PHILADELPHIA - Senior Day takes on even more meaning this season, as head coach Al Bagnoli will lead the Quakers on to Franklin Field for the final time. In addition to recognizing the Class of 2015 today, the University and Athletic Department will honor the school’s all-time winningest football coach in his final home game after 23 remarkable seasons, nine Ivy League championships and countless memories. Kickoff against the 17th-ranked Harvard Crimson is set for 1 p.m.
Military Appreciation Day: Get in free with your military ID.
2 for 1: Redeem your football ticket at The Palestra for a free ticket to the men's basketball game that tips off at 4:30 p.m.
The Penn-Harvard Series—85th Meeting
This will mark the 85th meeting between these two Ivy League foes. Harvard owns a 47-35-2 edge in the first 84 meetings, but Penn holds the advantage at Franklin Field with an all-time record of 20-15-2. The Crimson have just one victory in Philadelphia over the last decade—when Penn’s backup quarterback Keiffer Garton was intercepted in the end zone in the final minute of a 24-21 defeat in 2008. Under head coach Al Bagnoli, the Quakers are 14-8 against the Crimson, which includes a 12-8 mark in head-to-head matchups with Harvard head coach Tim Murphy.
Coach Bagnoli Central
Click here for videos, stats, photos and more as we remember the 23 seasons, nine Ivy League championships and countless memories Coach Bagnoli has provided the University. The page will be updated throughout the week and leading up to the final game of his tenure on Nov. 22.
Inside Bagnoli’s Numbers
In his 23rd season, Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli already holds the all-time record with nine outright Ivy titles. He is second all-time with his nine Ivy titles overall, one behind Yale’s Carmen Cozza, who coached for 30 seasons. Bagnoli is the second-winningest head coach in Ivy League history. Only one man has won more games at an Ivy school than his 147 career wins at Penn (Cozza, 179) and in 159 games versus Ivy opponents, Bagnoli’s Quakers have won 111 of them (second-most all-time behind Cozza’s 135). Bagnoli’s Ivy record also amounts to a winning percentage of .698—second-highest of all-time since the inception of the league in 1956 (Princeton’s Dick Colman was 61-23 for a .726 winning percentage).
Penn Scoring Trend
On Homecoming, the Quakers continued a 25-year streak. The Quakers have gone 126 consecutive games at Franklin Field without being shut out. Penn has never been shut out at home in the Al Bagnoli era. The last time that occurred was a 24-0 loss to Dartmouth on November 18, 1989.
Against Ranked Teams
Overall, Penn is 5-17 vs. teams ranked in the Top 25 since 2000, but Penn’s last win over a ranked opponent came in Harvard’s last visit to Franklin Field where the Quakers knocked off the No. 25 Crimson and claimed a piece of the Ivy title with a 30-21 win on Nov. 10, 2012. In fact, two of the last three times Harvard has visited Franklin Field ranked in the Top 25, the Quakers have come out on top—a 24-21 loss to the No. 19 Crimson on Nov. 15, 2008 and a 22-13 victory over No. 17 Harvard on Nov. 11, 2006. Overall, Penn has lost three straight to Top 25 teams since that win over Harvard two years ago, including two this year (#6 Villanova and at #7 Fordham).
Quick Quakers Notes
Even if the Quakers went undefeated every season, head coach Al Bagnoli would still stand as Penn’s all-time winningest head coach until at least the year 2029 ... Penn forced a turnover in an Ivy game for the first time last week ... Freshman Justin Watson has multiple receptions in all eight career games he has played and owns the school freshman records for receptions (30) and receiving yards (358) ... Penn has started the same offensive line—Tanner Thexton, Dan Poulos, Trent Rivera, Dan Lysenko and Nick Demes—in each of the last six games ... Penn’s season-opening trip to Jacksonville was the furthest South the program has ever played a game ... The team’s charter flight that weekend was the first time the Quakers flew since a return trip from Dartmouth in 2010, and the first round-trip flight for the Quakers since the 2004 season opener at San Diego.
Sophomore quarterback Alek Torgersen, who ranks in the top 20 in the FCS in three categories, has a touchdown pass in eight of his nine career games, including six straight and all six Ivy League games he has played ... He has passed for 10 touchdowns to just four interceptions in his six Ivy League games ... He has thrown for 200+ yards and 1+ touchdowns in six straight games, including three 300-yard passing performances ... His completion percentage of 60.7 currently ranks third-best in a season at Penn ... He became just the 10th Penn passer with 2,000 yards in a season and the first since Robert Irvin in 2006 ... His 2,147 passing yards this season are sixth-most in school history and the most for a Penn player in 11 years (Mike Mitchell, 2,470 in 2003). ... His 207 completions this rank third-most in a season at Penn (34 from second place) and are the most since Mike Mitchell’s 241 in 2001 ... His 341 attempts are also third-most in school history to date.
Torgersen’s School Record
Sophomore Alek Torgersen tied his school record with 40 completions at Princeton last week. He previously hit that mark at Dartmouth on Oct. 4 and broke Gavin Hoffman’s record of 38 completions which stood since Oct. 28, 2000. Torgersen also set the single-game school record with 61 pass attempts last Saturday as he surpassed Bryan Walker’s 60 attempts in two seperate games in 2007.
Kulcsar’s School Record
Nearly half of Torgersen’s record-setting 40 completions at Princeton went to Spencer Kulcsar, who broke the single-game school record with 16 receptions. He shared the old record with 15 catches on Oct. 4 at Dartmouth to match Rob Milanese’s total against Cornell in 2002. Kulcsar also had 14 receptions (now fourth-most all-time at Penn) against Brown on Nov. 1 for a school-record 30 combined receptions in a two-game span. Kulcsar now owns three of the top four spots in Penn’s record book for receptions in a game.
Kulcsar Climbs the Record Book
Senior running back-turned-wide receiver Spencer Kulcsar is second in the FCS with 8.0 catches per game. His 64 catches this year are seventh-most in a season at Penn and the most since Dan Castles had 71 in 2003. He is just the fourth Penn player with 60 or more catches in a single season, joining Rob Milanese, Dan Castles and Miles Macik (who each did so twice), and he is just 109 yards from becoming the 18th player in school history with 1,000 career receiving yards. Kulcsar also had 29 catches during his first three seasons as a running back and his 93 career receptions ties him with Matt Carre for 11th all-time at Penn. He is seven catches from becoming just the 10th Quaker with 100 for his career.
Senior wideout Conner Scott, who has four or more catches in seven straight games, has moved into fourth place all-time at Penn in career receptions (144), fifth place in school history in career receiving yards (1,718), and eighth place in program history in career receiving touchdowns (11). His career-high 167 receiving yards at Yale rank ninth-most in a game in school history, and the most since Dan Castles had 204 against Cornell on Nov. 22, 2003. Scott is 282 yards away from becoming just the fourth player in school history to reach 2,000 career receiving yards. The last to do so was Dan Castles in 2004, who finished with 2,444. Scott is also just six catches away from becoming the fourth Penn player in the program’s 137-year history with 150 career receptions.
Several Quakers are ranked among the nation’s best, including the nation’s top QB-WR combo. Sophomore quarterbackAlek Torgersenranks second in the FCS in completions with 25.88 per game, while senior wideoutSpencer Kulcsaris second in the nation with 8.0 receptions per game—both lead the Ivies as well. Torgersen also ranks among the Top 20 in the FCS with 268.4 passing yards per game (9th) and total offense with an average of 276.4 yards per game (17th). Kulcsar is also 28th in the country with 80.5 receiving yards per game. In addition, junior placekickerJimmy Gammillis 27th in field goal percentage (76.9), while Penn’s special teams kick coverage unit is fifth-best nationally.
For the Quakers, S.O.S may stand for college football’s strength of schedule, or the universal signal for save our souls. Probably both. Penn has faced the seventh-toughest schedule in the FCS (Harvard, 106th). Penn’s three non-conference opponents have a combined record of 25-5 (.833), and two are ranked among the top 10 in the country.
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 1,352nd in the Red and Blue’s illustrious history. Penn is one of only two programs to pass 1,300 games, hitting that mark on Oct. 31, 2009 in an overtime win at Brown.
A Penn Win Today Would…
... be the second straight over a Top 25 Ivy opponent.
... cap Coach Bagnoli’s all-time record at Franklin Field at 82-34.
... make Coach Bagnoli 62-19 against Ivy opponents at home.
A Penn Loss Today Would…
… be the first at home to Harvard since 2008.
... mark the first back-to-back losses to Harvard since 2007-08.
… be less good than a win.
Despite three school records, Penn came up just short in the final minutes of a classic rivalry game with Princeton last Saturday as the Tigers came up with enough plays to pull out a 22-17 win. Alek Torgersen tied his own school record with 40 completions on a school-record 61 pass attempts, while senior wideout Spencer Kulcsar caught 16 of those to break the program record he tied earlier this season. The Tigers jumped out to a 12-0 lead. Penn responded with an impressive 14-play, 65-yard drive. Torgersen found Conner Scott for a five-yard touchdown and brought Penn within 12-7 just before the end of the first quarter. Princeton extended its lead to 19-7 before Jimmy Gammill drilled home a 44-yard field goal to close the deficit to 19-10 at intermission. The Quakers scored on their first possession of the second half when Justin Watson hauled in a one-handed, 22-yard touchdown reception, but that was the last score of the day for Penn. Princeton added a field goal and led by five. Penn had a chance in the closing minutes but was stopped on fourth down at the Princeton 22.
Its the grand finALe. Penn’s legendary head coach is set to retire at the end of the season which means next Saturday’s game will mark the last for Al Bagnoli at the helm of the Quakers. The winningest head coach in school history, and nine-time outright Ivy League champion, will finish his illustrious career at Cornell’s Schoellkopf Field. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.
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