Complete Game Notes
PHILADELPHIA - Though both Dartmouth and Penn enter the game 0-2 on the season, each will be starting with a clean slate Saturday - both have yet to play an Ivy opponent. The road to the 2009 Ivy title begins at noon in Hanover on VERSUS.
Catching the Game
Television: VERSUS. Available in more than 75 million homes. Check local listings for the VERSUS channel in your area.
Radio: WNTP 990 AM will carry the game for the Quakers. Brian Seltzer and Hench Murray will team up as the Penn broadcast crew for the second straight season with Seltzer supplying the play-by-play and Murray serving as the analyst for the 28th year in a row.
Live Stats: If your unable to watch the game on VERSUS or catch the radio broadcast, live stats will be provided by Dartmouth with a full recap and box score at PennAthletics.com at the conclusion of the game. Live stats can be found here.
Overall, the Quakers lead the all-time series at 42-32-2. The Big Green dominated this series from 1957 until 1982. In that time, Dartmouth won 20 of 25 meetings. However, since then, Penn has won 21 of the last 27 against its New Hampshire rival. This recent string of success includes nine wins in the last 10 games. However, the lone defeat in the past decade came in Penn’s last trip to Hanover.
With Villanova and Lafayette on the schedule, Penn’s non-conference schedule has been frustratingly difficult in recent years. This year has been no different as Penn’s two opponents thus far have combined to go 6-1, which includes a win over an FBS opponent. In TSN’s Top 25 media poll, Villanova is ranked No. 2 in the country, while Lafayette is receiving votes.
Penn Penalties - We’re Number One
Penn leads the nation in fewest penalties per game. With an average of just 2.0 per game, the Quakers are officially the most disciplined of the 118 FCS teams. Penn was penalized just once against Lafayette, costing them just two yards on the play. In all, Penn’s 40 penalty yards are also the fewest in the country. And in second place? Today’s opponent, Dartmouth. The Big Green have been penalized for just 48 yards this season on eight accepted penalties.
It’s no secret to the Penn faithful that overtime has been cruel to the Quakers as of late. Since 2006—the freshman year for many of the team’s seniors—the Red and Blue are 0-6 in games that have gone beyond regulation. Prior to the current streak, the Quakers were 3-0 in overtime under Bagnoli. Penn’s last overtime win was Oct. 9, 2004 when they survived at Bucknell in two overtimes, 32-25.
Junior defensive lineman Owen Thomas has quietly had two impactful games for the Quakers to start the season. In both games, Thomas has recorded a sack—the first two of his career. His four tackles against Villanova were a career best until his six tackles at Lafayette. His 1.5 tackles for loss—in both games—were also career marks. On the season, his 10 tackles are tops among Penn’s defensive lineman, while his two sacks are tied for 10th in the nation to this point.
It seems as if 2008 All-American kicker Andrew Samson won’t take too much time getting over his two misses from last week. Samson was the third-most accurate kicker in the FCS last season and had gone 15 games without missing more than once, dating back to a 31-17 loss at Brown in 2007. In the next 15 contests, he made 17 of his next 21 attempts - an 81 percent clip.
Senior nose guard Joe Goniprow has almost literally been in opposing backfields more than any other defender in the country. He is second in the nation in sacks and his 2.0 tackles for loss per game rank fourth in the nation. He leads the Ivy League in both categories, tallying three sacks and four tackles for loss thus far.
Other Career Efforts
There have been a few other college bests from some of Penn’s younger as well as more experienced players. Senior captain Jake Lewko’s 13 tackles were a career high against Villanova—he then had 10 at Lafayette. His two pass breakups at Lafayette were also the most he’s ever had. Junior Josh Powers had 10 tackles at Lafayette and two pass breakups to reach new career marks. Junior Matt Tuten’s four catches and 82 receiving yards against Villanova, and Kevin Gray’s nine tackles and three pass breakups last week were also collegiate bests. Senior Kyle Olson had the biggest day last Saturday as he set new career highs in pass attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns.
After trailing 17-0 in the second quarter, Penn forced overtime with Lafayette at Fisher Stadium. However, after Penn came up empty in its overtime possession, Lafayette’s Davis Rodriguez split the uprights on a 28-yard field goal to give the Leopards a 20-17 win. The Leopards scored on three straight drives in the first half to take a 17-0 lead before Penn’s offense came alive in the final minute of the first half, going 46 yards in 1:05 to tack on a field goal before intermission. On Penn’s opening drive in the second half, Lyle Marsh ran the ball five straight times, taking Penn from its own 36 to the Lafayette six-yard line. On second-and-goal, Kyle Olson connected with Tyler Fisher in the middle of the end zone for his first career touchdown pass. After forcing another Lafayette punt, Olson marched the Quakers 60 yards into the end zone in six plays to tie the game at 17-17 with 5:22 left in the third. Neither team could manage much offense in the fourth, leading to the overtime.
The Red and Blue will finally return home to the confines of Franklin Field. Following the back-to-back road games, Bucknell visits Philadelphia to take on the Quakers next Saturday at 1 p.m. The matchup with the Bison will mark the final non-conference game of the season as Penn will then hit the thick of the Ivy schedule with a trip to Columbia on Oct. 17.