PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Redshirt junior Price Wilson (Marietta, Ga.) completed a single-game program record 37 passes for 387 yards and the Bryant University football team racked up 485 yards of total offense but it wasn't enough as the Bulldogs rally fell short in a 28-23 loss to in-state rival Brown on Saturday afternoon at Brown Stadium.
The Bulldogs (1-2) controlled most of the possession, running 102 plays, but the Bears (1-0) used two big offensive plays – a 95-yard kick return score and a 50-yard run – to defeat the Black and Gold for the third time in four meetings.
Brown led by 11 heading into the fourth quarter on Saturday before the Black and Gold pulled within five on a two-yard TD reception by senior Pat Danner (Plymouth, Mass.). Bryant then had two chances to take the lead but was stopped on a 4th-and-1 from the Brown 27 before throwing an interception as time expired.
Brown 28, Bryant 23
Records: Bryant (1-2), Brown (1-0)
Location: Brown Stadium | Providence, R.I.
COACH PERRY'S COMMENTS
"I was very proud of the way the kids played. It was good to see some things but there will be some things we'll look at tomorrow to get better on. We made some huge strides this week in practice and I was very happy with that end of it. Now we'll make sure we make the corrections necessary so when we get in those close games against very good football teams in the future we'll win them."
- Down 28-23 with 4:55 left, Bryant's defense forced a quick three-and-out. Senior Matt Sewall (Portsmouth, R.I.) then returned the punt 27 yards to the Brown 47. The Bulldogs picked up a first down on a nine-yard reception by senior Tom Kennedy (Farmington, N.Y.) but faced 3rd-and-2 after a four-yard reception by junior Vincent Nisivoccia (Nutley, N.J.). Bryant then tried to pick up the first down with back-to-back QB runs, first from Wilson and then from grad student Devin Ray (Bedminster, N.J.), but both were stopped shy of the first down, giving the ball back to Brown.
- Bryant's defense then stopped the Bears again, giving the Black and Gold the ball back with 1:31 left. The Bulldogs converted on a 4th-and-1 to put the ball at midfield but Wilson was hit as he attempted to throw a second-down pass and the ball bounced back to the Bryant 29. The officials ruled it a fumble instead of an incomplete pass and the Bulldogs were unable to convert on third and long.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Bryant scored first for the first time this season as sophomore Gavin Rowley (Hampstead, Md.) capped a 10-play, 85-yard drive with a 24-yard field goal. The drive was nearly derailed early as Sebastian Dovi intercepted the ball on the third play, but the Bulldogs were given the ball back after Brown was whistled for a roughing the passer and a holding call.
- The Bulldogs' only lead of the afternoon was short lived as Brown' Scott Boylan returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. Boylan faked a reverse and then went untouched up the Brown sideline for the score.
- Brown extended its lead with another big play in the second quarter. The Bulldogs' defense had been stout so far but on 3rd-and-4 from midfield, Brown QB Nick Duncan found a seam and raced down the field for a 50-yard TD to make it 14-3.
- Junior Thomas Costigan (Stamford, Conn.) gave Bryant a chance late in the half as he sacked Duncan and forced a Brown punt. Bryant followed with a quick six-play, 62-yard drive to make it 14-10 with 51 seconds left in the half. Kennedy made an outstanding grab along the sideline to pick up 27 yards and Wilson found Sewall wide open down the middle on the very next play for a 17-yard TD.
- Brown opened the second half with a 12-play, 65-yard drive to regain an 11-point edge. It appeared the Bulldogs had forced a three-and-out but Brown faked the punt and Isiah Thompkins ran 17 yards to pick up the first down. A 21-yard completion to LJ Harriott put the ball inside the Bryant 10 and Duncan capped the drive with a 5-yard run.
- Bryant immediately answered, needing just eight plays to go 72 yards. Junior Brenden Femiano (Northport, N.Y.) picked up 13 yards on the ground to put the ball at midfield and sophomore Josh Gebing (Cincinnati, Ohio) picked up 14 with his first-career catch. Four plays later, Wilson and Sewall connected again, this time for 18 yards, to make it 21-17.
- The Bulldogs' defense used the momentum to force a Brown punt on the next possession. Bryant then handed the ball to Femiano on 3rd-and-1 from Bryant 44 and he picked up the first down but Jay Williams' hit knocked the ball free and Brown recovered. It then took the Bears just four plays to score as Duncan connected with Isaac Whitney for a seven-yard TD.
- Bryant had a chance to pull closer at the beginning of the fourth quarter but a 14-play drive stalled on the Brown 5 as Wilson was sacked on fourth down.
- After a quick three-and-out from the Bears, Bryant manufactured another 14-play drive that resulted in seven points. The Bulldogs converted on fourth down three times during the drive. Wilson connected with Sewall and Nisivoccia for 12 yards each on a pair of 4th-and-6s, while Ray capped the drive with a two-yard TD pass to Danner. Ray faked the QB lead and then dumped it to a wide-open Danner in the endzone.
- Bryant went just 4-of-21 on third downs but 6-of-9 on fourth downs in the game.
- Bryant posted 29 first downs in the game, the most this season.
- The Bulldog defense held Brown to just 12 first downs and 312 yards of total offense.
- Wilson finished 37-of-54 for 387 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 16 times and gained 46 yards. He was sacked seven times, however, for a loss of 70 yards.
- Kennedy led Bryant's receivers with eight catches for 137 yards, both career highs.
- Sewall finished with eight catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
- Femiano finished with 92 yards on 13 carries.
- Costigan led the Bryant defense with eight tackles and two sacks.
- Thompkins and Dewey Jarvis combined for 20 tackles, six sacks and six tackles for a loss for Brown.
- Bryant set a single-game program record with the 102 plays that it ran. The previous record was 101 back in 2000, Bryant's second year of football.
- The Bulldogs turned the ball over twice and now have 15 turnovers in the first three games of the season.
- Wilson set single-game program records for completions (37) and attempts (54). The previous record for completions was 29 set by Charlie Granatell in 2005, while Dalton Easton's 53 attempts at Maine in 2016 were the previous high.
- Wilson also became the quickest QB to reach 1,000 passing yards in a season in program history. He has thrown for 1,026 yards (342.0 avg.) through three games.
- Sewall jumped into a tie for fourth all-time with 13 career TD receptions. He also moved into eighth-place with 985 career receiving yards and seventh place with 75 career receptions.
The Bulldogs return home next Saturday when they welcome Fordham to Beirne Stadium on Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.