PHILADELPHIA - By mid-afternoon Saturday, either Penn or Harvard will be the 2009 Ivy League champion. The winner between the two unbeaten Ivy teams clinches at least a share of the title. Penn is on a quest for their first win in Cambridge since 2003—the last time they won an Ivy title—while Harvard is looking to secure its third straight championship. Kickoff is at noon in Cambridge.
Catching the Game
Television: None. Harvard will have a webcast of the game that can be found here.
Radio: WFIL 560AM 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 29th year in a row. For those not in the local area, you can still listen to the broadcast at PennAthletics.com. The game has also been picked up by SIRIUS Radio and will be on Channel 130.
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.
Harvard leads the all-time series 45-32-2 and has won four of the last five games against the Quakers. Penn last won in Cambridge in 2003 and has dropped four of the last five at Harvard Stadium. Harvard has won the last two meetings at home by a combined score of 52-10. Head Coach Al Bagnoli is 11-6 all-time against the Crimson and 9-6 since head coach Tim Murphy took over at Harvard in 1995. As a program, the Quakers are just 11-18 at Harvard Stadium since 1904.
In front of an energetic Homecoming crowd of 14,027, Penn dominated its archrival, beating Princeton 42-7. It was Penn’s largest victory over the Tigers since 1943. Senior quarterback Kyle Olson threw for a career-high three touchdown passes, junior fullback Luke DeLuca had a career-high two rushing touchdowns, and senior defensive back Chris Wynn had his first career interception return for a touchdown. After stopping Princeton on its first possession, Olson completed back-to-back passes to senior Kyle Derham and DeLuca for 21 and 29 yards, respectively. The longest reception of DeLuca’s career set up his one-yard touchdown run on the next play for a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game. Matt Tuten caught Olson’s pass in the middle of the field near the 5-yard line and raced straight into the end zone, putting the Quakers up 14-0. DeLuca rushed for his second touchdown for a 21-0 lead with 10:42 to go in the half. Olson capped off the opening drive of the second half with a pass in the flat to Derham who ran seven yards down the sideline for a 28-7 edge. In the fourth quarter, Penn’s defense got in on the scoring action as Wynn intercepted Princeton QB Tommy Wornham’s pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown, leaping into the end zone with 11:01 remaining in the game.
Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has gone 21 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher ... Penn has not allowed a 300-yard passer in 23 games ... Penn has had at least two sacks in nine of the last 11 games and recorded a sack in each of the last 13 ... The team that has scored first has won all eight games Penn has played this season ... Penn has won 11 of the last 13 against Ivy opponents ... Seven different Quakers have completed a pass this season, and seven different Quakers have caught a touchdown this year.
Magic Number 6
Penn has won six straight games overall—the sixth-longest active streak in the FCS—and six straight Ivy road contests. The overall winning streak is the longest for the Red and Blue since winning six in a row in 2004. The last time the Quakers won seven consecutive games was during a 17-game stretch where they won the 2002 and 2003 Ivy League titles. After a perfect 3-0 Ivy League road record last season, Penn has won its first three away games against Ivy opponents this season—the longest Ivy road winning streak for the Quakers since 2004 when they were in the midst of winning 12 in a row. Penn’s last loss at the home of an Ivy opponent came at Harvard, 23-7, on Nov. 10, 2007.
Penn and Harvard
The last time these two teams met with undefeated Ivy records was in 2004 at Penn. The Crimson won 31-10. The national media expects this one to be closer. The Top 25 media poll has Penn and Harvard side-by-side just outside the rankings. Penn is 28th with 116 points and Harvard is 29th with 114 points.
Tops in Division I
Penn has been the most disciplined team in Division I football this season. The Quakers rank first among FCS and FBS teams with an average of just 30.88 penalty yards per game. Bucknell (32.78) is second and Navy (33.0) is third. Penn has had three games this season where it has been penalized just once. They’ve been flagged twice for 20 yards in the last two weeks combined.
Tops in the Nation
Nationally, the Quakers are also tops in the FCS in rushing defense and scoring defense. The only teams in all of Division I that are allowing fewer than the Quakers’ 11.0 points per game are FBS teams Florida, Nebraska and Penn State. The Red and Blue are giving up just 60.88 rushing yards per game which is behind only #3 Texas (55.33) in Division I. Penn is also second in the FCS (118 teams) in total defense and fewest penalties, sixth in pass efficiency defense and are 10th in sacks.
Three Weeks of Offensive Outburst
Penn’s offense has been moving the ball well in each of the last three weeks and finally had something to show for it on the scoreboard last week—Penn’s 42 points were the most against Princeton at Franklin Field since 1943. Penn has accumulated more than 1,100 yards of offense in the last three weeks (367.67 ypg). In that time, the offense has 62 first downs and converted 40 percent of third downs. They’ve run 51 more plays than the opposition and stayed on the field for 25 minutes longer—nearly two full quarters—than the opposing offense.
It’s the season finale. The Class of 2010 will play its final game for the Red and Blue against Cornell at Franklin Field. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.