Penn (4-2, 2-1 Ivy League) vs.
Brown(2-4,1-2 Ivy League)
Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 -Noon
Franklin Field - Philadelphia, Pa.
Radio: WFIL-AM 560 / PennAthletics.com
Game Notes in PDF Format
Brown visits Franklin Field for a Homecoming showdown with Penn. The Quakers are looking to get back on the winning track after a heartbreaking 17-14 overtime loss at Yale last week.
On the Radio
Thanks to a new deal inked during the offseason, all 10 Penn football games will be heard on 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 pre-game, halftime and post-game show host. Leon’s guest at halftime today will be former Quaker offensive lineman and Kansas City Chiefs tackle Joe Valerio.
Today’s game is being broadcast nationwide by CSTV, which is available on satellite and digital cable services. Jonathan Coachman and former Florida State quarterback Chris Rix will have the call. Penn will also have two more games on television down the home stretch. Both the Princeton and Harvard games will be shown live on CN8.
Both teams enter today’s game going in different directions. Penn is 4-2 and 2-1 in Ivy play, but lost a heartbreaking overtime game at Yale last weekend, 17-14. Brown, meanwhile, snapped a four-game skid with a decisive 28-7 win over Cornell last week. The defending Ivy champs are all but out of the race to defend their crown at 1-2 in the League, but Penn is still in the hunt with just one loss and four games to play.
Penn and Yale met in New Haven in a battle of Ivy unbeatens, and the 21,709 fans certainly got their money’s worth. The two sides battled to a 14-14 tie at the end of regulation despite a late Yale push and an interception by Greg Ambrogi near the end of the fourth quarter. In overtime, Penn went first, but its drive stalled and Derek Zoch was called on to make a 37-yard field goal. Unfortunately, his kick hit the right upright and Yale made the most of its opportunity, with Alan Kimball hitting from 35 yards to win the game. It was the first overtime game for the Quakers in more than two years, since they beat Bucknell in double-overtime in 2004.
Two Under Center
Robert Irvin and Bryan Walker split time at quarterback last week after Irvin was forced out of the game with an injury. Walker was an able replacement, however, completing 8 of 16 passes for 89 yards. Irvin hit 14 of his 20 attempts before leaving the game.
The Sandberg Show
Senior running back Joe Sandberg did it again at Yale, putting together his third-consecutive 100-yard rushing game with a 125-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Bulldogs. Sandberg has now amassed 663 yards in six games, with six rushing touchdowns and another receiving.
Quarterbacks Robert Irvin and Bryan Walker had plenty of targets to hit at Yale, with nine different players making a catch. Matt Carre and Braden Lepisto led the way with 85 and 58 yards, respectively, while Chris Mizell grabbed four passes for 29 yards, including a one-handed snare on the goal line for a score.
Greg Ambrogi Leads the Nation in Passes Defended
Junior cornerback Greg Ambrogi is having a breakout season, and through last weekend he leads the nation in passes defended by a large margin. The category combines pass break-ups with interceptions, and Ambrogi has 13 total passes defended for an average of 2.17 per game, well ahead of Bethune-Cookman’s James Monds, who has 1.57 per game. Ambrogi has two interceptions and 11 pass break-ups this season, including seven in the last two games. Teammate Tyson Maugle ranks 11th in the same category, with 1.33 per game.
The Title Picture Gets Clearer
Last Saturday gave some separation to the Ivy League title situation as the top four teams, all entering the day at 2-0, played each other. While the Quakers fell in New Haven in overtime, there were plenty of dramatics in Princeton as well, where the No. 24 Tigers stunned No. 15 Harvard. Princeton and Yale are now tied for the Ancient Eight lead at 3-0, while Penn and Harvard are a game back at 2-1.
Brown rolled over Penn, 34-20, en route to winning the Ivy League title. The Bears ran out to a 24-0 first-half lead and the Quakers were never able to rally. Penn was held to just 110 yards rushing and 293 yards total. Among the highlights were a defensive play Scotty Williams returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown in third quarter and Joe Sandberg’s pair of touchdown receptions from Bryan Walker.
Historically, Penn has dominated the series with Brown, leading 54-18-2. It’s been back-and-forth in recent years, however. Brown took four in a row from 1996 to 1999, then Penn was on top for the first five years of this decade. Brown snapped its five-game losing streak last year with a 34-20 win in Providence.
Scouting the Bears
Brown has struggled to regain the dominating form it had last year when it captured the Ivy League crown. The Bears are 2-4 and 1-2 in the League, but they have some dangerous weapons. Quarterback Joe DiGiacomo has thrown for more than 1,300 yards, while Lonnie Hill is one of the League’s premier wide-outs, catching 30 balls for 511 yards this year. Meanwhile, the undisputed star of the defense is linebacker Zak DeOssie, who has an Ivy-best 67 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. DeOssie is also the reigning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week.
At halftime this afternoon, Penn will honor all of its Ivy League honorees and championship teams from the 2005-06 school year. This includes the Ivy League champion men’s basketball and men’s tennis teams, as well as numerous individuals who achieved success both in the League and on a national level. In addition, the 1986 football team will be honored as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of their undefeated title run.
Seniors Sean Estrada (LT/LG) and Scotty Williams (FS) 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.
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 again be heard on the service this season. The Quakers’ rivalry game at Princeton Nov. 4 will be heard on Sirius channel 155.
Penn-Brown Series Notes
Nick Anastasio, brother of Penn’s leading tackler Joe Anastasio, is a freshman DB for Brown ... Penn leads, 54-18-2 ... Penn’s win in 1997 was forfeited due to a player subsequently declared ineligible ... The Penn-Brown series is the second-youngest among Penn’s Ivy foes. It is “only” 101 years old ... Only the Dartmouth series is shorter, at 100 years ... Penn and Brown first met on Oct. 30, 1895 at Franklin Field, during the first year the stadium was open.
Head Coach Al Bagnoli got his 100th win with the Quakers in the team’s opening-week win over Lafayette. Bagnoli, who stands at 103-40 with Penn, is 21 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.
Century Man, Part II
Bagnoli crossed a different century mark against Columbia his 100th Ivy League game. Bagnoli was a remarkable 74-26 in his first 100 League games and that includes the forfeiture of five games from the 1997 season due to a player subsequently declared ineligible. He is currently the winningest active Ivy League coach and fourth all-time in League wins. And no coach since the official formation of the League in 1956 has a better winning percentage (.760).
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 the sidebar on page 3 of these notes.
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 in from a similar position at Trinity.
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.
Oh, Very Well
A statue honoring Dan “Coach Lake” Staffieri will be dedicated prior to Penn’s final home game this season with Harvard. Staffieri, who has been with the Quakers for the past 30 years, is the team’s emotional leader on game-day and an unmistakable presence on the sidelines, wearing plaid and sporting his Ivy League championship rings. The statue will be placed just inside the east tunnel at Franklin Field, where the Penn team runs onto the field. A feature about the project is published in this week’s issue of Franklin Field Illustrated.
“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.
Former Penn quarterback and two-sport star Mark DeRosa had 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.
Although Penn beat Brown in 1997, the game was among five forfeited that season due to a player subsequently declared ineligible ... Joe Sandberg crossed the 1,000 yard career rushing mark last week and now has 1,062 in 15 career games ... Matt Carre is now 11th on Penn’s all-time receiving list with 1,155 career yards ... Yale and Penn drew 21,709 fans to the Yale Bowl, a season-high for the Elis and the second-best attendance for the Quakers ... J.J. Stanton was named the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week after the Columbia game for his blocked field goal in the third quarter ... The Yale game was the second time this season that Penn and its opponent did not score in the second half, and the third time Penn has not scored in the fourth quarter ... Penn has not been shut out since losing to Harvard, 33-0, on Nov. 15, 1997, a span of 86 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 hits the road to face archrival and Ivy League leader Princeton at 1 p.m. The game will be critical in determining the Quakers’ Ivy League fate and it will be televised live on CN8.
Download: game 7 notes - Brown.pdf