NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In the first-ever night game at the Yale Bowl, it was the University of Pennsylvania offense which provided all the electricity needed as the Red and Blue scored touchdowns on five of its six first half drives en route to a 42-7 win to improve to 3-0 in the Ivy League.
In a thoroughly dominating first-half display, Alek Torgersen found Justin Watson for nine catches, a staggering 160 yards and three touchdowns. That was the story Friday night at the Bowl.
Watson would finish the game with 10 catches for 166 yards and the three scores -- setting new career highs in both yards and TDs. Torgersen's four touchdown passes tied his career high in a game where he became just the second Penn signal-caller to surpass the 6,000-yard mark for his career.
While the offense was lighting up the scoreboard, the Red and Blue's defense was beating the Bulldogs off the ball early and often. The Quakers held Yale to 229 yards of offense while forcing a pair of turnovers. It took Yale 43:19 of game play to score its only points of the game, and it took the Bulldogs until midway through the second quarter to cross into Penn territory.
Penn won the opening coin toss and elected to give its defense a chance to play first and that decision paid immediate dividends. Nick Miller forced a fumble on Yale’s sixth play of the game and Matt Henderson pounced on it to give the Quakers the ball at Yale’s 37.
Nine plays later, Tre Solomon waltzed into the end zone off an option play from three yards out to give Penn a 7-0 lead.
The Quakers were moving toward a second score on their next drive, but were stopped on 4th-and-1 from the Yale 25. Undaunted, the Quakers' D forced another three-and-out and gave their offense the ball for a third time in the opening quarter.
Nine plays and 3:30 later, the Red and Blue were back on the scoreboard via a five-yard touchdown pass from Torgersen to Watson. Torgersen was 3-for-4 for 39 yards on a drive that he capped with his 13th career touchdown pass to Watson – the second-best QB/WR touchdown connection in program history.
The second quarter had barely begun before Penn had a 21-0 lead. Once again, it was the defense which kick-started things as Sam Philippi picked off Tre Moore at the Yale 44. Three plays later, Torgersen and Watson connected on a beautiful play-action pass from 41 yards out.
Torgersen would finish the first half with four passing touchdowns, adding a 10-yard pass to Cam Countryman and a 35-yarder to Watson as Penn opened a 35-0 lead at the break.
Yale thought it had pinned Penn in a dangerous spot following a downed punt at the Penn 5-yard line early in the third quarter, but the Quakers had other ideas -- namely a 95-yard drive capped by freshman running back Karekin Brooks taking a Tre Solomon pitch in from 13 yards out to give the Red and Blue a 42-0 lead.
Yale’s touchdown came off a five-yard pass from Moore to Alan Lamar with 1:41 to play in the third quarter.
Linebacker Nick Miller had 11 tackles (one TFL) and the forced fumble. Colton Moskal was in on 10 tackles (eight solo).
The Red and Blue return to Franklin Field for Homecoming on October 29, hosting Brown at 1 p.m. on the Ivy League Digital Network.