Liveblog: Princeton vs. Cornell
By Damir Golac • Associate Sports Editor • November 2, 2013
After a huge win in Harvard and having won five straight games, the Tigers return to host the Cornell Big Red. The Tigers (5-1 overall, 3-0 Ivy League) have lost three straight contests to the Big Red and will need to break that streak in order to stay on track for an Ivy League title. The game is available to be viewed on ESPN3.
SCORE: CORNELL 20 PRINCETON 53
Seamus Heaney, the recently deceased poet whom many saw as the national poet of Ireland, received his Noble Prize that year. I could keep listing things from the Wikipedia entry on 1995, but instead we’ll wrap this up. Join us next week when the Tigers, who need to win two of their next three to win the Ivy League title, will make a short trip over to Philadelphia to take on Penn!
A year which saw the death of Chief Justice Warren Burger and the birth of notorious rapper Chief Keef
This is the first time that the Tigers have started 4-0 in Ivy League play since 1995, when they went on to win the Ivy League title.
Epperly’s 32 for 35 is good for the best completion percentage in Ivy League history at 91.4%.
Epperly finishes 32-35 with 325 yards, 3 passing TDs and 3 rushing TDs. The Tigers are 6-1, 4-0 Ivy League!
Glass carries twice and there are now under 40 seconds left. Ladies and gentleman, the Princeton Tigers, who were 1-9 just two years ago, are in sole possession of the top spot in the Ivy League.
…but they’ll do the gentlemanly thing and just keep handing it off to run out the clock.
And with the Tigers up by 33 with 2 minutes to go, I’ll get downright opinionated – I want to see Kanoff throw!
How is the blocking this good, when the Tigers must have at least their second string in? Will Powers went on a jaunt there for a first.
You’re correct, Damir – I believe it was the Columbia game.
Another nice run on first down – you can just feel the frustration from Cornell’s D right now.
If my memory is correct, I do believe Kanoff did enter a blowout game earlier in the season where all he did was hand the ball off.
Glass refuses to go down on that run up the middle – good luck from the young second-stringers today.
And as the Tigers get the ball back, here comes Kanoff! …to hand it off to AJ Glass.
Ty Desire – a Princeton defensive lineman, not an Anthony Weiner pseudonym – gets in there as the Tigers pull down Matthews for Princeton’s 7th sack of the game.
Bostic’s held his own though, showing off nice wheels despite being in Epperly’s shadow.
Back to over-analysis: it’s also interesting that Bostic, the sophomore, is the backup instead of rookie Chad Kanoff. Kanoff’s debut in Orange and Black is highly anticipated, as he de-committed from Vanderbilt to join the Tigers. All he’s done so far is hand the ball off and throw for TDs with the JV squad, although some people believed we’d be seeing him on the field a lot by this point in Princeton’s season.
Doesn’t have the same ring to it as it did earlier this season, when they did it for the first time in half a century.
Princeton scores 50-plus points in back-to-back games for the first time since … earlier this season.
PAT is good and it’s now 53-20 after Rhattigan’s first career TD.
Bostic has a nice run, and the freshman Rhattigan runs it in for a TOUCHDOWN!
Since the game has been decided, I’ll go ahead and over-analyze this simple decision to play Bostic: Bostic is clearly playing the backup role right now, though some think Michelsen should be officially made backup. He essentially is, the way Epperly is playing, but the Tigers would most likely still claim the two are splitting time.
As Damir predicted, it’s now Kendric Bostic in under center for the Tigers. He completes a pass to DeValve there.
As Damir said, Penn’s loss is big – barring something ridiculous, they will soon be on top of the Ivy League for the first time in… well, a long time.
And that’ll bring up 4th and 12. Cornell has less than 9 minutes to go before a long and unhappy trip back to Ithaca.
Another sack! Elijah Mitchell came from behind Matthews for his second sack of the season.
And it’s official, Brown upsets Penn to make Princeton the only team left with an undefeated Ivy league record.
I would not be surprised if that is Epperly’s last time on the field, as the Tigers now have a 4-posession lead.
It’s good! Tigers lead 46-20 with 10:24 left in the game.
And the drive stalls, so Bieck will come out for the chip shot.
Nelson runs it to the Cornell 4.
Epperly tries to get it to DeValve but it’s incomplete – wow, two incompletions for Epperly on this drive!
Joe Rhattigan, the freshman of whom we’ve seen very little all season, breaks a nice run.
We just saw consecutive handoffs to Nelson. Princeton has transitioned from super hurry-up to regular no-huddle and is clearly looking to burn time now.
Will Powers looked like he was running downhill on that one. He hasn’t been used much this game but he nearly gets the first down. On the next play, he fumbles but recovers and gets the first.
Epperly finds DeValve to bring it to the Princeton 35.
Gaffney bobbles, bobbles, then fumbles the kick, which finally goes out at the 1. Someone up there must like him though, as they say he never had control and the ball will go to the 20.
TOUCHDOWN CORNELL! Great pass from Matthews on 3rd and 15 beats the one-on-one coverage and it’s 43-20 just a few seconds into the final quarter.
Around the Ivies: Brown has essentially wrapped the game up as they are up 27-0 against Penn with less than 5 minutes to go. Yale also beat Columbia 53-12.
And the third quarter ends with Princeton up 43-13 and Cornell in Tiger territory.
Another nice pass gives the Big Red a first down on 3rd and 10. Give him any kind of time and Matthews has been on point – he just hasn’t had enough time.
Record Watch: Best completion percentage in a game with a minimum of 15 attempts is 88.8% by Dick Kazmaier in 1951. Epperly is currently at 96.7%.
Matthews’ pass knocked down right as it left his hands by Jason Ray
Big completion on 3rd and 9 – Cornell now at the Princeton 27 after a perfect pass by Matthews.
Just saying: there are almost definitely some pro scouts looking at Matthews, and Epperly is having a career day (like he does every week). Those guys must be impressed…
16-yard gain for Hagy as Cornell starts its drive
Epperly has been helped by his running game, as the Tigers have proven that when Cornell focuses on stopping the pass (which they never actually were able to do anyways), the Tigers would beat them through the ground.
Roth’s punt will put the Big Red at its own 17 with 4:22 left in the 3rd.
Roth will punt for the first time all day.
3rd and 7 now for the Tigers.
That pass was on target, but two Big Red defenders were right there.
Epperly’s first incompletion of the day comes with 5:11 to go in the 3rd.
Correction: we have six minutes to go in the 3rd.
Nelson comes in and runs it for a first though.
That play has whatever the opposite of a silver lining is, though, as Atwater is slow to get up.
Quinn Epperly has broken an FCS record: 29 straight completions to start this game!
aaand Cornell will punt again. This is becoming a blowout with a minute left in the 3rd quarter.
Matthews dodged around admirably but was eventually taken down for another sack there. Again, a relatively unknown Tiger steps up.
It initially looked like the pass might be Epperly’s first incompletion but Wilson made a great adjustment and got his foot down for the catch.
Quick pass to Hagy nets a first down, or just about.
Bieck’s kick is returned to about the 30.
TOUCHDOWN PRINCETON! Epperly’s 27th straight completion was a long one to Roman Wilson in the corner of the endzone (his natural habitat). Wilson keeps the foot in and Bieck tags on the extra point. It’s 43-13 Princeton.
Epperly’s 25th straight reception takes the Tigers to the Cornell 46.
Matthews is arguably the best passer in the league, but his O line will need to give him some time if he’s going to bring Cornell back in this one. They’ve been getting dominated so far.
SACK – Matt Landry brings Matthews down after Reid flushes him from the pocket. That’ll kill another Big Red drive.
Hagy takes it to about the 20 on 2nd and 10. Cornell is running no-huddle but it looks slow compared to Princeton.
Epperly has completed his first 24 passes of the game, a FCS record for most complete passes to begin a game. The record for most straight completions in a single game is 28.
As he has often, Matthews tries for something long on first, but can’t hit his man. Gaffney broke that one up.
72 yards in under three minutes – how do you defend against that?
TOUCHDOWN PRINCETON! Epperly hits DeValve, who had some nice YAC and hurdled a would-be tackler for 6. Bieck’s PAT is good, and it’s 36-13 Tigers.
Make that 23 – Tigers inside the 10
22nd straight completion for Epperly – he hits Wilson, who takes it to the 21.
Nelson nearly hit at the line but jukes to his right and it’s another Princeton first down. Moving incredibly fast, the Tigers are on the Big Red 30.
After completing his first catch of the second half, Epperly is within 2 complete passes of tying the FCS record for most consecutive complete passes. He is currently at 21.
Great blocking on a great run by Atwater and the Tigers are quickly at the Cornell 47.
Gaffney brings the ball to about the 25 as the second half gets underway.
Quinn Epperly is now tied with Jeff Matthews for most passing TDs in the league with 16. He also is first in rushing TDs with 14.
Despite being undefeated in league play at the moment, Penn could finish the season with a 4-3 league record as it looks like they will lose to Brown and also have games against both Princeton and Harvard left.
…one of which will be at Penn.
A (likely) Brown win would be huge for the Tigers as they would be giving a one-game cushion which would mean that the Tigers would still have at the very least a share of the Ivy league title if they lose one of their final three Ivy League games of the season.
Luke Hagy has piled up 64 rushing yards already for the Big Red, while Jeff Matthews has 129 (but also the two picks).
Here are some halftime stats for you: Epperly is perfect on the day, 18-18 with 173 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, he has three more scores and 58 yards. Costello has six receptions for 58 yards. On defense, Matt Arends has eight tackles while Caraun Reid and Joe Robin both have interceptions.
Keep an eye on the Brown-Penn game: if the Quakers lose and the Tigers win, Princeton will be in sole possession of first place in the Ancient Eight.
Around the rest of the league, Brown is up 24-0 against Penn at the moment and has possession. Yale is also continuing the Ivy League trend of beating up on Columbia, as the Bulldogs lead the Lions 43-6.
Nope, for once the Tigers will just do what’s expected and kneel it to end the first half up 29-13.
Unless something crazy happens…
The punt will pin the Tigers on their own 2, and it looks like that’ll wrap up the half.
On 3rd and 2 near the Princeton 40, Matthews is hit as he throws again.
He does also have the record for most consecutive passes overall in school history, which was set more recently in 2006 by Jeffrey Terrell over the span of two games. Quinn has 20 straight completions going back to the win over Harvard.
Hagy runs for 8 and gets out of bounds.
At least since I’ve been watching Matthews hasn’t had much time in the pocket.
Mattews and the Big Red are trying to make something happen with under a minute to go. He scrambles for a first there, with 32 seconds to go in the half.
Epperly might be approaching the record for most school records set in a season.
The old record for consecutive passes in a game was 13 set by Mark Lockenmeyer in 1980. Epperly is now at 19 straight.
That is Epperly’s 3rd rushing TD of the game and 14th of the year.
PAT good, 29-13 lead for Princeton now.
TOUCHDOWN PRINCETON! We’ve seen it all year, Epperly just lowers his head and follows his blockers. Princeton leads 28-13.
Epperly keeps it, running to the right, brings it almost to the 1.
1st and goal
Penalties were a huge factor in the last game, as both Princeton and Harvard shot themselves in the feet multiple times. That one went against Cornell, and Epperly then hit DeValve on the 10.
Epperly has been perfect on the game completing all 18 of his pass attempts. That is a Princeton record.
4th and 5: Epperly finds Costello, but a flag is down
After a few penalties, Epperly finally gets to run a play and he makes it his 18th straight completion.
The Tigers appeared to be very disciplined in the first quarter but now have two penalties on their current drive.
Very bad call by the refs. Bostic was down for a full second before the Cornell defender stripped the ball from his hands.
Tiger ball on the Big Red 31
Cornell does nothing with that drive, and the ensuing punt will land in Cornell territory.
FUMBLE – at least, according to the refs. Bostic carried and the ball went loose as he hit the ground, but the replay showed he clearly had possession when his knees hit. No replay in Ivy League football, however, so the Big Red will take over deep in its own territory.
Fumble on a run by Bostic at the 2-yard line is recovered by Cornell.
Epperly hits Costello again on play action, ball back in Big Red territory.
The Tigers have forced two interceptions due to heavy pressure on Matthews. The first came when his pass was batted up at the line of scrimmage and straight into the hands of the Tigers.
Zeuli had the big hit, which was unsurprising, but the pick was made by backup lineman Joe Robin, whom you don’t see too much of.
INTERCEPTION! Matthews was hit hard as he threw
And after that penalty, two straight false starts by Cornell.
Incompletion but the man Jakobi Johnson was covering fell down – looks like that’ll be pass interference.
Screen pass and good blocking take the Big Red to the Tiger 40. Short passes like that have been the most successful against Princeton all season.
After that quick score, Cornell is out to prove it can answer just as fast. Matthews and Hagy are almost up to Princeton territory.
Epperly runs the ball for his second rushing touchdown of the game and 13th of the season. Tigers 22, Cornell 13.
Michelsen completes a pass to Epperly who gets within a couple yards of the end zone.
Epperly launches the ball to Seth Devalve in the end zone who does not come up with the catch. Cornell is called for pass interference on the play however.
A pass and two runs by Epperly has them on Cornell’s side of the field.
Michelsen complete to Epperly! Classic. Tigers have it at the 2.
Epperly is back at quarterback and completes his first pass for 9 yards. Dre Nelson then runs for the 1st.
The Tigers will start the drive at the 20 after a Gaffney run back.
After Epperly’s very impressive play when he played the entire game against Harvard (and his play throughout the year as a whole), it is surprising to see the coaches continue to put Connor Michelsen in at QB as much as they do. It obviously did not work out this time as it lead to a Cornell turnover.
It’s getting hard to ignore the juxtaposition between Epperly and Michelsen as Epperly hits Costello and then keeps twice for a first.
Connor Michelsen is in at quarterback for the Tigers and has the ball stripped from him and returned for a touchdown. Princeton 15, Cornell 13.
Damir, can you give me a detailed recap of everything that has happened so far? Or just give me the gist of it?
Di Andre Atwater’s 15-yard line is negated as multiple Tigers held on the play.
So I just got here and it looks like I jinxed the Tigers…
On the kickoff, the ball looked as if it might roll out of bounds but Gaffney tried to scoop it up and only managed to reach the 10-yard line.
Cornell has yet to have to punt, but a turnover on the first drive of the game and being forced into two field goals in the two drives since have only seen the Big Red score 6 while Princeton has 15 points through their first two drives.
Tigers put the pressure on Matthews, forcing him to throw the ball quick. The Tigers bat the pass down at the line of scrimmage and Cornell makes the ensuing field goal. Princeton 15, Cornell 6.
The Big Red facing 3rd and goal at about the 3-yard line.
False start backs up the Big Red to the 6-yard line.
Luke Hagy breaks off for a big run to the Princeton 1-yard line.
Updates from around the league: Brown is up 21-0 against Penn in the 2nd and Yale is up 23-6 against Columbia at the half.
Cornell facing 3rd and 5 at the end of the 1st quarter. Tigers are up 15-3.
Jason Ray gets the sack for the Tigers on the following play.
Tigers get pressure on Matthews but he dumps it off to Hagy who runs it for a 24-yard gain.
The Tigers almost get their 2nd interception of the game, butt Matt Arneds is only able to swat the ball down. 3rd and 8 for Cornell.
Cornell has driven the ball to their own 40. They face 2nd and 8.
The Tigers are successful on the 2-pt conversion attempt. Princeton 15, Cornell 3.
Epperly keeps it again on second down and runs the ball into the end zone for his 12th rushing touchdown of the year.
Epperly runs the ball down the middle to the half-yard line.
Another Epperly completion has the Tigers facing first and goal inside the 5.
Three more quick completions by Epperly has the Tigers facing 2nd and 2 at the 20-yard line.
Quinn Epperly keeps the ball on the following play, running 19-yards to midfield.
Di Andre Atwater starts off the drive with a 6-yard run.
Joe Pierick is on target on the 39-yard field goal attempt, cutting the Tigers lead to 7-3. Princeton ready to return the kickoff.
Jeff Matthews throws was about 5 yards too long. Would have likely been a touchdown if it was on target.
Short gain for Cornell has them facing a 3rd and 14.
Tigers sack Jeff Matthews. 2nd and 19 for Cornell.
Grant Gellatly receives the ball behind the line of scrimmage but evades three Tiger defenders to move the ball 12 yards for a first down.
Luke Hagy gets a first down run for the Big Red, moving the ball to the Princeton 30-yard line.
A late hit by the Tigers moves Cornell into Princeton territory.
On Cornell’s first drive of the game, a Caraun Reid forced turnover gave the Tigers the ball in Cornell territory. The Tigers then drove the ball down the rest of the field, finishing the drive off with a touchdown pass from Quinn Epperly to Roman Wilson, the same combination that ended the Harvard game last weekend.
TOUCHDOWN PRINCETON! Tigers 7, Cornell 0.