After a deflating loss at the University of Pennsylvania, the football team (4-3, 3-1 Ivy League) returns home for a crucial matchup against the Yale Bulldogs (5-2, 3-1 Ivy) on Saturday. The loss to the Quakers left Brown in a three-way tie for second place with Yale and Harvard. With only three games remaining, the Bears need to win out to have any chance of winning the league championship.
The Bulldogs have also only lost to Penn inside the conference. Yale will look to avenge last year's 35-21 loss to Brown in New Haven. In order to beat the Bulldogs, the Bears will have to shut down an explosive Yale offense led by quarterback Patrick Witt. Witt, one of the best quarterbacks in the league, is averaging over 275 yards through the air per game. While their passing game has received much of the accolades, the Bulldogs also feature a consistent rushing attack averaging more than 127 yards per game, led by running back Alex Thomas.
"You can't just worry about stopping the pass because they can run the ball as well," said Head Coach Phil Estes. "We are going to try to give them diverse looks to slow them down."
The Bears will need to create pressure with their front, led by Clayton McGrath '11.5. The linebackers and secondary will also be tested as the Bulldogs feature multiple receivers capable of making plays. The Bears have set goals to prevent big plays and to limit Yale to under 100 yards on the ground, Estes said.
While stopping the balanced attack of Yale will be priority number one, the Bears themselves will look to improve upon their offensive showing at Penn. The Bears' lone touchdown was an 85-yard kickoff return by Mark Kachmer '13.
Joe Springer '11 will again lead the Bears' offense. Despite suffering an injury at Penn which forced him to leave the game, Springer will be back under center against Yale. Patrick Donnelly '13 will also see action, but most likely only in predetermined "wildcat" packages. The coaching staff would also like to see improved play in the running game and has set 150 rushing yards as a goal against Yale, according to Estes.