The Bulldogs travel to Providence this Saturday for a 12:30 PM contest versus the Brown Bears. It will be the coldest game that Yale has played in so far this year with the temperature at kickoff slated to be 39 degrees. The game will be aired on ESPN+.
Brown’s offense is led by the dynamic junior dual threat quarterback EJ Perry. Perry has thrown for 1905 yards (272 yards per game), 14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions behind a beleaguered offensive line. When the pocket collapses, Perry is a fantastic runner who leads the Bears with 554 rushing yards (79 yards per game). Sophomore running back Allen Smith is very quick out of the backfield and is averaging an impressive 4.7 yards per carry. Senior wide receiver Jakob Prall has been the go-to wideout for years and while he’s no Buddy Farnham, he has the ability to get behind our secondary for big plays. Senior wide receiver LJ Harriott torched our defense three years ago and will pose matchup problems for our defensive backs with his size, speed and strength. The offensive line has been the main weakness for Brown all season, yet EJ Perry’s rare athletic ability has allowed the Brown offense to keep churning despite the lackluster play at the line of scrimmage. Brown has improved tremendously from week one and narrowly lost to Cornell and Penn over the last two weeks. Coach Perry has a very aggressive offensive strategy as Brown often declines to punt the ball on fourth down even in poor field position.
The heart of the Brown defense is senior defensive tackle Michael Hoecht. Hoecht has been dominant since his freshman season and is on pace for an All-Ivy year with 32 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Brown’s linebacking corps suffered a setback when their 265 lb. middle linebacker Kingsley Ejiogu-Dike was injured earlier in the season. Sophomore linebacker Jason Medeiros has helped fill the void leading the team in tackles with 37. Senior linebacker Brendan Pyne has been solid as well racking up 36 tackles. Coach Perry has played a number of freshmen extensively in this rebuilding season and defensive back Cooper Deveau could be the most talented of the bunch accumulating 28 tackles, 5 pass breakups and 1 fumble recovery. Brown’s secondary has struggled against strong aerial attacks giving up 101 first downs through the air and allowing opposing quarterbacks to average 337 passing yards.
Kicker Dawson Goepferich has made 4 of 7 field goal attempts this season, but just 1 of 4 attempts beyond 30 yards. Goepferich is also Brown’s starting punter averaging just under 40 yards per punt with 7 punts placed inside opponents’ redzones. Brown’s punt return and kick return units have been below average for the Ivy League averaging 4.5 yards and 18.7 yards respectively.
Brown is a quality opponent that cannot be overlooked this week. Most importantly, this is the last opportunity for the Bulldogs to improve before difficult contests versus the Tigers and Crimson. We need Princeton to knock off Dartmouth this week to stay in the hunt for an Ivy title after Harvard’s last minute blunder versus Dartmouth last week.