Catching the Game: PENN (4-2, 3-0 Ivy) at Brown (4-2, 1-2 Ivy)
|| Saturday, Nov. 2 at 12:30 p.m. | at Brown Stadium
|Radio||WFIL 560AM - Brian Seltzer (Play-by-Play), Hench Murray (Analyst)|
Fox College Sports (Channel 623 on DirectTV) - Eric Frede (Play-by-Play), Steve DeOssie (Analyst), Sonny Watrous (sideline).
||Penn Notes | Brown Notes|
|Media||Coach Bagnoli Weekly Press Conference|
PHILADELPHIA - In Penn’s last visit to Brown Stadium, the Bears ended the second-longest Ivy League winning streak of all-time. On Saturday, in front of a national television audience, the Quakers (4-2, 3-0 Ivy) will look to avenge that loss and extend another lengthy Ivy win streak. The defending Ivy champions have won seven straight league games and are currently one of two unbeaten teams in the Ancient Eight. Kickoff is at 12:30 p.m. on the Fox College Sports Network.
The Penn-Brown Series—82nd Meeting
In recent years, the Bears have served as Penn’s toughest opponent. The Quakers are 3-5 in the last eight meetings with Brown, which includes a last-minute come-from-behind win over the Bears at Franklin Field last season. Penn has also lost three of the last four in Providence with the only win in the last decade coming in overtime, 14-7, in 2009. In addition, in the last two meetings at Brown Stadium, the Quakers have scored a total of seven points in regulation. Overall, Penn leads the series 57-22-2 and is 17-13-1 at Brown Stadium. Coach Bagnoli is 12-9 (.571) against the Bears—his lowest winning percentage against any Ivy League team.
When the calendar turns to October, the Quakers have been nearly unbeatable in recent years. Since 2008, the Red and Blue are 23-4 (.852) in the month of October and have not lost an Ivy home game in October since a triple overtime defeat to No. 16 Yale (26-20) on Oct. 20, 2007.
Fox College Sports
This is Penn’s second appearance on Fox College Sports. The first was Oct. 1, 2011—the first-ever night game at Dartmouth’s Memorial Field. Penn won, 22-20, with an 89-yard game-winning drive capped with the winning touchdown with 17 seconds left. Overall, Penn is 21-9 all-time on national television.
Senior Ryan Becker went more than three years between starts, but led the Quakers to victory last week. Prior to Saturday, Becker’s last start was Oct. 9, 2010 at Bucknell—a 31-10 win. That is a span of 1,113 days between starts or three years and 17 days. He served as the backup to Billy Ragone in 2010 and 2011 and played in 15 games. In 2012, he missed the entire season with a knee injury. Overall, Becker is 3-0 in his collegiate career as a starter. He also started the 2010 season opener which the Quakers won, 19-14, over Lafayette.
Last week marked the 150th career Ivy League game for Coach Bagnoli, who is the third-winningest active head coach in the FCS and arguably the greatest coach in Ivy League history. He owns the highest Ivy winning percentage of any coach since the inception of the League in 1956. Only one man has won more games at an Ivy school than his 146 career wins at Penn (Yale’s Carm Cozza, 179), and in the 150 games versus Ivy opponents, Bagnoli’s Quakers have won an astonishing 110 of them. That record amounts to a winning percentage of .733—which marks the highest success rate of any man to ever coach in the Ivy League.
With a win on Saturday, Penn would clinch yet another season at .500 or better under head coach Al Bagnoli. In 22 years under Bagnoli, the Quakers have had just one losing campaign (4-6 in 2007). In fact, Penn has won at least six games in 15 of his 21 years at the helm, including six perfect Ivy seasons and three overall unbeaten seasons.
Over the last 22 years, every man who has taken a head coaching job in the Ivy League has lost to Al Bagnoli. Prior to Saturday, there was one exception—Yale’s Tony Reno. The Bulldogs had won the only head-to-head meeting between the two coaches in 2012. Since Coach Bagnoli took over at Penn in 1992, the other seven schools have combined for 23 different head coaches and every Ivy school has had at least one coaching change (17 total). Bagnoli has beaten five different coaches at Cornell and four different coaches at Columbia (he’s beaten Pete Mangurian at both those schools). He will face Cornell’s David Archer for the first time during the 2013 season finale.
For the second straight road game, the Quakers will be up against a Homecoming crowd. Penn was also the Homecoming visitor at Columbia on Oct. 19, but came out on top, 21-7. Following Brown’s Homecoming on Saturday, the Quakers will then have their third Homecoming game in four weeks when they hold their own Homecoming festivities at Franklin Field. Penn will honor five different teams with Ivy championship anniversaries—1983, 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2003.
Penn has not allowed an opening-drive touchdown to an Ivy opponent in more than five years. The last team to do so was Brown on Nov. 1, 2008. In fact, since that time (49 games), the Quakers have allowed just two opening-drive touchdowns—both off offensive turnovers in the red zone—Lafayette needed to go just 14 yards to score in the 2012 season opener and William & Mary went just 12 yards on Oct. 12.
Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has won seven straight Ivy League games and nine of its last 10 against Ancient Eight opponents—its only loss over the last two seasons was at Yale last year on Oct. 20 ... The Quakers have forced a turnover in each of their last eight Ivy games and 21 total in that time (14 interceptions, seven fumbles) ... Penn has won nine 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 14 of its last 15 Ivy home games ... Penn has scored at least 20 points in 21 of its last 23 Ivy games ... The Quakers have a sack in nine straight games ... Penn’s opponent has scored first in each of the last five games.
Senior Billy Ragone has thrown a touchdown pass in 11 straight starts ... Last week, senior wideout Ryan Mitchell had his streak snapped at 25 straight games with a catch ... Seniors Jake Schwertner and Steve Szostak have started 16 straight games together on the left side of the line ... Sophomore Austin Taps has a sack in three straight games and in four of the five games he has played this year ... Junior Spencer Kulcsar has a touchdown in five of the last seven games.
Rising in the Record Books
Senior wideouts Ryan Mitchell and Conner Scott each hit 1,000 career receiving yards this season and continue to climb Penn’s all-time receiving charts. Mitchell has recently cracked Penn’s all-time top 10 in career receiving yards with 1,225 (five away from ninth) and is a catch away from the all-time top 10 in receptions with 89. Teammate Conner Scott has 80 career catches (12th at Penn) for 1,011 yards (17th).
Ragone in the Record Books
Each week, it seems senior quarterback Billy Ragone hits a new milestone. In his last start, he set a school record his 55th career touchdown (20 rush, 35 pass) to pass Gavin Hoffman’s 12-year-old school standard (4 rush, 50 pass). Also at Columbia, Ragone’s 35th touchdown pass broke a tie for third-most in Penn history with Jimmy McGeehan (1991-93). In the Ivy opener, the Cheshire, Conn., native became the second player in Penn’s 137-year history with 6,000 career yards of total offense. He now has 6,526 total yards and trails only Hoffman’s school standard of 7,188. During the season opener, Ragone became the third passer in school history with 4,000 career pass yards when he joined Hoffman (7,542) and Mike Mitchell (5,547) as the only Penn quarterbacks to reach that milestone. His 745 career pass attempts are good for second place all-time at Penn, and his 424 career completions place him third all-time.
Fourth Quarter Comebacks:
With a dramatic four-overtime win over Dartmouth in the Ivy opener, 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 18-4 (.818) as a starter against the Ivy League.
No program in the history of college football—at any level—has played more games than Penn. Every time they play, the Quakers set an NCAA record. Saturday’s game will be the 1,340th in the Red and Blue’s illustrious history. Penn remains the only program to pass 1,300 games, hitting that mark on Oct. 31, 2009 in an overtime win at Brown. Yale is second all-time with 1,287 games played. Congrats on being a part of an NCAA record!
Ryan Becker excelled in his first start since 2010 and kept Penn unbeaten in Ivy play with a 28-17 win over Yale on Saturday at Franklin Field. Though Yale got on the board first with a field goal, the first half was all Quakers. After a Penn punt deflected off a Yale blocker, Ian Dobbins recovered for the Quakers to give Becker and the offensive unit prime field position at the Bulldogs 33-yard line. It took just two plays from there, as Becker dropped back, hit a streaking Kyle Wilcox for a 7-3 lead at the 3:22 mark of the first quarter. The lead extended to 11 when Becker hit senior wideout Conner Scott in the endzone from 29 yards out. Leading by 11 at the break, Penn took the ball 79 yards in just 2:23 to expand the lead to 18 points at the start of the third. Spencer Kulcsar punched it in untouched from the two. Later in the quarter, the Quakers went 70 yards, 63 of which came on the ground, for yet another touchdown and a 28-3 lead with 1:33 left in the third quarter. Yale closed to within 28-17 in the fourth, but a pair of red zone interceptions from Sam Chwarzynski clinched the game for the Quakers.
A Penn Win Today Would…
... be the third straight overall.
... be the fourth in the last five games over Brown.
... mark the fourth straight Ivy road win.
... improve the Quakers to 5-2 overall and 4-0 in the Ivy League.
A Penn Loss Today Would…
... snap a seven-game winning streak against Ivy opponents.
... be the fourth in five games at Brown Stadium.
... drop the Quakers to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in Ivy play.
… be less good than a win.
A Homecoming showdown between first-place teams. Regardless of the outcomes this week, Penn and Princeton will be playing for first place at Franklin Field next week. Kickoff is set for noon on the Penn Sports Network.