The Monmouth Hawks are back home to host the Big Red of Cornell at Kessler Field at Monmouth Stadium at 1 p.m.

Monmouth at St Francis (Monmouth Athletics)


Monmouth's Darnell Lewis (Townsquare Media NJ)

Saturday’s game marks the second time that Cornell and Monmouth have met, with the Big Red winning the only ever matchup between the schools last year, 41-38. Last year’s meeting was the first time the Hawks had ever faced an opponent from the Ivy League, and earlier this season MU notched the program’s first win over an Ivy with a 37-14 win at Columbia in Week 5.

Monmouth is looking to get back to .500 on the year after a loss at Saint Francis a week ago. Prior to that setback, the Blue and White had won three in a row, recording wins over Holy Cross, Columbia, and Robert Morris. Running backs Julian Hayes and KB Asante both rushed for over 100 yards in four games in a row, including the three wins, before having that streak snapped in Loretto last Saturday.

Fifth year senior Dave Damirgian leads the team with 42 tackles. He is second on the squad with 7.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. Darnell Leslie leads the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Cornell enters West Long Branch off of a loss at home to Harvard, 34-24. The Big Red sit at 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the Ivy League, with their lone win coming in Week 1 over Bucknell. Today will be the final non-conference test for Cornell, with the rest of their schedule containing Ivy League contests.

The Cornell offense runs through quarterback Jeff Mathews, who has thrown for 1,444 yards and ten touchdowns in four games. He has completed over 67% of his passes, and is averaging 361 yards per game. Last week against Harvard, Mathews completed 39-of-56 for 472 yards and two scores. It was the most passing yards by an individual ever against Harvard, and the fifth most of Mathews career in a single game. Wideouts Ty Bostain and Grant Gellatly each cracked 100 yards receiving on the afternoon.

The coaching matchup:

Kevin Callahan is in his 21st season at Monmouth as the Hawks’ head coach. Callahan owns a 117-95 career coaching record, all with Monmouth. Callahan is one of 21 active head coaches in the FCS with over 100 career victories and his 117 victories ranks 15th among active FCS coaches. The only coach in Monmouth history, he has led the Blue & White to five conference championships, in 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006.

Callahan has earned NEC Coach of the Year accolades in 1998, 2003 and 2006. Prior to arriving in West Long Branch, Callahan served as defensive coordinator at Colgate for eight seasons and at Wagner for three years. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Albany (1977-79) and Syracuse (1980) before becoming a Seahawk assistant in 1981.

Cornell is led by first year head coach David Archer, who became the nation’s youngest head coach at (33 years old) when he took over his roll on January of 2013. Archer, a former Big Red captain, spent the previous six seasons as an assistant coach with Cornell while serving as recruiting coordinator. Most recently he coached Cornell’s fullbacks and tight ends but has also spent time mentoring the running backs, linebackers and offensive line.

Archer was a three-year starter along the offensive line for Cornell, where he served as captain his senior season. His only other coaching experience came in 2006 when he worked with the linebackers at FDU Madison.

Inside the Monmouth-Cornell series:

The Hawks and Big Red have met just once on the gridiron, and it came last season in Ithaca, N.Y. Cornell took the first ever meeting 41-38 in a game where both offenses totaled over 500 yards. Kyle Frazier threw for a school record 451 yards in the loss, completing 35-of-45 for four touchdowns, including an 85 yard touchdown pass to Tristan Roberts.Roberts caught seven passes for 174 yards and the score.

Ten different Hawks registered receptions, including five apiece for Neal Sterling and Lamar Davenport, while Thaddeus Richards and Tyler George each caught four. Frazier also rushed for 62 yards, giving him 513 yards of total offense, also a Monmouth record. Sterling caught a touchdown with 1:08 to go to make it a three point game, but Cornell was able to recover the onside kick and run out the clock.

Chris Amrhein was under center for the Big Red that afternoon, and completed 33-of-56 for 523 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Luke Tasker led the Cornell wideouts with eleven receptions for 280 yards and a score. In the shootout, running back Silas Nacita only rushed for 20 yards but found the endzone four times.

Monmouth Against the Ivy League:

Monmouth University is 1-1 all-time against members of the Ivy League, getting its first win earlier this season with a 37-14 victory against Columbia.

Last season MU fell to Cornell in a 41-38 back and forth affair, In that game Hawk QB Kyle Frazier set Monmouth records in passing yards with 451, completions with 35, and total offense yards with 513. The Hawks put up over 600 yards of total offense on the day, but Cornell was able to notch 581 of their own.

Did You Know?

History was made on Sunday night when two former Monmouth football players faced each other in a regular season NFL game as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Washington Redskins. Austin did not catch a pass while Jose Gumbs recorded a tackle in his first NFL game for the Redskins.