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Big Red has Big Hopes for New Season
A look at Cornell Football 2013
September 17, 2013
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Cornell football opens the season with the Homecoming game this Saturday at 3 PM at Scheollkopf Field against the 1-0 Bucknell Bison.

Cornell football opens the David Archer era this Saturday as the new coach and his Big Red team take on Bucknell in the homecoming game at 3PM at Scheollkopf Field.  The visiting Bison are 1-0 after beating Marist 27-14 in their opener. 

Cornell had success last season both in the homecoming game and against Bucknell.  Homecoming 2012 was an Ivy League matchup with the Big drubbing Yale 45-6.   The following weekend they beat Bucknell in Lewisburg 15-10.  

Last season the big Red finished a disappointing 4-6 and only 2-5 in the Ivy League.  They lost a lot of shootouts, with the exception being a 45-13 rout at Harvard.  Fortunately a lot of that high powered offense returns, including now-senior quarterback Jeff Matthews.  Matthews led the Ivy League in completions and yards with 3,196 and was second in touchdowns with 18 and completion percentage at 62. He has already been named to the 2013 senior FCS Senior Scout Bowl All-America first team and the Senior Bowl watch list.  Matthews is already Cornell’s all-time passing leader and there is talk he could hear his name called at the NFL draft next April. 

Helping Matthews on offense is junior wide receiver Grant Gellatly and sophomore running back Luke Hagy, both of whom were placed on the College Football Performance Awards Watch List for All-Purpose players.  Last season Gellatly finished second in the ivies in both receiving and all-purpose yards and was named all-ivy second team for his efforts.  Hagy was a finalist for the 2012 Jerry Rice award which is given annually to the top freshman in college football, was a 2 time Ivy League rookie of the week, and was named to the FCS all-freshman team along with classmate offensive linemen Zack Wilk.  Hagy set a Cornell freshman record with 1,054 all-purpose yards.  

The Big Red are projected in the pre-season media poll to finish 6th in the Ivy League above only Yale and Columbia, which is where they finished last season.  Penn, the defending Ivy champ, and Harvard sit at 1 and 2.  In his first year at the helm, 2005 graduate David Archer hopes to prove that Cornell is better than given credit for with a goal of finishing atop the Ivies.  To get there the former Big Red QB is going to have to fix the defense which struggled last year.   The Big Red D actually played very well in the first 3 games of 2012 before injuries plagued them for the remainder of the season.  Helping the cause will be the return of top-notch Linebacker Brett Buehler, who has fully recovered and is ready to play his senior year.  The Big Red D also returns senior defensive end and 2012 tackle leader in defensive captain Tre Minor.  The top performer in the secondary is Jarrod Watson-Lewis, a sophomore cornerback who led the team in interceptions with 3.  Watson-Lewis will also return punts.

2 Cornell players who graduated last year, second team all-american offensive lineman JC Tretter and First Team All Ivy wide receiver Luke Tasker are trying to make their mark in the NFL now.  Tretter, also named First Team All-Ivy, was drafted by Green Bay in the fourth round and is on the team but has a broken ankle so he hasn’t played yet.   Tasker was signed by the Chargers after going undrafted.  He got some time in the preseason games but ultimately did not make the final roster.  Tasker is the son of former Buffalo Bills special teams star and current CBS analyst Steve Tasker. 

Once again, Cornell opens the season this Saturday at home at 3PM with their homecoming game so make sure you get to Scheollkopf and cheer on the Big Red.  

Originally Aired: Tuesday, September 17, 2013. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
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