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PHILADELPHIA - Following their third non-conference loss of the season, the Quakers now host a league opponent that has not won at Franklin Field since 1996. In fact, Penn (1-3, 1-0 Ivy) hasn’t lost to Columbia (1-3, 0-1 Ivy)—at any location—since that home loss 16 years ago. The Red and Blue’s 15-game winning streak over the Lions is the longest active streak over an opponent in the FCS. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
Catching the Game
|TV:||None. Instead, you can watch the game in HD from anywhere in the world on the Penn Sports Network.|
|RADIO:||The game can be heard locally in Philadelphia on WFIL 560AM. Brian Seltzer, in his fifth season as play-by-play man, is joined by Hench Murray, who is in his 32nd season as the analyst for the Quakers.|
|WEB:||The Penn Sports Network (PSN) will have exclusive video available. PSN broadcasts in HD with Penn announcers, Brian Seltzer, C'07, and Hench Murray, C'66, GEd'67. And tune in for the audio pregame show - Penn Football Gameplan - which starts 30 minutes before kickoff.
|TWITTER:||Follow @PennFB for live updates, photos and highlights. Click on #pennfb or #PennPride to see what everyone is saying about Penn Football and use it in your tweets to join the conversation.|
|LIVE STATS:||Live stats can be found here. A full recap and box score will be available at the conclusion of the game at PennAtheltics.com.|
It has been a one-sided series between these two programs. Of the first 91 all-time meetings, the Quakers have won 69 of them and lead 69-21-1 overall (.764). At Franklin Field, Penn’s advantage is even more daunting with 41 wins in 46 games (.891). It has been more of the same recently as the Quakers have won 15 straight on the field of play over Columbia—tied for the 12th-longest win streak over an opponent in an uninterrupted series in FCS history. Head Coach Al Bagnoli is 17-3 against the Lions.
Penn’s 15-game winning streak over Columbia is the longest active annual streak against any one opponent in the FCS. Lehigh will be going for its 15th straight against Bucknell later this season. In the NCAA record book, the 15 straight wins ranks tied for 12th all-time and is the third-longest streak in league history. A win today would match the second-longest winning streak over one opponent in Ivy history and match the ninth-longest streak in FCS history.
Columbia still remains infamous in West Philadelphia as the team that broke Penn’s NCAA record streak of 24 straight wins. The Lions broke that mark at Kraft Field in 1995 with a 24-14 win over the Quakers. Penn’s record, which spanned between 1992-95, has been matched by Montana, but never surpassed.
Beginning 35 minutes before each Red and Blue gridiron contest this season, the Penn Sports Network will present Penn Football Gameplan, delivering on-line streaming audio pre-game content not regularly available during the team’s radio broadcast. The weekly show -- through one-on-one interviews and feature segments -- will be geared toward giving greater insight into the Quakers’ preparations for their forthcoming contests, as well as in-depth perspective on Penn’s opponents. Brian Seltzer and Hench Murray will host on the Penn Sports Network.
Penn’s offense has been proficient on third downs this season, while the defense has been stingy during those scenarios. With the exception of the home opener against Villanova, the offense has converted on third downs at 50% or better in every game, while opponents are well under that mark. Excluding a 3-for-13 day against the Wildcats, Penn has converted 24-of-46 (52.1%) third downs. The defense allowed Villanova to convert 7-of-13, but outside of that week, opponents have been successful on just 13-of-39 (33.3%) on third down.
Senior quarterback Billy Ragone ranks fourth all-time at Penn in career completion percentage. Ragone was 0-for-6 to start the game last weekend and did not complete a pass until late in the second quarter. But he finished with a career high 21 completions on a career high 35 attempts. Those numbers moved him up in the record books (see Part II). Ragone has completed 256 of his 440 attempts for a clip of 58.2 percent. That trails only Gavin Hoffman (64.8%), Mike Mitchell (63.7%) and Matt Rader (59.1%).
Ragone in the Record Books Part II
This season, Ragone became just the fourth player in Penn’s 136-year history with 4,000 total yards of offense. Last Saturday, he also moved up in the top 10 all-time at Penn in career pass yards, touchdowns, attempts and completions. His season-high 207 yards gave him 3,276 for his career. That passed Bill Creeden (1965-67) for 10th all-time in school history. Ragone’s 35 pass attempts last week gave him 475 for his career as he passed Gary Vura (1980-82) to move into 10th place. Ragone’s 21 completions now give him 277 for his career which places eighth all-time at Penn—14 from tying recent signal-caller, Robert Irvin (2006-08) for seventh. He became Penn’s 12th player all-time with 20 passing touchdowns—mathcing Matt Rader (1997-98), Vura and Creeden for ninth place. A complete list of Quakers approaching milestones is on page five of the game notes and a list of Ragone in the school record book is on page four.
One Last Note on Ragone
The third-year starting quarterback, who is 6-1 as a starter at home against the Ivy League, threw five interceptions in his first 23 attempts of the season. Since that time, he has not turned the ball over once on 60 pass attempts and 35 rushing attempts. He has accounted for 412 pass yards, 106 rush yards, nine receiving yards and three touchdowns in that span (last 13 quarters).
If you’ve been keeping track of the Quakers this season, it won’t surprise you to learn that entering today, senior punter Scott Lopano ranks seventh in the nation in punting average. Lopano has an average of 43.9 yards per punt this year, including two over 50 yards and a 67-yarder in the home opener against Villanova. Of his 18 punts, he has pinned eight inside the 20-yard line and has forced seven fair catches.
Lopano in the Record Books
Lopano, a four-year starter at the position, is also moving up in the school record books. He has 156 career punts as a member of the Red and Blue, which currently ranks fourth; he is just three punts from matching Rob Sims (1990-92) for third and 10 from tying Ryan Lazzeri (1998-2001) for second place. Jeff Salvino’s 186 punts from 1994-97 is the school standard. In addition, Lopano’s current average of 43.9 yards per punt is ahead of Sims’ single-season school record of 43.5.
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 115 games.
Penn has scored exactly 27 points in three straight meetings with Columbia ... Penn has scored 20 or more points in 15 of its last 16 Ivy games ... Penn has allowed an opening-drive touchdown just once since Nov. 1, 2008 (36 games)—Lafayette went just 14 yards to do it in the 2012 season opener ... The Quakers have not forced a turnover in any of the last three games ... Penn did not have a sack in either of the first two games, but has combined for seven in the last two ... The Quakers have averaged 171.3 yards on the ground in the last three games.
Penn has the luxury of a crowded backfield. The Quakers have four different players with more than 800 career rushing yards. The senior quartet has combined for more than 4,200 yards in the past three-plus seasons (4,219). Brandon Colavita leads with 1,416 yards, followed by Billy Ragone’s 1,201, Jeff Jack’s 921 and Lyle Marsh’s 819.
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 1,328th 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 1,275 games played.
Social Media and the 2012 Quakers (@PennFB)
Fans can now follow the Quakers closer than ever. Fans can get an inside look into the program through twitter, facebook and extensive video. You can follow the team’s daily activities through twitter (@PennFB, #PennFB, #PennPride) or on Facebook. Video throughout the season will feature highlights, press conferences and interviews with players and coaches. All video can then be found on twitter or facebook as well as the Penn Sports Network and the Penn Athletics YouTube channel (keyword: Penn Sports Network). All of this can easily be accessed at PennAthletics.com/socialmedia.
Last Time Out
Some costly turnovers put Penn in a deep hole, but the Quakers fought their way back and had a chance to win on the game’s final play. Senior Billy Ragone’s pass to the back of the end zone was batted down as time expired and William & Mary held on for a 34-28 win at Franklin Field on Saturday afternoon. Penn fumbled twice inside its 25-yard line and trailed by 17 late in the third quarter. But Ragone threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the second half to get the Red and Blue within six with 3:23 to play. William & Mary, who led 24-7 at the half, had a chance to run the last 3:23 off the clock, but the Penn defense forced a quick punt. It still looked bleak as the Quakers had just 1:30 left and the ball at their own 12. Three passes got the ball to the 25. Then Jack caught Ragone’s pass, broke a few tackles and found daylight down the far sideline. He sprinted to the William & Mary 24-yard line before he was caught. The Quakers had 40 seconds to work with, but two incompletions and a sack left just a few ticks left. Ragone had to heave the final pass into the end zone, where it was knocked away by the Tribe. Penn’s offense produced six more first downs than the Tribe, outgained the visitors (395-380) and outpassed them (246-220).
Another nationally televised Ivy League road game for the Quakers. Penn heads to the Yale Bowl to take on the Bulldogs in New Haven, Conn. Kickoff is set for noon on the NBC Sports Network.