Bagnoli Press Conference Quotes - Wednesday, Sept. 17

On opening the season with Villanova:
“This week is going to be interesting for us because we have never opened against Villanova. So you have your usual first game concern like your kids—especially your new kids who haven’t played—how do they react? How do they do under the stress of an actual contest? And then you have a Villanova team that has already been on the road at West Virginia and played Lehigh in week 3. Now you have a team that is as athletic as we will see all year and has as much speed as we are going to see all year and schematically does a great job. It’s really going to be a test for our team.

On his biggest concerns about the Wildcats:
“The good news is our kids are excited about playing and they have prepared well. The bad news is that they are going to have their hands full. Looking at (Villanova) statistically, they run a tremendous amount of plays, even in the West Virginia game. It is just unbelievable. They ran over 90 plays and in an era of a 40-second clock, that is really hard to do these days. We know we are going to have our hands full and we know that we are going to be stretched and challenged, but it is home and our kids are excited to finally be playing somebody.”

On Penn’s keys to the game:
“How well we handle some of this open field play will determine how well we do in this game. They are a very, very sound football team. Offensively, defensively, special teams—they really just don’t have too many weaknesses. We are really going to have to play well and hopefully protect the football a lot better than we protected it last year.”

On what he does to get his team prepared when starting the season so late:
“We do more and more simulations of games with officials coming in, but its all intra-squad. There is still something different about bringing an outside opponent in. It is really hard to replicate. We had Widener in for a scrimmage we had an intra-squad scrimmage with officials; we tried to do things that counter (not playing yet).”

On the dangers of opening against a team that has already played two games:
“Everything gets accentuated because they are playing against such good players. The speed of the game is going to be a lot faster than what our practice units can replicate. It’s how quickly they can get themselves adapted to that level.”

On who will be the starting quarterback on Saturday:
“Game time.”