PHILADELPHIA - Senior punter Scott Lopano was named Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday as announced by the league office. During the University of Pennsylvania football team's come-from-behind win over Columbia on Saturday, Lopano became just the second Quaker to record more than 400 punt yards in a game.
Lopano matched a career-high with nine punts and still managed to average an impressive 45.4 yards per punt. He finished with a total of 409 punt yards which is only behind Anthony Melillo's school-record total of 433 from a 7-0 win over Princeton on Nov. 3, 2007.
Lopano, who is third at Penn in career punt yards and is just 201 yards away from matching Rob Sims' school record, currently ranks sixth in the nation with a punting average of 44.44 (on pace for a school record). He also has Penn ranked atop the FCS in net punting - which means no team in the country changes field position more than Penn's 40.41 yards per punt.
In Saturday's dramatic 24-20 win over the Lions, five of Lopano's punts came in the first half and changed field position enough to help the Quakers hold Columbia to just six points. In the second half, three of his four punts were downed inside the 20. Most importantly, with 4:09 left, his final punt traveled 60 yards and was downed at the Columbia 6. From there, the defense quickly forced a Lions punt and that set up Penn's game-winning drive. Lopano's only kickoff of the day sailed through the end zone for a touchback.
A four-year starter, Lopano also passed Rob Sims (1990-92) on Saturday for third-place in the school record book with 165 career punts - one behind Ryan Lazzeri (1998-2001) for second all-time. Jeff Salvino (1994-97) set the school standard at 186 from 1994-97.
Lopano is Penn's first Ivy Special Teams Player of the Week in nearly four full seasons. Andrew Samson, the program's all-time leading scorer, was the last to reel in the honor for the Quakers on Nov. 24, 2008. This is the first Ivy Player of the Week of any kind for the Red and Blue since Erik Rask won defensive honors on Nov. 7 of last year.
Lopano and the Quakers are back on national television as they take on the Yale Bulldogs at the Yale Bowl. Kickoff from New Haven, Conn., is set for noon. NBC Sports will televise the Ivy title.