PHILADELPHIA - Once again, there are Ivy League title implications surrounding Homecoming at Penn. The Quakers (4-3, 3-1 Ivy) control their own destiny to another Ivy championship. But archrival Princeton (5-2, 2-2 Ivy) comes to Franklin Field in an attempt play spoiler. Saturday’s game can be seen on the American Sports Network and kickoff is set for noon.
Quaker Fan Fest
Prior to the game, Penn is closing down Moravian Street (34th/Sansom) for Quaker Fan Fest. The free event is from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., and will featuremusic, giveaways, an appearance from the Penn Band, and discounts to many of the restuarants on the street.
The Penn-Princeton Series—107th Meeting
Over the first 106 meetings, Princeton holds an all-time edge of 65-40-1 in a series that dates back to 1876. Penn had won 15 of the last 17 in this series prior to Princeton wins each of the last two years. The Tigers won the last meeting in Philadelphia and now hold the all-time lead in the series at Franklin Field, 19-18-1.
Last year at this time, Penn had forced the fewest turnovers in the FCS and had yet to force a turnover in four Ivy games. Since that time, the Quakers have forced a turnover in 10 straight games, and have become a nightmare for opposing offenses under defensive coordinator Bob Benson. Penn has 13 takeaways in the last three games (+10 turnover margin), and last week, Penn’s five takeaways were the most for the Quakers since a win over Columbia on Oct. 18, 2008. The Quakers have forced the ninth-most turnovers in the nation (19) and are ninth in the FCS in turnover margin (+7).
Second Quarter Scoring
Penn’s opponent has scored first in five straight games, and the Quakers have been outscored 58-28 in the first quarter this year. Penn has made up for it with some high-scoring second quarters. In the last three games, the Quakers have put up 21, 20 and 21 points, respectively, in the second quarter. In that three-game span, Penn has outscored its opponent, 62-3, in the second stanza.
Penn improved to 13-8 all-time on Halloween, including four straight wins ... Penn’s last win at Brown was also on Halloween—in overtime (14-7) in 2009 ... By the midway point of the second quarter, the Quakers had scored 28 points—the most in a game at Brown since 1998 (L, 58-51) ... Penn’s 48 points were the most since a 52-10 win at Princeton on Nov. 6, 2010 ... Penn’s 35 first-half points are the most since posting 35 in the opening 30 minutes against Georgetown in a 59-28 win on Oct. 6, 2007 ... Penn’s 20-point victory is its largest at Brown since a 24-0 victory on Oct. 22, 1994.
Penn Scoring Trend
Penn has gone 131 consecutive games at home without being shut out. The last time the Quakers were scoreless at home was a 24-0 loss to Dartmouth on Nov. 18, 1989.
Penn Scoring Trend #2
For the first time since 2002-03, the Quakers have scored 30 or more points in four straight games. Penn did that nine straight times between the 2002 and 2003 Ivy championship seasons.
- Sophomore Justin Watson has had multiple receptions in all 17 games of his career.
- Has caught five or more in 10 of the last 11 games.
- Caught a touchdown in each of the first four games to become the first Ivy Leaguer since 2009 with a touchdown reception in four straight games—the second-longest streak in Penn history and tied for the eighth-longest in Ivy history.
- His six touchdown receptions are tied for eighth-most in a season at Penn.
- Set program’s freshman records for receptions (36) and receiving yards (420) last year.
Senior linebacker Tyler Drake had four sacks against No. 13 Fordham—the most in a game for a Penn player since Steve Lhotak had 4.5 against Harvard on Nov. 15, 2003. He leads the Ivy League with 6.5 sacks this season which is the most in a season by a Penn player since Lhotak finished with 7.5 in 2003.
Junior quarterback Alek Torgersen has a touchdown pass in 15 of his 17 career games ... He has either passed or rushed for a touchdown in each of the last 13 games he has played ... Has a passing touchdown in 11 of 12 career Ivy games (only one without was against Dartmouth on Oct. 3 when he missed the second half) ... He has passed for 24 touchdowns to just five interceptions in his 12 Ivy League games.
Quick Quaker Notes
This is Penn’s first three-game winning streak since a string of four consecutive wins to end the 2012 season ... Penn has multiple touchdown passes in eight straight games ... The 533 yards of offense against Yale was the for the Quakers since putting up 552 against Yale on Oct. 22, 2011.
Alek Torgersen needs 460 yards of total offense to become the fourth player in school history with 5,000 for his career; needs 4 touchdowns to pass Jimmy McGeehan for fourth on Penn’s all-time career list; and needs 24 completions to become fourth player at Penn with 400 career completions.
For the Quakers, S.O.S may stand for college football’s strength of schedule, or the universal signal for save our souls. Probably both.
• Penn has played four ranked non-league opponents in the last two years—the rest of the Ivy League COMBINED has played four Top 25 non-league opponents in that time (Columbia, 3; Dartmouth, 1).
• Last year, Penn played the 10th-toughest schedule in the FCS. In comparison, Harvard played the 104th-toughest schedule and Brown was 120th (out of 125).
• This season, Penn has played the nation’s 11th-toughest schedule (toughest in the Ivies), which included a win at No. 5/4 Villanova, and a last-second loss to No. 13/12 Fordham. In comparison, the easiest Ivy schedule belongs to Princeton (92nd-toughest schedule to date out of 125).
Several Quakers are ranked among the nation’s best: Senior linebacker Tyler Drake ranks 11th in the FCS in sacks, and seventh in the country with three forced fumbles, while junior quarterback Alek Torgersen is No. 4 in the nation with a completion percentage of 68.8, and ranked No. 5 in passing efficiency (167.5). Justin Watson is 11th in the FCS with 97.5 receiving yards per game.
A Penn Win Today Would...
... mark the first four-game win streak since 2012 (won Ivy title).
... be the fifth in the last seven Homecoming games.
... clinch a winning Ivy record in Coach Priore’s first season.
... make Coach Priore 1-0 against Princeton.
... be the seventh in the last nine meetings with Princeton.
... make the Quakers 5-3 and 4-1 in Ivy play.
A Penn Loss Today Would...
... be the third straight on Homecoming.
... be the third straight to Princeton.
... make the Quakers 4-4 overall and 3-2 in Ivy play.
... be less good than a win.
Last Week: W, 48-28 at Brown
- Seven touchdowns. Five takeaways. Halloween was a big treat for the Quakers in the largest win at Brown since 1994.
- Sophomore running back Tre Solomon scored three touchdowns, and junior quarterback Alek Torgersen threw for three as the Quakers won for the third straight time.
- Brown scored on its first possession to lead 7-0. On the next play from scrimmage, Penn responded with a 79-yard touchdown pass from Torgersen to Justin Watson en route to 41 unanswered points.
- Penn outrushed Brown, 263-18. Brian Schoenauer (111), Solomon (69) and Torgersen (45) each ran for more yards than the Bears.
- Freshman Sam Philippi had two interceptions and Ian Dobbins added another. Both have three picks on the season to rank second in the Ivy League.
- Torgersen, who became the fourth player at Penn to eclipse 4,000 yards passing, was 15-of-22 for 196 yards and has still not thrown an interception since Sept. 24 (101 attempts).
A crucial Ivy League road trip to Harvard. Regardless of the Homecoming result, the game in Cambridge will be a must-win for the Quakers to have any shot at the Ivy title heading into the final week of the season. Kickoff from Harvard Stadium is set for noon and the game can be seen on the American Sports Network.
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