Penn (4-4, 2-3 Ivy League) vs.
Harvard(7-1, 4-1 Ivy League)
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006 - 1 p.m.
Franklin Field - Philadelphia, Pa.
Radio: WFIL-AM 560 / PennAthletics.com
Game Notes in PDF Format
Penn is looking to close out its home schedule with a win after three heartbreaking overtime losses in a row. No. 17 Harvard visits Franklin Field still in the thick of the Ivy League hunt.
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. Today’s guest at halftime will be former Penn tight end Matthew Michaleski.
Today’s game is being broadcast regionally on CN8. Dave Shea and John Ritchie will have the call.
Ivy League Race
Harvard is still right in the Ivy League race, as it, Princeton and Yale are all 7-1 overall. The last time that happened was 99 years ago. Yale has the upperhand, however, with a 5-0 league mark to the others’ 4-1 record. Princeton takes on Yale in New Haven this afternoon — should the Tigers beat the Elis and Harvard beat Penn, it would create a three-way logjam atop the Ancient Eight table heading into the last week of the season.
Penn has played in three consecutive overtime games, and it’s the first time in the history of NCAA football that’s occured. Unfortunately, Penn is also the first team in history to lose three-straight overtime games. The Quakers have lost the toss in all three extra periods.
Penn suffered a painful double-overtime loss at the hands of Princeton. The Quakers orchestrated a gutsy fourth-quarter comeback, erasing a 14-point deficit to force overtime. The overtime proved to be one for the ages. In the first extra period, Penn lost the toss and went first, and wasn’t able to get a field goal attempt off after a botched hold. Princeton looked to have the game won with a short-yardage field goal attempt of its own, but Penn blocked the kick and sent the game to double-overtime. Princeton went first and was nearly denied a score when Penn made a goal line stand. But on fourth and one, running back Rob Toresco ran into the line, was short by a yard, and pitched the ball back to quarterback Jeff Terrell, who went end-around for the score. Penn answered immediately. Matt Carre caught a 25-yard touchdown pass on the first play of Penn’s sequence, but the snap on the extra point was low and a kick was never attempted.
Irvin’s Career Day
Robert Irvin showed poise in the pocket last weekend at Princeton, passing for a career-high 365 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-43 passing. His 365 yards represented the seventh-best single-game passing performance ever by a Quaker QB. Irvin, only a sophomore, is putting together one of the better seasons ever by a Quaker QB. He is 302 yards short of 2,000 for the season, which has only been accomplished on eight other occasions and only once by a sophomore (Gavin Hoffman in 1999).
The Sandberg Show
Senior running back Joe Sandberg set another career high last week with his 174-yard performance at Princeton. He now has 898 yards for the season and is just 102 yards away from becoming Penn’s 11th 1,000-yard rusher.
Carre Named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week
Senior wide receiver Matt Carre has put together quite the second half of the season. He caught a career-high 114 yards and two touchdowns last week, and both of his TD’s were critical — his first tied the game up at the end of regulation, and his second came in the second overtime period. For his performance, Carre was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. With 1,319 career yards, Carre is now seventh on Penn’s all-time receiving list.
Fourth and a Mile
Twice in the fourth quarter against Princeton, Penn faced very long fourth-down situations, and twice the Quakers converted thanks to big plays from the receiving corps. Down by 14 to start the quarter, Penn faced a fourth-and-18 inside Tiger territory early in the fourth. Robert Irvin connected with Matt Carre for 22 yards down to the one-yard line to keep that drive going and score a touchdown on the next play. Then, with less than a minute to go in regulation and down by a touchdown, the Quakers again faced a fourth-and-24 from its own 43. That time, it was Billy May who caught a 29-yard strike over the middle to set up Carre’s diving touchdown reception three plays later. Penn is six of 14 on fourth-down conversions this season.
Maugle Leads the Nation in Passes Defended
Sophomore cornerback Tyson Maugle and junior cornerback Greg Ambrogi flip-flopped positions in the national pass defense rankings last week. Maugle, who was third in the country heading into last week’s game, now leads the nation in passes defended with 1.88 per game. Ambrogi is third with 1.63 per game. The statistic is the sum of all pass break-ups plus interceptions.
Anastasio Nears the Century Mark
Junior linebacker Joe Anastasio has 81 tackles for the season, and has a chance to become only first Penn defender to accumulate 100 tackles in a season since 1997, when John Bishop racked up 111. Anastasio is averaging 10.1 tackles per game and is second in the Ivy League in that category.
Harvard rolled over Penn, 29-3, in Cambridge. It marked the lowest offensive output by the Quakers in three years prior to the game. Penn took a 3-0 lead on a Derek Zoch field goal, but Harvard scored the next 29 points unanswered behind three passing TD’s from Liam O’Hagan to Kelly Widman, a rushing score by O’Hagan, and a Matt Schindel field goal.
Dawson Nears the Record
Harvard running back Clifton Dawson is just 53 yards short of breaking Ed Marinaro’s Ivy League rushing record. Dawson has 4,662 career yards, just shy of Marinaro’s 4,715 yards, which he set playing for Cornell in the 1970’s.
Scouting the Crimson
While most people are familiar with Harvard’s record-setting running back, the real story behind the Crimson’s success is their stifling defense. Harvard leads the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 53.25 yards per game, and also leads the country in sacks (5.13/gm) and tackles for loss (9.38/gm). Defensive tackle Michael Berg has 11.5 tackles for loss this season to go with 5.5 sacks. On offense, Dawson is certainly the man to watch. The senior averages 129.25 yards per game on the ground.
Student-Fan Appreciation Day
Penn Football will thank its fans today with its annual Student-Fan Appreciation Day. All fans can receive a voucher at the gate good for a free Red & Blue Pride T-shirt, free food from the concession stands, and a chance to win gift certificates to local businesses.
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.
Today marks the final home game of the season, and as is the tradition, the parents of Penn’s 18 seniors will be honored this afternoon at halftime. The Class of 2006 is a remarkably diverse and accomplished group, hailing from 10 different states and going 27-11 in the past four seasons.
Penn-Princeton Game Notes
Penn was the first team in NCAA history to play three overtime games in a row in the same season ... Penn lost the toss in each of its three overtimes ... Of the three, Princeton was Penn's only double overtime game ... Matt Carre's touchdown was the first time Penn scored in OT this year ... Braden Lepisto's 38-yard field goal snapped a six-field goal missing streak for Penn ... It was also the longest field goal for Penn this year ... Starting kicker Peter Stine, who was added to the roster this week from the sprint football team, left the game with an injury in the first quarter after being tackles on an extra point ... Joe Anastasio racked up 14 tackles ... Penn registered just one sack, by Mike Marinelli ... Penn scored in the fourth quarter for the first time since the Bucknell game ... Princeton beat Penn at Princeton Stadium for the first time in six tries.
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 Oct. 14 — 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 has been installed in Franklin Field’s east tunnel and will be dedicated befor the Harvard game. 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.
“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.
This is the third time Penn has played a ranked opponent this year ... The Quakers previously took on No. 22 Lafayette and No. 23 Princeton ... Penn has not been shut out since losing to Harvard, 33-0, on Nov. 15, 1997, a span of 88 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 for its final game of the season, at Cornell Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.
Download: game 9 notes - harvard.pdf