WHAT PRINCETON MUST DO TO DEFEAT BROWN
1) Rush the passer. Brown is averaging only 2.4 yards per rush and is facing a team that is giving up only 2.9, so it is doubtful we will see more than token ground attempts to keep the Tigers honest. In a 27-16 loss at Princeton Stadium in 2014, Brown threw the ball 71 times in 86 offensive plays. Nope, not making this up and Phil Estes still is the coach. Sophomore quarterback Michael McGovern is efficient on intermediate routes and resourceful. Brown will do a lot of play-action and underneath nickel and diming, the latter hard to defend without pressure. Eyes right and hands up.
2) Trust no one who appears to have the ball. It might be a trick. Smarter than the average Bears, they have an inventive scrambler running an offense that uses motion, play action, throwbacks, reverses, and everything short of the Fumblerooski on any down from any place on the field. “It is the most diverse offense we have seen,” said Bob Surace.
3) Run the Ball. In surrendering 394 yards per game on the ground, Brown has given up 54 first downs rushing opposed to 32 passing. Numbers are skewed by ground machine Cal Poly’s 421 yards, but Rhode Island had 229 a week ago. So good teams have run the ball against them to significant success. Princeton comes in averaging 328 yards per game.
4) Win the takeaway battle. With just one fumble lost and zero interceptions thrown by Princeton in four games, this is more a generic reminder than a high-pitched alarm. But all upsets are possible if you turn the ball over enough.
5) Show Some Respect. Praise for the seniors’ leadership from Bob Surace has been unwavering and Tigers have shown zero signs of overconfidence in jumping all over the first four opponents from the first series. Just sayin’ here than human nature is human nature, that’s all. Princeton won this game 53-0 last year and the Bears are coming off a 48-0 loss to Rhode Island. All the more reason Princeton will get Brown’s best game.