PHILADELPHIA - After a bye week, the Penn sprint football team is back on the gridiron this Friday, heading to Ithaca for a first-place showdown with Cornell (Oct. 22, 7 p.m.)
The Quakers and Big Red are both 4-0 overall and 2-0 in CSFL games. Each side has had two weeks to prepare for the game as Cornell also enjoyed a week off recently. The weekend without live action has enabled both the Quakers and Big Red to spend a good deal of time and focus on preparing for this all-important contest.
For the first time since the 2006 season, the road to the Collegiate Sprint Football League title goes through Penn or Cornell. Navy has held a three-year grasp on the league title, but Penn's win over the Midshipmen in the Allegiance Bowl three weeks ago and Cornell's win over Army in its last outing as the service academies on the outside looking in for the moment. While neither Penn nor Cornell can clinch any type of CSFL title share this weekend, the winner will position themselves squarely in the driver's seat for a championship with two weeks left to play.
Penn and Cornell played twice last season, with each team taking a win on the road. The Quakers claimed a 20-14 win in Ithaca in mid-September on the strength of three rushing touchdowns (two from Todd Busler). One month later, Cornell gained a bit of revenge with a 27-24 win in overtime at Franklin Field. Penn held a 21-10 lead entering the fourth quarter, but an Ale Perilstein 33-yard field goal with four seconds tied the game. After the Quakers converted a field goal of their own in overtime, Elliot Corey ran in from four yards out to give Cornell the win.
All-Time Series: Cornell leads, 58-33
Last Meeting: Cornell 27, Penn 24 (OT) - Oct. 18, 2009 at Franklin Field
Last Time Out for Penn
The Quakers travelled to Mansfield, downing the Mountaineers, 27-14. Penn trailed very early, allowing a 90-yard run by MU on its first play from scrimmage. After that long TD run, Penn shutdown Mansfield for the majority of the game. The Quakers scored three touchdowns in the first quarter - all three including quarterback Todd Busler. The signal-caller tossed two TDs and ran for another to put Penn comfortably ahead, 21-7. Raiam Santos added two field goals for the Quakers before Mansfield added a late touchdown.
Last Time Out for Cornell
The Big Red had a big second quarter at West Point, putting 17 points on the board to pull away from Army, 20-10. Cornell's quarterback dup of Elliot Corey and Brendan Miller each had a touchdown pass. Cornell forced six turnovers by the Black Knights with Tim Dooley forcing two fumbles and intercepting a pass.
Notes on Penn:
- The Quakers have rushed for 100+ yards in all four games this season.
- Penn is averaging 4.9 yards-per-rush this season, with 789 total yards on the ground
- Opponents, meanwhile, are averaging just 2.8 with a total of 422 yards.
- Mike Bagnoli leads the CSFL with 577 yards rushing on 95 carries and five touchdowns. He has gone over 100 yards in all four games.
- Todd Busler has accounted for eight of Penn's 15 touchdowns in 2010 - six passing and two rushing. His 54% completion rate is tops in the CSFL.
- Whit Shaw leads the CSFL in receptions (20), yards (287) and receiving touchdowns (4).
- Alexander Starr is third in the CSFL with 33 tackles. 21 of those stops have been solo.
- Raiam Santos has given Penn great field position all year long with his punting. He is averaging 40.4 yards on 12 punts with a long of 56. Five of his 12 kicks have pinned opponents inside their 20.
Notes on Cornell
- Cornell has registered at least one interception in each of its last 10 games, dating back to the second game of the 2009 season.
- Cornell has registered at least one field goal in each of its last seven games.
- Cornell has scored at least 20 points in each of its last five games, dating back to the last game of the 2009 season.
- Cornell has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of its last eight games.
- Cornell has registered at least five tackles for loss per game over the span of the last 36 games, dating back to the first contest of the 2005 season