Oct. 2, 2004
Kingston, Rhode island - A Titanic defensive effort by the Brown defense held the University of Rhode Island offense to just one touchdown, as the Bears earned a 20-13 victory over the Rams and re-claimed the Governor's Cup, symbolic of Rhode Island football supremacy. Junior runningback Nick Hartigan proved to be the difference for the Bears' offense, rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri '65 attended the game and presented the 89th Annual Governor's Cup to exuberant Brown team at midfield following the game's completion.
Before the game, the prognosticators had predicted a high scoring affair. Brown's offense was averaging 34.5 points a game and the Rams' 39.7 points.
It was an ominous start for Brown, as sophomore quarterback Joe DiGiacomo was picked off on the Bears' first play from scrimmage, giving Rhode Island the ball on the Bears 23-yard line. The Bears' defense rose to the occasion and stopped the Rams, thanks to a quarterback sack by junior linebacker Tim Cotter.
The Rams got on the scoreboard midway through the first quarter when DiGiacomo was stripped of the ball in the offensive backfield. Rhode Island picked the loose ball and ran it back 34 yards for a touchdown to grab a 7-0 advantage.
Brown's defense stepped up once again when senior linebacker Scott Epperson forced a fumble that was recovered by senior outside linebacker Anjel Gutierrez at the Brown 41-yard line. Head coach Phil Estes decided to test the Rams defense with the Bears' running attack.
Hartigan, the nation's sixth leading rusher, answered the call, rushing four times for all 59 yards in the drive, scoring the game-tying score on a 10-yard run. Hartigan gave the Bears the lead for good, 14-7, when he capped an 80-yard, 13-play drive, exploding into the end zone from 10-yards out with 7:07 left in the second quarter.
Following a Rhode Island touchdown that cut Brown's lead to 14-13, freshman Steve Morgan booted a 23-yard field goal just before the end of the half to give Brown a 17-13 lead at intermission.
The second half belonged to the Bears' defense, limiting Rhode Island's vaunted rushing attack to just 67 yards, and holding the Rams scoreless. The only points of the half belonged to Brown's Morgan, who booted a 28-yard field goal with 13:56 remaining in the game, giving the Bears the final margin of victory.
Brown's defensive effort was led by Cotter, who finished with 12 total tackles and two quarterback sacks for a loss of eight yards. Gavin Logan, a native of nearby South Kingston, Rhode Island, made eight tackles.
Overall, nine different Brown players were credited with tackles for a loss. Anjel Gutierrez had two quarterback sacks to go with his four tackles, and junior Pat Curran had six tackles, including two for a loss. Sophomore linebacker Zak DeOssie was credited with seven total tackles.