Football Hosts Princeton on Homecoming

Catching the Game: PENN (4-3, 3-1 Ivy) vs. Princeton (6-1, 4-0 Ivy)

Saturday, Nov. 9 at Noon | at Franklin Field

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Game Notes
Penn Notes | Princeton Notes
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Student-Athlete Spotlight: WR Conner Scott

PHILADELPHIA - First place is on the line as Penn (4-3, 3-1 Ivy) hosts archrival Princeton (6-1, 4-0 Ivy) on Homecoming. The defending Ivy League champions trail the Tigers by one game in the Ancient Eight standings. Kickoff for the 105th meeting between these two historic programs is set for noon. The game can be seen on the Penn Sports Network.

The Penn-Princeton Series—105th Meeting
This has been a series dominated by the Quakers in recent years. Penn has won six in a row and all but two in the last 16 years. In a series that dates back to 1876, Princeton leads, 63-40-1. The Tigers won the first 28 games, but since the that time, the Quakers own a slight edge in the series at 40-35-1. In the 37 games at Franklin Field between these historic rivals, each team has won 18 times with the only tie in the series coming in 1942 (6-6). Penn head coach Al Bagnoli is 16-5 against the Tigers.

Student Appreciation Day
With a full slate of special events scheduled, Saturday has been named Student Appreciation Day at Penn and Penn Athletics is offering one all-encompassing ticket package. Entrance to the Penn Football game is free as usual, but a $10 student appreciation package is available which includes:

Entrance to the Homecoming Barbeque in the East end zone area of Franklin Field starting at the completion of the third quarter. Food and beverage inside the Homecoming Barbeque. All entrants 21 years of age and older will receive coupons for two alcoholic beverages inside the Homecoming Barbeque. A Nike Dri-Fit "Quaker Nation" shirt. A Red and Blue Crew section ticket for the men's basketball season opener against Temple scheduled for a 5 p.m. tip-off. The opportunity to stay after the men's basketball game for a special performance by Philadelpha comedic legend Bill Cosby.

This is Penn’s third Homecoming game in four weeks. The Quakers served as the Homecoming opponent at Columbia (Oct. 19) and at Brown (Nov. 2). Saturday, the Red and Blue will hold their own Homecoming festivities at Franklin Field.

Homecoming Honorees
Doubling as a tribute to the overall success of the program, the Quakers have five different Ivy championship teams celebrating anniversaries this year—1983 (30th), 1988 (25th), 1993 (20th), 1998 (15th) and 2003 (10th). For more information on each of these Ivy champions, see page 44 in Saturday’s program or check out pages 81-86 in this season’s Penn Football Fact Book.

Homecoming Win Streak
Penn has won its last four Homecoming affairs by a combined score of 123-40. The Quakers have been tremendous in front of the Homecoming crowd under head coach Al Bagnoli, winning 16 of 21 overall, including a 12-1 stretch between 1992-2004. The Quakers have hosted Princeton more than any other opponent on Homecoming, including 17 times since 1977 (9-8 record).

Homecoming Festivities
A wild day for Penn Athletics. In addition to the usual Homecoming football festivities, there are four other athletic events taking place and each has signficant importance:

Noon - Field Hockey vs. Princeton (winner earns the Ivy title)
Noon - Football vs. Princeton (Penn takes over first place with win)
2 pm - Women’s Basketball vs. St. Francis Brooklyn (season opener)
4 pm - Men’s Soccer vs. Princeton (Penn controls own destiny to Ivy title)
5 pm - Men’s Basketball vs. Temple followed by Bill Cosby performance (season opener)

Penn Athletics is also dedicating three new facilities—Ellen Vagelos, C’90 Field Hockey Field, Coach Dave Micahnik Fencing Center and the Nalitt Family Gymnastics Center—and the softball team will receive its 2013 Ivy League championship rings on Saturday.

Quick Quaker Notes
Penn’s opponent has scored first in six straight games ... The Quakers have forced a turnover in each of their last nine Ivy games and 22 total in that time (15 interceptions, seven fumbles) ... Penn has won eight straight games when leading at the half dating back to the 2011 season finale ... Penn is 4-0 in their alternate red jerseys ... Penn is 14-1 in its last 15 Ivy home games (only loss since 2008 was to Cornell in the 2011 season finale).

Streaking Quakers
Senior Billy Ragone has thrown a touchdown pass in 11 straight starts ... Seniors Jake Schwertner and Steve Szostak have started 17 straight games together on the left side of the offensive line ... Senior Ryan Mitchell moved up among Penn’s all-time top 10 in career receptions (93) and career receiving yards (1,265) last week.

Ragone Against Princeton
Penn is hoping to have senior quarterback Billy Ragone available as he has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. In his career, he is 3-0 against Princeton and has had some of the best games of his career against Penn’s arch rival. Last season, he led a fourth-quarter comeback and finished with 153 total yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. In 2011, he threw for a career-high 254 yards and three touchdowns, while in 2010, he passed for a then-career high 182 yards and two more touchdowns, while rushing for 75 yards and another touchdown. In all, he is 37-for-66 (56.0%) for 528 yards and six passing touchdowns with 32 carries for 149 yards and two rushing touchdowns in his career against the Tigers.

Grass Problems
Penn will be glad to be back on its home SprintTurf on Saturday. The Quakers have yet to lose on the newly installed turf at Franklin Field. However, after last week, Penn has lost three straight games on a grass playing field. In fact, over the last three seasons, the Quakers have scored at least 20 points in all but three Ivy League games. The only exceptions were the grass games at Brown in 2011 (L, 6-0), at Yale in 2012 (L, 27-13) and at Brown last Saturday (L, 27-0).

Shut Out
Penn was shut out last week for just the second time since a 33-0 loss at Harvard in 1997. Both of those occassions came at Brown (6-0 in 2011 and 27-0 last Saturday). However, 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 121 home games.

Winning Ways
With a win on Saturday, Penn would clinch yet another season at .500 or better under head coach Al Bagnoli. In 22 years under Bagnoli, the Quakers have had just one losing campaign (4-6 in 2007). In fact, Penn has won at least six games in 15 of his 21 years at the helm, including six perfect Ivy seasons and three overall unbeaten seasons.

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 1,341st 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 1,288 games played. Congrats on being a part of an NCAA record!

Last Time Out
Penn gave up a 93-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. It never got better from there. Brown rolled to a 27-0 victory in front of a Homecoming crowd at Brown Stadium. On the first play from scrimmage, John Spooney ran into a pile up the middle, but bounced off and found daylight on the outside. The 93-yard score would not be his longest touchdown run of the half. Brown also scored on its second possession of the game for a 14-0 advantage just 8:32 into the game. Then Spooney struck again. After the teams traded punts, Brown took over at its own 6-yard line. Once again, the senior running back found a hole and sprinted untouched for a 94-yard score. Penn was deep in Brown territory twice in the second quarter, but the first threat was thwarted when Ryan Becker was hit as he threw and his pass was intercepted inside the 10. Later, on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Becker was stuffed. The Bears added a field goal as time expired and led 24-0 at the break. Penn was unable to make up any ground in the third quarter as both teams traded punts throughout the quarter. The Quakers crossed midfield on their first possession of the fourth quarter, but Becker was picked off again and Brown used the good field position to add another field goal. Penn’s only other drive in the final quarter also ended in an interception.

A Penn Win Today Would…
... move the Quakers into a tie for first place in the Ivy League.
... be the seventh straight at Franklin Field.
... be the seventh straight over Princeton.
... mark a five-game Homecoming winning streak.

A Penn Loss Today Would…
... snap a five-game home winning streak against Ivy opponents.
... mark the first home loss to Princeton since Homecoming of 2005.
... be just the second Ivy home loss since 2008. less good than a win.

Up Next
A nationally televised showdown with Harvard. The Quakers will travel to Cambridge to take on the Crimson. Kickoff is set for noon on NBC Sports.

Download: 8 - Princeton.pdf