Brown Shuts Down Yale, 20-0, For First Shutout Over Bulldogs Since 1949
"AJ and our defense were incredible," said Brown head coach Phil Estes. "He baited Yale into a couple of tough throws that he intercepted. Our defensive line also did a good job of pressuring the quarterback. Holding Yale to no third down (0 for 10) or fourth down (0 for 2) conversions is an outstanding effort."
Brown's defense came into the game ranked second in the nation in tackles for a loss and recorded eight tackles behind the line of scrimmage against the Bulldogs. Senior Luke Miller's two tackles for a loss led Brown.
The Bears held Yale to just 22 passing yards and four of 18 completions.
Senior linebacker Stephen Zambetti had eight total tackles to lead the Brown squad, while senior Ade Oyalowo registered five solo tackles and recovered a fumble. Cruz finished the game with four tackles to go with his two interceptions.
Offensive, Bears' senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly turned in an efficient performance, completing 24 of 38 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Donnelly also ran for 50 yards. Senior wide receiver Tellef Lundevall caught seven passes for 92 yards, while junior tailback Cody Taulbee led the Bears' rushing attack with 52 yards on 13 carries.
Yale sophomore tailback led all rushers with 104 yards on 20 carries.
Cruz intercepted Yale early in the first quarter, picking off his 11th career pass and third of the season, at the Bears 20 yard line. Cruz would later make his 12 career interception that ranks 4th in the Brown book, two shy of Brown's all-rime record of 14.
"The coaching staff did a good job of preparing us for the Yale's Wildcat offense," said Cruz. "The defensive line and linebackers also did a fantastic job."
The Bears took advantage and drove 80-yards in 10 plays for the game's first touchdown with Donnelly connecting on a three-yard scoring pass to junior Cody Taulbee with 5:00 left in the opening quarter to give the Bears a 7-0 lead.
Brown extended its lead when junior Alex Norocea booted a 37-yard field goal with 10:32 left in second quarter, giving the Bears a 10-0 lead at the half, as the Bears' defense held the Elis to just six passing yards at intermission.
Norocea booted a 46-yard field goal with 8:52 left third quarter to extend the Brown advantage to13-0.
The Bears broke the game open when Donnelly threw a 25-yard strike to junior wide receiver Jordan Evans in the end zone for a 20-0 lead with 4:26 left in the quarter, capping a 75-yard, five play scoring drive.
Brown plays its final road game of the season, traveling to Hanover, New Hampshire, on Saturday, November 10, to battle the Dartmouth Big Green. Game time is 1:30 p.m. at Memorial Field.