Columbia-Cornell Keys to the Game
Just add snow
With some snow in the forecast now, there's a chance this game won't become another shootout like the Dartmouth and Princeton games were for the Lions.
But I'm betting most of the game will be played in decent conditions, and we know the Schoelkopf AstroTurf will not get ripped up by rain, snow, or an industrial thresher.
1) Don't let Liuzza run wild
Stephen Liuzza will get the start tomorrow and that could spell doom for the Lions who have had serious trouble containing rushers, especially quarterbacks who can run. But in the Princeton game, Columbia made Tiger QB's Bill Foran and Greg Mroz pay from time to time by forcing fumbles and making hard hits. The Lions must do the same tomorrow, and with the shotgun spread Liuzza likes to run out of, there's certainly a possibility that guys like Phil Mitchell and Justin Masorti can get to him.
2) Establish the passing game
Columbia needs to get Knowlin going early and then mix in the run as something more than just a obvious breather from the passing attack. On the fast AstroTurf, I think Ray Rangel might be able to get some good gains and make what I expect to be an all-out Cornell pass rush pay.
3) Don't get caught up in the hype
"Senior Day" at Cornell has the feel of a Homecoming game some years. There should be some decent hometown fan support at the game tomorrow, but the Lions need to tune that out.