The Yale Bulldogs host the Brown Bears on Saturday at the Bowl. Kickoff is slated for noon and the game will air on ESPN+ and NESN.
The Bears enter the contest with a 3-4 record following a shocking upset of Penn in Providence last week. Brown dominated the first half versus Penn to go up 24-7 before Penn clawed back into the contest and took a 4-point lead with 6 minutes left. Brown answered with a touchdown pass with just 1:19 remaining to secure a 34-31 win over the previously unbeaten Quakers. Junior QB Jake Willcox (6’2”, 195 lbs.) started the Penn contest for Brown but left the game with an injured finger. Senior QB Aidan Gilman (6’3”, 220 lbs.) took control of the offense and performed very well completing 22 of 38 passes for 245 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. Brown features an explosive offense with various attack strategies from traditional runs, wildcat QB runs, quick passes to the outside, passes to the running backs, and deeper slants and post routes. Senior RB Allen Smith (5’11”, 205 lbs.) leads the Bears in rushing with 222 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. Sophomore RB Jordan DeLucia (5’11”, 215 lbs.) is a tough back to bring down and leads Brown in yards per carry at 4.6. Brown likely has the third best receiving corps in the Ivy League behind Princeton and Yale. Senior WR Wes Rocket (6’0”, 185 lbs.) was a 2nd Team All-Ivy performer last season and has hauled in 31 receptions for 396 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior WR Hayes Sutton (6’1”, 200 lbs.) led the Bears in receptions last season and remains Brown’s favorite target this season with 39 receptions for 363 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rounding out the receiving corps is junior Graham Walker (6’3”, 215 lbs.) who was named a Sophomore All-American last season by HERO Sports. The Brown offensive line averages 291 lbs. across the board and has improved tremendously from previous seasons. The Bears’ line is an experienced unit with 4 starters seeing action in 2021. Penn was able to sack Brown quarterbacks 4 times and limited the rushing attack to just 1.9 yards per carry, however, the quick passes that Brown utilizes effectively neutralized the pass rush in most cases. This will be the toughest challenge for our secondary since Week 1 at Holy Cross.
Coach Perry has upgraded the Brown defense, but the Bears have not been consistent enough to shut down offenses for two halves. Penn was limited to just 7 first half points a week ago before posting 24 points in the second half to turn the potential rout into a thriller. The strength of the Bears’ defense lies in the secondary. Senior DB Cooper DeVeau (6’0”, 190 lbs.) and sophomore DB Isaiah Reed (6’0”, 180 lbs.) lead the Ivy League in passes defended with 1.17 per game and 1.14 per game respectively. Reed also leads the team in tackles with 36 total tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Junior LB Isaiah Gamble (6’2”, 230 lbs.) leads the linebackers with 32 tackles but did not participate in the Penn contest. Senior LB Malcom Brunson (6’1”, 225 lbs.) and sophomore LB Kaleb Ross (6’0”, 225 lbs.) have played well combining for 38 total tackles. Senior OLB Junior Gafa (5’10”, 220 lbs.) was a 2nd Team All-Ivy performer in 2021 who returned from an injury last week to rack up 4 tackles and a sack versus Penn. Brown’s defensive line could be the weakest unit of the team allowing 5.3 yards per rush and only sacking opposing quarterbacks 9 times. Controlling the clock and creating holes for Peterson and Pitsenberger will be crucial to success this week.
Sophomore K Austin Alley (5’10”, 165 lbs.) saw his first collegiate action versus Penn and connected on both field goal attempts of 35 and 27 yards. Senior P Michael Walsh (6’2”, 215 lbs.) is averaging just 32.8 yards per punt on the season yet boomed one punt against Penn for 52 yards. Felton and Lindley should have opportunities for big returns as Penn returned a kickoff for a 97-yard touchdown.
Go Bulldogs! Beat the Bears!