PHILADELPHIA - It doesn’t get more dramatic than a late fourth-quarter come-from-behind win, on the road, against your arch rival, in a battle of first-place teams. That 28-21 victory over Princeton propels Penn (4-4, 4-1 Ivy) into yet another matchup against Harvard (7-1, 4-1 Ivy) with the Ivy League championship on the line. Nearly an annual tradition, the winner of the Penn-Harvard game will claim at least a share of the Ivy title. A national television audience will see the battle for the Ivy trophy on NBC Sports Network. Kickoff is at noon at Franklin Field.
Catching the Game
National TV! This marks the third nationally televised game for the
Quakers in 2012. Turn to the NBC Sports Network to watch the Quakers in your
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 with Penn announcers, Brian
Seltzer, C'07, and Hench Murray, C'66, GEd'67.
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. Get down to Franklin Field
and cheer on the Quakers! The Red and Blue will need your support! Click here for tickets!
The Penn-Harvard Series
For the 11th time in the last 13 seasons, Harvard and Penn will play for a share of the Ivy League title. In the last 12 years, both teams have claimed six victories. The Quakers have won two of the last three en route to the Ivy title in 2009 and 2010. Harvard owns a 46-34-2 edge in the first 82 meetings, but Penn holds the advantage at Franklin Field with an all-time record of 19-15-2. Under head coach Al Bagnoli, the Quakers are 13-7 against the Crimson. Harvard head coach Tim Murphy is 7-11 in head-to-head matchups with Bagnoli.
The Senior Class
On Senior Day, Penn’s Class of 2013 enters its final home game in the Red and Blue with a record of 26-12 (.684), including an impressive mark of 22-4 (.846) against the Ivy League. In their four years at Franklin Field, the current Penn seniors are 11-1 (.917) against Ivy League opponents. Most importantly, the Class of 2013 has two Ivy League championship rings, and with a win today, would earn a third. They would be just the second senior class at Penn (2000) to graduate with three Ivy title rings since 1988.
Against Ranked Foes
Overall, Penn is 4-14 vs. teams ranked in the Top 25 since 2000, but three of those losses came in overtime and one of those wins came against Harvard at Franklin Field. In fact, that marked the last last Top 25 upset for the Quakers—a 22-13 victory over No. 17 Harvard on Nov. 11, 2006. Since that time, Penn has lost seven straight games to ranked opponents.
You have a great chance at witnessing history Saturday. Senior running back Lyle Marsh is just three yards away from reaching 1,000 career rush yards, which would make the Quakers the only team in the nation with four active 1,000-yard rushers. Earlier this season, senior running back Jeff Jack went over the 1,000-yard milestone at Yale and now has 1,088 for his career. In addition, senior quarterback Billy Ragone has 1,419 career rush yards and senior running back Brandon Colavita, who played just two full games this season, has 1,416. Currently, the Quakers are just one of three FCS teams (James Madison, The Citadel) with three active players over 1,000 career rushing yards. Entering Saturday, Penn’s quartet has combined for 4,290 rushing yards over the past four seasons.
Lopano's School Record(s)
Senior punter Scott Lopano, a four-year starter at the position, set the school record for career punt yards earlier this year and is the only Penn player to amass more than 7,000 career punt yards (7,111). Lopano, who has played in 38 straight games for the Quakers, is nearing the peak of another school record. He is second all-time at Penn with 184 career punts—just three short of passing Jeff Salvino’s school standard. Salvino punted 186 times between 1994-97. In addition, Lopano’s current average of 41.1 yards per punt is just slightly behind Rob Sims’ (1990-92) single-season school record of 43.5.
Penn Scoring Trend
Penn has never been shut out at home in the Al Bagnoli era. In fact, the
last time the Quakers were held without a point at Franklin Field was
Nov. 18, 1989 (24-0 vs. Dartmouth), a span of 117 games.
Other Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has scored 20 or more points in 17 of its last 19 Ivy games ... Penn has allowed an opening-drive touchdown just once since Nov. 1, 2008 (41 games)—Lafayette went just 14 yards to do it in the 2012 season opener ... The Quakers forced just three turnovers in their first six games, but have forced four apiece in the last two games (seven interceptions, one fumble) ... Penn has won 11 of its last 12 Ivy home games.
Ragone in the Record Books
Senior quarterback Billy Ragone, who has 44 career touchdowns (18 rush, 26 pass) to rank third all-time at Penn behind Gavin Hoffman (54) and Mike Mitchell (47)—became just the third player in Penn’s 136-year history with 5,000 career yards of total offense earlier this season. Mitchell (5,394) and Hoffman are the only others to accomplish the feat (7,188) and Ragone (5,310) is just 84 yards from moving into second-place all-time. In addition, last Saturday, Ragone also moved up into the top 5 all-time at Penn in career pass yards, touchdowns, attempts and completions. He is just 109 passing yards from joining Hoffman (7,542) and Mitchell (5,547) as the only Penn quarterbacks to surpass 4,000 career yards. Ragone’s 23 pass attempts last week gave him 585 for his career which ranks fifth at Penn and is just six behind Pat McDermott (2003-05) for fourth place. Also, Ragone’s 10 completions now give him 334 for his career which places him fifth all-time at Penn. His touchdown pass was the 26th of his career and matched Jim Crocicchia (1983, 1985-86) for fifth-most in Penn history. A complete list of Quakers approaching milestones is below and a list of Ragone in the school record book is on page five.
Fourth Quarter Comebacks: Lions and Tigers and Bears...
With a dramatic 10-point fourth-quarter comeback against Columbia on Oct. 13, then frenetic game-tying and game-winning drives against Brown on Oct. 27, and then the late fourth-quarter come-from-behind road win over archrival Princeton with first place in the Ivy League on the line, Ragone has now engineered eight career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. Three of those comeback wins came last year—two were on the road, two came in the final minute, and all three were on national television. This year, three of Penn’s four Ivy wins are due to fourth-quarter comebacks. Each needed multiple scores to win the game as the Quakers scored two touchdowns in the final 7:27 against the Lions, two field goals in the final 2:12 against the Bears, and two touchdowns in the final 7:31 to beat the Tigers.
Inside Bagnoli's Legendary Numbers
In his 21st season, Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli already holds the all-time record with eight outright Ivy titles and will be going for his ninth Ivy championship with a win on Saturday. He is second all-time with his eight Ivy titles overall, two behind Yale’s Carmen Cozza, who coached for 30 seasons. Bagnoli is the winningest active head coach in the FCS (see page 2) and is arguably the greatest coach in Ivy League history. He is one of just three men to win 140 career games at an Ivy League school and in 145 games versus Ivy opponents, Bagnoli’s Quakers have won 105 of them. That Ivy win total is second-most all-time behind Cozza’s 135. However, Bagnoli’s record also amounts to a winning percentage of .724—which is also second-best all-time since the inception of the league in 1956. If Penn wins Saturday, Bagnoli will match Princeton’s Dick Colman with the highest Ivy winning percentage in league history.
Penn History on NBC Sports
In a deal announced by the Ivy League and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), the Penn football team was awarded three national television games in 2012. The 15-time Ivy League champions won on NBCSN at Dartmouth (28-21) on Sept. 29 and fell at Yale (27-13) on Oct. 20. The Quakers appear on the network against Harvard at Franklin Field Saturday. Last year, the Quakers set a school record with four nationally televised games. Overall, this will mark the sixth straight year the Quakers have at least one national television game and the third time in the last five years they have been seen across the country on at least three occasions. Penn is now 5-3 all-time on VERSUS/NBCSN.
Honoring 1982 and 2002
Penn Athletics will honor the 1982 and 2002 teams for their respective Ivy League championship anniversaries. Both teams clinched the Ivy title with historic wins over Harvard. The 1982 team did so in one of the most dramatic Ivy League games in history (see video of Penn's game-winning drive) and the 2002 team was dominant in the first-ever broadcast of ESPN's College Gameday on an FCS campus - a 44-9 win.
Ragone Ivy Player of the Week; Mooney Hauls in Two Awards
Last week’s late-game heroics from defensive lineman C.J. Mooney and quarterback Billy Ragone earned the seniors Ivy League Defensive and Offensive Player of the Week honors, respectively, as announced by the league office on Monday. Mooney was also named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday. Mooney had the game-tying touchdown on an interception return and Ragone had the game-winning three-yard touchdown run in Penn’s come-from-behind win at Princeton. This was the first such honor of Mooney’s career. Trailing by seven with 7:31 remaining, he hauled in a tipped pass and raced 15 yards to the end zone to tie the game. He also matched a career-high with four tackles. Ragone earned the weekly Ivy Offensive award for the third time in his career and the first time since Nov. 8, 2010. Ragone led the Quakers 58 yards on 10 plays and scored the game-winning touchdown on a three-yard rush. On the drive, the Cheshire, Conn., native ran four times for 29 yards, including a 17-yard scramble on third-and-5 from the Princeton 31-yard line. Ragone also had a passing touchdown and finished with 92 yards through the air and 61 yards on the ground.
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 1,332nd 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 1,279 games played.
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.
Last Time Out
With first place on the line and Penn trailing by seven midway through the fourth quarter, the Quakers once again rallied in dramatic fashion and topped Princeton, 28-21, last Saturday at Princeton Stadium. Penn led 14-13 at the half, but Princeton took a 21-14 lead with a 21-yard touchdown pass at the 6:46 mark of the third quarter. The score remained that way into the fourth quarter, until senior defensive end Daniel Ritt tipped a Princeton pass and C.J. Mooney picked off the fluttering ball, taking it back for the score to knot the game at 21-21 with 7:31 left. The Quakers defense then forced a three-and-out. Billy Ragone and the offense started from their own 42 with 6:31 to play. On second-and-goal, Ragone rolled to his left, found open space and scooted into the end zone for the go-ahead score with 2:59 to play. Princeton started at its own 28 and worked the ball into Penn territory. On 4th-and-4 from the Penn 34 with just over a minute to play, the Tigers converted with a 12-yard completion. Later, with Princeton facing a 3rd-and-goal with 30 seconds left, senior Steve Lias poked the ball loose from the Tigers quarterback and senior captain Brandon Copeland fell on the fumble to seal the victory.
Regardless of the outcome against Harvard, Penn will still be playing for either a share or the outright Ivy title at Cornell in the season finale. Kickoff from Schoellkopf Field is at 12:30 p.m.
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