Football Rivals Battle for First Place Saturday

Follow @PENNfb

Penn Game Notes | Penn Football Twitter | Shop

PHILADELPHIA - Another dramatic fourth-quarter comeback has propelled the Quakers (3-4, 3-1 Ivy) into a tie atop the Ivy League with Princeton (4-3, 3-1 Ivy) and Harvard—also Penn’s next two opponents. This week, the Quakers take on the arch rival Tigers at Princeton Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m. With first place on the line, the game can be seen worldwide on

Catching the Game

TV: None. The Quakers won't be on television, but you can still watch the game on
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: In addition to, the Penn Sports Network (PSN) will have audio available. Be sure to tune in if you want to hear Penn announcers, Brian Seltzer, C'07, and Hench Murray, C'66, GEd'67.
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

Nothing beats watching the Quakers in person. If you are in the area, get to Princeton Stadium and cheer on the Quakers! The Red and Blue will need your support!!

The Penn-Princeton Series
Now in its 104th edition, this maybe the most true rivalry in the Ivy League. Princeton may lead the overall series, 63-39-1, but the Tigers took the first 28 meetings from 1876-1891. In the last 74 years, the series is virtually even as the Quakers hold a narrow edge of 38-35-1. Penn has dominated recently though, winning five straight and all but two over the last 16 years. Head Coach Al Bagnoli is 15-5 against Princeton, including a 7-1 mark at Princeton Stadium and a 2-0 record against Coach Surace.

Last Time It Counted....
In one of the most historic rivalries in college football—the 11th-most played rivalry—this game hasn’t had such Ivy title implications since 2005. Princeton (2006) and Penn (2009, 2010) have each won Ivy titles in that time, but this marks the first meeting where both teams enter the game atop the Ivy League in seven years. In 2005, both teams entered with identical 5-2 records overall and 3-1 Ivy marks. That was part of a four-way tie atop the Ivies with Yale and Brown. Princeton won the game, 30-13 at Franklin Field—its only win at Penn in the last 20 years. The Tigers finished 5-2 in Ivy play and tied for second-place (Brown won the title outright at 6-1). Penn, which had lost teammate Kyle Ambrogi just a few weeks earlier, lost its last four games that season and finished sixth in the league—the program’s lowest finish under Bagnoli.

Pounding Princeton
Penn’s current Senior Class has statistically had the best stretch the Red and Blue have ever had in the 136-year-old series with the Tigers. Over the last three seasons:
The Quakers have won by a combined score of 131-26—an average margin of victory of 35.0 ppg.
For the first time in program history, Penn has defeated Princeton by four touchdowns or more in three consecutive seasons. For the first time in program history, Penn has scored 37 or more points against Princeton in three straight years. The Quakers have scored 18 touchdowns to Princeton’s two.
The Quakers have held Princeton to 10 or fewer points in five straight meetings. Penn has outrushed Princeton 687-239 and outgained the Tigers, 1,431-719.
Penn has outscored Princeton 42-6 in the first quarter the last three seasons and 65-0 in the second half.
In the last five meetings against Penn, the Tigers have a total of six second-half points. The last time the Tigers scored in the second half against the Quakers was three days after Barack Obama was elected President—a fourth-quarter touchdown in 2008.
Last Time at Princeton Stadium...
Other than Penn posting its largest margin of victory of all-time against Princeton with the more points than the Quakers have ever scored against the Tigers in a 52-10 win, there were several other notables from the last meeting at Princeton Stadium. The 396 rushing yards are the most for Penn in the Al Bagnoli era ... Penn gained 600 yards of offense for the first time since a 601-yard effort on Oct. 5, 2002 in a 49-14 win over Dartmouth and the most on the road since the school-record performance of 628 yards at Cornell on Nov. 18, 2002 ... Billy Ragone threw multiple touchdown passes for the first time in his career (he has now done so six times in his career) ... A school-record three players were named Ivy League Player of the Week (Offensive - Ragone; Defensive - Matt Hamscher; Rookie - Aaron Bailey). It had been 11 years since three Ivy players from the same school were honored in the same week.

Princeton’s Last Win...
Penn has never lost in regulation at Princeton Stadium. The Quakers are 7-1 all-time at the Ivy League’s newest stadium. Its only loss came in double overtime in 2006—also the last time the Red and Blue lost to their arch rival. The Quakers fell 31-30. Penn went for the touchdown on its first OT possession, but was stopped on 4th-and-2 from the 3-yard line. However, Princeton’s ensuing game-winning 34-yard field goal attempt was blocked. Princeton crossed the goal line to start the second overtime, but the Quakers responded on their first play—a 25-yard touchdown pass from Robert Irvin to Matt Carre. Unfortunately, a bad snap on the extra point attempt gave the Tigers the win.

Ragone Against Princeton
Senior quarterback Billy Ragone is 2-0 against the Tigers and has had some of the best games of his career against Penn’s arch rival. Last season, he threw for a career-high 254 yards and three touchdowns, while the last time he visited Princeton Stadium 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 27-for-43 (62.8%) for 436 yards and five passing touchdowns with 16 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground in his career against the Tigers.

Ragone in the Record Books
Last week, Ragone, who has 42 career touchdowns (17 rush, 25 pass)—third all-time at Penn behind Gavin Hoffman (54) and Mike Mitchell (47)—became just the third player in Penn’s 136-year history with 5,000 career yards of total offense. Only Mitchell (5,394) and Hoffman have accomplished the feat (7,188). In addition, last Saturday, Ragone also moved up in the top 10 all-time at Penn in career pass yards, touchdowns, attempts and completions. His 165 pass yards gave him 3,799 for his career. That is seventh-most at Penn as only Hoffman (7,542) and Mitchell (5,547) have surpassed 4,000. Ragone’s 22 pass attempts last week gave him 562 for his career. That is six behind Matt Rader (1997-98) for fifth place. Also, Ragone’s 13 completions now give him 324 for his career which places him fifth all-time at Penn. His two touchdown passes gave him 25 for his career which passed Pat McDermott (2003-05) and tied Mark DeRosa (1994-95) for sixth all-time. A complete list of Quakers approaching milestones is on page five of the game notes (link above) and a list of Ragone in the school record book is on page four.

Fourth Quarter Comebacks: Lions, Tigers and Bears
With a dramatic 10-point fourth-quarter comeback against Columbia on Oct. 13 and equally frenetic game-tying and game-winning drives against Brown on Oct. 27, Ragone has now engineered seven career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. Three of those comeback wins came last year—two were on the road, two came in the final minute and all three were on national television (Dartmouth, Yale, Columbia). This year, two of Penn’s three wins are due to fourth-quarter comebacks. Both needed multiple drives to win the game as the Quakers scored two touchdowns in the final 7:27 against the Lions, and scored two field goals in the final 2:12 against the Bears. Next up? The Tigers?

With the dramatic win over Brown, Penn has now won its last four Homecoming affairs by a combined score of 123-40. The current streak was preceeded by a four-game losing streak (two of which came in overtime). But other than that stretch, 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.

1,000-Yard Rushers
Penn has the luxury of a crowded backfield. Senior Jeff Jack went over 1,000 career rushing yards at Yale on Oct. 20 and the Quakers became one of three teams in the FCS (along with The Citadel and James Madison) to have three active players with 1,000 career rushing yards. In fact, the Quakers have four different players with more than 875 career rushing yards. Brandon Colavita leads with 1,416 yards, followed by Billy Ragone’s 1,358, Jeff Jack’s 1,038 and Lyle Marsh’s 893. If Marsh gains another 107 yards, the Quakers will be the only team in the country with four players over 1,000 career rush yards. The quartet has combined for 4,705 rushing yards for the Quakers over the last four seasons.

Lopano Set School Record
Senior punter Scott Lopano, a four-year starter at the position, set the school record for career punt yards last week. Lopano has punted for 6,843 yards over the last 37 games, more than any Penn player in the program’s 136-year history. He surpassed Rob Sims, who held the school record for 20 years at 6,621.

Lopano Nears A Few Other Records
Lopano is also near another school record. He punted eight times last week and is second all-time at Penn with 177 career punts. He is just short of Jeff Salvino’s school standard. Salvino punted 186 times between 1994-97. In addition, Lopano’s current average of 41.6 yards per punt is just slightly behind Sims’ single-season school record of 43.5.

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 1,331st 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 1,278 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

Last Time Out
Sophomore kicker Connor Loftus connected on two field goals in the final 2:12 of play - the first from a career-long 45 yards to tie the game, the second from 30 yards out with 17 seconds to play - as Penn downed Brown, 20-17, in front of an ecstatic Homecoming crowd of 13,569 at Franklin Field Saturday afternoon. Brown took a 17-14 lead with 3:47 to play on a 1-yard touchdown run that was set up by the preceeding 29-yard pass play on 4th-and-15 from the Penn 31. Sophomore Dexter Davis ran back the ensuing kickoff to the Brown 49. Two completions and a six-yard rush from senior quarterback Billy Ragone, who engineered his seventh career fourth-quarter/overtime comeback, had Penn at the 28-yard line. That’s where the Quakers stalled and Loftus came on to attempt a career-long 45-yard field goal. It squeaked inside the left goal post and tied the game 17-17. Brown then had the ball with just over two minutes left in regulation. On 1st-and-10 from the Brown 23, Penn sophomore defensive back Trevor Niemann found himself in the right place at the right time as Bears quarterback Patrick Donnelly lofted the ball down the right sideline and Niemann was able to come away with his first-career interception. Penn took over at the Brown 44 with 1:21 left. Ragone immediately rushed for 15 yards, and from there, the Quakers set up a 35-yard field goal attempt for Loftus. Once again, it split the uprights and put the Quakers up 20-17 with just 17 seconds left on the clock.

Up Next
Regardless of Saturday’s outcome at Princeton Stadium, there will still be title implications for both Harvard and Penn next week at Franklin Field. Both teams will still be in the race and a national television audience on the NBC Sports Network will have a chance to see the matchup at noon. Harvard and Penn have won a piece of every Ivy title since 2007.

Download: 8-Princeton.pdf