Bryan Walters' punt return for a TD made it 21-0 (CREDIT: Cornell Athletics)
Cornell 34 Columbia 14
Why Cornell Won
The opening kickoff returned for a TD by Cornell's Shane Kilcoyne set the tone. Columbia was actually doing a decent job on kick coverage this year, but the Big Red also got a punt return for a TD later in the 1st quarter. QB Stephen Liuzza performed as billed, running brilliantly and even passing well overall. The Cornell defense did a great job stiffening up when the Lions got deep into Big Red territory.
Why Columbia Lost
The special teams breakdowns, albeit against super Cornell return men, were killers. As were the offense's general inability to finish drives with points. The defense created no turnovers and could not stop Liuzza when it counted.
Key Turning Point
After the opening kickoff return for a TD, the Lions drove to the Cornell 44 before the drive stalled. Then after forcing the Big Red to punt, the Lions drove to the Cornell 16 but had a field goal attempt blocked.
-Austin Knowlin made two impressive grabs for Columbia TD's, giving him 10 touchdown receptions on the season and 11 overall.
-I was generally pleased with backup QB Shane Kelly's play after he took over late in the third quarter. He seemed to throw the ball well and he is more mobile than Craig Hormann.
-Hormann still had a decent game overall. He did not throw an interception and avoided a few sacks by taking hits and not going down. I expect to see him end his collegiate career in strong fashion next week against Brown.
-Alex Gross made a number of great tackles, many of them really hard hits.
Technical difficulties wrecked havoc with our broadcast all day. I want to apologize to all the fans who missed parts of the game or our commentary. But my special thanks to the staff at Schoelkopf Field who did everything to help us.
It was a tough day all around.