventh season in the play-by-play chair, while Buck Briggs '76 is back to provide the color commentary for a fifth season. Special guests will also make appearances throughout the season. You must subscribe to the "Big Red All-Access" in order to hear the internet broadcast.

    CORNELL ALL-ACCESS: You can see live streaming video of each of the Big Red's five home games with the purchase of the Cornell All-Access pass through CSTV. For subscription information, visit Cornell's web site, www.CornellBigRed.com.

    ARE YOU SIRIUS?: SIRIUS Satellite Radio, the nation's premier provider of live professional and collegiate sports events and sports talk on satellite radio, and the Ivy League have announced a multi-year agreement to broadcast a "Game of the Week" for football and men's basketball, plus a select number of men's hockey and other games from across the Ivy League sports landscape, on SIRIUS throughout the season. The premier broadcast was the Big Red's season opener against Bucknell on Sept. 17. SIRIUS broadcasts more live play-by-play sports than any other radio outlet, providing coverage of more than 250 pro and college teams. SIRIUS is currently in a multi-year agreement to broadcast every game in its entirety of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

    BIG RED ON TV: Cornell will have at least one football game televised by the YES Network in 2005 as the Big Red marches into Princeton on Saturday, Oct. 29 at noon. Cornell's season finale at Penn on Nov. 19 could also be televised as the Ivy League and the network left the final date open to choose a contest with Ivy-title implications. The YES Network (channel 74 on Ithaca's Time Warner Cable) is available to viewers in New York, Connecticut, and large parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The YES Network is also available nationally to DIRECTV subscribers who have the "SPORTS Pack," one of the provider's premium services. The YES Network airs on DIRECTV's channel 622. The Big Red also played local rival Colgate on Sat., Oct. 1 on Time Warner Cable, which was seen locally on channel 26.

    GAME TRACKER: If you can't make it to Schoellkopf Field, you can follow the Big Red live on the internet with Game Tracker. Just follow the link on www.CornellBigRed.com for official stats updated in real-time for each of the Big Red's home games.

    COACH'S CORNER: "Coach's Corner," featuring Cornell head football coach Jim Knowles '87, is held every Thursday from 7-8 p.m. during the season, with 10 shows running from Sept. 15 until the final broadcast on Nov. 17. The live call-in show, hosted by Barry Leonard, will be sponsored by the Cornell Football Association and will originate from the Boatyard Grill. Coach Knowles will be joined by members of his staff and selected players at each show. Leonard, the voice of the Big Red football team for eight years, will talk with Knowles about the previous week's game and will give a scouting report on the upcoming opponent, as well as talking about various other topics relating to college football and running an Ivy League program.

    UP NEXT: Cornell continues its three-game homestand when it hosts Georgetown in a Homecoming showdown on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 1 p.m. It will be the second meeting between the two programs, with the Hoyas claiming a 42-20 win during the 2003 season.


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