Football Faces Fordham at Franklin Field Saturday

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PHILADELPHIA - A week removed from a dramatic comeback victory in the Ivy League opener at Dartmouth, the Quakers host Fordham in their final non-conference game of the 2011 campaign. Penn has never lost to the Rams in four all-time meetings, but the two programs haven’t met since 1999. Kickoff is slated for Saturday at 6 p.m.

Catching the Game!!
Television : The Quakers will not be on television, but there are several other ways to catch the Red and Blue on Saturday...

Webcast: The Penn Sports Network (PSN), which is available around the globe, will provide a live webcast of the game on PennAthletics.com in High Definition here. Penn announcers Brian Seltzer, C'07, and Hench Murray, C'66, GEd'67, will provide the call.

Radio: The game can be heard locally in Philadelphia on WFIL 560AM. Seltzer, in his fourth season as play-by-play man, is joined by Murray, who enters his 31st season as the analyst for the Quakers. You can listen online here.

Twitter: Follow @PennFB for live updates, photos and highlights. Click on #pennfb to see what everyone is saying about Penn Football and use it in your tweets to join the conversation.

Live Stats: Live stats can be found here. A full recap and box score will be available at the conclusion of the game at PennAtheltics.com.

Franklin Field: Nothing beats watching the Quakers in person. Get down to Franklin Field! Get your tickets online by clicking the link above. For directions and venue information, click here.

The Series
This is a short series between the two schools. Two of the most historic programs in college football, Penn and Fordham have met only four times with the Quakers claiming victory in each one. The first three meetings were decided by a total of 10 points, but the last time these teams met Penn won decisively, 35-18, at Franklin Field. Coach Bagnoli, who is on the Penn sideline for the 192nd time tonight, was present for all four of those games, as the first meeting between these two teams was Bagnoli’s third at Penn.

The Streak
Late-game heroics were needed, but Penn extended the longest conference winning streak in the FCS to 16 games. It is the second-longest conference winning streak in all of Division I, trailing only TCU’s current string of 18 straight wins against the Mountain West. The 16 straight Ivy wins stands as third-best in league history behind Penn’s record-setting stretch of 20 between 2001-04 and another Penn stretch of 17 games from 1992-95.

Things You Missed!
If you are not following Penn Football on Twitter (@PennFB) you missed exclusive highlights of each of Penn's scores and from the final drive last week. You also missed live updates during the game and exclusive photos and video from inside Penn's road trip to Dartmouth. But here's the game-winner if you haven't seen it already or want to see it again.

Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has not lost in Week 4 since 2002 at No. 6 Villanova (17-3) ... The Quakers have scored 20 or more points in nine straight Ivy games ... The Red and Blue have won the last 16 games in which they’ve held their opponent under 10 points ... Penn is 18-3 in its last 21 games overall and 21-2 in the last 23 against Ivy opponents ... Penn has been outscored 31-0 in the third quarter this year and 55-16 in the second half.

More Penn Trends The Quakers have outgained their opponent in all three games this year and in six of the last seven overall ... Penn has a sack in 10 straight games and in 27 of the last 28 games, dating back to 2008—the only game Penn went without a sack in that span was against Dartmouth in 2010 ... Penn has won the time of possession in 12 of the last 14 games.

Team October
Penn has lost 11 of its last 13 in the month of September, but when the calender turns to October, the Red and Blue have been unbeatable recently. They are 15-0 in the last four Octobers and have not lost a game in the month of October since the 27th of 2007 at Brown (31-17). The last home game they lost in that month was a week earlier, in triple overtime to Yale (26-20).

Fourth Quarter Comebacks Part I
A rarity for Penn Football is the fourth quarter comeback. Mostly because its never needed. Prior to the first two games this season, the Quakers had either led or been tied in the fourth quarter in 19 straight games. Penn’s last win when trailing in the fourth quarter came in the season opener in 2010. Lafayette led 14-13 when the Quakers took over from their own 25-yard line. Junior quarterback Billy Ragone led the Red and Blue the length of the field in 14 plays. Lyle Marsh had the game-winning 12-yard touchdown run with 6:21 remaining.

Fourth Quarter Comebacks Part II
Let’s take a look into last week’s dramatic final drive.

- Officially: 13 plays, 89 yards, 3:40 - Penn actually went 99 yards due to a holding penalty that negated a touchdown - Play breakdown: 5 rush (34 yards), 8 pass (65 passing) - Ragone: 8-for-8, 65 yards passing, 13 yards rushing, 1 touchdown - Colavita: 2 carries, 18 yards, 9.0 yards per carry - Holder: 3 receptions, 28 yards, 9.3 yards per catch - Calvert: 2 receptions, 18 yards, 1 touchdown


Last Meeting with Fordham
The first three games between Fordham and Penn were all decided by four points or fewer. Not the last meeting. Nearly 12 years ago to the day, sophomore tailback Kris Ryan, making just his fourth start, ran 35 times, scored four times, and finished with 256 yards, the third-best rushing performance in Quakers history. Penn’s all-time rushing record is 272 yards, set by Terrance Stokes against Princeton in 1993.

Running Recently
The running game worked 12 years ago for Penn and you can be sure to see a lot of it tonight. The Red and Blue have rushed for at least 100 yards as a team in each of their last 16 contests going back to 2009, including 10 with at least 200 yards over that span.

Colavita Milestone
Junior running back Brandon Colavita, who is second in the Ivy League in rushing with an average of 87.0 per game, will be one of the main attractions in Penn’s running game. Last week, he for 102 yards on a career-high 24 carries. It marked his fourth career 100-yard rushing game and left him just 11 yards shy of 1,000 for his career.

Opening Drives
Penn hasn’t allowed an opening drive touchdown since 2008 (span of 26 games). Since Brown opened the Nov. 1 game at Franklin Field with a nine-play, 51-yard touchdown drive, opponents are 0-for-25 when trying to reach the end zone on their first drive. (*Villanova did return an opening kickoff for a touchdown in the 2009 season opener).

No. 99 at Franklin Field
Tonight marks the 99th game for Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli at Franklin Field. Only one other head coach has stood along the sideline at Franklin Field on more occasions. George Munger (1938-53) led the Red and Blue onto the Franklin Field tundra 113 times in 16 seasons. Coach Bagnoli will coach his 100th game at Franklin Field on Oct. 22 against Yale.

Atop the Ivy League
Its early, but Penn once again owns the best defense in the Ivy League. The Quakers have finished No. 1 in the Ivy League in total defense for three straight seasons. They led the nation in that category in 2009 and finished fourth in the FCS in 2008 and 2010. This year they have allowed an average of 60 fewer yards than any other Ivy team at just 291.3 per game. That is aided by the second-best pass defense in the Ivies at 165 yards per game.

0-2? No problem.
Does this seem familiar? Penn started the year 0-2 with losses to Lafayette and Villanova, but then earned a tough win last week at Dartmouth on national television. In 2009, the last time the Red and Blue won the Ivy League title, they also started 0-2 with losses to the same opponents before heading to Hanover, N.H­., and pulling out a win in front of a national audience on VERSUS. Penn then went on to win the next seven to break a six-year Ivy title drought.

Escaping Dartmouth
The three closest games during Penn’s current 16-game Ivy League winning streak? Over Dartmouth by 6. Over Dartmouth by 7 in overtime. Over Dartmouth by 2. The Big Green are the only Ivy team Penn has not beaten by more than a touchdown on any occasion over the last three years. The closest game for Penn during this streak was the six-point win at Dartmouth in 2009. That changed last Saturday when the Quakers pulled out a two-point win in the rematch in Hanover. The only meeting between those games? Dartmouth forced overtime at Franklin Field—the only home Ivy game in three years that was decided by fewer than 14 points. The next closest Ivy game at Franklin Field during that time—Penn’s 27-13 “nail-biter” with Columbia in 2010.

Last Time Out
The first and only offensive touchdown of the game for Penn came with 17 seconds left, and it was the gamewinner. Senior Ryan Calvert hauled in the winning catch to give the Quakers a 22-20 win over Dartmouth in front of 8,117 rain-soaked fans Saturday night at the first-ever night game in Memorial Stadium’s 89-year history. Senior linebacker Jason Rasmussen picked off a pass near midfield with four seconds remaining to seal the victory. Down four with four minutes remaining, the Quakers took over from their own 11-yard line. Junior Billy Ragone was 8-for-8 passing for 65 yards and 13 rushing yards on the game-winning drive. In the opening quarter, Penn’s defense started the scoring. Junior Brandon Copeland recovered a fumble and sprinted untouched into the end zone for a 7-0 lead. Penn led 13-3 on a wild ending that capped the first half. Penn drove to the Dartmouth 26-yard line. On third down, Ragone completed an eight-yard pass to Mitchell, who was tackled a yard shy of the first down with 13 seconds left. Penn had no timeouts and rushed the field goal unit onto the field and barely got the 35-yard field goal off in time. Penn led 16-10 after Connor Loftus hit his third field goal of the game, but 10 unanswered for points gave Dartmouth a 20-16 edge with 8:27 left which led to the the last-minute dramatics.

Up Next
VERSUS will broadcast next Saturday’s matchup between Penn and Columbia at 3:30 p.m. Once again, Penn will serve as the opponent at the Lions’ Homecoming game. The Red and Blue will then return to Franklin Field on Oct. 22 against Yale—also nationally televised on VERSUS.

Download: 4-Fordham.pdf