NEW YORK, N.Y. - An anticipated matchup with a familiar foe quickly turned into the largest blowout victory for the University of Pennsylvania football team since 2010. The Quakers dominated Columbia on the road, 42-7.
Penn's 19th straight win over the Lions is now the fifth-longest win streak in FCS history over an annual opponent. The Quakers, who once again spoiled Homecoming at Kraft Field, have not lost to Columbia since 1996, or at Columbia since 1995.
Penn improved to 2-3 on the year and 1-1 in Ivy play as head coach Ray Priore earned his first career Ivy League victory over former Penn coach, Al Bagnoli, who's Lions dropped to 1-4 and 0-2 in league play.
How it Happened
On the first drive of the game, the Quakers drove to the Columbia 32-yard line but were stopped on fourth down. The Lions took over and went 68 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead at the 5:03 mark of the opening quarter.
However, the game took a sudden turn on the first play of Columbia's next possession. Junior Matt Henderson supplied a huge hit, freshman Sam Philippi stripped the ball, and senior Ian Dobbins scooped up the fumble at the Columbia 21.
Penn dominated from that point forward.
Two plays later, junior quarterback Alek Torgersen connected with senior tight end Ryan Kelly over the middle of the field for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The first of two Torgersen touchdown tosses tied the game with 2:35 left in the opening quarter.
Penn took its first lead behindChristian Pearson, who set a school record for a freshman with 10 catches. He took care of the final 39 yards of the drive with back-to-back receptions -- the second of which went for 25 yards and through several tacklers for the 14-7 advantage with 9:16 left in the half.
On the next Columbia possession, the Quakers forced another three-and-out. The Lions botched the snap on the punt and the Quakers took over at the 13-yard line. Two runs from junior Brian Schoenauer and the Red and Blue were in command, 21-7, with 7:27 left in the half.
Penn capitalized once more before the break. Columbia drove into Penn territory, but sophomore linebackerBrandon Mills forced a fumble and senior defensive linemanAustin Taps fell on it at the Penn 34 with just over a minute remaining. The offense - led by three more catches from Pearson - rushed downfield and found the end zone again when sophomore Tre Solomon scored his first touchdown with 16 seconds remaining. The three-yard rush put Penn up 28-7 at halftime.
On the second play of the second half, senior Tyler Drake hauled in an interception that set up the second Torgersen-to-Kelly touchdown of the day. The 32-yard score put Penn on top, 35-7 just 1:17 into the second half.
Penn scored again on its next possession with a seven-play, 68-yard drive capped by another Solomon touchdown run. The 1-yard plunge made it 42-7 midway through the quarter and the Quakers eased off the gas.
Senior Andrew Lisa and freshman Jake Floriea each saw time at quarterback down the stretch. Floriea completed his first pass and ran for 10 yards. Freshman running back Jay Cammon, Jr., ran six time s for 16 yards.
Inside the Numbers
This was Penn's largest win since a 52-10 victory at Princeton on Nov. 6, 2010.
Pearson finished with a career-best 10 catches and 126 receiving yards in addition to the touchdown. Senior Cameron Countryman had four receptions for a season-best 78 yards, while Kelly tallied 51 yards and both catches went for touchdowns.Torgersen was 19-of-29 for 270 yards and the three scores.
Defensively, Penn forced four turnovers, and had five sacks just one week after posting seven sacks against No. 13/12 Fordham. Six different players got in the sack column as Tyler Drake and Nolan Biegel shared a sack, and Austin Taps, Tayler Hendrickson, Brody Graham and Corey Power each registered a sack as well.
Penn outgained Columbia, 417-199, including 285-101 through the air. After their first drive of the game, the Lions totaled just 131 total yards.
Next week, the Quakers will play their first-ever nationally-televised night game at Franklin Field -- on Friday.
Quaker Fan Fest will take place before the game. On Family Weekend at Penn, the Athletic Department is shutting down Moravian Street prior to the football game for a free event featuring music, giveaways and specials with the various restaurants on the street.
NBC Sports will broadcast Penn's matchup with Yale at the nation's oldest collegiate football stadium.Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Download: 5 - Columbia box.pdf