October 25, 2004

Despite loss, Kuhn shines in debut

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Before Saturday’s game, junior quarterback Ryan Kuhn may have been a bit of an unknown commodity to many people around the Ivy League. He certainly was to the Brown Stadium public address announcer, who pronounced Kuhn’s name three different ways on Saturday afternoon.

But after going 14-for-24 for121 yards, and scoring both of the Red’s touchdowns in a 21-17 loss on option plays, Kuhn’s anonymity might just be a thing of the past.

Kuhn, making his first collegiate start in place of senior D.J. Busch, showed some of the rust one might expect from a quarterback with his experience. However, he also showed a few flashes of brilliance, as well as an excellent ability to read the opposing defense.

“A little nerves at first, but I calmed down after the first couple of plays,” Kuhn said. “I was just trying to get comfortable out there. I felt more comfortable as the game went on.”

What might have been most impressive about Kuhn’s game, though, was what he contributed on the ground. At halftime, he was the game’s leading rusher with 42 yards. He finished with 48 yards on 15 touches, which is 40 more than Busch has on the season. Furthermore, he almost single-handedly carried the Red offense, which has certainly been anemic at times this season.

However, though Kuhn’s performance as a scrambler may have turned some heads on the visitors’ side of the field, many members of Brown’s defense were not nearly as convinced.

“We just had a few broken plays here and there,” said Brown linebacker Zak DeOssie. “I wasn’t really impressed with his running. That’s the only reason he got what he got.”

Kuhn’s arrival behind center was one of many changes the Red made for Saturday’s game. In addition, junior A.J. Weitsman added field goal and and PAT responsibilities to his familiar role of kickoffs. Weitsman was more than adequate Saturday. He went 1-for-2 on field goal attempts, missing a 45-yarder wide right five minutes into the first quarter. However, he did convert on a 40-yard attempt late in the quarter.

Whatever strides Kuhn and other newcomers to the lineup did make on Saturday, though, were dimmed by the Red’s dismal fourth-quarter performance. The changes were made in large part to bring life to a team that has been in a tailspin since it’s week-two victory over Yale.

“It’s going to be hard for me to comment on that until we do the breakdowns and proper evaluations,” said head coach Jim Knowles ’87. “We still lost the game, we’re 1-5 now. You do those lineup changes because you want a spark, you want something to get you going. Was it there? I don’t know. It kind of felt like the same team out there to me.”

Archived article by Owen Bochner
Sun Sports Editor