Following a successful three-game road trip, the Princeton Tigers (3-1, 1-0 Ivy) will return home this Saturday to face the Brown Bears (1-3, 0-1 Ivy) in a critical Ivy League matchup.
Princeton is coming off a commanding 31-17 road victory against Georgetown. Offensively, Princeton was anchored by the quarterback platoon of senior Chad Kanoff, who completed 18 passes for 168 yards, and junior John Lovett, who threw one touchdown and added three more on the ground. Sophomore running back Charles Volker contributed 88 yards rushing. The Princeton defense showed great potentialagainst Georgetown, forcing five turnovers and limiting the opponent to a mere one for 12 on third down conversions. In total, Princeton gained 414 yards to Georgetown’s 188, representative of Princeton’s overall dominance.
Princeton will be looking for a similar result this weekend against a Brown team that has struggled so far this season, losing its past three games. Brown concluded its non-conference play last week against Stetson with a sloppy defeat in which Brown took a 14-0 early game lead before committing six turnovers and eventually falling 31-21. Turnovers have been an Achilles heel for Brown; it has posted a -8 turnover differential during its three-game skid. For Princeton, which boasts a +7 turnover differential in its three wins and a -3 in its only loss, continuing to win the turnover battle by capitalizing on Brown mistakes will be critical.
One particularly interesting matchup to watch will be between the Brown passing attack and the Princeton secondary. After conceding an average of 411 yards passing in its first two games, the Princeton defensive backfield has tightened considerably, only allowing an average of 161 yards through the air in its past two games, both victories. Brown quarterback Kyle Moreno averaged 221 yards passing and 2.3 touchdowns through his first three games, but he was replaced midway through the Stetson game after a turnover-riddled performance. If the Princeton defense wishes to prevent a Brown aerial resurgence, it will need to limit the impact of Moreno’s favorite target, receiver Alexander Jette, who has averaged 67.8 yards receiving for the season.
Princeton and Brown have been evenly matched in recent years — Princeton holds a 3-2 record against the Bears over the past five seasons. However, Princeton will undoubtedly be hoping to avenge last season’s heartbreaking 38-31 road defeat at the hands of Brown. As Princeton begins a stretch of six continuous games within the Ivy League, the team must look to avoid a repeat of its 2015 season, in which it began 4-0 before dropping 5 out of its last 6 games to Ivy League foes. A win against Brown this Saturday would be an excellent place to start.