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Let’s Make Some History! For the first time, Penn hosts Central Connecticut State as the two teams convene at Franklin Field. The Red and Blue are coming off an impressive 37-24 win at Dartmouth in front of a national television audience to open Ivy League play, while the Blue Devils are the second Penn opponent of 2016 to come in off a bye week.
The Penn-Central Connecticut State Series — The First Meeting
Usually, this section is a bit longer. Today is the first meeting all-time between the two teams.
Last Time Out
- Penn opened Ivy League play with a 37-24 win at Dartmouth, knocking off one of the two teams the Quakers shared the 2015 Ivy League title with.
- The Red and Blue scored a touchdown on each of their first four possessions in the game, building a 28-3 lead.
- Tre Solomon set a career high with 29 carries. He finished with 107 yards and two touchdowns.
- Mason Williams recorded an interception for the third consecutive game.
- One week after committing three turnovers, Penn played turnover-free football.
Penn will look to improve to 2-0 in Ivy League play on Family Weekend as the Columbia Lions visit Franklin Field on October 15. The Red and Blue have won 19 in a row over the Lions, including a 42-7 drubbing in New York City last fall. The Quakers scored 42 unanswered points for Ray Prore’s first road Ivy League win as head coach of the Quakers.
A Penn Win Today Would…
… be head coach Ray Priore’s first home non-conference win
... be Penn’s first at home in 2016
... be Penn’s third over a NEC school and improve Penn to 3-0
A Penn Loss Today Would…
... be the fourth straight in non-conference play dating back to 2015
... be the fourth straight at home in non-conference play dating back to 2014
… be the third of 2016, matching Penn’s total from last season.
Penn Against the NEC
The Red and Blue’s all-time series against NEC schools is not much more detailed than the one with CCSU. Penn’s only two games against NEC opponents were a pair of wins over Duquesne. The Quakers downed the Dukes in 2003 (51-10) and 2005 (41-14) with both wins coming at Franklin Field.
Priore Powers Through the Ivy League
With the win over the Big Green, Ray Priore became the third-fastest Ivy League head coach to record his first win over all seven League opponents. Only Ed Zubrow (Penn, 7 games in 1986) and Jordan Olivar (Yale, 7 games in 1956) swept through the Ivy League in fewer games.
Penn Scoring Trend
Home is where the points are. Penn has gone 132 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. The trend on the road is a bit shorter — Penn has gone 14 road games without being shutout. The last time Penn was blanked on the road was 11/2/13 at Brown, a 27-0 loss.
Quakers Stop the Skid
With the win at Dartmouth, Penn halted its two-game losing streak and staved off its first elongated losing streak since a pair of four-game skids in 2014. The Red and Blue will look to turn the tide following a two-game streak just like they did last year when Penn won its final six games after losing back-to-back contests to Dartmouth and Fordham.
Jangro Named Ivy League Rookie of the Week
Freshman linebacker Connor Jangro was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week after a seven-tackler performance at Dartmouth on September 30. He is the first defensive player in the Ivy League to earn a Rookie of the Week award since the final week of the 2014 season and Penn’s first since Donald Panciello in 2013.
Hunter The Punter
Junior Hunter Kelley ranks No. 5 in the NCAA in punting average, coming in at 45.5 yards per game. He has punted 12 times in three games, with six punts travelling 50+ yards and six landing inside the 20-yard line. FYI, the Ivy League record for punting average in a season is 45.1. Penn’s single season record for punting average is 43.5.
Penn is Pinning Them In
Hunter Kelley’s prowess in the punting game has propelled Penn to a No. 2 Net Punting ranking in FCS. The Quakers are averaging a net of 42.75 over their first three games.
Interceptions of Interest
Sophomore defensive back Mason Williams has recorded an interception in three consecutive games to start the 2016 season. He joins Ian Dobbins (10/17-10/31/15) as recent Quakers to record picks in three straight games. Williams is one of four players in FCS averaging 1.0 interceptions-per-game this season.
Off The Officials’ Radar
Through three games, Penn ranks No. 19 in FCS in terms of penalty yards-per-game (45.0) and is averaging just 6.3 penalties per game. After being flagged for 10 penalties in the season opener, the Red and Blue have been called for just nine over the past two games.
Red and Blue Run the Red Zone
Penn is one of 14 teams still perfect inside the red zone in FCS, with scores in all eight trips inside the 20. The Quakers have scored 7 touchdowns on their 8 red zone trips, the third-highest red zone TD% in FCS.
Quakers Looking to Live The Fourth
In the fourth quarter of Penn’s 37-24 win at Dartmouth, the Red and Blue recorded their first safety since 11/9/13 — the only points Penn has scored in a fourth quarter this season. The Quakers have been outscored, 28-2, in the fourth quarter through three games.
May the Fourth (Down) Be With The Quakers
Penn is 7-of-9 on fourth down conversions this season, ranking No. 15 among FCS schools in conversion percentage.
Turning Off the Turnovers
The Quakers rank No. 5 in all of FCS in terms of turnovers loss, with just three. Penn QBs have thrown just one interception, which ranks No. 3 among FCS squads. All three of those turnovers came in a span of 5:17 during the Fordham game on September 24.