PHILADELPHIA - Its the final non-conference game of Al Bagnoli’s 23-year tenure at the helm of the Quakers, and it comes against a Top-15 team on the road. Penn and No. 14/18 Fordham (5-1) will square off at Coffey Field for the first time since 1998. The game can be seen on the Patriot League Network and kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.
The Penn-Fordham Series—6th Meeting
This will be Penn’s third visit to Coffey Field, where the series between these programs began in 1992—Coach Bagnoli’s first season on the Penn sideline. The Quakers won that first matchup, 13-10, to earn Bagnoli’s second victory at Penn. He has since won 144 more games as head coach of the Red and Blue, including four more against Fordham. In all, the Quakers have won each of the five all-time meetings with the Rams. The last meeting between these teams came at Franklin Field in 2011—a 35-20 victory for the Quakers. Penn’s two wins at Coffey Field have come by a combined six points as the Quakers won 34-31 in their last visit to the Bronx in 1998.
Torgersen’s School Record
Sophomore Alek Torgersen set a school record with 40 completions on Saturday at Dartmouth. That broke Gavin Hoffman’s record of 38 completions which stood since Oct. 28, 2000. Torgersen completed 69 percent of his passes. His 58 attempts tied for third-most in a game at Penn—Bryan Walker had 60 attempts in two seperate games in 2007, including Penn’s last loss at Dartmouth prior to Saturday.
Kulcsar’s School Record
Nearly half of Torgersen’s record-setting 40 completions went to senior wideout Spencer Kulcsar, who tied a single-game school record with 15 receptions. It matched the performance of Rob Milanese in a win against Cornell on Nov. 23, 2002. Kulcsar also had 125 receiving yards in the game to mark his second career 100-yard performance—the other came in the season opener at Jacksonville (127).
Torgersen snapped Penn’s string of 45 games without a 300-yard passer on Saturday. Prior to that effort, Penn’s last 300-yard passer was Kyle Olson, who had 313 in an overtime win at Brown on Halloween of 2009. Torgersen’s 350 passing yards were the 11th-most in a single game in program history and the most since Robert Irvin had 365 in a double overtime loss against Princeton on Nov. 4, 2006.
Penn Against Ranked Teams
Fordham enters the game ranked No. 14 in The Sports Network Top 25 and No. 18 in the FCS Coaches Poll. Overall, Penn is 5-16 vs. teams ranked in the Top 25 since 2000.
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 is facing one of the nation’s toughest schedules through four games. Jacksonville is 4-1 with its only loss on the road to then-No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana, while No. 6/5 Villanova is 4-1, with its only loss coming on the road in double overtime to FBS opponent Syracuse. Last week’s opponent, Dartmouth, is 2-1 with its only loss on the road to No. 4/6 New Hampshire. And No. 14/18 Fordham, Penn’s last non-league opponent, is currently 5-1 with its only loss on the road to No. 6/5 Villanova. That's a combined record of 15-4 with all four losses coming on the road to FBS opponents or top-10 ranked FCS teams.
Senior Conner Scott already ranks among the top 10 in school history in receptions and receiving yards. Scott led the Quakers in both categories last year (38 catches for 458 yards) and became the ninth Penn player with 100 career receptions and the 17th Quaker to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards. This season, Scott will continue to climb the school record books in both categories. He needs 10 receptions to reach Penn’s all-time top five, and 269 yards to reach the same spot among Penn’s all-time leaders in receiving yards. Scott, who has 1,345 career receiving yards, will also have a shot at becoming just the fifth player in school history with 2,000 receiving yards.
Quick Quakers Notes
Penn’s trip to Jacksonville was the furthest South the program has ever played a game ... The charter flight was the first time the Quakers flew since a return trip from Dartmouth in 2010, and the first round-trip flight for the Quakers since the 2004 season opener at San Diego ... The Quakers have forced a turnover in 10 of the last 11 games ... Penn has had multiple sacks in four of the last five games dating back to last season’s finale (12 in total) ... Alek Torgersen has thrown a touchdown pass in three of his four career games.
Game No. 221
Last Saturday was head coach Al Bagnoli’s 221st game at the helm of the Quakers. That broke a tie with Harvard’s Joe Restic for the fifth-most games coached in Ivy League history. Only Edward Robinson (Brown, 234), Lou Little (Columbia, 236), Tuss McLaughry (Brown/Dartmouth, 244) and Carm Cozza (Yale, 303) have coached more games at an Ivy League school.
No. 114 at Franklin Field
Penn’s next game at Franklin Field will mark the 114th game for Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli at Franklin Field. That will set another school record for Bagnoli. George Munger (1938-53) led the Red and Blue onto the Franklin Field tundra 113 times in 16 seasons. Coach Bagnoli has won 80 of his previous 113 games along the sidelines of the nation’s oldest collegiate football stadium—a winning percentage of 70.8.
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 1,347th 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 1,294 games played.
A Penn Win Today Would…
… make the Quakers 6-0 all-time against the Rams.
... snap the first seven-game losing streak in Coach Bagnoli’s tenure.
... snap a four-game road losing streak dating back to Oct. 19 at Columbia.
... be the first of the season for the Quakers.
A Penn Loss Today Would…
… be the first to Fordham in six all-time meetings.
... make the Quakers 0-4 to start the season for the first time since 1991.
… be less good than a win.
Penn lost its Ivy opener for the first time since 2007, 31-13, at Dartmouth on a very rainy Saturday afternoon in Hanover, N.H. Behind school-record performances from senior wideout Spencer Kulcsar and sophomore quarterback Alek Torgersen, Penn’s offense outgained the Big Green, 383-325. Torgersen broke Gavin Hoffman’s 14-year-old school record with 40 completions, and Kulcsar accounted for nearly half of those to match Rob Milanese’s 12-year-old program record with 15 receptions. But despite those performances, three key turnovers proved costly for the Quakers. Penn opened the scoring midway through the first quarter with a 54-yard touchdown pass to Matt Schwartz, but the Big Green responded with an 11-play touchdown drive to tie it, and then took the lead just 2:08 later after a Torgersen interception. Early in the second quarter, Dartmouth scored seven more off another Penn turnover. A fumbled snap gave the Big Green the ball at the Penn 42 and a 24-yard touchdown run put the hosts up 21-7 at the 9:34 mark. After a Penn punt, Dartmouth added one more touchdown on a nine-play, 70-yard drive. The Quakers added a field goal before half, but never got closer than 15 in the second half. A Dartmouth interception in the red zone late in the fourth quarter sealed the game for the hosts.
After opening the season with three of the first four games away from home, the Quakers return to the friendly confines of historic Franklin Field. Penn will host Columbia—a team they have not lost to at home since 1996—at 1 p.m. The game can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.
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