Press Conference Quotes
PHILADELPHIA - Al Bagnoli has never shared an Ivy League title. The 2009 Penn Quakers don’t plan on doing so this year. The Ivy trophy is in Philadelphia and No. 24/25 Penn plans on being the only team to lift it this season. It's Senior Day at Franklin Field as Penn goes for its seventh outright Ivy League title since Bagnoli took over the program in 1992 - no coach has ever won seven outright Ivy titles. Kickoff against Cornell is at 1 p.m.
Catching the Game
Television: None. Penn Athletics will webcast the game which can be found here.
Radio: WFIL 560AM will carry the game for the Quakers. Brian Seltzer and Hench Murray will team up as the Penn broadcast crew for the second straight season with Seltzer supplying the play-by-play and Murray serving as the analyst for the 29th year in a row. For those not in the local area, you can still listen to the broadcast at PennAthletics.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.
Is there a better way to finish your college career? There are 15 seniors playing their final game in a Red and Blue uniform Saturday and they will have a lot to play for. This will be their last game at Franklin Field and the outright Ivy title, an unbeaten Ivy season and the Trustees' Cup are all on the line. The 15 seniors are: Tom Castner, Kyle Derham, Tyler Fisher, Joe Goniprow, Kevin Gray, Eric Jett, Joe Krissel, Marcus Lawrence, Jake Lewko, Brendan McNally, Jonathan Moore, Kyle Olson, Matt Schaefer, Bryon Wolf and Chris Wynn.
In the fifth-most played rivalry in college football, Penn leads the overall series with 66 wins in the 115 meetings. Cornell has won 44 times and the two teams have played to a draw on five occassions. Penn is 53-32-4 against the Big Red at Franklin Field. The Quakers have lost just twice this decade to their oldest rival, winning three of the last four at home. Head Coach Al Bagnoli is 12-5 against Cornell and 3-2 against Coach Knowles.
Starting in 1995, Penn has won the Trustees’ Cup nine times. This will be the 15th time the cup has been awarded to the winner of the Penn-Cornell game in honor of what is the fifth-longest rivalry in college football. The team’s have now met 116 times.
In a driving rainstorm, Penn clinched a share of its 14th Ivy League title in football—seven of them coming under head coach Al Bagnoli—and its first since 2003. Penn jumped right out in Saturday’s contest, going 77 yards on just five plays to draw first blood on its opening drive. In the second quarter, Penn used nine plays to find paydirt. Following a roughing-the-passer penalty against Harvard that gave the Quakers a first down inside the 1-yard line, Olson snuck it in behind his powerful offensive line. Penn had one final chance to score just before halftime, driving to Harvard’s 11-yard line when Andrew Samson made good on a 28-yard field goal with 31 seconds left. Harvard finally found paydirt with 3:05 left in the third when Collier Winters found Chris Lorditch behind the Penn secondary. The scoring play went 45 yards and capped a seven-play, 70-yard drive. Penn drove into Crimson territory in response, but was forced to punt and Harvard made one final charge in the game’s final minutes, driving to the Penn 1-yard line with just under three minutes to go. However, Penn stuffed Winters on fourth down and the celebration was on along the Quaker sideline.
Penn in the Rankings!
For the first time since 2005, the University of Pennsylvania football team is ranked in the Top 25. The Quakers are 24th in The Sports Network (TSN) Media Poll and 25th in the FCS Coaches’ Poll. The Red and Blue have been receiving votes in each poll for the last several weeks, but finally cracked into the rankings this week.
Quick Quaker Notes
Penn has gone 22 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher ... Penn has not allowed a 300-yard passer in 24 games ... Penn has had at least two sacks in 10 of the last 12 games and recorded a sack in each of the last 14 ... The team that has scored first has won all nine games Penn has played this season ... Penn has won 12 of the last 14 against Ivy opponents ... Seven different Quakers have completed a pass this season, and eight different Quakers have caught a touchdown this year ... The Red and Blue have won the last 13 games in which they’ve held the opponent under 10 points.
Magic Number 7
In addition to the seven straight overall wins, the Red and Blue have also claimed victory in seven straight against Ivy opponents and in seven straight Ivy road contests. Penn has gone undefeated on the road against the Ivy League in each of the last two seasons—the longest Ivy road winning streak for the Quakers since 2004 when they were in the midst of winning 12 in a row. Penn’s last loss at the home of an Ivy opponent came at Harvard, 23-7, on Nov. 10, 2007. The last time Penn won seven straight overall against the Ivy League was during their record 20-game Ivy winning streak between 2001-04.
Inside Bagnoli’s Legendary Numbers
As Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli goes for an unprecedented seventh outright Ivy championship, he is also nearing some other historic milestones. With a win over Cornell, Bagnoli will become just the fourth coach in league history to record 90 Ivy League wins. And with 121 wins on the Quaker sideline, Bagnoli is just three shy of tying George Woodruff as Penn’s all-time winningest coach.
Ivy Perfection Preserved
Penn holds the record for most unbeaten Ivy seasons with six. Both Harvard and Dartmouth are second with four apiece—which is the same number that head coach Al Bagnoli has achieved. With a win today, Penn would have more unbeaten seasons in the Al Bagnoli era than any other program has in its history. Penn went 7-0 in Ivy play in 1984, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2002, and 2003.
With its 14th Ivy title in program history, Penn is now tied for second with Yale among Ivy schools behind Dartmouth’s 17 championships. No school has won more outright titles than the Quakers as they go for their 11th today (Dartmouth is second with nine). Head Coach Al Bagnoli is now tied for second all-time with seven total titles (Carmen Cozza from Yale has 10), and with the win at Harvard, 15 of Bagnoli’s 17 recruiting classes will now have left Penn with at least one championship ring.
More Disciplined than the Navy
Penn has been the most disciplined team in all of Division I football this season. The Quakers rank first among FCS and FBS teams as the least penalized team in the nation. Penn has averaged just 30.78 penalty yards per game and 3.56 penalties. Navy (yes, the Quakers are technically more disciplined than Navy) is second at 31.36 yards per game and 3.73 penalties per game.
Tops in the Nation
Penn can also officially claim the country’s best defense. The Quakers are tops in the FCS in total defense, allowing just 229.56 yards per game. Penn moved up to the top billing despite playing the Ivy League’s best offense last week. The Quakers are also the nation’s leading scoring defense, allowing a paltry 10.56 points per game. Only BCS No. 1 Florida (10.50) has allowed fewer points to Division I opponents than the Quakers. Penn is also second in the FCS (118 teams) in rushing defense, sixth in pass efficiency defense, and ninth in sacks.
Leading the Ivies
For the second consecutive week, the Quakers lead the Ivies in nearly every defensive statistical category—pass or run. Penn ranks FIRST in the Ivy League in all these categories: scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, pass defense, pass efficiency defense, sacks, first downs allowed, opponent third-down conversions, fewest penalties, fewest penalty yards, turnover margin, time of possession and red zone defense.
Playing From Ahead
During Penn’s current seven-game winning streak, the Quakers have trailed for a total of five minutes, 14 seconds—out of a total of 460 minutes of game time. Penn has not trailed since the second quarter at Columbia on Oct. 17 (the last 273 minutes and 15 seconds of game time). When the Lions took a 13-7 lead, the Quakers scored on their next possession—meaning the defense has not taken the field while trailing since the third quarter at Lafayette on Sept. 26. In each of the last two games, Penn scored on its opening possession and led for the remaining 57-plus minutes. In their two losses, the Quakers never led. The last time the Quakers won without scoring first was against Cornell last season.
Milestones and Records
Heading into the last week of the season, several Quakers will be looking to hit some impressive milestones and records ... Senior Chris Wynn needs two interceptions to tie Chuck Bednarik’s 61-year old career record of 14 ... Senior QB Kyle Olson needs 14 passing yards for 1,000 this season ... Senior WR Kyle Derham—67 career receptions—needs five more to move past current tight ends coach Mark Fabish and into 15th-place all-time at Penn ... Junior Andrew Samson—166 career points—needs four points to move into a tie for eighth all-time at Penn and needs one field goal to move into a tie for second all-time with Jeremiah Greathouse (1995-97), who finished with 33 career field goals ... With 70 career extra points, Samson needs one more to tie Greathouse for fourth all-time.
Penn Scoring Streak
Penn has scored in 119 consecutive games, the second longest streak in Ivy history. Brown holds the record at 137, which remains active. The Quakers have not been shut out since their trip to Harvard in 1997. Penn has never been shut out at home in the Al Bagnoli era. In fact, the last time the Quakers were held without a point at Franklin Field was Nov. 18, 1989, a span of 100 home games.
Penn’s only two losses this season (vs. Villanova and at Lafayette) have come against Top 25 teams with a combined record of 17-3, which includes Villanova’s win over FBS opponent Temple, who is 8-2 and leading the MAC. Villanova is ranked No. 2 in the country, while Lafayette is 21st.
Last Week’s Career Efforts
In the biggest game’s of their careers, it was the seniors who had the biggest day’s last week at Harvard. Senior Marcus Lawrence, who didn’t play in the secong half set new career highs with 61 receiving yards and a 51-yard catch. Lawrence’s record-long reception was also a career long completion for senior QB Kyle Olson who set a new personal best with six rushes on the day, one of which was the game-winning touchdown. Senior Joe Goniprow set a new career-high with seven tackles and senior Jake Lewko did the same with seven tackles. Juniors Bradford Blackmon and Matt Tuten each had career highs in receptions with five and four, respectively.
Either way, Penn will celebrate with the Ivy League trophy at game’s end. It will be Penn’s most enjoyable off-season since winning their second straight Ivy title in 2003. Less than five months from now the team will hold its annual Spring Game to begin the defense of their title. Defending Ivy League champions has a nice ring to it.