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As ridiculous as it sounds, Quakers fans can circle October 24 as the day on their calendar to find out. His chance appears legit because the 24th is the day that the Penn football team travels to Providence, RI to face Brown. In the preseason many experts placed Brown atop the Ivies. Now, the Bears' run defense is so decimated that even stopping a tackling dummy from sprouting legs and prancing into the endzone would show marked improvement. In three weeks of play, Brown has allowed 712 rushing yards, an average of 237.3 per week. Making matters worse, the yardage given up increased 33.6 percent last week -- just days after Brown defensive coordinator David Duggan wrote off weeks one and two as a fluke. This rate of increase looks proportionate to Brazilian inflation during the early 1980s. And like then, there's no sign of powerful Bears re-emerging. "We are always trying to stop the run, and it's our real weak point," Brown first-year coach Phil Estes said. "But we can't manufacture bigger and stronger players. We expect coaches, if they're smart, to try to run the ball against us." Opposing backs have averaged just 168.2 yards per game against other opponents, reducing any argument that Brown has faced an unusual sample set of talented backs. Asked last week if he was concerned by the Bears' defensive breakdown against Yale's Rashaad Bartholomew, Brown defensive coordinator Dave Duggan discounted the question. But after four rushing touchdowns by Rhode Island halfback James Jenkins during Brown's 44-16 loss to the Rams in Saturday's Governor's Cup, the Bears' coaching staff is now singing a different tune, and it sounds like a sob song. In Brown's season opener, Bartholomew stormed into Providence, running for 140-yards and a touchdown en route to the Elis' first Ivy win in almost two years. In the Bears' week two win, a trifecta of Lafayette backs combined for 214 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including a Tom Williams' first-quarter, 49-yard TD run. Doesn't sound like the 'D' of a team picked for the Ivy crown. "We're just going back to fundamentals," Estes said. "We are going to need to know how to tackle and how to rap people up, being more aggressive." Making matters worse is that Estes' only first-team All-Ivy players, the combo of James Perry and Sean Morey, can't help because they are on the other side of the ball. Morey, who is a senior, sees his last chance at that Ivy title fading away. Maybe Morey's best bet is to pull a Jim Finn in reverse, and begin practicing as a defensive back. At this juncture, an All-Ivy receiver turned cornerback doesn't seem in the cards. Instead, Estes will go against better Ivy football judgment and try winning with his offense. "It all depends on the team," Estes said. "Our defense is struggling so our offense has to control the ballgames and keep the defense off the field." While this strategy may prove the best the Bears have to offer -- and they did manage a Week No. 2 win -- Brown has allowed 97 points in three games. At this pace, the Bears will give up 323 points this season. (This is without even readjusting to account for strength of schedule, as Brown's opponents are a combined 0-8 in their other contests). The last Ivy team to allow 300 points was the 1992 edition of the Bears. They went 0-10. Before that was Columbia in 1987, also 0-10 and in the midst of college football's then-longest losing streak. In fact, the best an Ivy team has ever done when giving up 300 points is 1-9. Brown already has its one win. So even though they are only 0-1 in the Ivies, a Brown championship is looking slim. Finn's chance of breaking Terrance Stokes' Ancient Eight record 272-yards rushing against Brown, however, is alive and well.

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