Ivy League Release
PHILADELPHIA - Junior safety Matt Hamscher won the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week award on Monday after he led a defense that shut down the Ivy League's top offense in the University of Pennsylvania football team's 27-13 win over Columbia Saturday.
Hamscher and the Quakers held the highest scoring offense in the Ivy League to nearly three touchdowns below its scoring average. The Lions had racked up a league-high 29.3 points per game heading into Saturday's game, but managed just one touchdown against the Red and Blue.
Against the FCS leader in passing efficiency, Hamscher sacked the Lions' Sean Brackett twice for a loss of 14 yards. Brackett, also Columbia's leading rusher, was held to eight yards on 16 carries as Hamscher finished with a team-high eight total tackles (five solo) and 3.0 tackles for loss of 17 yards -- all career highs -- leading a defensive effort that held Columbia to just 44 total rushing yards (1.3 yards per carry).
This is the first defensive Ivy honor that Hamscher has received. The Whitehall, Pa., native also won Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors as a freshman in 2008 when he was still a running back. He won that award with a season-high 102 yards on 21 carries and his first career touchdown in a win at Georgetown on Oct. 11.
This is the second time this season a Penn player has received this award and the third straight week in which a member of the Quakers has been honored by the league. Jon Saelinger was the league's top defensive player in the first week of the season when he also earned Co-National Defensive Player of the Week recognition with three interceptions in a home win against Lafayette (Sept. 20). On Oct. 4, sophomore quarterback Billy Ragone was named the Ivy Offensive Player of the Week, while freshman quarterback Ryan Becker was selected as the league's Rookie of the Week on Oct. 11.
Hamscher and the Quakers look to extend a seven-game road winning streak against Ivy League opponents this Saturday at Yale. The game will kick off at noon and will be televised on the YES Network. The game can also be seen nationally via satellite on the Dish Network or DirecTV.