Brown Notes

The Bulldogs maintained their momentum with a 36-17 win over Brown on the road. Yale improved to 5-3 (3-2 Ivy) heading into the historic rivalry matchups with the opportunity to determine its own fate.

Grooms had a marvelous showing in his last career contest versus the Bears as he completed 15 of 27 passes for 220 yards, 4 TDs, and 3 interceptions. Ignore the interception total as two passes bounced off receivers in the end zone and the other interception came on a poor play call that Brown sniffed out based on Pantelis’ earlier screens. Grooms put the team on his shoulders in this contest as he picked apart a solid Brown secondary with pressure in his face and had tough runs to move the chains. Grooms led the squad in rushing with 21 rushes for 102 yards (4.9 yards per carry). The offensive line had an up and down performance as they allowed 3 sacks and failed to open rushing lanes for Pitsenberger and Alston but did deliver clean pockets at times and were able to spring Peterson loose. Having three top running backs with varied styles really paid off in this contest as the slight difference in timing and reads made it difficult for Brown to contain Peterson once they had adjusted to Pitsenberger’s style. Hawes returned from an injury yet still seemed to be dealing with some level of pain as he dropped two crucial passes in an uncharacteristic manner. The Bears simply could not contain Tipton as he raced ahead of defenders for 7 catches for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns. The wheel route to Peterson that resulted in a 45-yard touchdown was one of the best play designs that we have seen all year. Pantelis has returned to peak form and racked up 40 yards on 4 catches. Princeton does a tremendous job limiting rushers and shutting down WR screens, so the offensive staff has their work cut out for them in designing a successful attack strategy this week.

The defense held a dangerous Brown offense to just 10 points and 5 of 17 on 3rd down attempts. The defensive line had one of its top performances of the season as they controlled the line of scrimmage and delivered several hits on Willcox. Aside from the reverses that caught the Bulldogs off guard, Brown’s rushing attack never found its footing with just 2.3 yards per carry on the afternoon. The starters along the front (Patterson, Gulley, Egodogbare, and Shaber) were very stout but it was a true group effort with big plays from McDonough, Yang, Mauney, Oxendine and Larry. The linebackers had a great showing with Vaughn leading the team in tackles, Moore delivering punishing blows, and Baker intercepting a pass as well as recovering a fumble. Kamara continued to impress with 5 tackles, an interception, and a hit on the QB. Daniyan keeps getting better and better and posted 6 tackles along with a key forced fumble after a long rush by the Bears. Owens provided tight coverage and stalled an important Brown drive with a TFL on 3rd down. Guyton had a rough contest as he was burned on at least two occasions, although with Tarver out of position at times, he did not have much safety support. Cleaning up the mistakes in the secondary will need to be a point of focus in practice this week as Princeton has the best pure passer in the Ivy League and a cast of explosive wideouts.

The special teams units had a rocky start with a PAT blocked after Yale’s first touchdown, but bounced back to have their top performance of the year. Felton returned 3 kickoffs for a whopping 129 yards to give Yale great field position. Freshman Phoenix Grant blocked a punt that was recovered by Zion Dayne. Dayne also delivered a crushing hit on the first play of the game after Brown’s kick returner had difficulty securing the ball. Bosman made his only field goal attempt, a 21-yarder in the 2nd quarter, and placed 2 of his 4 punts inside the red zone.

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