The Iowa/Iowa State game on Saturday will be the most talked about rivalry in the state but the oldest rivalry will be played in Cedar Rapids when Coe hosts Cornell. It will be the 123rd meeting in a series which dates back to 1891.
Cornell coach Vince Brautigam says they are honored to play in the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi. He says the Rams will need to match Coe’s strength along the line of scrimmage to have a chance. “I think Coe has always been good up front,and I think that’s where their strength is. They have skill kids, but I think I think their up front guys make a lot of things happen,” Brautigam says.
Coe rushed for 213 yards in a season opening 23-22 win at Monmouth. Brautigam says Coe’s run game has always been exceptional, and while they can throw the ball, he says it’s no secret you have to stop the run against them.
Coe coach Steve Staker says the Rams have made great progress with Brautigam as head coach and that was on display in their 45-14 season opening win over Lawrence University last weekend. “He’s doing his darndest over there to make it a rivalry and last year I think they closed the gap a little bit,” Staker says. He says watching the tape it shows they continue to improve and will be a tough test Saturday.
The Cornell offense is led by senior quarterback Juan Flores, who passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s win.
Coe has dominated this series for more than a decade with 13 straight wins and that history has Staker concerned.
“I told the players…this is not the same Cornell team we’ve faced in the past,” Staker says. He says they are feeling good after their opening win and can come in and knock them off if his team doesn’t play better than they played last week.
Cornell’s last victory in the series was a 32-23 win back in 1999.