Football Visits Princeton In Late-Season Showdown

Penn (4-3, 2-2 Ivy League) at
Princeton (6-1, 3-1 Ivy League)

Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006 - 1 p.m.
Princeton Stadium - Princeton, N.J.

TV: CN8
Radio: WFIL-AM 560 / PennAthletics.com / Sirius Channel 118

Game Notes in PDF Format

Penn visits archrival Princeton in a must-win game for each team. Both the Quakers and the Tigers need a win to stay in the Ivy League title hunt with three games to play.

On the Radio
Thanks to a new deal inked during the offseason, all 10 Penn football games will be heard on WFIL 560 AM this season. Every game will also be streamed live at PennAthletics.com. Matt Leon (play-by-play) and Hench Murray (color analyst) return for their fourth season together in the booth. This season also marks Murray's 26th providing color commentary for Quaker broadcasts. Brian Seltzer returns for his third season as the crew’s pre-game, halftime and post-game show host. Leon’s guest at halftime this week will be former Quaker quarterback Doug Hensch, who played for Penn in 1989 and 1990..

On TV
Today’s game is being broadcast throughout the Mid-Atlantic by CN8. Lou Tilley and Bubba Miller have the call. It is the third game of four that Penn will have on CN8. Fans around the nation can watch live streaming video of the game via CN8's web site at www.cn8.tv.

On Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio, available to subscribers nationwide, will air an Ivy League game of the week for the second straight year, and the Quakers will again be heard on the service today. The game will be heard on Sirius channel 118.

Today’s Game
Penn visits Princeton Stadium trying to snap its two-game losing skid. Penn lost both of those games in the worst of ways, getting shut out in overtime against Yale and Brown. Princeton, meanwhile, saw its dreams of an undefeated season crumble with a 14-7 loss at the hands of Cornell last weekend.

Last Week
Brown turned on the offensive fireworks as quarterback Joe DiGiacomo passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns, and the Bears erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime. In the extra frame, Brown won the toss and elected to go second, while Penn elected to drive into a stiff wind at the west end of Franklin Field. Penn got one first down on their possession but stalled, and Derek Zoch missed wide right from 26 yards. Brown appeared to have missed its field-goal attempt from 35 yards, but a Penn false start penalty gave Steve Morgan a second try from 25 yards out, and he split the uprights for the win.

Last Year
Princeton spoiled Penn’s Homecoming in front of 20,036 fans, winning 30-13. Penn mustered a pair of touchdowns, but Princeton’s defense was dominant, holding Penn to 84 yards rushing and intercepting the Quakers four times.

Scouting the Tigers
Princeton has arguably been the surprise team of the Ivy League this season. After being picked sixth in the preseason poll, the Tigers reeled off six-straight wins before losing last week at Cornell. Ranked 23rd in the nation, Princeton controls its own destiny in the Ivy race as it still has to play Penn, Harvard and Yale. If they win out, the Tigers would be assured of at least a share of the crown. Quarterback Jeff Terrell is Princeton’s most dangerous threat, leading the League with 243.9 yards passing per game. Bredan Circle leads the team with 69.3 yards receiving per game, while RC Lagomarsino is averaging a team-best 47.9 yards per game on the ground.

Multiple Threats
Against Brown, quarterback Robert Irvin continued his trend of spreading the ball around, connecting with seven different receiviers in the game. Braden Lepisto, Matt Carre and Chris Mizell continued to be the main threats, while backfield target Joe Sandberg had a pair of catches. Matt Reinert, Josh Koontz and Billy May each had a single reception (May’s lone catch was for a touchdown).

Greg Ambrogi Leads the Nation in Passes Defended
Junior cornerback Greg Ambrogi is having a breakout season, and through last weekend he leads the nation in passes defended by a large margin. The category combines pass break-ups with interceptions, and Ambrogi has 13 total passes defended for an average of 1.86 per game, ahead of Texas Southern’s Kedron Dunn, who has 1.75 per game. Ambrogi has two interceptions and 11 pass break-ups this season, including seven in the last two games. Teammate Tyson Maugle ranks third in the same category, with 1.71 per game.

Wynn Named Ivy League Rookie of the Week
Freshman Chris Wynn made his first game taking kick returns a memorable one. With time winding down in the third quarter, Wynn took a kickoff at his own two-yard line and hit a hole, sprinting free down the Penn sideline for a 98-yard touchdown. The return was the fourth-longest in Penn’s 130-year history, and the longest since Frank Riepl went 108 yards against Notre Dame in 1955. For his effort, Wynn was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Monday.

Williams Named Ivy League Co-Defensive Player of the Week
Senior safety Scotty Williams had an outstanding game against Brown, returning a fumble recovery for a touchdown and intercepting two passes. His touchdown and his first interception came on back-to-back plays. Williams was named Ivy League Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Anastasio’s Breakout Year
Junior linebacker Joe Anastasio continues to have a breakout season with the Quakers after his career-high 15 tackles against Brown. Anastasio leads the team with 67 tackles, and has a shot to become Penn’s first player in nearly a decade to reach 100 tackles (John Bishop last did it in 1997 with 111). Anastasio is third in the Ivy League with 9.6 tackles per game.

Protecting Their Man
The Quaker offensive line has done a fantastic job of protecting their quarterback this season, giving up just 0.86 sacks per game. Penn did not yield a sack against Brown. Nationally, Penn ranks sixth in sack prevention, and leads the Ancient Eight in that category.

The Captains
Seniors Sean Estrada (LT/LG) and Scotty Williams (FS) have been selected by their teammates as Penn’s captains for the 2006 season. Both are returning starters and 2005 Honorable Mention All-Ivy selections.

Penn-Princeton Series Notes
This is the 98th meeting between the two teams ... The Tigers lead all-time, 62-34-1 ... Penn has won nine of the last 10 and 12 of the last 14 games ... Penn has never lost at Princeton Stadium (5-0) ... Princeton has a 4-1 edge when playing Penn on Nov. 4 ... Last year’s Tiger win snapped a nine-game winning streak by the Quakers ... Princeton is Penn’s oldest rival — the two first met in 1876, the first season of Penn football ... Penn played Princeton in its first-ever game of football, on Nov. 1, 1876, losing 6 goals to none ... Just how old is the Penn-Princeton rivalry? The year the first game was played, the United States celebrated its centennial, Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president, Custer died at the Battle of Little Big Horn, and the American flag had 38 stars.

Penn-Brown Game Notes
It was the second-straight week Penn went to overtime ... Penn had not gone to overtime at home since beating Yale, 34-31, on Oct. 25, 2003 ... Chris Wynn’s kickoff return for a touchdown was the first since Doug Middleton did it last year against Columbia, and was the fourth-longest kick return in Penn’s 130-year history ... Wynn’s play was the fourth-longest in I-AA football this year ... It was also the fifth-longest play of any type in school history ... Scotty Williams’ two-interception performance was the second by a Quaker this year. Tyson Maugle also did it against Dartmouth in Week 3 ... Williams' fumble recovery for a touchdown was his third career TD ... Maugle, in his own right, had a great game with seven tackles, a sack, 1.5 TFL and four pass break-ups ... Joe DiGiacomo’s 340 passing yards were the most against Penn since Villanova’s Frank Jankowski threw for 345 yards last season.

Century Man
Head Coach Al Bagnoli got his 100th win with the Quakers in the team’s opening-week win over Lafayette. Bagnoli, who stands at 103-40 with Penn, is 21 wins behind the legendary George Woodruff for first all-time at Penn. He is also the second-winningest active coach in Division I-AA with a .716 winning percentage — only Dayton’s Mike Kelly (.830) is better.

Century Man, Part II
Bagnoli crossed a different century mark against Columbia Oct. 14 — his 100th Ivy League game. Bagnoli was a remarkable 74-26 in his first 100 League games — and that includes the forfeiture of five games from the 1997 season due to a player subsequently declared ineligible. He is currently the winningest active Ivy League coach and fourth all-time in League wins. And no coach since the official formation of the League in 1956 has a better winning percentage (.760).

Preseason Ivy Poll
The preseason Ivy League media poll tabbed Penn to finish second in the League. The Quakers received 99 points, including two first-place votes. Harvard was picked to finish first overall. For the full poll, see the sidebar on page 3 of these notes.

New Faces on the Sideline
Four new coaches are assisting Bagnoli on the sidelines this year. Offensive coordinator Shawn Halloran moves in from the head spot at Franklin & Marshall to replace Andy Coen, who departed for the top job at Lehigh. Rick Ulrich returns to the Quakers for his second stint as wide receivers coach after offensive coordinator jobs at Georgetown, Trinity and Ursinus. Jon McLaughlin is the offensive line coach, moving from a graduate assistantship at Iowa. Cornerbacks coach Jon Dupont comes in from a similar position at Trinity.

Penn Milestones
This season represents several milestone anniversaries for members of the Penn football family. Dan “Coach Lake” Staffieri, the team’s emotional leader on game day who has more Ivy championship rings than fingers, celebrates his 30th season with Penn. Defensive coordinator Ray Priore enters his 20th season, and Penn equipment manager Mark Stewart is in his 20th season as well. Head Coach Al Bagnoli, defensive line coach Jim Schaefer and quarterbacks coach Larry Woods each begin their 15th seasons on the sidelines. The Penn football program itself marks its 130th year in 2006, while the Ivy League celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Oh, Very Well!
A statue honoring Dan “Coach Lake” Staffieri will be dedicated prior to Penn’s final home game next week with Harvard. Staffieri, who has been with the Quakers for the past 30 years, is the team’s emotional leader on game-day and an unmistakable presence on the sidelines, wearing plaid and sporting his Ivy League championship rings. The piece will be placed just inside the east tunnel at Franklin Field, where the Penn team runs onto the field.

Get In Line!
If the Penn student section at Princeton Stadium looks a bit tired, it isn’t because they were up all night cramming for exams. Over 400 students are participating in The Line, Penn’s annual basketball pre-season tradition in which students camp out at The Palestra for season tickets. This year, as the event coincides with the Penn-Princeton football game, all Line participants earned a trip to watch today’s game.

“Invincible” Makes a Splash
The Disney feature film “Invincible,” about the life of former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale, was released this summer and has earned over $48 million at the box office. Much of the film’s game action was shot at Franklin Field, which can be seen in the try-out scenes, and Veteran’s Stadium was digitally recreated based on footage shot at Penn’s historic stadium.

Alumni Notes
Former Penn quarterback and two-sport star Mark DeRosa had a breakout season as an infielder with the Texas Rangers. DeRosa hit .296 in 520 at-bats with 74 RBI and 13 home runs. Earlier in the summer, he was named American League Player of the Week on Aug. 14 after hitting .433 with a .900 slugging percentage and 15 RBI in seven games ... Former Penn running back Jim Finn is once again the New York Giants’ starting fullback this season.

Quaker Notemeal
Although Penn beat Princeton in 1997, the game was among five forfeited that season due to a player subsequently declared ineligible ... Penn has missed its last five field goals, and four of them were inside 28 yards ... Joe Sandberg crossed the 1,000 yard career rushing mark at Yale and now has 1,124 in 16 career games ... Matt Carre is now ninth on Penn’s all-time receiving list with 1,205 career yards ... Penn has failed to score in the fourth quarter four times this season, and has also not scored in two overtime appearances ... Penn has not been shut out since losing to Harvard, 33-0, on Nov. 15, 1997, a span of 87 games ... This is the 130th season of Penn football ... While Penn’s first season of football was 1876, no intercollegiate team was fielded in 1877 but football has been played every year since.

Next Time Out
Penn returns home for the final time in 2006 to face Harvard in a CN8-televised game at 1 p.m.

Download: game 8 notes - Princeton.pdf