No. 22 Penn at Cornell
Broadcasting Stations: YES Network (Spero Didas and Howard Cross); DirecTV (channel 610); ESPN Radio 920 AM/www.pennathletics.com (Matt Leon and Hench Murray)
Series: Penn 63, Cornell 42, Tie 5
Game Notes: Game 10 - No. 22 Penn at Cornell
Closing Out Strong - Penn enters its final game of the 2004 season in search of its 14th Ivy League title and 11th in the past 20 years. Penn is 9-3 in season finales during the Bagnoli era. The opponent is Cornell, fresh off a comeback win over Columbia where the Big Red scored 25 fourth-quarter points for the 32-26 victory. Cornell is 4-2 in Ivy action, good for third in the League. The Big Red has been each the Quakers opponent on the final week of the season for quite some time. In fact, the last time Penn did not play Cornell to close out a season was 1987. The Red and Blue hosted Cornell to open the season on Sept. 19. Penn closed that season with a 49-17 win over Dartmouth on Nov. 21.
Coaching the Quakers - Al Bagnoli is in his 13th season as the George A. Munger Head Football Coach. He is first in wins (68) among active Ivy League coaches, second at Penn in years coached (12) and wins at Penn (93). Bagnoli holds a 9-3 record against the Big Red with his 2003 squad putting 50 points on the scoreboard in closing out Penn's second-consecutive perfect Ivy League season, beating Cornell, 59-7.
A Rivalry Unlike Any Other - Penn and Harvard have squared off on the grid iron with the Ivy League title going to the victor each of the last four years and 2004 would be no different. Harvard got the better of the Red and Blue, winning 31-10 at Franklin Field. The victory earned Harvard at least a share of the title with an outright championship assured with a win over Yale. This is easier said than done. Yale leads the all-time series, which began in 1875, 64-48-8. Penn earns a share of the championship with a Crimson loss and a win over Cornell on Nov. 20. The Crimson and Quakers are 44-2 against the remaining six Ancient programs over the past four years.
On the Road Again - Penn closes its season on the road against Cornell and, this season, that is not necessarily a bad thing. The Quakers are allowing only 16.2 points per game on the road while they themselves are scoring 31.5 points per contest in hostile territory.
Outright Ownership - Dan Castles registered a catch and a pass against Harvard last Saturday. He caught his eighth touchdown of the season, and 27th of his career, from freshman quarterback Bryan Walker. In doing so, he passed Miles Macik for the Penn all-time lead in touchdown receptions. Castles had been tied with Macik since hauling a scoring grab against Brown on Oct. 30.
Return to Sender - Jonathan Robinson had a career day returning kick offs against Harvard. The senior had a career-high 85 yards on returns and posted a season-high 44-yard kick-off return in the first quarter.
Triple Double - Luke Hadden recorded double-digit tackles for the third-straight game, registering 10 stops (seven solo) against Harvard. In the past three contests Hadden has 32 tackles (15 solo) and leads the Quakers with 63 (32 solo) on the season.
Stepping Up - Bryan Walker made his collegiate debut, replacing starter Pat McDermott out due to injury, under extreme pressure with a share of the Ivy League title on the line. The rookie performed exceptionally well, completing 18-of-30 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown connected Walker with Dan Castles forever in the Penn record books, giving the senior the school touchdown receptions record.
True Grit - Pat McDermott should have never probably dressed for Penn's showdown with Harvard on Nov. 13 after suffering an injury on the final offensive play at Princeton. But don't tell him that. Not only did the junior quarterback dress but he started the second half for the Quakers. McDermott may have completed only 3-of-6 passes for 17 yards but sometimes a person's dedication to his team is more of a story than his passing efficiency.
Need a Little Pick Me Up - Bryan Arguello recorded his second interception of the season and the eighth of his career. His pick came in the opening quarter on a third-and-six pass from Harvard's Ryan Fitzpatrick. Arguello returned in the interception 17 yards to the Crimson's 49-yard line. For his career, Arguello no has returned eight picks a combined 83 yards (10.4 ypr). The senior's first interception this season came on the last play from scrimmage against Brown to secure a Penn victory.
Call to Duty - Von Bryant has shown his ability to run the ball within the Quakers' offense this season. Against Harvard he was given the same opportunity returning kicks. The sophomore registered two returns for 38 yards.
In a Class of Their Own - Twenty-one seniors close out their Quakers career against Cornell and with a win, the Penn Class of 2005 can equal the prolific Class of 2004 for the top Ivy winning percentage with a record of 26-2 (.929). A victory over the Big Red would give the senior class a 35-4 overall record (.897) and would rank fourth all-time in overall winning percentage, first in the modern era.
On the National Front - Penn has ranked statistically high the entire season and heading into it final week is ranked in top-30 in three categories. The Quakers are ranked 29th in net punting (35.16 ypp) and 22nd in passing offense (244.44 ypg). The Red and Blue remains in the top five in scoring defense, allowing a stingy 14.56 points per game.
Ancient Eight Rankings - Penn leads the Ivy League in three statistical categories, ranking atop the Ancient Eight in passing offense (244.44 ypg), scoring defense (14.56 ppg) and net punting (35.16 ypp). The Quakers rank in the top-three in the League in five other categories. They rank third in pass efficiency defense (111.06 ypg), punt returns (8.44 ypr) and passing efficiency (118.97) and second in total offense (378.67 ypg) and scoring offense (24.22 ppg).
Among the Nation's Best - Three Quakers rank in the top-30 in the nation as Pat McDermott is ranked 30th in total offense (226.89 ypg), Josh Appell ranks 21st in punting (40.86 ypp) and Dan Castles finds his name in the top-10, ranking eighth in the nation in receptions with 6.89 catches per game. Castles is also ranked 17th in receiving yards with 93.56 yards per game.
Individual Ivy Accolades - Josh Appell leads the Ivy League in punting with is 40.86 per punt average. Dan Castles ranks second in receptions (6.89), third in receiving yards (93.56 ypg) and sixth in scoring (5.33 ppg). Pat McDermott is currently second in the Ancient Eight in total offense (226.89 ypg) and ranks third in passing efficiency (120.74). Adam Francks ranks fourth in punt returns (8.79 ypr). Mathews sits just outside the top-five, ranking as the sixth all-purpose runner with 113.78 yards per game. Bryan Arguello now ranks sixth in the League in interceptions (.25 per game) after picking off a pass against Harvard for his second interception of the season and eighth of his career.
Nov. 22, 2003 - Some games come along where everything seems to click. Penn football experienced one of those days against Cornell en route to its second-consecutive perfect Ivy League season. The Red and Blue posted 35 points, on three Mike Mitchell to Dan Castles touchdowns and one Sam Mathews rushing score, before the Big Red was able to score. Penn finished off the season with a 59-7 win at Franklin Field, giving the Quakers their second-straight Ancient Eight title.
Penn on TV - Penn will be televised on the YES Network for the second time this season when the Red and Blue travel to Schoellkopf Field. Spero Didas and Howard Cross will be calling the action from the booth. It is the sixth Quakers contest to be televised in 2004. The game is also available to DirecTV subscribers on channel 610.
Listen Live - Matt Leon (play-by-play) and Hench Murray (color analyst) return for their second season together in the broadcast booth to bring the Penn fans Quakers football. The game can be heard exclusively on the Internet at www.pennathletics.com and on ESPN Radio 920 AM, the flagship station of Penn Quakers Football.
Download: game notes-Cornell.pdf