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PHILADELPHIA - For the second straight year, the University of Pennsylvania football team opens the season under the lights at Franklin Field against budding rival Lafayette. Also for the second straight year, the Red and Blue are riding an eight-game winning streak (longest in the FCS and third-longest in all of Division I) following an undefeated Ivy League championship season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
Catching the Game!!
Television : Take your pick. The Lafayette Sports Network is carrying the game throughout the Northeast on WBPH or RCN. WBPH/RCN is available throughout the Philadelphia area. RCN reaches homes in and around Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Webcasts: ESPN3.com will carry the RCN broadcast nationally. But for those who would prefer to hear the Penn announcers (Brian Seltzer, C'07, and Hench Murray, C'66, GEd'67), you can tune in to the Penn Sports Network (PSN), which will provide a live webcast of the game on PennAthletics.com in High Definition here.
Radio: The game can be heard locally on WNTP 990AM. Seltzer, in his fourth season as play-by-play man is joined by Murray, who enters his 31st season as the analyst for the Quakers. You can listen online here.
Twitter: Follow @PennFB for live updates, photos and highlights. Click on #pennfb 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.
Franklin Field: Nothing beats watching the Quakers in person. Get down to Franklin Field! Get your tickets online by clicking the link above. For directions and venue information, click here.
Preseason Camp Coverage
If you don't follow Penn Football on Twitter (@PennFB) yet, here are some of the exclusive interviews you missed from the preseason. More exclusive twitter interviews, stats and first-to-know information all season long. Just follow @PennFB. Click on #pennfb to see what everyone is saying about Penn Football and use it in your tweets to join the conversation.
Defensive Coordinator Ray Priore | Offensive Coordinator Jon McLaughlin
Senior defensive lineman Jared Sholly | Senior Ryan Calvert and freshman Daniel Sharplin
The Penn-Lafayette Series
This is the sixth straight season the two teams have met, and each of the last four have come down to the final play of the game. Penn broke a three-game losing streak to the Leopards with a come-from-behind, 19-14 victory last season. Overall, the Quakers have won 62 of the 87 meetings, including a 46-9-2 record against Lafayette inside Franklin Field. Head Coach Al Bagnoli is 7-3 all-time against the Leopards and 5-3 against their head coach, Frank Tavani.
Let the Games Begin
Tonight marks the 135th season opener for Penn. The Quakers have been superb in openers with an all-time record of 102-31-1 (.765). The Red and Blue are even better in home openers at 105-28-1 (.787). Under the longest tenured head coach in team history—Al Bagnoli—Penn is 12-6 in the first game of the year and has an identical record in home openers during that span.
No Ivy team has ever gone unbeaten in league play for three straight seasons. Penn won five straight Ivy League titles from 1982-86, marking Penn’s last three-peat.
Nation’s Longest Winning Streak
Entering Saturday, the Quakers own the longest active winning streak in the FCS (eight games). In all of Division I, the Quakers’ streak ranks third behind defending FBS national champion No. 19 Auburn (17) and No. 6 Stanford (10). Penn hasn’t lost since Sept. 25, 2010, when the Quakers lost a one-point lead on the road to then-No. 1 ranked Villanova and eventually fell 22-10.
All of Penn’s Current Winning Streaks
8 straight wins overall: Leads FCS
- last loss was Sept. 25, 2010 (at Villanova, 22-10)
- most since nine straight from 10/3/09 - 9/25/10
9 straight home wins: 5th in FCS
- last home loss was 9/25/09 (No. 2 Villanova, 14-3)
- most since 19 straight from 9/23/00 - 11/22/03
10 straight Ivy League road wins
- last Ivy road loss was 11/10/07 (Harvard, 23-7)
- most since 12 straight from 10/26/02 - 10/29/05.
14 straight wins in the month of October
- last October loss was 10/27/07 (at Brown, 31-17)
15 straight conference wins: longest active streak in the FCS; third-longest in Division I; the third-longest in Ivy history
- last Ivy loss was 11/15/08 (vs. Harvard, 24-21)
17 straight wins over unranked opponents
- last loss was 9/26/09 (at Lafayette, 20-17, ot)
Quick Quaker Notes
The Quakers have scored 24 or more points in eight straight games for the first time since doing so nine straight times between 2002 and 2003 ... The Quakers have either led or been tied in the fourth quarter in 19 straight games ... The Red and Blue have won the last 16 games in which they’ve held their opponent under 10 points ... Penn is 17-1 in its last 18 games overall and 20-2 in the last 22 against Ivy opponents ... Penn has a rushing touchdown in each of the last 13 games and has at least two such TDs in eight in a row ... The Red and Blue have also rushed for at least 100 yards in each of their last 11 contests going back to 2009, including nine with at least 200 yards over that span.
Franklin Field Factoid
Lafayette was also Penn’s opponent in the first-ever night game at Franklin Field on Sept. 29, 1972. Penn won, 55-12.
Under the Lights
This is the fifth straight year in which the Quakers have opened the season at home, and tonight’s 6 p.m. start marks the third straight season in which Penn opens the season under the lights at Franklin Field. However, this is just the fourth night game at the nation’s oldest stadium since 2007. That seems to be a good thing though—the stadium lights have not been kind to the Quakers during the Al Bagnoli era. Since he took over in 1992, Penn has gone 6-12 (.333) in night games, losing nine of the last 11. However, Penn’s last win with a night start time was the season opener against Lafayette last season (19-14).
Ahead of the Game
Penn did not trail in any of its final four games in 2010 and has not played from behind since taking the lead in the second quarter at Yale on Oct. 23 (279 minutes, 58 seconds of game time). That was the only Ivy League game last year in which Penn ever trailed—for total of 8 minutes, 52 seconds in seven games (420 minutes).
It will be a new look offensive line for the Quakers. All five lineman earned All-Ivy last year, but only one returns. If you take out tri-captain Greg Van Roten’s 20 careers starts, the remaining four projected starters have combined to start two games—both by junior Mike Pinciotti last season.
Taking Their Time
Penn has dominated time of possession over the last two seasons. The Quakers have held the ball longer than their opponent in 17 of the last 18 games overall (Penn is 17-1 in that time). The only time Penn lost the time of possession battle in that span was at Harvard on Nov. 14, 2009—but Penn won the game, 17-7. Aiding this ball control effort are scoring drives of 70-plus yards. Penn has had at least one in 12 of the last 13 games.
Highest Active FCS Wininng Percentage; Highest Ivy Win Percentage of All-Time
The winningest active head coach in the FCS, Al Bagnoli, is undoubtedly one of the greatest coaches in Ancient Eight history. Technically, he may currently be the greatest of all-time. In 133 games vs. Ivy opponents, Bagnoli’s Quakers have won 97 of them. That Ivy win total is third-most all-time. However, Bagnoli’s record also amounts to a winning percentage of .729—which places him first all-time since the inception of the league in 1956.
Last Time Out
Penn ended its tumultuous 2010 season on the 40-yard line with the Ivy League trophy—the ultimate prize for a fallen teammate. Shortly after claiming the 15th Ivy League championship in program history with a 31-7 win over Cornell at Schoellkopf Field on Nov. 20, the Quakers paid the tribute to team captain No. 40 Owen Thomas, who passed away in April of 2010. Cornell fumbled on its first offensive play, and four plays later Penn’s all-time leading scorer, Andrew Samson, connected on a 29-yard field goal for the early lead. Penn never trailed. Brandon Colavita rushed for two straight scores and Ryan Murray made his first career touchdown catch for a 24-0 halftime lead. Colavita’s third score made it 31-0 late in the third quarter, a 26-yard run with 2:37 remaining in the third. To cap the scoring, Cornell broke a 10-quarter scoreless streak against Penn with a five-yard touchdown pass with a little more than four minutes remaining in the game. This was the final game for 32 Penn seniors as they finished their careers with a 22-6 record in Ivy play - the most wins by a Penn senior class since the 2005 seniors won 23 games.
Another edition of the Schuylkill Showdown. Penn, however, will be the visitor at its home stadium when Villanova serves as the host at Franklin Field in the 16th all-time meeting between the two city rivals. This is the second time the Quakers will be the road team at Franklin Field in this series. The Wildcats won the first such encounter, 28-24, six years ago to the day. The Sept. 24 kickoff is set for 7 p.m.