Football Hosts Dartmouth in Ivy Opener Saturday

Catching the Game: PENN vs. Dartmouth
Date/Location Saturday, Oct. 5, 1 p.m. | at Franklin Field

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Coach Bagnoli Weekly Press Conference | Al Bagnoli Show

Student-Athlete Spotlight: Spencer Kulcsar

PHILADELPHIA - For the 24th consecutive season, Penn will open its Ivy slate against Dartmouth (1-1). The Quakers (1-1) have held the upper hand in the series in recent years, with 14 wins in the last 15 meetings, and have been especially dominant over Dartmouth at home. The Big Green—who are visiting the nation’s oldest collegiate football stadium for the first time in three years—have not won here since 1997. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

The Penn-Dartmouth Series: 81st Meeting
Penn has lost to Dartmouth just once since 1997 with wins in 14 of the last 15 matchups. The only blemish in that time was a 21-13 defeat in Hanover in 2007. However, each of the last four contests—and all but one since 2006—have been decided on the final possession. That includes Dartmouth’s last visit to Franklin Field in 2010 which Penn won, 35-28, in overtime. Al Bagnoli is 17-4 against the Big Green and 7-1 when going head-to-head with Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens. Penn holds the all-time series edge at 46-32-2, including a 30-16-1 record at Franklin Field.

Seven-Game Winning Streaks on the Line
Dartmouth owns the second-longest road winning streak in the FCS with seven straight wins outside of Hanover. However, the Big Green have not won at Penn since 1997—a string of seven straight wins for the Quakers over their northern-most Ivy rival at Franklin Field. The last time Dartmouth left Philadelphia with a win:
...Penn’s current seniors were in kindergarten.
...gas averaged $1.23 and a movie ticket averaged $4.59
...Titanic topped the box office
...The Philadelphia Flyers lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Detroit Red Wings.
...Orlando Pace (NFL) and Tim Duncan (NBA) were the No. 1 overall draft picks
...Major League Baseball’s interleague play began for the first time
...Tiger Woods won his first Masters at the age of 21
...Nintendo 64 was released
...Bill Clinton began his second term as President

Close Matchups
Since 2006, only one matchup between Penn and Dartmouth has been decided by more than one possession:

2006: Penn held off a late Dartmouth rally to win 17-10 at Franklin Field.

2007: With seconds remaining, the Quakers were stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 6-yard line and lost, 21-13, in Hanover.

2008: Penn led 17-10 in the fourth and two late field goals iced the game, 23-10.

2009: Penn led by just three entering the fourth, but built that into a 13-point edge before a late Dartmouth rally fell short in a 30-24 Penn win in Hanover. It was Penn’s closest game during an unbeaten Ivy season.

2010: Once again, Penn’s closest game during an unbeaten Ivy season. The Quakers scored first in OT and then held off the Big Green to win, 35-28, at Franklin Field.

2011: Penn marched 89 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with 17 seconds left in the first-ever night game at Memorial Field.

2012: Dartmouth was within 20-14 with less than six minutes to play, but Lyle Marsh’s 51-yard touchdown gave Penn a 14-point lead. The Big Green cut the deficit to 28-21 with 2:17 left, but Penn ran out the clock from there.

Ivy Openers
Every year since 1990, the Quakers have opened their Ivy slate with Dartmouth. Over those 23 years, the Quakers have started 1-0 in league play on 18 occasions, including a 17-4 mark (.810) in Ivy openers under head coach Al Bagnoli. At home, the Quakers have been even better. During Coach Bagnoli’s tenure, the Red and Blue have gone 18-3 in their first Ivy home game.

Penn’s 2012 title earned the program its third outright Ivy League title in four years. That feat has only been accomplished five times in Ivy history. Penn has done it on three occasions and the rest of the Ivy League has combined to do it twice. No team other than Penn has accomplished the feat since 1980:
- Dartmouth (1970, 72-73)
- Yale (1977, 79-80)
- Penn (1984-86)
- Penn (2000, 02-03)

Penn won five straight Ivy League championships from 1982-86, but shared the title in 1982 and 1983. No program has ever won four outright Ivy titles in a five-year span, but the 2013 Quakers have a chance to make history this season. The Red and Blue won the outright title in 2009 (7-0), 2010 (7-0) and 2012 (6-1).

Back for Four (outright)
No player in Ivy League history has ever graduated with four outright Ivy League championship rings. However, Penn has three players with the opportunity to set the precendent. Fifth-year seniors Billy Ragone, Sam Chwarzynski and Brandon Colavita were freshmen when the Quakers began this string of titles in 2009.

Road Begins Toward Title Ten
As the 2013 Ivy League season gets underway for the Quakers, head coach Al Bagnoli will be searching for his 10th Ancient Eight title. In his 22nd season, Bagnoli already holds the all-time record with nine outright Ivy titles. He has never shared a title, so his nine Ancient Eight crowns overall are one behind the League record held by Yale’s Carmen Cozza, who coached for 30 seasons.

Ivy Dominance
Coach Bagnoli, who is the second-winningest active head coach in the FCS and arguably the greatest coach in Ivy League history, owns the highest Ivy winning percentage of any coach since the inception of the League in 1956. Only one man has won more games at an Ivy school than his 143 career wins at Penn (Cozza, 179), and in 146 games versus Ivy opponents, Bagnoli’s Quakers have won 107 of them (second-most all-time behind Cozza’s 135). That record amounts to a winning percentage of .727—which marks the most consistent success of any man to ever coach in the Ivy League.

Winning Ways
In 22 years under Coach Bagnoli, the Quakers have had just one losing season (4-6 in 2007). Penn has won at least six games in 15 of his 21 years at the helm, including four perfect Ivy seasons and three overall unbeaten seasons.

Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has allowed an opening-drive touchdown just once since Nov. 1, 2008 (45 games)—Lafayette went just 14 yards to do it in the 2012 season opener ... The Quakers have forced multiple turnovers in each of their last four Ivy League games and 13 total (10 interceptions, three fumbles) ... Penn has won six straight games when leading at the half dating back to the 2011 season finale ... Penn is 4-0 in its alternate red jerseys ... Penn has won 12 of its last 13 Ivy home games ... Penn has scored 20 or more points in 18 of its last 20 Ivy games.

Streaking Quakers
Senior Billy Ragone has thrown a touchdown pass in eight straight starts ... Senior wideout Ryan Mitchell has a catch in 22 straight games ... Seniors Jake Schwertner and Steve Szostak have started 12 straight games together on the left side of the offensive line.

Penn Scoring Trend
Penn has never been shut out at home in the Al Bagnoli era. In fact, the last time the Quakers were held without a point at Franklin Field was Nov. 18, 1989 (24-0 vs. Dartmouth), a span of 119 home games.

Ragone in the Record Books
During the home opener senior quarterback Billy Ragone became the third passer in school history with 4,000 career yards. He joined Gavin Hoffman (7,542) and Mike Mitchell (5,547) as the only Penn quarterbacks to reach that milestone. Last week, Ragone added his 50th career touchdown (19 rush, 31 pass) to rank second all-time at Penn behind Hoffman (54). His 31 touchdown passes are three behind Jimmy McGeehan (1991-93) for third-most in Penn history. Ragone is also one of just three players in Penn’s 137-year history with 5,000 career yards of total offense (5,924) and is behind only Hoffman’s school standard of 7,188. His 665 career pass attempts are good for third place all-time at Penn, and his 381 career completions place him third all-time. Those marks also place him fifth in career completion percentage at 57.3 perecent.

More Milestones
In addition to Ragone, senior wideout Ryan Mitchell hit a milestone number last week. He became the 16th Penn player with 1,000 career receiving yards and the first since Dan Castles in 2004. Fellow wideout Conner Scott is now just 27 yards away from joining Mitchell in that club. Meanwhile, senior Brandon Colavita is 508 yards from cracking Penn’s all-time top 10 career rushing list, and junior Conner Loftus is tied for seventh with 55 career extra points (four away from sixth place).

NCAA Record
No program in the history of college football­—at any level—has played more games than Penn. Every time they play, the Quakers set an NCAA record. Saturday’s game will be the 1,335th in the Red and Blue’s illustrious history. Penn remains the only program to pass 1,300 games, hitting that mark on Oct. 31, 2009 in an overtime win at Brown. Yale is second all-time with 1,282 games played.

A Penn Win Today Would…
... be the sixth straight over Dartmouth.
... improve the Quakers to 2-1 for the first time since 2010.
... make the Quakers 19-3 in Ivy home openers under Bagnoli.
... be the fifth straight at Franklin Field.

A Penn Loss Today Would…
... snap a four-game Ivy winning streak dating back to last season.
... snap a seven-game home winning streak against Dartmouth.
... be just the second Ivy home loss since 2008.
… be less good than a win.

Last Time Out
Up against the No. 19-ranked team in the country and the favorite to win one of the nation’s toughest conferences, Penn struggled to keep up with Villanova on Saturday night. In their first road game of the season, the Quakers fell 35-6 at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats led 7-0 when Penn lined up for a field goal to cut into the deficit. However, the Wildcats blocked the kick and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 1:14 remaining in the first quarter. Villanova scored once more and took a 21-0 lead into intermission. Early in the second half, Penn got back into the game when senior quarterback Billy Ragone orchestrated the team’s best drive of the night, navigating the Quakers 85 yards on 14 plays. Ragone found Spencer Kulcsar out of the backfield for nine yards to record Penn’s only touchdown of the game. However, the point after attempt was no good and Villanova proceeded to match Penn’s score with a touchdown of its own and took a commanding 28-6 lead heading into the final quarter. The Wildcats added one more score and held a 35-6 advantage following Poppy Livers’ second touchdown reception.

Up Next
For the first time this season, the Quakers will leave the city of Brotherly Love. Penn heads to Williamsburg, Va., as they visit Zable Stadium for the first time since 1995. It also marks the final non-conference game of the season for the Red and Blue. Kickoff against William & Mary is slated for 3:30 p.m.

Download: 3-Dartmouth.pdf