Catching the Game: PENN (4-4, 3-2 Ivy) at Harvard (7-1, 4-1 Ivy)
|| Saturday, Nov. 16 at Noon | at Harvard Stadium
|Radio||WFIL 560AM - Brian Seltzer (Play-By-Play), Hench Murray (Analyst)|
Penn Sports Network - Audio Only (Seltzer and Murray)
||Penn Notes | Harvard Notes|
Student-Athlete Spotlight: Senior Sam Chwarzynski
PHILADELPHIA - An Ivy League champion has been crowned at the end of each of the last four meetings between Penn (4-4, 3-2 Ivy) and Harvard (7-1, 4-1 Ivy). That will not be the case on Saturday, but the game still has strong Ivy implications—both teams need a win to keep their hopes alive of claiming the league title. The game will be nationally televised on NBC Sports. Kickoff is set for noon.
The Penn-Harvard Series—84th Meeting
This will mark the 84th meeting between these two Ivy League foes. The Crimson hold an overall advantage in the series at 46-35-2. However, Penn has won three of the last four and 14 of 21 under head coach Al Bagnoli. The Quakers are just 12-19 all-time at Harvard Stadium, but have managed a 5-5 mark in Cambridge since Coach Bagnoli took over in 1992. Coach Bagnoli is also 12-7 in head-to-head matchups with Coach Murphy.
Ivy Title Implications
Penn needs to win its final two games and Princeton must lose its final two for the Quakers to match a league record with their 17th Ivy title. Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth are also still in the hunt for the Ivy title. Here are Penn’s Ivy title implications this week:
• If Penn wins and Princeton loses...
...The Quakers remain one game behind the Tigers with one game to play.
... On the final Saturday of Ivy League play, Penn would need to defeat Cornell at
home and Princeton would need to lose at Dartmouth for the Quakers to claim a
share of their fourth Ivy title in five seasons.
• If Penn wins and Princeton wins
... The Quakers are eliminated from Ivy title contention.
... The Crimson are eliminated from Ivy title contention.
... Princeton earns the 2013 outright Ivy League championship.
• If Penn loses
...The Quakers are eliminated from Ivy title contention.
For the first time since 2008, this Penn-Harvard matchup will not produce an Ivy League champion at its conclusion. In 2009 and 2010, Penn topped the Crimson to claim a share of the Ivy title. Then in 2011, Harvard celebrated the outright Ivy League title on its home field after defeating the Quakers. Last season, Penn clinched a share of the Ancient Eight crown with a win over the Crimson at Franklin Field. This year, both teams are chasing Princeton and need a win to stay in contention.
The Senior Class
Penn’s Class of 2014 enters its final road game in the Red and Blue with a record of 24-14 (.632), including an impressive mark of 20-6 (.769) against the Ivy League. In their four years at Franklin Field, the current Penn seniors are 14-5 (.737) overall and 11-2 (.846) against Ivy League opponents. Most importantly, the Class of 2014 has two Ivy League championship rings, and is still in contention for a third. They would be the second straight and the third senior class at Penn (2000) to graduate with three Ivy title rings since 1988.
Quick Quaker Notes
Penn’s opponent has scored first in six of the last seven games ... The Quakers have forced a turnover in each of their last 10 Ivy games and 23 total in that time (16 interceptions, seven fumbles) ... Penn is 4-0 all-time in its alternate red jerseys ... Senior Billy Ragone has thrown a touchdown pass in 12 straight starts ... Seniors Jake Schwertner and Steve Szostak have started 18 straight games together on the left side of the offensive line.
Seventh Straight Season on National TV
NBC Sports and Fox College Sports will serve as Ivy League football’s national television networks and once again Penn has been selected as part of the national package. Earlier this season, Penn’s matchup at Brown was featured on Fox College Sports, and this week, the Quakers will be on NBC Sports at Harvard. Overall, this will mark the seventh straight year the Quakers have appeared in at least one nationally televised game. In that time, the Red and Blue have now been featured nationally 14 times, including nine previous games on VERSUS/NBC Sports Network (NBCSN). This will also be the third straight year the Penn-Harvard matchup has been featured on national television. Last year, in one of Penn’s three games on NBCSN, the Quakers topped Harvard, 30-21, to clinch the Ivy League title at Franklin Field. The Quakers are 6-3 on the network and 4-2 on the road. All-time, Penn is 21-10 on national television, including 12-4 on the road.
Rising in the Record Books
Seniors Ryan Mitchell and Conner Scott continue to move up among Penn’s all-time top 10 in career receptions and career receiving yards. Mitchell and Scott each hit 1,000 career receiving yards this season to become the 16th and 17th players in program history to reach that milestone. Mitchell has recently cracked Penn’s all-time top 10 in career receiving yards with 1,320 and is five catches away from becoming just the eighth Quaker with 100 for his career. Teammate Conner Scott has 88 career catches (12th at Penn) for 1,079 yards (16th).
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.
Inside Bagnoli’s Legendary Numbers
In his 22nd season, Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli already holds the all-time record with nine outright Ivy titles. He is second all-time with his nine Ivy titles overall, one behind Yale’s Carmen Cozza, who coached for 30 seasons. Bagnoli is the second-winningest head coach in Ivy League history. Only one man has won more games at an Ivy school than his 146 career wins at Penn (Cozza, 179) and in 151 games versus Ivy opponents, Bagnoli’s Quakers have won 110 of them (second-most all-time behind Cozza’s 135). Bagnoli’s record also amounts to a winning percentage of .724—second-highest of all-time since the inception of the league in 1956 (Princeton’s Dick Colman was 61-23 for a .726 winning percentage.
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 1,342nd 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 1,289 games played. Congrats on being a part of an NCAA record!
Last Time Out
It was an entertaining game from the start for the Homecoming crowd of 21,214 at Franklin Field on Saturday. Archrivals Penn and Princeton went back-and-forth through the first three quarters before the Tigers put the Quakers away late in the final stanza. The scoring began when a Tigers holding penalty in the endzone awarded the Quakers a safety and a 2-0 lead at the 8:37 mark of the opening quarter. Moments later, Sam Chwarzynski picked off a deflected pass and brought it 61 yards the other way for a touchdown. It gave Penn a 9-0 lead with 1:37 left in the first quarter. The Red and Blue’s offense got into the scoring next. Kyle Wilcox ran it in from six yards out to expand Penn’s lead to 16-0 with 12:16 left in the half. Princeton scored 17 unanswered points, but Billy Ragone’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Mitchell with just 12 seconds remaining in the half gave the Quakers a 23-17 lead at the break. In the second half, the Tigers utilized a strong passing game and a pair of goal line rushes to score two touchdowns and take a 31-23 lead with 13:10 to play. The Quakers cut the lead to five on a Connor Loftus 28-yard field goal with 9:37 remaining. However, a few key third-down conversions propelled a 12-play, 63-yard drive which was capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Epperly to Connor Kelley. With just 4:45 to go, that effectively sealed the game for the Tigers.
A Penn Win Today Would...
... mark Coach Bagnoli’s 21st season at .500 or better in 22 years.
... be the fourth in five years over Harvard.
... make the Quakers 5-4 on the year and 4-2 in Ivy play.
A Penn Loss Today Would...
... mark the first three-game Ivy League losing streak since 2006.
... be the fourth in the last five visits to Harvard Stadium.
... officially eliminate the Quakers from Ivy title contention.
... be less good than a win.
As is tradition since 1987, the Quakers take on Cornell in the season finale. It will also mark the 120th meeting between the two programs—the fifth-most played rivalry in college football. The 2013 edition will serve as Senior Day at Franklin Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and the game can be seen on the Penn Sports Network.