On a chilled 55 degree night in Providence, the Brown Bears were able to reclaim the Governor’s Cup in the 102nd meeting against the University of Rhode Island Rams. Brown now progresses to 73-27-2 against the Rams, winning six out of the last seven games.
The Rams were looking for back to back Governor’s Cup victories for the first time since 2006-2008 and came out on a mission at the beginning of the game. After a Brown three and out to begin the game, the Rams returned the favor and went three and out on their first drive as well.
However a Justin Hogan hit forced Boylan, the Brown return man, to fumble, and gave URI the ball right back on their own 46. The very next play a handoff to Harold Cooper resulted in a 54 yard touchdown run and a quick lead. URI was able to force Brown to another punt on the next drive, however a fumble forced by Howard Strachan gave Brown the ball back on the URI 24. After moving quickly down to the one yard line, the Rams defense got stingy with a great goal line stand, holding the Bears to only three, their lone score of the first half.
After trading the possession arrow back and forth for most of the first half, an L. B. Mack III sack resulted in a Thomas Linta fumble recovered by Mike Ezirike. Now with the ball at the Brown 14 yard line, quarterback Tyler Harris connected with Khayri Denny on the very next play for a 19 yard score and 14-3 lead, which URI would carry into the half. This lead would be short lived.
Halftime adjustments were the name of this game, as a Brown offense that had stalled most of the first half exploded for 225 yards in the third quarter alone. Brown scored on all three of their third quarter possessions and blew the game open, making it 24-14 and reclaiming all the momentum URI had had in the first half. The URI defense was able to make adjustments after the third, as Brown would not score the rest of the game. On their second drive of the fourth quarter, URI was able to drive 59 yards down the field, finding the end zone on a Aaron Parker 25 yard touchdown reception from Tyler Harris. His seventh straight game with a touchdown reception, tying a URI record previously set by Bobby Apgar. It was also Parker’s third game in a row with over 100 receiving yards. “He’s a very good playmaker,” quarterback Tyler Harris said of Parker. “Makes my job easy.” After another Brown drive stalled, and URI marched 63 yards down the field to set up a game tying field goal from 39 yards for C.J. Carrick, who missed wide left.
Third downs were a problem for URI Saturday night, going 2 of 15 for the entire game. “We had plenty of opportunities we didn’t take advantage of,” Coach Jim Fleming said during the postgame press conference. “Third down conversions once again were a problem. There’s a lot to look at.” The Rams will now enjoy a bye week as they look forward to going up against the 1-2 University of Maine Black Bears on October 14th in Orono, with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m.