The Tigers (3-1 overall, 1-0 Ivy League) will play their final six games of the season against Ivy League opponents, starting with a trip to Providence to face Brown (3-1, 0-1) this weekend. Despite currently being part of a three-way tie for last in the Ivy League, Brown has won its last two games, and its only loss this season was to Harvard, who stands atop many Ivy League statistical categories.
The Tigers’ three-game win streak going into Saturday is second only to Harvard, and they are currently one of the three undefeated teams in Ivy League play, the other two being Harvard and Penn. This is in large part due to their explosive offensive, which has been averaging 43.2 points per game and is ranked first in the league and fourth in the FCS.
“I think everyone’s just playing better; we’ve had another season to learn the offense, the line has been great, the receivers are making plays all over the place,” junior quarterback Quinn Epperly said. “I think that’s probably where most of our success has been and just our work and effort.”
The Tigers are averaging 529.8 yards of total offense per game. However, in Brown they will face the No. 1 defense in the league. The Bears are allowing only an average of 322.5 yards per game and boast the top pass defense. However, the Tigers have been better at forcing the opposing passer to turn the ball over and have caused six interceptions compared to the Bear’s three.
“I know how physical Brown is, I know how hard they play,” head coach Bob Surace ’90 said, adding that the team performed well defensively against Lafayette last week. ”The last time we played [Brown] there, it was one of the ugliest losses [I’ve seen],” Surace said.
That 34-0 loss back in 2011 was the last time the Tigers visited Providence.
“It was a long bus ride,” Surace added.
They were able to avenge that loss last season when they shut the Bears out 19-0 after losing sophomore cornerback Khamal Brown, who has still not been cleared to return to play, to a season-ending injury. Senior defensive lineman Caraun Reid led the team with 2.5 sacks in the game.
The Bears are tied for first in the league with 17 sacks this season; however, the Tiger offensive line has only given up one sack all year.
“I’m hoping we can continue to get through these [tight games] because we’re not going to play many blowouts anymore; I don’t see a blowout on the schedule left,” Surace added. “If it happens, I hope it’s in our favor, but if we’re going to be through these games we need thick skin.”
The Tigers will travel to Brown Stadium to face Brown on Saturday at 6 p.m.