The Crimson will host the Brown Bears in their home opener tonight at Harvard Stadium. The Crimson lost a tough 31-23 game last week to a talented University of San Diego program. Quarterback Jake Smith and the offense struggled to find a consistent rhythm and the defense had a difficult time getting off the field in key situations. The Harvard defense will once again have it’s hands full tonight with Brown quarterback E.J Perry and the Bears spread attack.
Here are three keys to the game for the Crimson.
1. Keep Perry under control: Former Andover star and Boston College quarterback E.J Perry had a dazzling debut last week for the Bears. He rushed for 227 yards and threw for 183 yards. Perry factored in all five Brown touchdowns. He is the straw that stirs the drink for Brown offensively. Harvard must keep him in check as a runner. If the Crimson can get Brown into second and long and third and long situations, they can slow this offense down.
2. Ball control: Brown wants to play fast offensively and push the pace. One of the ways to slow down an explosive spread offense is by running the ball and controlling the clock offensively. Running back Devin Darrington has to be a big part of the game plan tonight. Harvard is at their best when they run the football. They need to set a physical tone, wear down the Bears small defensive front and control the clock.
3. Defense must play better: The lack of experience defensively showed last week for the Crimson in their loss to San Diego. They made some plays but couldn’t consistently get stops and the secondary struggled. They will need to play much better against a Brown offense that is more balanced than San Diego. Priority number one will be to contain Perry and not allow him to make unscheduled plays.
Final score: Harvard 31 Brown 28: This will be an entertaining game. Harvard has dominated this rivalry of late, winning eight straight against the Bears. New coach James Perry intends on changing that. Brown is good enough to win this game but Harvard has their number. The Crimson will make enough plays offensively and get a key stop down the stretch to pull it out.