Penn Football Returns to Ivy League Action; Look to Tame the Lions

Penn (3-1, 1-0 Ivy) vs. Columbia (2-2, 0-1 Ivy)
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005
1:30 p.m. • Wien Stadium
Can by heard on ESPN 920 AM and www.pennathletics.com

Game Notes vs. Columbia

• The University of Pennsylvania travels to Wien Stadium for an Ivy League matchup with Columbia on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Quakers have won the last seven against the Lions, including a 14-3 win on Franklin Field last year.

• 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 have Bill Campbell, a longtime voice of Quakers football from the 40's and 50's. He is also well known for his work as the broadcaster for the Eagles, Phillies and Sixers and just last month was inducted into the broadcasters wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

• The Series – The Lions and Quakers are set to face off for the 65th time in program history. Penn has won the last seven and have not lost at Wien Stadium since Oct. 12, 1996 – a 20-19 defeat. Last season, the Quakers held off the Lions, 14-3, when McDermott threw touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters. Then-senior Dan Castles scored caught his 25th career touchdown to move one step closer to becoming the all-time touchdown reception leader at Penn. Matt Carre scored his first collegiate touchdown in the game as well. McDermott ended the game going 20-for-32 for 209 yards.

• The Quakers have been very dangerous in the Red Zone this season, capatilizing on 10-of-12 changes inside the 20-yard line. In Penn’s last two contests, the Red and Blue are 7-for-7 in the red zone. Penn was also a perfect 1-for-1 against Duquesne and Dartmouth earlier this season. The only time Penn did not make it to the end zone was against Villanova. The Wildcats held Penn to 2-for-4 inside the 20.

• The Quakers are coming off a 53-7 victory over Bucknell on Oct. 8. Penn dominated the Bison from start to finish. The defense was the key to the game – Penn’s defense forced five turnovers which all resulted in Penn touchdowns. Junior Matt Carre recorded his fourth TD of the season and freshman Kelms Amoo-Achampong rushed for his first collegiate score.

•Two Penn touchdowns came on the defensive end of the ball. Scott Williams picked off Mahdi Woodard and went 52 yards to the end zone, and Greg Ambrogi took advantage of another Woodard mishap, catching Woodard’s botched snap in the end zone for another Quaker score. It was the first career touchdowns for both as well as Williams’ first career interception.

• With the Quakers’ win on Saturday, Head Coach Al Bagnoli moves closer to reaching the 100-win plateau at Penn. Bagnoli has 97 wins in his 14 seasons with the Red and Blue. In 24 seasons as a head coach, Bagnoli has posted 183 wins which ranks sixth among active Division I-AA coaches.

• Penn’s win over Dartmouth two weeks ago gave Bagnoli his 70th Ancient Eight victory, which is fourth among all Ivy League coaches. Joe Restic, who coached Harvard from 1971-1993 is third on the list with 92 League victories.

• Senior quarterback Pat McDermott became the ninth quarterback in Penn history to throw for 3,000 career yards. Against Bucknell on Saturday, the Yonkers, N.Y. native threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

• DEFENSE! DEFENSE! – The Penn defense held the Bison to just five first downs on Saturday. Bucknell was held to negative rushing yards until the third quarter. In the first half, the Bison had -15 yards rushing and nine yards of total offense. Heading into the game, the Bison were ranked 16th in Division I-AA for rushing offense.

• Bucknell’s Dante Ross scored a rushing touchdown in the second quarter is the only rushing TD the Penn defense has allowed all season.

• The Quakers rank first in the Ivy League and seventh in NCAA Division I-AA in total defense. Penn has held its opponents to 237.75 yards of total offense per game. Penn also is fourth in rushing defense – holding its opponents to just 58 yards per game – and 10th in scoring defense, holding its opponents to 14.5 points per game.

• Ric San Doval had an outstanding game on defense for the Quakers against the Bison. San Doval made a team-high seven tackles including three for a loss of 16 yards. He also sacked Bucknell’s quarterback twice and forced an interception (which was caught by Scott Williams).

• Kory Gedin and Scott Williams added their names to the list of defenders who have picked off the opposing quarterback this season. Six different Quakers have intercepted the ball in 2005. Williams picke went 52 yard for a TD, while Gedin intercepted the ball at Bucknell 19-yard line.

• San Doval and Gedin lead the Penn defense in tackles with 21 apiece. Both have 10 solo tackles this season. San Doval has five tackles for a loss of 22 yards and two sacks, while Gedin has six tackles for a loss of 20 yards and two sacks to his credit.

• Senior Casey Edgar has recorded at least one tackle in every game since Nov. 16, 2002. Edgar has played in 26-straight contests on defense. He had a game-high 10 tackles against Bucknell in 2003.

• Sophomore Derek Zoch has scored at least two points in nine-straight games dating back to last season. Zoch made his first collegiate appearance against Brown on Oct. 30, making two extra points in the Quakers win. Zoch leads the Red and Blue, ranks third among the Ivies and is 15th in the nation in scoring with 9.5 points per game.

• Zoch is second in the Ivy League in field goals and fourth in NCAA Division I-AA, averaging 2.0 field goals per game (8 of 9). In extra point attempts, he is third in the Ancient Eight with 93.3 percent (14 of 15) accuracy.

• Sophomore Greg Ambrogi had two kickoff returns against Bucknell for 47 yards, including a 37- yard return to the Penn 49-yard line to open the second half.

• The Penn’s scoring offense is one of the top-20 in the nation as well. The Quakers’ 36.0 points per game ranks 16th in NCAA I-AA and second in the Ivy League. In passing offense (223.0 yards per game), the Red and Blue are fourth in the Ancient Eight and 37th in the nation. The Red and Blue are also fourth among the Ivies and 64th nationally in total offense (341.50 yards per game).

• Leading that offense is McDermott, who is 36th in the nation in total offense with 221.5 yards per game. The signal caller ranks 30th in NCAA Division I-AA in pass efficiency (137.99) as well. He leads the Ivy League in that category and is fourth in total offense.

• McDermott has thrown for more than 200 yards seven times in his career. He reached 200 or more yards in five games last season and has done so twice already in 2005. He is averaging 217.0 yards per game which ranks third in the Ancient Eight.

• Sam Mathews added 34 more rushing yards to his credit this past weekend. The senior running back is making his way up Penn’s all-time rushing chart. He has 2,133 career rushing yards and stands ninth in the Penn accolades. He needs just 23 yards to move into the eighth spot, 49 yards to be seventh, 92 for sixth and 119 for fifth. The two-time All-Ivy League running back has 18 rushing touchdowns after recording seven last season.

• Joe Sandberg and Mathews lead the rushing effort for the Quakers. Both have 151 yards in three games and average 50.33 yards per game. Mathews missed the second game of the season with a shoulder injury, and Sandberg sat out against the Bucknell with a knee injury.

• Matt Carre and Chris Mizell each caught touchdown passes against Bucknell. It was Carre’s fourth touchdown this season, which leads the team and Ivy League in TD receptions. For Mizell, it was the second-straight game he caught a TD pass from McDermott; the senior tight end scored his first collegiate touchdown against Dartmouth on Oct. 1.

• Matt Carre and Dan McDonald are the Quakers’ two top receivers. The twosome are tied for sixth in the Ivy League and 70th in the nation in receiving yards per game. Carre has 240 yards and four touchdowns, while McDonald has 240 yards and one touchdown. In the season opener, Carrer caught two TD passes – 44- and 22-yards, respectively. He caught a 53 yard bomb from McDermott against Villanova and a 24-yarder against the Bison.

• Going the Distance – McDonald seems to be able to catch almost anything McDermott throws out there, especially long range. The junior wide receiver had a 41-yard catch against the Big Green, a 42-yard catch against Villanova and 43-yarder versus Duquesne.

• Anthony Melillo has punted for 200 or more yards in three of the Quakers’ four games this season. He punted for a career-best 324 yards against Bucknell, averaging 40.5 yards per punt and hitting a career-long 64-yarder. He is averaging 37.8 yards per punt for the season which ranks second in the Ivy League and 59th in Division I-AA.

• Columbia enters the game with a 2-2 record and a two-game losing streak. Columbia opened its 2005 campaign with a 23-17 win over Fordham and a 23-13 win versus Duquesne. In their Ivy League opener, the Lions fell to Princeton, 43-3, and most recently lost at Lafayette, 14-7.

• Columbia’s Passing Offense – Quarterback Craig Hormann has thrown for 426 yards in four games and three touchdowns. He has completed 45 of 86 passes on the season with one interception. All three of his touchdowns have been to Brandon Bowser. Bowser has 185 yards on 14 catches. Eleven other receivers have at least one catch to their credit. Jim Besselman is Columbia’s only other receiver with more than 100 yards (129 on 11 catches). Joe Winters has taken several snaps at quarterback this season as well, hitting 18 of 40 pass attempts for 186 yards with one interception.

• Columbia’s Running Game – The Lions have accumulated 207 yards of rushing offense in four games and average 51.8 rushing yards per game which ranks eighth in the Ivy League. Jordan Davis has Columbia’s only rushing TD of the season and is the only Lion with more than 100 yards total (120 on 39 rushes). Five running backs have run with the ball this season.

• Columbia Defensively – The Lions defense have allowed 87 points this season (21.8 points per game). They have forced six fumbles, had 15 pass breakups, five interceptions and six sacks thus far. Tad Crawford leads the defense with 51 tackles including 26 solo. He has intercepted two passes and made two fumble recoveries. Bayo Aregbe and Bill Beechum have 26 and 24 tackles, respectively, while Aregbe has two tackles for a loss and one sack and Beechum has 4.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.

• Columbia Specialists – Jon Rocholl leads the team in scoring with 26 points. Rocholl has made seven of nine field goals this season, booting a season-long 47-yarder against Princeton. He has made all three attempts from 20-29 yards, but is only 4-of-6 from 40-49 yard range. He is a perfect five-for-five on extra point kicks. Rocholl has also punted for 896 yards (34.5 yards per game) which is seventh in the Ivy League. Tad Crawford has taken all eight punt returns for 42 yards (5.2 per catch).

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