Football Heads to Bucknell For Non-League Clash

Penn (2-1, 1-0 Ivy League) at
Bucknell (3-2, 0-1 Patriot League)

Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006 - 1 p.m.
Christy Mathewson Stadium - Lewisburg, Pa.
Radio:
WFIL-AM 560 / PennAthletics.com

Game Notes in PDF Format

Penn and Bucknell continue their intra-Commonwealth rivalrySaturday at Mathewson Stadium. Bucknell is hoping to avenge a 53-7 blowout last season at Franklin Field, while Penn is looking to win its fourth in a row over the Bison.

On the Radio
Thanks to a new deal inked during the offseason, all 10 Penn football games will be heard on either WNTP 990 AM or sister station WFIL 560 AM this season. Every game will also be streamed live at PennAthletics.com. Matt Leon (play-by-play) and Hench Murray (color analyst) return for their fourth season together in the booth. This season also marks Murray's 26th providing color commentary for Quaker broadcasts. Brian Seltzer returns for his third season as the crew’s sideline reporter. Today’s game, heard on WFIL 560 AM, will feature former Penn director of football operations and current Patriot League Media Relations Director Rich Schepis as the halftime guest.

Today’s Game
Penn and Bucknell square off for the 32nd time and the tenth time under Head Coach Al Bagnoli. The Quakers, at 2-1, are coming off a 17-10 win over Dartmouth at home last week, while Bucknell is 3-2 after winning, 48-19, at Marist last weekend.

Maugle Earns Ivy Defensive Player of the Week Honors
Sophomore cornerback Tyson Maugle has had a fantastic start to the 2006 season, picking off three passes — two of them against Dartmouth — in three games. For his efforts, Maugle earned Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday. He already has the most interceptions in a season by a Penn player since 2003, when former Quakers Pat McManus and Bryan Arguello each picked off four over ten games. Maugle currently ranks second in the nation with an average of one interception per game.

Scouting the Bison
Bucknell is looking to ride the momentum of a 48-19 win last week at Marist. The Bison didn’t complete a pass in the game, but didn’t need to as they racked up 390 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Josh DeStefano ran for 101 yards and a touchdown. Ten different Bison had a touch, and nine had at least three carries. The Bison are 3-2 overall, but have been inconsistent: they won their opener in overtime against Duquesne, 31-28; were shut out at home by Lafayette, 31-0; beat Cornell at home, 20-5; and lost at Richmond, 48-21. Bucknell has the second-ranked rushing offense in the nation, averaging 267.8 yards per game on the ground, but ranks 116th — dead last — in NCAA I-AA with 54.4 yard per game passing.

Last Year
Fans were no doubt expecting a repeat of 2004’s double-overtime rollercoaster, but instead were treated to a 53-7 blowout in favor of the Quakers at Franklin Field. Played in a pouring rain, the game featured seven Penn touchdowns, including two defensive scores (Greg Ambrogi’s fumble recovery in the end zone and Scotty Williams’ 52-yard interception return). Despite the scoreline, Penn was actually very efficient with its offense, posting just 267 yards of total offense and 82 yards on the ground. The team’s last three touchdowns came on drives of less than 20 yards.

Closer Than Meets the Eye
Despite Penn’s 53-7 blowout last year, the Bucknell series has seen a string of close games during the Bagnoli era. Discarding last year’s result and Penn’s 30-point victory in 1993, the average point differential is just 5.85 over seven games. Two games in that span have gone to double-overtime, and Penn won both — a dramatic 30-21 win in 1996 and a 32-25 thriller in 2004. Five games were decided by one score; two were one-point games.

When Sixty Minutes Isn’t Enough
Penn has gone to double-overtime twice against Bucknell in the last decade. In 1996, the Quakers won in the extra period by an NCAA-record nine-point margin. Both teams scored touchdowns in the first extra period, and Penn opened the second with a field goal. Bucknell attempted to tie it with a kick of its own, but Penn’s Roger Beckwith blocked the attempt and Chris Parsons returned it 75 yards for a touchdown, giving the Quakers the odd nine-point victory. The 1996 Bucknell team went on to win the Patriot League. The 2004 classic ended thanks to a more conventional, though no less exciting, finish. Both teams made long field goals in the first overtime, with Bucknell’s Ryan Korn hitting a 47-yarder and Penn’s Evan Nolan making his 42-yard attempt with the game on the line. In the second overtime, Penn went first and quarterback Pat McDermott dove in for a one-yard touchdown. The Penn defense shut down the Bison on their possession to seal the victory.

Two Under Center
When the Penn coaching staff was presented with the preseason conundrum of who the starting quarterback would be between sophomore Robert Irvin and junior Bryan Walker, the feeling was that it was a good problem to have. The pairing was on display against Dartmouth when Walker stepped in for Irvin on a third-quarter drive and immediately changed the feel of the game, going no-huddle and becoming a mobile threat. Walker completed a pass for 14 yards and also scrambled for a 25-yard run, the longest by a Penn player in the game.

Dartmouth Game Performances
While Penn’s 17-10 win over Dartmouth was a bit closer than Penn fans would’ve liked to have seen, there were plenty of standout performances to go around. In addition to Maugle’s big afternoon, linebacker Kory Gedin racked up 12 tackles, one shy of his career high. Sophomore quarterback Robert Irvin passed for a career-high 227 yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Matt Carre made seven catches for 87 yards, while Braden Lepisto and Billy May each had touchdown receptions.

Century Man
Head Coach Al Bagnoli got his 100th win with the Quakers in the team’s opening-week win over Lafayette. Bagnoli, who stands at 101-40 with Penn, is 23 wins behind the legendary George Woodruff for first all-time at Penn. He is also the second-winningest active coach in Division I-AA with a .716 winning percentage - only Dayton’s Mike Kelly (.830) is better.

Non-League Success
Penn has not had a losing non-League record since 2000, when it lost to Lehigh and Holy Cross and beat Lafayette. Despite the 1-2 non-Ivy record, the Quakers went on to win the Ivy League title that year with a 6-1 Ancient Eight mark.

The Possession Game
Penn has not controlled the time of possession in a game this year. The Quakers have allowed their opponents to hold onto the ball for a whopping 5:03 more this season, despite outscoring opponents 58-48. Penn has run 28 fewer offensive plays and gained 295 fewer yards of total offense over three games.

Friendly Confines?
Penn broke a three-game home losing skid last week with its win over Dartmouth. Penn’s rare streak dated back to Nov. 5, 2005 when it fell to Princeton. To find the last time the Quakers lost three in a row in West Philly, you’d have to go all the way back to the 1989 and 1990 seasons, when Penn dropped the last two home games of 1989 (to Dartmouth and Cornell) and the first two of 1990 (to Holy Cross and Lehigh).

Red Zone Defense
The Quaker defense has been formidable when it counts this season. Penn has the Ivy League’s top-ranked red zone defense, allowing points on only 42.9 percent of opponents’ trips inside the 20. That includes just two field goals on seven attempts, with two blocks.

Un-Patriotic
Ivy League squads are 9-2 this season against their Patriot League counterparts. Penn has won nine in a row against the Patriot League, with the most recent win coming in Week One against Lafayette and the last loss back on Oct. 7, 2000, a 34-17 setback against Holy Cross.

The Captains
Seniors Sean Estrada (OL) and Scotty Williams (DB) have been selected by their teammates as Penn’s captains for the 2006 season. Both are returning starters and 2005 Honorable Mention All-Ivy selections.

Preseason Ivy Poll
The preseason Ivy League media poll tabbed Penn to finish second in the League. The Quakers received 99 points, including two first-place votes. Harvard was picked to finish first overall. For the full poll, see page 3 of these notes.

On Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio, available to subscribers nationwide, will air an Ivy League game of the week for the second straight year, and the Quakers will be heard on the service twice this year. Penn’s game with Columbia on Oct. 14 and the rivalry game at Princeton Nov. 4 will both be heard on Sirius.

On TV
Beginning on Oct. 21 with the Yale game, Penn will have four consecutive games on television down the home stretch. The Yale game will be on CN8, the Homecoming game with Brown will be on CSTV, and Princeton and Harvard will both be on CN8.

Happy Birthday
Three Quakers celebrate their birthdayOct. 7- Pat Kimener, Michael Meridith and Jake Lewko. In addition, wide receiver Matt Carre celebrated his birthday on Thursday, while offensive lineman Harry Kenning will have his on Monday.

New Faces on the Sideline
Four new coaches are assisting Bagnoli on the sidelines this year. Offensive coordinator Shawn Halloran moves in from the head spot at Franklin & Marshall to replace Andy Coen, who departed for the top job at Lehigh. Rick Ulrich returns to the Quakers for his second stint as wide receivers coach after offensive coordinator jobs at Georgetown, Trinity and Ursinus. Jon McLaughlin is the offensive line coach, moving from a graduate assistantship at Iowa. Cornerbacks coach Jon Dupont comes to Penn from a similar position at Trinity.

Penn Milestones
This season represents several milestone anniversaries for members of the Penn football family. Dan “Coach Lake” Staffieri, the team’s emotional leader on game day who has more Ivy championship rings than fingers, celebrates his 30th season with Penn. Defensive coordinator Ray Priore enters his 20th season, and Penn equipment manager Mark Stewart is in his 20th season as well. Head Coach Al Bagnoli, defensive line coach Jim Schaefer and quarterbacks coach Larry Woods each begin their 15th seasons on the sidelines. The Penn football program itself marks its 130th year in 2006, while the Ivy League celebrates its 50th anniversary.

“Invincible” Makes a Splash
The Disney feature film “Invincible,” about the life of former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale, was released this summer and has earned over $48 million at the box office. Much of the film’s game action was shot at Franklin Field, which can be seen in the try-out scenes, and Veteran’s Stadium was digitally recreated based on footage shot at Penn’s historic stadium.

Alumni Notes
Former Penn quarterback and two-sport star Mark DeRosa has a breakout season as an infielder with the Texas Rangers. DeRosa hit .296 in 520 at-bats with 74 RBI and 13 home runs. Earlier in the summer, he was named American League Player of the Week on Aug. 14 after hitting .433 with a .900 slugging percentage and 15 RBI in seven games ... Former Penn running back Jim Finn is once again the New York Giants’ starting fullback this season.

Quaker Notemeal
Safety Pat Kimener has forced two fumbles already this season ... Defensive tackle Brian Fairbanks has racked up six tackles for loss and two sacks in three games ... Fairbanks is tied for fourth in the nation in TFL ... Linebacker Kory Gedin had a game-high 12 tackles last week, one off his career-high set last year against Cornell ... Senior Sean Estrada has started at both left guard and left tackle this season ... The Dartmouth game lasted just 2:35, Penn’s shortest game since a 2:30 contest with Columbia in 2004 ... Bucknell has converted four of six fourth-down opportunities this season ... Penn has not been shut out since losing to Harvard, 33-0, on Nov. 15, 1997, a span of 83 games ... This is the 130th season of Penn football ... While Penn's first season of football was 1876, no intercollegiate team was fielded in 1877 but football has been played every year since.

Next Time Out
Penn returns home next Saturday for Family Weekend against Columbia at 1 p.m.

Download: game 4 notes - bucknell1.pdf