POSTGAME AUDIO: BOB SURACE
The Princeton football team fell to 1-4 overall, 1-1 in the Ivy League, with a disappointing 34-0 loss to Brown Saturday afternoon in Providence.
After two weeks' worth of positives, including the Ivy-opening win against Columbia and the near comeback at Hampton, the Tigers took a step back against a Brown team that remains in the Ivy League race after losing three weeks ago to Harvard. Princeton was outgained 415-208 and converted only 3 of 15 third downs.
Freshman tailback Chuck Dibilio led Princeton with 78 yards on 16 carries, while senior quarterback Tommy Wornham completed 11 of 27 passes for 75 yards. Freshman receiver Matt Costello caught four passes for 24 yards, while junior Shane Wilkinson added three catches for 25 yards.
The Princeton defense, playing without leading tackler Andrew Starks, who was injured against Hampton, was led by Caraun Reid (nine tackles, 2.5 for loss) and Dan Fitzsimmons (six tackles). While the offense struggled to convert on third downs, the defense wasn't able to get off the field enough. Brown, led by All-Ivy quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero, converted on nine of 16 third-down attempts. Each of Brown's offensive scoring drives were at least nine plays; it was the defensive score, though, that really set the early tone.
The game couldn't have opened in a worse way for Princeton, which gave up 7 quick points despite taking the opening kickoff. On 3rd-and-long, Wornham threw a quick pass in between two receivers and directly to Brown defensive back Dan Smithwick. With nothing but green ahead of him, Smithwick went 36 yards untouched for a 7-0 lead.
Brown built the lead to 10-0 on its next possession when Alexander Norocea drilled a low kick just over the crossbar for a 39-yard field goal. With a tough crosswind blowing, Norocea did a nice job keeping the ball below the wind.
The Princeton defense kept the deficit at 10 until midway through the second quarter, when Newhall-Caballero hit Tellef Lundevall for an 11-yard touchdown pass to complete a nine-play, 76-yard drive. Brow added another touchdown before the half when Mark Kachmer picked up a missed shotgun snap, found an opening off the left side of the line and scored on a 9-yard run.
Brown added a field goal and a long touchdown pass on a wideout option pass to build the lead to 34-0 in the fourth quarter.
Brown had more than 15 minutes of possession time (37:39-22:21) and stopped Princeton on four of its five fourth-down attempts, including several in the red zone. Freshman Connor Michelsen saw his first career action in relief of Wornham and complete three passes, but his last attempt on fourth down was incomplete.
Princeton will look for a far more successful trip to New England next weekend when it travels to Harvard for a 1 p.m. start. The Crimson owns a four-game win streak over Princeton, including a wild 45-28 win on Powers Field last season.