Friday Night Lights: Football Set to Host Yale

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PHILADELPHIA - Friday marks Penn’s first nationally televised night game at Franklin Field—the nation’s oldest collegiate football stadium. The Quakers (2-3, 1-1 Ivy) look to build of head coach Ray Priore’s first career Ivy League victory as they host Yale (4-1, 1-1 Ivy) on Family Weekend. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game can be seen on NBC Sports.

Quaker Fan Fest
Prior to the game, Penn is closing down Moravian Street (34th/Sansom) for Quaker Fan Fest. The free event is from 4-7 p.m., and will featuremusic, giveaways, an appearance from the Penn Band, and discounts to many of the restuarants on the street. There is also a student BBQ at Shoemaker Green prior to the game, and the first 500 fans will receive a rally towel as they enter the stadium.

Make a Pledge
The Quakers are teaming up to fight Castleman Disease and are willing to earn every cent. Fans will pledge a donation for every touchdown or turnover the Quakers tally in Ivy games this year as the offensive and defensive players compete to see who can raise the most money. Make a Pledge.

All in the Family
On Family Weekend at Penn, here is a touching story on the effect of the Penn Football family. After a diagnosis permanently sidelined junior Kaleb Germinaro, he was embraced by his teammates and found a new role to stay involved in the program.

The Penn-Yale Series—83rd Meeting
Over the first 82 meetings, Yale holds an all-time edge of 47-34-1 in a series that dates back to 1879. However, the Quakers have won 10 of the last 11 over the Bulldogs at home, and the only loss was in three overtimes in 2007. Yale’s last win in regulation at Franklin Field was in 1990 when the Quakers were led by Gary Steele. Overall, Penn is 20-11-1 at home against the Bulldogs.

Coaching Matchup
Last week, head coach Ray Priore earned his first career Ivy League victory and it came against his predecessor at Penn. The pair coached the Quakers for 23 years and won nine Ivy League championships together. It was their first head-to-head matchup.

Nineteen Straight
Penn’s 19th straight win over the Lions is the fifth-longest win streak in FCS history over an annual opponent. The Quakers, who once again spoiled Homecoming at Kraft Field, have not lost to Columbia since 1996, or at Columbia since 1995.

School Record and Ivy Rookie of the Week
Freshman wide receiver Christian Pearson earned his second Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor on Monday. He set a school record en route to a career day in the 42-7 victory at Columbia. Pearson’s team-high 10 receptions set a program record for a freshman. He totaled a career-best 126 receiving yards and added the go-ahead touchdown. Six of his catches went for more than 10 yards and seven of his 10 receptions went for a first down. He is the first Penn player to win multiple Ivy Rookie of the Week honors since running back Michael DiMaggio in 2007.

Columbia Leftovers
Penn’s 35-point win was its largest since a 52-10 victory over Princeton on Nov. 6, 2010 ... The 42 points were the most on the road since that game, and the most against Columbia since a 59-28 win in 2007 ... Senior Ryan Kelly caught two touchdown passes in a game for the first time ... Tyler Drake’s interception at the start of the second half was the first pick of the senior’s career.

Friday Night Lights
This is the first Penn home game on a Friday in 35 years. The last time the Quakers hosted a game on a Friday was Sept. 26, 1980 against Lehigh (L, 35-6)— that was just a few weeks before Mike Schmidt and the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series at Veterans Stadium over George Brett and the Kansas City Royals, and just a few months before the Philadelphia Eagles dropped Super Bowl XV to the Oakland Raiders, 27-10. Penn last played on a Friday at Princeton on Nov. 7, 2008 (W, 14-9).

Penn Scoring Trend
Penn has gone 130 consecutive games at home without being shut out. The last time the Quakers were scoreless at home was a 24-0 loss to Dartmouth on Nov. 18, 1989.

Penn Scoring Trend #2
On Friday night, the Quakers will try to accomplish something that has not been done since 1940. The Red and Blue have scored 40 or more points in consecutive games for the first time since 2007 when they put up 42 and 59 in back-to-back wins over Georgetown and Columbia. The Quakers have not scored 40+ points in three straight games in 75 years. The last time was 51-0 over Maryland (Oct. 5), 50-7 over Yale (Oct. 12), and 46-28 over Princeton (Oct. 19).

Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has mulitple touchdown passes in six straight games ... The Quakers have forced a turnover in seven straight games, and have recorded a sack in six straight games (22 total/3.6 per game) ... Penn has scored three rushing touchdowns in consecutive games for the first time since 2011—also against Fordham and Columbia.

• Justin Watson needs 47 yards to become 19th Penn player with 1,000 career receiving yards.
• Alek Torgersen needs 98 yards to become fifth player in program history with 4,000 career yards of total offense; also needs 370 passing yards to become the fourth player in school history with 4,000 career pass yards.

Watson Watch
- Sophomore Justin Watson has had multiple receptions in all 15 games of his career.
- Has caught five or more in eight of the last nine games (two last week).
- 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 five touchdown receptions are tied for ninth-most in a season at Penn.
- Set program’s freshman records for receptions (36) and receiving yards (420) last year.

The Drake
Senior linebacker Tyler Drake 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 leads the Ivy League with 5.5 sacks this season and now has 14.5 career sacks.

Torgersen Trends
Junior quarterback Alek Torgersen has a touchdown pass in 13 of his 15 career games ... He has either passed or rushed for a touchdown in each of the last 11 games he has played ... Has a passing touchdown in nine of 10 career Ivy games (only one without was against Dartmouth on Oct. 3 when he missed the second half) ... He has passed for 17 touchdowns to just five interceptions in his 10 Ivy League games.

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 16th-toughest schedule, 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 (110th-toughest schedule to date out of 125).

Nation’s Best
Several Quakers are ranked among the nation’s best: Senior linebacker Tyler Drake ranks fifth in the FCS in sacks with an average of 1.1 per game, while junior quarterback Alek Torgersen is No. 6 in the nation with a completion percentage of 68.0. Meanwhile, as a team, the Quakers are fifth in the nation in sacks with 3.6 per game, and have been called for just 27 penalties this season—fourth-fewest in the FCS.

A Penn Win Today Would...
... be the fourth straight at home over Yale.
... mark the first back-to-back wins since Oct. 19-26, 2013 against Columbia and Yale.
... be the first at home since Oct. 18, 2014.
... make the Quakers 3-3 on the year and 2-1 in Ivy play.

A Penn Loss Today Would...
... be just the second to Yale at Franklin Field since 1990.
... mark the first back-to-back losses to Yale since 1999-2000.
... make the Quakers 2-4 on the year.
... be less good than a win.

Last Week
- An anticipated matchup with a familiar foe quickly turned into the largest blowout victory for the Quakers since 2010. Penn dominated Columbia on the road, 42-7.
- Head Coach Ray Priore earned his first career Ivy League victory, and it came against former Penn coach, Al Bagnoli.
- Columbia scored on its opening drive, but Penn scored the last 42 points of the game.
- Penn led 28-7 at the break and 42-7 at the end of the third quarter.
- Junior quarterback Alek Torgersen was 19-of-29 for 270 yards and the three touchdown passes. Sophomore running back Tre Solomon ran for a pair of scores.
- Wideout Christian Pearson set a school record for a freshman with 10 catches and also added 126 receiving yards and a touchdown.
- Senior tight end Ryan Kelly had two catches—each went for a touchdown.
- Defensively, Penn forced four turnovers, and had five sacks. The Quakers outgained Columbia, 417-199, including 285-101 through the air. After their first drive of the game, the Lions totaled just 131 total yards.

Up Next
Boo! The Quakers travel to Providence to take on Brown on Halloween. Brown Stadium has been a house of horrors for the Quakers with four losses in the last five visits, including two straight shut outs. However, Penn’s last score and win at Brown was also on Halloween—a 14-7 overtime victory en route to the 2009 Ivy League title.


Download: 6-Yale.pdf