Cornell Defense Sets The Tone

Yale vs Cornell

Cornell was dominant right from the start in winning its Ivy opener against Yale, and it all began with the Big Red defense. In the first half, the defensive unit created three turnovers, recorded two “four and outs” and stopped the Elis on a big fourth down play, allowing Cornell to take its 24-3 lead at halftime.

Here’s a look at Yale’s eight possessions in the opening half:

  • Four and Out—led to a Cornell touchdown
  • Interception by junior safety Nick Gesualdi—led to a Cornell touchdown
  • Interception by senior safety Justin Solomon
  • A stop on fourth and two at the Cornell 35
  • A stop at the Big Red 21 on third down, holding Yale to just a field goal
  • Four and Out
  • Fumble recovery by sophomore defensive lineman Chase Wickenheiser at the Yale 18 yard line
  • Defensive series of five plays for 16 yards, forcing the Elis to punt at its own 34

Quarterback Dalton Banks had as equally a strong first half, throwing for 235 yards. He was especially effective throwing the ball downfield.

Banks connected on a 22-yard pass to senior receiver Marshall Deutz to set up the Big Red’s first touchdown, and then had one of 15 yards to sophomore running back Chris Walker to set up the second TD. The sophomore QB completed a 19-yard pass to senior tight end Matt Sullivan and on the next play, connected on a 43-yarder to senior wideout Ben Rogers for Cornell’s third touchdown. His pass of 38 yards to junior receiver James Hubbard enabled the Big Red to end the half with a 37-yard field goal by Zach Mays.

Banks has now accounted for five touchdowns in his first two career games, going 40-for-56 (.714) for 466 yards and three touchdowns throwing the ball and zero turnovers.