PHILADELPHIA - As is tradition, Penn (5-3, 4-1 Ivy) and Harvard (8-0, 5-0 Ivy) will play with the Ivy title at stake. The two programs have claimed at least a share of the last eight Ivy championships. The Quakers control their own destiny to a league-record 17th Ivy League title, butare eliminated from championship contention with a loss. Kickoff from Harvard Stadium is set for noon, and the game can be seen on the American Sports Network and Ivy League Digital Network.
The Penn-Harvard Series—86th Meeting
Harvard owns a 48-35-2 edge in the first 85 meetings, including a 20-12 record over the Quakers at Harvard Stadium. The team’s have split the last six meetings, and the winner of each has gone on to win at least a share of the title. Harvard won the last two, including the last matchup in Cambridge where the Quakers trailed 38-3 in the third quarter and lost, 38-30, when their final drive ended just outside the Harvard 20-yard line. Tim Murphy is 9-12 all-time against the Quakers, but is 6-4 at home against Penn.
Quick Quaker Notes
This is Penn’s first four-game winning streak since a string of four consecutive wins to end the 2012 season ... Penn has forced a turnover in 11 straight games, including 14 takeaways in the last four games (+9 turnover margin in the last four contests) ... The Quakers have recorded a sack in eight of the last nine games.
- Sophomore Justin Watson has had multiple receptions in all 18 games of his career.
- Has caught five or more in 11 of the last 12 games.
- Caught a touchdown in each of the first four games to become the first Ivy Leaguer since 2009 with a touchdown reception in four straight games—the second-longest streak in Penn history and tied for the eighth-longest in Ivy history.
- His six touchdown receptions are tied for eighth-most in a season at Penn.
- His 13 receptions against Princeton are fifth-most in a game in school history.
- Set program’s freshman records for receptions (42) and receiving yards (497) last year.
In 138 years, only six players in school history have accumulated more sacks than senior linebacker Tyler Drake, who is now seventh all-time at Penn with 16.5 for his career. He had four sacks against No. 13 Fordham—the most in a game for a Penn player since Steve Lhotak had 4.5 against Harvard on Nov. 15, 2003. He also leads the Ivy League with 7.5 sacks this season which is the most in a season by a Penn player since Lhotak finished with 7.5 in 2003. The last Quaker with more than 7.5 sacks in a season was Mike Germino with 9.5 in 1999.
Junior quarterback Alek Torgersen has a touchdown pass in 16 of his 18 career games ... He has either passed or rushed for a touchdown in each of the last 14 games he has played ... Has a passing touchdown in 12 of 13 career Ivy games (only one without was against Dartmouth on Oct. 3 when he missed the second half) ... He has passed for 25 touchdowns to just five interceptions in his 13 Ivy League games.
Alek Torgersen needs 186 yards of total offense to become the fourth player in school history with 5,000 for his career; needs 3 touchdowns to pass Jimmy McGeehan for fourth on Penn’s all-time career list; and needs 3 completions to become fourth player at Penn with 400 career completions.
Against Ranked Foes
Penn snapped a four-game losing streak to ranked opponents with the win at No. 5/4 Villanova, and then lost on a last-second field goal to No. 13/12 Fordham at Franklin Field on Oct. 10. Penn is now 6-19 against teams ranked in the Top 25 since 2000. Prior to that win over the Wildcats, the Red and Blue’s most recent win over a ranked opponent came in the 2012 home finale and Ivy title-clinching win over No. 25 Harvard, 30-21.
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 has played four ranked non-league opponents in the last two years—the rest of the Ivy League COMBINED has played four Top 25 non-league opponents in that time (Columbia, 3; Dartmouth, 1).
• Last year, Penn played the 10th-toughest schedule in the FCS. In comparison, Harvard played the 104th-toughest schedule and Brown was 120th (out of 125).
• This season, Penn has played the nation’s fifth-toughest schedule (toughest in the Ivies), which included a win at No. 5/4 Villanova, and a last-second loss to No. 13/12 Fordham. In comparison, the easiest Ivy schedule belongs to Harvard (109th-toughest schedule to date out of 125).
Several Quakers are ranked among the nation’s best: Senior linebacker Tyler Drake ranks 10th in the FCS in sacks, and third in the country with four forced fumbles, while junior quarterback Alek Torgersen is No. 2 in the nation with a completion percentage of 69.1, and ranked No. 6 in passing efficiency (163.4). Justin Watson is sixth in the country with 7.3 recpetions per game and 12th in the FCS with 100.0 receiving yards per game.
A Penn Win Today Would...
... mark the first five-game win streak since 2010 (won Ivy title).
... be the first at Harvard since 2009 (won Ivy title).
... mark the most wins (6) since 2012 (won Ivy title).
... clinch a winning record in Coach Priore’s first season.
... make the Quakers 6-3 and 5-1 in Ivy play.
A Penn Loss Today Would...
... be the third straight to Harvard and at Harvard.
... make the Quakers 5-4 overall and 4-2 in Ivy play.
... be less good than a win.
Last Week: W, 26-23 vs. Princeton (OT)
- With Ivy League title hopes on the line, junior Donald Panciello blocked a field goal as time expired to send the Franklin Field Homecoming crowd into a frenzy, and the Ivy League showdown with arch rival Princeton into overtime. Moments later, senior Eric Fiore caught the game-winning touchdown pass to seal a dramatic 26-23 victory.
- Penn trailed 20-10 at the break, but held the Tigers scoreless in second half. The Quakers tied the game on Jimmy Gammill’s 42-yard field goal with 3:22 left, but Princeton drove to the Penn 25 and called timeout with four seconds left.
- This was just the second overtime game in 107 meetings with Princeton. The only other was a two-overtime, road defeat in 2006. This was also just the third overtime Homecoming game in Penn history (first win).
Its the final Hurrah, Hurrah, Pennsylvania, for Penn’s senior class. Their final home game at historic Franklin Field will be the 122nd all-time meeting in the fifth-oldest rivaly in college football. Penn and Cornell kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The game can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Download: 9 - Harvard.pdf