Football Begins Ivy Play at Dartmouth Saturday

PHILADELPHIA - Last season, Penn and Dartmouth opened the Ivy season at Franklin Field with the longest game in Ancient Eight history. The Quakers prevailed in four overtimes for their sixth straight win over the Big Green, who finished one win short of their first Ivy title since 1996. Each of the last five and seven of the last eight meetings have been decided by one possession. Saturday’s matchup will be televised nationally on Fox College Sports and kick off at 1:30 p.m.

The Penn-Dartmouth Series—82nd Meeting
Penn has lost to Dartmouth just once since 1997. The only blemish in the last 16 years was a 21-13 defeat in Hanover in 2007—that was also the last time Penn started a season 0-3. However, each of the last five contests—and all but one since 2006—have been decided on the final possession. Al Bagnoli is 18-4 against the Big Green and 8-1 when going head-to-head with Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens. This will mark the 82nd all-time meeting between the Ivy programs and Penn holds a 47-32-2 edge, including a 15-14 record against the Big Green at Memorial Field.

Ivy Openers
Every year since 1989, the Quakers have opened their Ivy slate with Dartmouth. Over those 24 years, the Quakers have started 1-0 in league play on 19 occasions, including an 18-4 mark (.818) in Ivy openers under Coach Bagnoli—but three of the four losses came in Hanover.

0-2? No problem.
Does this seem familiar? Penn is 0-2 after a home loss to Villanova and will play at Dartmouth on national television. In 2009 and 2012 the Quakers followed the same path and went on to win the Ivy title­. In 2009, the Quakers won, 30-24, on VERSUS and then went on to win the next seven to claim an undefeated Ivy League championship. In 2012, Penn topped the Big Green, 28-21, and won six of the last seven Ivy games to win the title outright.

Close Matchups
Each of Penn’s last three trips to Hanover, N.H., were also televised and for good reason. Since 2006, only one matchup has been decided by more than one possession:

2006 - Penn held off a late Dartmouth rally to win 17-10 at Franklin Field.
2007 - With seconds remaining, the Quakers were stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 6-yard line and lost, 21-13, in Hanover.
2008 - Penn led 17-10 in the fourth and two late field goals iced the game, 23-10.
2009 - Penn led by just three entering the fourth, but built that into a 13-point edge and a late Dartmouth rally fell short in a 30-24 Penn win in Hanover. Penn’s closest game during an unbeaten Ivy season.
2010 - Once again, Penn’s closest game during an unbeaten Ivy season. The Quakers scored first in OT and then held off the Big Green to win, 35-28 at Franklin Field.
2011 - Penn marched 89 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with 17 seconds remaining in the first-ever night game at Memorial Field.
2012 - Dartmouth was within six, 20-14, midway through the fourth quarter and trailed by seven after a touchdown with 3:33 to go. But Penn ran out the clock at Memorial Field.
2013 - Penn blocked a field goal as time expired to force overtime and then won the longest game in Ivy League history on a 20-yard touchdown run by Kyle Wilcox, 37-31 at Franklin Field.

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 is facing one of the nation’s toughest non-conference schedules. Jacksonville is 3-1 with its only loss on the road to then-No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana, while No. 6/5 Villanova is 3-1, with its only loss coming on the road in double overtime to FBS opponent Syracuse. Penn’s last non-league opponent is on the road against No. 16/19 Fordham, who is currently 4-1 with its only loss to No. 5/6 Villanova. Saturday's opponent, Dartmouth, is 1-1 with its only loss to No. 4/7 New Hampshire.

Game No. 221
This will be head coach Al Bagnoli's 221st game at the helm of the Quakers. That will break a tie with Harvard's Joe Restic for the fifth-most games coached in Ivy League history. Only Edward Robinson (Brown, 234), Lou Little (Columbia, 236), Tuss McLaughry (Brown/Dartmouth, 244) and Carm Cozza (Yale, 303) have coached more games at an Ivy League school.

Quick Quakers Notes
Penn’s trip to Jacksonville was the furthest South the program has ever played a game ... Last weekend’s charter flight 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 ... Penn has scored 30 or more points in three of the last four games ... The Quakers have forced a turnover in 10 straight contests and 11 of the last 12 ... Penn has had multiple sacks in each of the last four games dating back to last season (12 in total).

Great Scott
Senior Conner Scott already ranks among the top 10 in school history in receptions and receiving yards. Scott led the Quakers in both categories last year (38 catches for 458 yards) and became the ninth Penn player with 100 career receptions and the 17th Quaker to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards. This season, Scott will continue to climb the school record books in both categories. He needs 15 receptions to reach Penn’s all-time top five, and 303 yards to reach the same spot among Penn’s all-time leaders in receiving yards. Scott, who has 1,311 career receiving yards, will also have a shot at becoming just the fifth player in school history with 2,000 receiving yards.

Fresh(men) Faces
One of the youngest teams in Coach Bagnoli’s tenure is evidenced by several freshmen who have logged significant playing time and made an immediate impact for the Quakers. Punter Hunter Kelley was the Ivy League Rookie of the Week following the season opener at Jacksonville and ranks second in the Ivies with 41.2 yards per punt. Wideout Justin Watson is tops on the team with eight receptions through two games, while running back Tre Solomon is ninth in the Ancient Eight in all-purpose yardage with 103.0 per game, and long snapper Zach O’Leary has snapped for Kelley and junior placekicker Jimmy Gammill, who remains perfect in his first season as kicker (5-for-5 PATs, 1-for-1 FG).

NCAA Record
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 1,346th 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 1,293 games played. Congrats on being a part of an NCAA record!

A Penn Win Today Would…
… be the seventh straight over Dartmouth and the fourth straight in Hanover.
... snap the first six-game losing streak in Coach Bagnoli’s tenure.
... be the first of the season for the Quakers.
... make Penn 1-0 in the Ivy League for the 19th time in Coach Bagnoli’s 23 seasons.

A Penn Loss Today Would…
… be the first to Dartmouth since 2007.
... make the Quakers 0-3 to start the season for the first time since 2007.
... mark the fifth straight Ivy loss dating back to last season.
… be less good than a win.

Last Week
A big first half propelled sixth-ranked Villanova past Penn last Saturday. In the home opener of the 120th season at the nation’s oldest collegiate football stadium, the Wildcats used some first-half offensive fireworks to earn a 41-7 win over the Quakers at Franklin Field. To open the game, Villanova converted three first downs before John Robertson found senior tight end Earnest Pettway for a 36-yard score. Robertson then led the Wildcats on a 99-yard scoring drive, converting seven first downs and sealing it with a nine-yard touchdown pass. The cross-city rival Wildcats added another score after a Penn punt with a 54-yard touchdown run to take a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. Villanova also scored twice more in the second quarter via Robertson passes, and received another prime scoring opportunity when Alek Torgersen lost a fumble on Penn’s own 22-yard line with 6:36 left in the second quarter. The Wildcats gave the ball to Gary Underwood, who needed two rushes to advance the 22 yards to give Villanova a 41-7 lead. Between those scores, senior running back Kyle Wilcox provided the Quakers with their only score on a 67-yard touchdown run.

Up Next
Its the final non-conference game of the 23-year career for head coach Al Bagnoli and his Quakers will take on a Top-20 team on the road. Penn heads to No. 16/19 Fordham for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Coffey Field in New York City.

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