Catching the Game: Penn at William & Mary
|Date/Location|| Saturday, Oct. 12 at 3:35 p.m. | at Zable Stadium
|Radio|| WFIL 560AM
Brian Seltzer (Play-By-Play), Hench Murray (Analyst)
Student-Athlete Spotlight: RB Kyle Wilcox
PHILADELPHIA - Penn survived the longest game in Ivy League history last week. Now the Quakers go on the road to face one of the top teams in the CAA. Saturday’s matchup with William & Mary will mark Penn’s first trip outside of Philadelphia this season as well as the final non-conference game of the year for the Quakers. Penn’s first trip to Zable Stadium will kick off at 3:30 p.m.
The Penn-William & Mary Series—Seventh Meeting
For the first time since 1995, the Quakers will head to Zable Stadium. In the only previous meeting there, Penn fell 48-34. The Red and Blue have won just one of the previous six meetings with the Tribe. These programs met three times between 1944-1954 and twice in the 1990s before last season’s matchup at Franklin Field—won by the Tribe, 34-28. Penn’s only win in the series was the first meeting on Oct. 14,1944—a 46-0 triumph at Franklin Field. Coach Bagnoli is 0-3 against William & Mary.
Rising in the Record Books
Two weeks ago at Villanova, senior wideout Ryan Mitchell became the 16th player in Penn history with 1,000 career receiving yards. Last week against Dartmouth, he recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game. Both efforts moved him up through Penn’s all-time records. He is currently 13th all-time at Penn with 1,141 career receiving yards—just 70 yards from the top 10. Mitchell is also 11th all-time with 81 career catches—nine away from the top 10. Teammate Conner Scott has 78 catches (13th at Penn) for 973 yards (17th).
Against the CAA
Head Coach Al Bagnoli is just 1-14 all-time against the Colonial Athletic Conference. Traditionally known as one of the top league’s in the FCS, the CAA has won 12 straight over Penn. Eleven of those have come to Villanova since 1999 and the other was against the Tribe last season. In all, Coach Bagnoli is 0-3 against William & Mary (with the other two losses coming in his inaugural season in 1992 and in his only other visit to Williamsburg in 1995). Bagnoli’s only win over a current CAA opponent was against Towson at Franklin Field in 1997—a 26-14 victory.
Last Time Out vs. William & Mary
It has been 18 years since the last matchup at Zable Stadium. The Tribe won 48-34 on Oct. 14, 1995. Current wide receivers coach Mark Fabish had a punt return for a touchdown—one of three in his career (school record). Current Toronto Blue Jays infielder, Mark DeRosa, tied a school record with 48 pass attempts (since broken), threw for 255 yards, ran for a touchdown and connected with wideout Miles Macik for another. Nick Morris led the way with 14 tackles, but Penn trailed 21-7 at the half and 34-13 entering the fourth quarter. This was just one week after Penn’s NCAA record 24-game winning streak was snapped by Columbia.
Saturday's four overtime thriller against Dartmouth was the longest game in Ivy League history. Penn had previously played in one of the league's three three overtime games when they fell to No. 16 Yale on Oct. 20, 2007 (L, 26-20). The Quakers are now 6-6 all-time in overtime games with three straight wins (the last two over Dartmouth at Franklin Field).
Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has allowed an opening-drive touchdown just once since Nov. 1, 2008 (46 games)—Lafayette went just 14 yards to do it in the 2012 season opener ... The Quakers have forced multiple turnovers in each of their last five Ivy games and 15 total in that time (11 interceptions, four fumbles) ... Penn has won seven straight games when leading at the half dating back to the 2011 season finale ... Penn is 4-0 in their alternate red jerseys ... Penn has won 13 of its last 14 Ivy home games ... Penn has scored 20 or more points in 19 of its last 21 Ivy games.
Senior Billy Ragone has thrown a touchdown pass in nine straight starts ... Senior wideout Ryan Mitchell has a catch in 23 straight games ... Seniors Jake Schwertner and Steve Szostak have started 13 straight games together on the left side of the line.
Fourth Quarter Comebacks:
With a dramatic four-overtime win over Dartmouth last week, senior quarterback Billy Ragone has now engineered nine career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. Eight of them have come against the Ivy League—where, realistically, the Ivy title was on the line—and three of those came on the road. Last year, the Quakers trailed by multiple scores in the fourth quarter of three games, but scored two touchdowns in the final 7:27 to beat Columbia, two field goals in the final 2:12 to beat Brown, and two touchdowns in the final 7:31 to beat Princeton. Ragone is 17-4 (.810) as a starter against the Ivy League.
Ragone in the Record Books
Last week, senior quarterback Billy Ragone became the second player in Penn’s 137-year history with 6,000 career yards of total offense (6,197) and is second all-time at Penn behind Gavin Hoffman’s school standard of 7,188. During the season opener, Ragone became the third passer in school history with 4,000 career yards when he joined Hoffman (7,542) and Mike Mitchell (5,547) as the only Penn quarterbacks to reach that milestone. Ragone’s 52 career touchdown (20 rush, 32 pass) rank second all-time at Penn behind Hoffman (54). His 32 touchdown passes are two behind Jimmy McGeehan (1991-93) for third-most in Penn history. His 693 career pass attempts are good for third place all-time at Penn, and his 398 career completions place him third all-time. Those marks also place him fifth in career completion percentage at 57.4 perecent.
In addition to senior wideout Ryan Mitchell (who became the 16th Penn player with 1,000 career receiving yards and the first since Dan Castles in 2004), fellow wideout Conner Scott is now just 27 yards away from joining Mitchell in that club. Meanwhile, senior Brandon Colavita is 472 yards from cracking Penn’s all-time top 10 career rushing list, and junior Conner Loftus is seventh at Penn with 59 career extra points (three away from sixth place).
Park Earns Ivy and National Honors
Senior linebacker David Park played the role of hero for Penn during the longest game in Ivy League history on Saturday. For his efforts, the league office announced Park as the Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Park forced the first of four overtimes when he blocked a 21-yard field goal as time expired in regulation, he returned a fumble 84 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, recorded the first sack allowed by Dartmouth all season and finished with a career-high seven tackles (five solo), including a tackle for loss and also added a pass breakup. Park, who shared this week’s Ivy distinction with Yale’s Cole Champion, was also named a College Sporting News National All-Star.
A Penn Win Today Would...
... improve the Quakers to 3-1 for the first time since 2009.
... be the first ever at Zable Stadium.
... be the first over a CAA opponent since 1997.
... snap a three-game non-conference road skid.
... mark the seventh in the last eight games dating back to last season.
A Penn Loss Today Would...
... be the sixth straight to William & Mary.
... be the 13th straight to a CAA opponent.
... be less good than a win.
Last Time Out
Junior Kyle Wilcox ran for the game-winning score to cap the longest game in Ivy League history on Saturday at Franklin Field as Penn topped Dartmouth, 37-31, in four overtimes. Wilcox had the winner, but the biggest hero of the day was senior linebacker David Park. He was all over the place for the Quakers on Saturday, with two of the biggest plays of the game coming via his hands. In the second quarter, he gave Penn a 14-7 lead with an 84-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. While that play was huge, the one he made at the end of regulation was gigantic. With just four seconds left in regulation, and the game tied at 21-21, Dartmouth lined up for the game-winning 21-yard field goal. However, Park again stepped up, blocking Riley Lyons’ chip shot and stunningly sending the game to overtime. Penn was stopped on fourth down on its opening overtime possession, but Dartmouth again missed a game-winning field goal. Both teams traded touchdowns in the second overtime and then field goals in the third. To start the fourth overtime, the Big Green missed a field goal and Penn capitalized with Wilcox’s winner. Park’s fumble return gave Penn a 14-7 lead at the half, but Dartmouth tied the game early in the third quarter. Penn answered with a 14-play, 78-yard drive for a 21-14 lead with 1:37 left in the third, but Dartmouth tied it again with 10:18 to play in the fourth.
Penn has its first Ivy road test of the season. The Quakers will travel to New York City to take on Columbia at 1:30 p.m. The Red and Blue haven’t lost to the Lions since 1996 (the longest active win streak over an annual opponent in the FCS).