Gameday: No. 24 Football to take on No. 1 Villanova

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PHILADELPHIA - Despite owning the longest active winning streak in the FCS, the odds are against the Penn Quakers in the Schuylkill Showdown with No. 1 Villanova Saturday. Penn has never won at Villanova Stadium, has never beaten an FCS No. 1 and has not defeated Villanova since 1911.

Catching the Game!!
Television: Comcast Network (Formerly CN8). Check local listings, channel 8 for the majority of Comcast subscribers in the Philadelphia area. Scott Graham will provide the play-by-play with Kevin Reilly as the analyst.

Radio: WFIL 560AM will carry the game locally for the Quakers. Brian Seltzer and Hench Murray will team up as the Penn broadcast crew for the third straight season with Seltzer supplying the play-by-play and Murray serving as the analyst for the 30th year in a row.

Internet: The game can be found via webcast at VillanovaSports.com.

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.

Villanova Stadium: Nothing beats watching the Quakers in person. The Red and Blue will need your support in a hostile environment against the top ranked team in the nation. Directions to the stadium can be found here.

The Series
It’s been 99 years since the Quakers defeated the Wildcats. They won the first five games of the series from 1905-11, but have dropped the last 10 since the series resumed in 1980. This will be the seventh straight season the Philadelphia rivals have played with four of those games decided by seven points or less. However, Villanova has outscored Penn 51-17 in the two that have been played on the Main Line.

Last Time Out
Extending the nation’s longest winning streak on one of the program’s most emotional nights was not an easy task, but Penn found a way to push past Lafayette at Franklin Field, 19-14. The night started with a 40-second moment of silence in honor of No. 40 Owen Thomas and Dan “Coach Lake” Staffieri who each passed away in April. The night ended with a victory, Penn’s first in a season opener since 2006. Trailing by five, with four seconds remaining at the Penn 38-yard line, the Leopards used several laterals. Ultimately, Vaughn Hebron went harmlessly out of bounds at the 15-yard line and the Quakers bounded onto the field in celebration.Led by Jon Saelinger’s three interceptions - one off the 70-year-old school record for interceptions in a game - the Red and Blue defense posted another shut out and have not allowed a touchdown in more than nine quarters of play. Down 14-6 at the start of the second half, the Red and Blue embarked on a nine-play 61-yard drive which culminated in Rangone’s first career touchdown pass. In the fourth, the Quakers started on their own 25-yard line and marched down the field. They were momentarily stalled on a fourth and one at the Lafayette 24, but instead of attempting the go-ahead field goal, sophomore quarterback Billy Ragone pushed his way across the marker for a first down. A few plays later, at the 12-yard line, sophomore running back Lyle Marsh bounced off multiple tacklers and made a dive into the endzone for the score.

Nation’s Longest Winning Streak
Entering Saturday, the Quakers own the longest active winning streak in the FCS (nine games). In all of Division I, the Quakers’ streak is tied for third with No. 2 Ohio State, trailing No. 3 Boise State (17), and defending FBS national champion and top-ranked Alabama (17). Penn hasn’t lost since Sept. 26, 2009, when they were defeated at Lafayette in overtime.

Top Ranked Foe
Since the inception of FCS (I-AA) rankings in 1978, the Quakers have never played a team ranked No. 1 in The Sports Network’s Top 25. Below is a list of Penn’s results with ranked opponents since 2000:

L, 3-14 vs. #2 Villanova (Sept. 19, 2009)
L, 21-24 vs. #19 Harvard (Nov. 15, 2008).
L, 14-20 (ot) vs. #19 Villanova (Sept. 20, 2008)
L, 20-26 (3ot) vs. #16 Yale (Oct. 20, 2007).
L, 7-8 vs. #25 Lafayette (Sept. 15, 2007).
W, 22-13 vs. #17 Harvard (Nov. 11, 2006).
L, 30-31 (2ot) at #23 Princeton (Nov. 4, 2006).
W, 21-11 at #22 Lafayette (Sept. 15, 2006).
L, 20-34 at #18 Brown (Oct. 29, 2005).
L, 13-16 vs. #11 Villanova (Sept. 25, 2004) - Penn was #22.
W, 31-24 at #19 Lehigh (Sept. 27, 2003) - Penn was #21.
L, 3-17 at #6 Villanova (Oct. 10, 2002)
Prior to 2000 (also in the Bagnoli era):
L, 34-48 vs. #18 William & Mary (Oct. 14, 1995).
W, 30-14 vs. #16 Princeton (Nov. 6, 1993).

Overall, Penn is 3-9 vs. teams ranked in the top-25 since 2000, but two of those wins came on the road and three of those losses came in overtime, including the 2008 tilt with Villanova. The last Top 25 upset for the Quakers was a 22-13 victory over No. 17 Harvard at Franklin Field on Nov. 11, 2006. The last victory over a Top 25 team on the road was at No. 22 Lafayette in 2006. A special thanks to Dave Coulson at College Sporting News for his research in this matter.

200-Win Club
A rare occasion will occur on Saturday night as both head coaches are members of the 200-win club. In the history of college football (all levels), this has only occurred 31 times before tonight, and only seven times between FCS coaches. Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli has won 209 times in 284 games and has the highest winning percentage of any active coach in the FCS, while Villanova Head Coach Andy Talley has tasted victory “only” 208 times in 331 games. Coach Talley won the last matchup of 200-win coaches, topping William & Mary’s Jimmye Laycock, 14-13, in the 2009 playoffs. Odd fact: Bagnoli is the only coach in the club without a tie on his record.

Count Up to 800 - Third All-Time!
800:
We did it! With last Saturday’s win at Lafayette, the Quakers recorded the program’s 800th win all-time. That mark is third in FCS history behind only Yale and Harvard, (Yale 859, Harvard 806). In all of Division I, only 10 other programs have accomplished this feat, led by Michigan’s 879 wins. With the addition of the Quakers, the Ivy League and the Big Ten are the only Division I conferences to be home to three teams to reach the 800-win plateau.

Count Up to 125 - Second All-Time!
123:
Entering Saturday’s game against Villanova, head coach Al Bagnoli has accumulated 123 wins at Penn and needs just two more to break George Woodruff’s 109-year-old school record. Woodruff, the school’s third head football coach of all-time, won 124 games for Penn from 1892-1901. Woodruff still holds several NCAA records­­—most wins as a first-year head coach (15) and most wins in the first 10 seasons as a head coach (124). Prior to Bagnoli, no other Quakers coach has even approached his school wins record. George Munger was 42 short of Woodruff’s record, but remained in second place in the Penn record book for 53 seasons­.

Quick Quaker Notes
The team that has scored first has won the last 11 games Penn has played ... Penn has won 13 of the last 15 against Ivy opponents, but are just 4-6 in its last 10 non-conference games ... The Red and Blue have won the last 14 games in which they’ve held their opponent under 10 points.

Don’t Forget the Offense
We are about to unveil some video game-like statistics for the Penn defense. They have been impenetrable as of late, but the Quakers’ offense has quietly been equally as good and has been a catalyst for the defense. Last week, the Red and Blue held the ball for nearly 40 minutes. They gained nearly 400 total yards (392) and had 243 rushing yards. Imagine if they hadn’t turned the ball over four times. But after a slow start last year, the offense has gained more than 380 yards of offense in four of the last five games. They had only accomplished that feat once in the previous 13 games. Coach McLaughlin’s group has rushed for more than 200 yards in three of the last four games and recorded more than 20 first downs in four of the last five.

Defense, Defense, Defense

We warned you that the numbers may not be all that believable, but here they are: Penn has not allowed a single point in the first quarter since Oct. 3, 2009 (eight games). Penn’s defense has not allowed a point at all in the last 137 minutes, 58 seconds. Penn has not allowed an opponent to score more than seven points in any of the last six games. Penn has allowed a total of seven second half points in the last seven games. The defense has not allowed more than multiple touchdowns in any of the last seven games. They have not allowed a single point at home in 10 quarters (157 minutes, 56 seconds). In the last six home games, no offense has scored more than seven points against Penn. Penn has gone 24 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. In six of the last seven games, no opponent has rushed for more than 65 yards as a team. In the last 12 games, opponents have combined for 10 fourth quarter/overtime points. Penn has not allowed a 300-yard passer in 26 games. Penn has at least two sacks in 12 of the last 14 games and recorded a sack in each of the last 16. There are probably more, but we’re running out of time. Oh, one more. Forget touchdowns. When in the Red Zone, opponents are more likely to score zero points than any points at all. In the last 11 games, opponents are 11-for-23 in that area with just seven touchdowns (30.4%) and have almost have as many turnovers (six).

Road Trip
Not so much of a road trip, the Quakers will drive the 10.7 miles to the Villanova campus on Saturday. It will be one of several rather short trips this season for the Red and Blue as they will not leave the state of Pennsylvania until Oct. 23 at Yale. Last year, with trips to Dartmouth, Harvard and Brown on the schedule, Penn logged nearly 2,600 miles and spent approximately 42 hours on the bus. This season, Penn has several short trips including Princeton, Bucknell and Villanova. Adding in Yale and Cornell, the Quakers will log about 1,275 miles and spend just 24 hours riding the bus.

Up Next
The Comcast Network will broadcast the Ivy League opener between Penn and Dartmouth at Franklin Field. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.

Download: Penn-Nova two-deep.pdf