Penn (1-0) vs. Villanova (1-1)
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005
Radio - Listen Live at www.pennathletics.comor
Television - Live on CN8 and www.CN8.tv
Game Notes vs. Villanova
The University of Pennsylvania takes on the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday, Sept. 24. Despite playing on their home turf at Franklin Field, the Quakers will be dressed in their white travel uniforms. The Wildcats will serve as the home team.
Street and Smith’s named Penn one of the Top-50 football programs in the country. The Quakers garnered the No. 41 ranking against some of the best collegiate programs in the country. The magazine hits newsstands this week and also highlights Franklin Field.
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.
Joining Matt Leon and Hench Murray at halftime of this week’s broadcast will be former Quakers offensive lineman Chris Kupchik. Kupchik was a standout for the Quakers until graduating following the 2003 season.
All eight Ivy League schools have players on active NFL rosters, which makes it the only conference in I-AA that can make that claim.
On Saturday, seven of the eight Ivy League teams won their opening weekend games; Yale was the only team that did not come out on top. League teams winning seven games on the same day does not happen once in a blue moon Blue moons, which happen every 2.72 years, are more common. In fact, there have been five blue moons since seven Ivy teams won on the same day (Oct. 1, 1994). On that day, every team but Penn won (and the Quakers did not play).
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.
Tonight’s game is the Quakers’ first television game of the 2005 season as it is being broadcast on CN8. It is not the only game in which CN8 will carry the Quakers. Penn v. Bucknell (Oct. 8) and Penn v. Yale (Oct. 22) will also be carried by the network.
This is the 10th meeting between Villanova and Penn. The two teams re-establshied their cross-town rivalry last season at Franklin Field. Villanova walked away with a 16-13 victory when the two met on Sept. 25. Penn leads the series 5-4 after winning the first five contests. Penn’s last win against the Wildcats was on Oct. 14, 1911 a 22-0 victory.
The Quakers have a bit of revenge on their minds last season’s loss to Villanova snapped a 17-game unbeaten streak and a 19-game home winning streak. Penn’s unbeaten streak was the longest active streak in NCAA I-AA at the time, dating back to Oct. 19, 2002.
Flashback to Sept. 25, 2004 Trailing 16-0 with 6:11 remaining in the game, Pat McDermott got the Quakers on the board with a 13-yard pass to then-senior Dan Castles who was patrolling the back corner of the end zone. Penn set up for the two-point conversion, which was stopped by the Wildcats defense. The Red and Blue closed the gap with 1:32 remaining as McDermott connected with then-senior Matt Makovsky from 29 yards out. Then-senior Evan Nolan’s point-after attempt was good, making the score 16-13. Penn tried an onside kick that squirted loose, and Villanova was able to recover to quash the Quakers’ comeback attempt.
Head Coach Al Bagnoli is just five wins shy of recording 100 victories at the helm of the Red and Blue. In 23 seasons as a head coach, Bagnoli has posted 181 wins which ranks six among active I-AA head coaches.
Senior defensive back Michael Johns recorded his second career interception and first career touchdown against Duquesne. The Silver Springs, Md. native intercepted Scott Knapp’s pass on the Duquesne 29-yard line and ran it in for a touchdown on the first play of the third quarter.
Pat McDermott may not have posted spectacular numbers in the season opener, but the senior signal caller tied a career high with three touchdown passes and ran in a TD himself. McDermott went 10-for-20 with one interception and threw 145 yards. The only other time McDermott had three TD passes in a game was last season against Dartmouth. He threw for 249 yards on 22-of-35 passing against the Big Green.
It was a career day for Derek Zoch last Saturday. The sophomore kicker went 5-for-5 in extra points and nailed two field goals, both career distances in the Quakers’ opener. Zoch hit a 36-yard field goal with 3:41 to go in the second quarter to best his previous mark of 27. In the third quarter, he put a 38-yard field goal through the uprights for another career best.
Bryan Walker made his third appearance in a Penn uniform against Duquesne. The sophomore quarterback completed 2-of-5 passes for 19 yards. The Augora Hills, Calif. native made two appearance last season including his first collegiate start against Harvard where he three for 178 yards and one touchdown on 18-for-30 passing. His only other appearance last season came against Cornell where he went 19-for-36 with 257 yards passing, including a 57-yard pass.
Junior Matt Carre ran in a career-high two touchdowns in Penn’s season opener; in fact, both of Carre’s catches resulted in Quaker touchdowns. His first catch was a 44-yard bomb from McDermott with 18 seconds left in the first half. The duo connected again in the opening minute of the fourth quarter Carre caught a 22-yard pass from McDermott and took it to the end zone.
Senior Sam Mathews ran for 64 yards on 13 carries against Duquesne on Saturday, averaging 4.9 yards per game (0.5 above his career average).
Mathews is chasing history this season and needs to put up some big numbers to do so. In 2003 and 2004 senior Mathews ran his way through the record book as well as down the field. The two-time All-Ivy League running back has 18 career rushing touchdowns after recording seven last season. He stands ninth all-time at Penn in rushing yards (2,046). Mathews averages 4.4 yards per carry and 99.1 yards per game in his Penn career.
Senior Ric San Doval returned to the gridiron against Duquesne after missing last season due to injury. In his return, the two-time captain recorded three tackles (2 solo) and broke up a pass.
Quad-captain Doug Middleton and sophomores Joe Anastaio and Naheem Harris recorded six tackles against the Dukes. Middleton had five solo and a tackle for a loss (3 yards), while Anastasio made four solo stops and forced a fumble. Harris made two solo stops and recorded 1.5 tackles for a loss of two yards.
Junior Joe Sandberg is back at Penn to stay. The Oradell, N.J. native spent his freshman campaign as a Quaker before transferring to Rutgers. After one season with the Scarlet Knights, the running back has returned to the Red and Blue and turned some heads in the process. Against the Dukes, Sandberg participated in the first play of the game running back a 35-yard kickoff. He ran for 46 yards and averaged more than five yards per carry in the game.
Four other Quakers got their hands on the ball and their feet down the field. Junior Von Bryant picked up 39 yards, including a 19-yard rush. Senior Kyle Ambrogi picked up 18 yards, while senior Nick Okoro made two rushes for 12 yards.
Three senior offensive linemen return for their second season together protecting the Quakers’ signal caller. Tri-captain Don Snyder, Keith Walewski and Greg Williams started all 10 games last season and allowed just 1.6 sacks per game. Those three, along with juniors Sean Estrada and Marko Grzan, will solidify the ground game and protect the quarterback.
Senior Vic Davanzo recorded a big stop for the Red and Blue against the Dukes. The defensive back sacked Scott Knapp on the Penn 36-yard line and pushed the Dukes back 10 yards.
To fill some holes left by Bobby Fallon and Kevin Junge at defensive end, senior Al Wawszcyk moved over from linebacker to fill the void.
Anthony Melillo, who is filling the void left by All-Ivy punter Josh Appell, made six punts on Saturday for 208 yards. His longest was a 46-yarder. Five of his six kicks made it inside the 20-yard line.
Villanova enters tonight’s game with a 1-1 record after upsetting Northeastern last weekend. In addition to suffering a 38-6 loss to Rutgers to start the season, the Wildcats lost starting quarterback Marvin Burroughs for the year when the junior signal caller broke his left arm on the first possession of the second half. Before the injury, Burroughs completed 16-of-22 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown. As a sophomore last season, Burroughs completed 209-of-334 for 2,486 yards to go with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
VU Offensively Filling in for the injured Burroughs was sophomore Frank Jankowski, who completed 16-of-25 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. In two games this season, the Wildcats have thrown for 600 yards and connected of 49-of-79 passes. They rank 15th in NCAA I-AA in passing offense. On the ground, Nova has rushed for 186 yards (93.0 yards per game). Martin Gibson has been leading the Wildcats down the field with 104 yards on 22 carries. Matt Dicken, however, has the Wildcats’ two touchdowns on the ground and 40 yards to his credit. J.J Outlaw has been the Wildcats’ top receiver, collecting 13 passes for 155 yards.
VU Defensively Brian Hulea leads the team in tackles with 19.5 (17 solo). He has one tackles for a loss of six yards and an interception that went 10 yards. Rodney Badger may only have 6 tackles (two solo) but he did intercept a 35-yard pass and caused four pass break-ups.
VU Special Teams Adam James is 2-for-3 in field goals this season, missing a 35-yard attempt. Outlaw has been a triple threat, leading the team in punt returns and among the top-three on the team in kick returns. He has two punt returns for 25 yards and a kick off return on 15 yards.