Football Drops Ivy Opener at Dartmouth, 31-13

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HANOVER, N.H.- It was a rainy day at Memorial Stadium and an overall dreary day for the University of Pennsylvania football team. The Quakers lost their Ivy opener for the first time since 2007, 31-13, at Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon.

Behind school-record performances from senior wideoutSpencer Kulcsarand sophomore quarterbackAlek Torgersen,Penn's offense outgained the Big Green, 383-325.Torgersen broke Gavin Hoffman's 14-year-old school record with 40 completions, and Kulcsar accounted for nearly half of those to matchRob Milanese's 12-year-old program record with 15 receptions. But despite those performances, three key turnovers proved costly for the Quakers.

Penn (0-3, 0-1 Ivy) opened the scoring midway through the first quarter. AfterKyle WilcoxandTre Solomoncombined for a pair of first-down runs, Torgersenfound seniorMatt Schwartzopen in the middle of the field. The fullback then outraced the Big Green for a 54-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead at the 7:04 mark.

The Big Green (2-1, 1-0 Ivy) responded with an 11-play touchdown drive to tie it, and then took the lead just 2:08 later. After Torgersen was picked off inside the 40, Dartmouth scored on the last play of the opening quarter to take a 14-7 lead.

Early in the second quarter, Dartmouth scored seven more off another Penn turnover. A fumbled snap gave the Big Green the ball at the Penn 42 and a 24-yard touchdown run put the hosts up 21-7 at the 9:34 mark.

After a Penn punt, Dartmouth added one more touchdown on a nine-play, 70-yard drive, but the Quakers answered just before intermission. Torgersen was 6-for-7 for 49 yards and also rushed for 11 yards on a 14-play, 65-yard drive that ended on a 38-yardJimmy Gammillfield goal to make it 28-10 at the half.

Gammill added another three points on Penn's first possession of the second half. A 53-yard completion to Kulcsar set up a 37-yard field goal. But Dartmouth equaled that with a 35-yard field goal just 45 seconds into the final quarter and Penn trailed 31-13.

Neither team altered the scoreboard again and the Quakers fell to Dartmouth for the first time in seven years -- and just the second time since 1997.

Torgersen's 40 completions surpassed Hoffman's previous record of 38 completed passes from a win over Brown on Oct. 28, 2000. Torgersen completed 69 percent of his passes as his 58 attempts arethird-most in a game in school history.

Eight different receivers had multiple catches for the Quakers. In addition to Kulcsar, who's 15 catches also tied for 13th-most all-time by an Ivy League player, Schwartz finished with a career-best five catches and 92 receiving yards.Eric FioreandDanny Ferensalso hauled in career highs in receptions at five and three, respectively. Wilcox was Penn's leading rusher with 36 yards on 12 carries.

Defensively, sophomoreCorey Powerrecorded a career-best 11 tackles -- the most for any Penn player in a game this season.Nolan Biegeladded a personal-best nine tackles.

Penn had more first downs (21-19) and outpassed the Big Green, 350-107, but were outrushed 218-33 and fell in the turnover department, 3-0. Prior to Saturday, the Red and Blue had forced at least one turnover in 12 straight Ivy League contests.

Up next is the final non-conference game of the 23-year career for head coachAl Bagnoliand 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.


Download: 3-Dartmouth box.pdf