Penn (5-4, 3-3) v. Cornell (5-4, 3-3)
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Franklin Field Noon
Can be heard on ESPN 920 AM or
Home Sweet Home The Quakers have been very successful on Franklin Field over the last five years. Since 2000, the Red and Blue have a 25-4 (.862) record at home. Beyond that, Penn has only two Ancient Eight losses at Franklin Field during that time frame, a 31-10 loss to Harvard in 2004 and a 30-13 loss to Princeton two weeks ago.
This season Penn football games can be heard live on ESPN 920 AM and on the Penn Athletics web site www.pennathletics.com. Matt Leon (play-by-play) and Hench Murray (color analyst) return for their third season in the broadcast booth. Brian Seltzer will provide sideline content. The pre-game show begins approximately 30 minutes before kickoff.
At halftime of this week’s broadcast, Matt Leon will host Penn’s men’s basketball Head Coach Fran Dunphy. Dunphy is entering his 17th season at the helm of the Red and Blue, who were picked to win the Ivy League title. The Penn basketball season gets under way Monday, Nov. 21 against Siena in The Palesta.
The Class of 2006 has posted an overall record of 32-7 in their four-year careers. A win today would give them a 33-7 record and a winning percentage of .825, which would be fourth best in the modern era of Penn football. The Class of 2005 has the all-time best winning percentage (in the modern era for Penn and the Ivy League) after posting a 35-4 record (.897).
The Penn football team was featured on the ESPN series “The Season” last week. The show is documentary styled, reality-based series that takes viewers behind the scenes and onto the sidelines with a variety of teams and athletes. Penn is the first I-AA football team to appear on the show. “The Season” has chronicled Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Army and Louisville already in 2005. Check your local listings for future airings.
Head Coach Al Bagnoli is one win away from the century mark at Penn. The 14-year head coach has 99 wins at Penn, while his 185 career wins are second best among active Division I-AA coaches.
Bagnoli has also made a name for himself in Ivy League victories. He has 72 Ancient Eight wins which ranks fourth among all Ivy League coaches. Joe Restic, who coached at Harvard from 1971-93, is third with 92 conference wins.
Senior defensive back Brad Martinez is one of 13 Ivy Leaguers selected as first-team all-district for CoSIDA Academic All-America. He is also one of five repeat selections for the Ancient Eight.
Of the 26 football-playing Division I conferences in the country, the Ivy League is the only one with at least one player from each member school moving onto the national ballot for CoSIDA Academic All-America consideration.
The Quakers suffered a tough loss in Cambridge, Mass. last Saturday, falling to Harvard, 29-3. Penn scored on its first drive, a 39-yard field goal by Derek Zoch, but was held scoreless for the rest of the game.
Sophomore Derek Zoch’s 39-yard field goal against Harvard last Saturday was his 11th field goal of the season and the longest of his career.
Zoch is tied for 16th in I-AA in field goals per game. The Kinnelon, N.J. native averages 1.22 field goals per game. Earlier this season he tied a school record for field goals in a game when he made four against Dartmouth on Oct. 1.
The Penn defense prevented the Crimson from scoring three point-after attempts and blocked a field goal in the game. After scoring two early touchdowns, the Crimson went for two points both times, and each time Penn’s Matt Williams caught the ball in the end zone, denying Harvard the extra points. JJ Stanton blocked a 29-yard field goal attempt and Michael Johns blocked an extra-point kick in the second quarter.
Sophomore Greg Ambrogi picked up 54 yards on two kickoff returns against the Crimson. He ran one back 36 yards, the second longest return of his career.
Junior Brian Fairbanks recorded his second solo sack on the season against Harvard. The Irvine, Calif. native tackled QB Liam O’Hagan for a loss of 11 yards, sending the Crimson back to their 30-yard line and setting up 2nd-and-21.
Sophomore QB Bryan Walker made his fifth appearance of the season against the Crimson. The Agoura Hills, Calif. native went 1-for-6 passing for 22 yards and carried the ball 12 yards on three rushes.
Junior wide receiver Matt Carre has had at least one catch in every game this season. He has 27 catches for 413 yards, an average of 15.7 yards per catch and 45.9 yards per game, and five touchdowns.
Penn entered the 2005 season with the best winning percentage for all NCAA Division I-AA schools in the decade of the 2000s. The Red and Blue have won 88.1 percent (52-7) of their games so far this decade. Montana was second on that list, and has won 82.8 percent (63-13) of their games this decade.
Double Threat Junior Joe Sandberg is not just a threat carrying the ball, but he can catch it too. He has 391 yards rushing this season and 361 receiving.
Sandberg has accounted for six TDs this season. He scored at least one touchdown in four straight games (Columbia, Yale, Brown and Princeton) and also scored a TD against Villanova.
Sandberg is first on the team in all-purpose yards with 872, an average of 109 yards per game which is 62nd in I-AA.
Senior Sam Mathews rushed for 24 yards on nine carries against Harvard. His performance moves him into sole possession of fourth in all-time rushing yards at Penn. Mathews has 2,503 career rushing yards. He needs 215 yards to surpass Terrance Stokes and move into third.
Combined with 677 receiving yards, Mathews is seventh all-time in all-purpose yards with 3,193. In his Penn career, he has scored 25 touchdowns.
Senior Pat McDermott is another Quaker climbing the all-time charts in 2005. McDermott threw for 158 yards against Harvard on Nov. 12 , giving him 3,704 career passing yards which is sixth all-time. He needs 155 to move into fifth and 182 for fourth.
McDermott has thrown for more than 200 yards nine times in his career. He reached 200 or more yards in five games last season and has done so four times in 2005.
The Penn defense is fifth in Division I-AA in rushing defense. The Quakers, who held the top spot for two weeks, have let up only 99.3 yards per game. The Red and Blue are third in the Ancient Eight in rushing defense.
Ric San Doval recorded 13 tackles against Harvard last week. He has posted double digit tackles in three games this season including a career-high 17 against Brown.
The Series Penn holds a 64-42-5 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 1893.
The Penn v. Cornell rivalry is the fifth most played rivalry in NCAA Division I-AA history. Penn and Cornell have met 111 times since their first contest in 1893.
The series has been played for 85 consecutive years, the third longest uninterrupted series in I-AA history.
The last time Cornell came to Franklin Field, the Red and Blue handed the Big Red a 59-7 defeat on Nov. 22, 2003.
Penn has won five straight and 11 of the last 14 meetings between the two programs.
Cornell has not won at Franklin Field since 1999. The Big Red defeated the Quakers, 20-12, on Nov. 20 that year. It was their first win at Penn in 10 years.
The Big Red enter today’s game with a 5-4 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the Ancient Eight. Cornell has wins over Bucknell, Harvard, Georgetown, Dartmouth and Columbia, while suffering losses to Colgate, Yale, Princeton and Brown.
The Big Red have struggled on the road this season, going 1-3. Cornell picked up its first win away from Schoellkopf Field against Dartmouth on Nov. 5.
Cornell Run Game - Luke Siwula is the ball carrier for the Big Red. The sophomore has 1,002 yards rushing this season and is just the 10th player in Cornell history to rush for 1,000 yards. He has rushed for 100 yards five times this season and scored eight TDs. Senior QB Ryan Kuhn likes to keep the ball for himself; he has rushed 172 times for 903 yards and 11 touchdowns. Both Kuhn and Siwula average more than 100 yards per game on the ground.
Cornell in the Air Kuhn has completed 88-of-163 passes and thrown for 902 yards and five touchdowns. Brian Romney and Anthony Jackson have been on the receiving end of most of those throws. Romney has 36 catches for 345 yards and two TDs, while Jackson has 21 catches for 245 yards and one touchdown. Siwula not only runs the ball, but he has 18 catches as well. He has 175 receiving yards and two touchdowns to his credit.
The Big Red Defense Cornell’s rush defense is second in the Ivy League and fourth in the nation, and leads the Ancient Eight in total defense and eighth in I-AA. Kevin Rex leads the Cornell defense with 93 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, four pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. As a team the Big Red has 10 forced fumbles, 22 sacks and nine interceptions.
Special Teams Unit AJ Weitsman handles the kicking duties for the Big Red. Weitsman is 13-of-14 in field goals this season with 47-yarder under his belt. He is just one field goal shy of breaking the Cornell record for field goals in a season. He is also a perfect 29-for-29 in extra-point attempts. Jackson handles the kickoff returns for the Big Red. He has 605 yards on 31 returns, an average of 19.5 yards per return.