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PHILADELPHIA - For the third straight year, Penn will open the season with a nighttime start against budding rival Lafayette (1-0). This will mark the first time Penn has opened its season on the road since 2006 - a 21-11 win over the 22nd-ranked Leopards. The 2012 season officially kicks off at Fisher Stadium at 6 p.m.
Catching the Game
|RCN will have a local broadcast of the Lafayette Sports Network (LSN) production.
|The game can be heard locally in Philadelphia on WFIL 560AM. Brian Seltzer, in his fifth season as play-by-play man, is joined by Hench Murray, who is in his 32nd season as the analyst for the Quakers.
|The Penn Sports Network (PSN) will have audio available. If you aren't in the local area to hear the game on the radio or you just want to hear the Penn announcers, Brian Seltzer, C'07, and Hench Murray, C'66, GEd'67, PSN will provide audio only of the game on PennAthletics.com.
|Follow @PennFB for live updates, photos and highlights. Click on #pennfb or #PennPride to see what everyone is saying about Penn Football and use it in your tweets to join the conversation.
|Live stats can be found here. A full recap and box score will be available at the conclusion of the game at PennAtheltics.com.
Nothing beats watching the Quakers in person. If you are in the area, get to Fisher Stadium and cheer on the Quakers! The Red and Blue will need your support!
This marks the seventh straight year these teams have met and the 89th meeting overall. The Quakers hold an all-time edge of 62-22-4 over the Leopards, including a 13-8 mark at Fisher Stadium. However, Lafayette has won four of the last five. Penn's only win in the last half decade came in an emotional 2010 season opening victory after the passing of team captain Owen Thomas. Outside of last year’s result, the previous four matchups between these teams were settled by a combined 16 points, including a 20-17 overtime win for the Leopards in the 2009 opener - also the last time these teams met in Easton. Head Coach Al Bagnoli is 7-4 all-time against the Leopards and 5-4 against their head coach, Frank Tavani.
Let the Games Begin
Tonight marks the 136th season opener for Penn. The Quakers have been superb in openers with an all-time record of 102-32-1 (.759). Under the longest tenured head coach in team history - Al Bagnoli - Penn is 12-8 in the first game of the year and is 10-10 in road openers.
Under the Lights
This is the first time the Quakers have opened a season on the road since defeating No. 22 Lafayette, 21-11, at Fisher Stadium exactly five years ago today. Saturday's 6 p.m. kickoff will also mark the fourth straight year in which Penn opens the season under the lights. But that may not be a good thing. The stadium lights have not been kind to the Quakers during the Al Bagnoli era. Since he took over in 1992, Penn has gone 8-14 (.364) in night games, including two of the previous three openers. However, Penn’s last win with a night start time was the season opener against Lafayette in 2010 at Franklin Field (19-14).
Penn will be the second-to-last Division I team to kick off its season. Every other Division I program has either played a game or is currently playing. Typically the Ivy League is the last to begin play, and this season, only Dartmouth has a later kickoff time on the league's opening day (vs. Butler at 7 p.m.).
Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has forced a turnover in nine straight games dating back to the season opener against Lafayette last season ... Penn opponents did not miss a field goal last season (17-for-17) ... The Quakers have scored 20 or more points in 14 of the last 15 Ivy games ... Penn has a sack in 17 straight games and 34 of the last 35 games dating back to 2008 - the only game Penn went without a sack in that span was against Dartmouth in 2010 ... Last season, junior Billy Ragone became the first player in school history with 1,000 career rush yards and 2,000 career pass yards.
No program in the history of college football - at any level - has played more games than Penn Quakers. Everytime they play, the Quakers set an NCAA Record. Saturday's game will be the 1,324th 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 1,271 games played.
Penn has the luxury of a crowded backfield. The Quakers have four different players with more than 670 career rushing yards. The quartet has combined for nearly 4,000 yards in the past three seasons (3,851). Brandon Colavita leads with 1,393 yards, followed by Billy Ragone's 1,038, Lyle Marsh's 723 and Jeff Jack's 697.
Social Media and the 2012 Quakers (@PennFB)
can now follow the Quakers closer than ever. Fans can get an inside
look into the program through twitter, facebook and extensive video. You
can follow the team’s daily activities through twitter (@PennFB,
#PennFB, #PennPride) or on Facebook. Video throughout the
season will feature highlights, press conferences and interviews with
players and coaches. All video can then be found on twitter or facebook
as well as the Penn Sports Network and the Penn Athletics YouTube
channel (keyword: Penn Sports Network). All of this can easily be
accessed at PennAthletics.com/socialmedia.
Fans, players and coaches alike have been encouraged to use #PennFB or
#PennPride when referring to Penn Football in their tweets. Follow the
hashtags all season long to see what the twitterverse is saying about
the Quakers and feel free to join the conversation by using the hashtag.
During games, the Penn Athletics staff will use these hashtags for live
updates, photos and highlights.
Penn Picked Second in Ivies
Picked to finish second in the 2012 Ivy League Preseason Media Poll on August 7, the Quakers may be right where it wants to be. The team slated to finish second in the Ivy preseason poll has gone on to win the Ivy title in each of the last three seasons, including the last two times the Quakers were predicted to finish as the runner-up (2009 and 2010). Harvard was picked to repeat as champions and received 13 first-place votes for 132 points. Penn garnered two first-place votes and 111 points, while Cornell earned the other two first-place votes and finished third in the voting with 100 points. Brown rounded out the top four with 84 points and was followed by Yale (66 points), Dartmouth (52), Columbia (36) and Princeton (31).
Other Ivy Poll Notables
- For the fourth straight year, Harvard and Penn claimed the top two spots.
- In each of the last five seasons, either Harvard or Penn has claimed at least a share of the Ivy title.
- The Quakers have now been selected in the top four of the preseason poll for 20 consecutive seasons.
- The last time the Quakers were not predicted to finish in the top half of the Ivy League was in 1992—one month prior to the program’s first game under the direction of head coach Al Bagnoli.
Last Time Out
Last season ended in a shootout at Franklin Field for the Quakers as they fell to Cornell, 48-38. It was a back-and-forth affair as neither team led by more than seven until the Big Red, who won for the first time at Franklin Field in 12 years, scored the game-clinching touchdown with 1:24 remaining. On a day when the University unveiled a statue of former Penn and Philadelphia Eagles great Chuck Bednarik at halftime, there wasn’t much defense from either side. The scoring started early and continued throughout the day. Cornell fumbled the opening kickoff and Penn capitalized with the game’s opening touchdown just 58 seconds into the contest. After Cornell tied the game and forced a Penn punt, senior Erik Rask returned an interception for a touchdown to get Penn back on top. The teams shared touchdowns again before Cornell tied it again at 21-21. Connor Loftus knocked home a 35-yard field goal to send the Quakers into the half with a 24-21 lead. Cornell took its first lead at the 4:33 mark of the third quarter, but Ryan Mitchell's touchdown catch put Penn briefly on top. Cornell answered three plays later to go up 34-31 heading into the fourth. Penn responded with its own touchdown and led 38-34. But Cornell responded one more time. The final lead change came at 9:15 of the fourth and put the Big Red up, 41-38. With 1:24 remaining, they put the game away with Jeff Mathews' fifth touchdown pass of the day.
Penn opens its 2012 home slate in the annual Schuylkill Showdown with cross-city rival Villanova. The game will be televised locally on the Comcast Network. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.