Welcome Home, Quakers! It’s Homecoming Weekend and while generations of Quakers are converging upon University City and Franklin Field this weekend, the 2016 edition of the Penn Quakers is making a successful return to its home turf after a 42-7 trouncing of Yale in the Yale Bowl’s first-ever night game last Friday. Up next, a meeting with a Brown Bears team coming off an overtime win over Cornell last weekend.
The Penn-Brown Series—85th Meeting
Today’s meeting is an anniversary of sorts as the Quakers and Bears played the first-ever Ivy League game at Franklin Field on October 30, 1895. The 12-0 Penn win was the first of 58 so far for the Red and Blue in the 84 previous meetings. At Franklin Field, the Quakers have been dominant to the tune of a 40-10-1 record.
Last Time Out
- Penn’s offense was electric in the first half, scoring on 5 of 6 drives and giving the Red and Blue a 35-0 halftime lead.
- Justin Watson finished the game with a career-high 166 yards and three touchdowns — all three TDs and 160 yards came in the first half.
- Alek Torgersen was 16-for-23 and tied his career high with four touchdowns.
- Nick Miller had a game-high 11 tackles, while forcing a fumble and picking up the recovery.
- Penn had 5-8 yards of total offense, their most since the 2011 season.
Penn ventures a few miles north to Princeton on November 5 for the 108th all-time meeting between these historic rivals. Kickoff on the American Sports Network is slated for noon. Last year, Donald Panciello blocked a Princeton field goal attempt as time expired and Eric Fiore scored the winning TD in overtime as Penn won an epic Homecoming matchup, 26-23.
Quakers Welcome Back 1986 Team
As part of Penn’s annual Homecoming festivities, the Red and Blue welcome back the 1986 Ivy League championship team. The first team in the Ivy League era (1956 - Present) to go 10-0, the 1986 team recorded a 30-26 win at Navy as part of its perfect season and finished the season ranked No. 7 in the final NCAA I-AA Poll. Ivy League MVP Rich Comizio led seven first-team All-Ivy selections as Ed Zubrow became the second Ivy League coach to win an Ivy title in his first season.
A Penn Win Today Would…
… be Penn’s 10th in a row in Ivy League games
... be Penn’s fifth Ivy League home win in a row
... be Penn’s second in a row on Homecoming
A Penn Loss Today Would…
... snap Penn’s four-game winning streak
... be Penn’s second in a row in a Homecoming Game with Brown (2014)
… give Penn three, matching its total from 2015
Junior Tre Solomon leads the Ivy League in rushing attempts (104), rushing yards (618), yards/game (103.0) and yards/rush (5.9) .Through six games this season, Solomon has already set a career-high in yards in a season and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for his career during the Columbia game. On the national front, Solomon is 12th in yards/game, 23rd in yard/rush, 27th in total rushing yards, and 32nd in rushing TDs
If you read the above section, it should come as no surprise that Tre Solomon has been one of the biggest offensive weapons in the Ivy League this season. His efforts against Columbia — 127 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving, 23 yards passing, two touchdowns — earned him Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Penn Has a Pair of Top Runners
There are 58 players in FCS football who have scored at least six rushing touchdowns this season. Penn is one of just eight schools to have two players —Tre Solomon and Alek Torgersen —to have rushed for six or more TDs.
As Alek Torgersen and Justin Watson have risen up the all-time record books at their respective positions, they have gradually moved closer to becoming Penn’s all-time greatest QB/WR combo. The duo trail Gavin Hoffman/Rob Milanese in catches and yards, while sitting behind Mike Mitchell and Dan Castles in touchdowns
Combination Years Games Catches Yards TDs
Hoffman/Milanese 1999-2001 28 170 2,260 12
Torgersen/Watson 2014-Present 25 149 1,977 15
Mitchell/Castles 2002-03 19 88 1,368 17
Individual Ivy Ranks
Entering Week Six, Alek Torgersen and Justin Watson are making moves on the Ivy League’s All-Time Records Book. Here are their current ranks:
Career Passing Yards: 15th (6,015 - 252 from 10th)
Career Ivy League Passing Yards: 16th (4,249 - 349 from 10th)
Career Completion Percentage: 3rd (64.4 - First is Jason Garrett at 66.5)
Career Completions: 11th (535 - 15 away from 10th)
Career Ivy League Completions: 11th (378 - 13 away from 10th)
Career Passing Attempts: 18th (831 - 38 away from 15th)
Most Touchdown Passes: T10th (47 - 4 away from 9th)
Most Ivy Touchdown Passes: 6th (37 - 5 away from 4th)
Career Total Offense: 11th (6,808 - 245 away from 10th)
Career Ivy League Total Offense: T17th (4,249 - 278 away from 13th)
Career Receptions 28th (161 - 10 away from T25th)
Career Ivy League Receptions: 30th (110 - 9 away from 25th)
Career Receiving Yards: 31st (2,176 - 145 away from 25th)
Career 100-Yard Games: 11th (9 - 1 away from T8th)
Career Touchdown Receptions: T20th (17, 4 away from T13th)
Career Ivy League Touchdown Receptions: 25th (11 - 3 away from T17th)
Hunter The Punter
Junior Hunter Kelley ranks No. 6 in the NCAA in punting average, coming in at 44.9 yards per game. He has punted 22 times in six games, with nine punts travelling 50+ yards and nine landing inside the 20-yard line. The lone blemish on his season was a punt that was blocked against Columbia and traveled six yards. FYI, the Ivy League record for punting average in a season is 45.1. Penn’s single season record for punting average is 43.5.
Penn is Pinning Them In
Hunter Kelley’s prowess in the punting game has propelled Penn to a No. 17 Net Punting ranking in FCS. The Quakers are averaging a net of 38.79 over their first six games. Opponents have returned just eight punts for a total of 76 yards with a long of 31.
Interceptions of Interest
Sophomore defensive back Mason Williams recorded an interception in three consecutive games to start the 2016 season. He joins Ian Dobbins (10/17-10/31/15) as recent Quakers to record picks in three straight games. Williams is ranked No. 14 in FCS in interceptions per game at 0.5.
Off The Officials’ Radar
Through four games, Penn ranks No. 9 in FCS in terms of penalty yards-per-game (41.6) and is averaging just 5.3 penalties per game. After being flagged for 10 penalties in the season opener, the Red and Blue have been called for 22 over the past five games.
Red (and Blue) Zone
Penn is 17-20 on red zone attempts this season, with 16 touchdowns.
Penn has protected leads as well as anyone in the country under Ray Priore. The Red and Blue are 9-0 when leading at halftime, and 10-0 when leading at the end of the third quarter.