Sports

Dynamic duo drove football’s Saturday night win

Patrick Donnelly ’13.5 and Tellef Lundevall ’13.5 connected for 10 completions Saturday

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, October 7, 2013

“I love the Governor’s Cup. I love having it,” were the first words out of Head Coach Phil Estes’ mouth following Saturday’s 31-14 win over the University of Rhode Island. The Bears put a disappointing loss to Harvard in the rearview mirror by overpowering their in-state rival in a convincing 17-point victory. Here’s a breakdown of Bruno’s big night under the lights at Brown Stadium.

 

What’s strong

Donnelly to Lundevall. After a preseason All-Ivy selection, receiver Tellef Lundevall ’13.5 was expected to be the recipient of the lion’s share of pass attempts from quarterback Patrick Donnelly ’13.5.

It was clear the duo was on the same page Saturday night. Not only did they connect for 10 completions and 86 yards, but the tandem was responsible for five first downs, including two crucial third-down conversions.

The physical 6 foot 5 receiver is not a big-play threat, instead operating along the sideline to give Donnelly an important safety net.

The Bears’ passing game is what separated them from the Rams Saturday as Bruno nearly doubled URI yardage through the air, and if Donnelly and Lundevall stay connected, the high-octane numbers will continue.

 

What’s wrong

It is difficult to pinpoint problems in a 17-point victory, but the running game had some serious question marks in the first half. After John Spooney ’14 took the first play 73 yards for a touchdown, Bruno running backs managed just 17 yards the rest of the half, including a handful of runs for negative yardage.

The offensive line appeared to be responsible for the faltering run game. On multiple occasions, URI defenders met Spooney before he could get to the line of scrimmage. The outside running game — which gives Spooney a chance to showcase his speed and powered the Bruno offense in the Harvard loss — was non-existent Saturday. To the credit of the offensive line, Donnelly experienced minimal pass rush as the offense turned to the air in the second quarter, but the running backs will need to make more of a first-half impact in Ivy League play.

 

What’s new

A 62-yard running performance Saturday confirmed a surprising early-season trend: Patrick Donnelly can run. The quarterback has found success scrambling out of designed pass plays and averaged over 10 yards per carry while the running backs had some early troubles.

After just three games, Donnelly has carried the ball for 117 yards, a pace that will blow away his 197-yard season mark in 2012. Donnelly’s legs have also come through at critical moments. In each of the first three games, Donnelly has scrambled to convert a third down on drives that ended in touchdowns. Donnelly said he is “not going to leave yards on the field” this season, and this new dimension could make for a dangerous Bruno offense going forward.

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