Penn Looking to Bull Over Bucknell on Saturday

Game 4

Pennat Bucknell
Saturday, Oct. 9, 2004
Christy Matthewson-Memorial Stadium- Lewisburg, Pa.
1 p.m.

Series -
Penn 24, Bucknell 5

Game 4 Notes - Penn at Bucknell

Heading into Bison Country - The Penn Quakers make the two hour-42 minute, 164.26-mile trip west to Lewisburg, Pa. to face Bucknell for the Red and Blue's final non-conference game of the season. Penn holds a decisive, 24-5, edge over the Bison in the all-time series and is 5-2 under Coach Al Bagnoli. The last time these two teams met, the contest was decided by one point, 14-13, with Penn earning the victory at Franklin Field.

Coaching the Quakers - Al Bagnoli is in his 13th season as the George A. Munger Head Football Coach. He is first in wins (64) among active Ivy League coaches, second at Penn in years coached (12) and wins at Penn (88). Bagnoli holds a 5-2 record against Bucknell and was victorious in his only meeting with the Bison's current head coach Tim Landis who enters his second season at the helm at Bucknell.

Dartmouth Dismantled - Penn was able to bounce back from a three-point loss to No. 14 Villanova with an impressive 35-0 defeat of Ivy opponent Dartmouth. The Big Green were not able to get much of anything going offensively as Penn held its opponent to the fewest first downs (13), rushing yards (54) and total yards (232) so far this season. The vaunted Dartmouth passing attack was also held in check as Charles Rittgers completed 23-of-38 passes for only 178 yards and, more importantly, three interceptions. The three picks, combined with a fumble recovery, tied for the most take aways in one game this season. The Quakers also recorded four take aways in the season opener at San Diego.

No Score For You - Penn held an opponent scoreless for the first time in nearly two seasons as the Quakers defeated Dartmouth, 35-0, on Oct. 2, 2004. Penn's shutout victory marked the first for a Red and Blue defense since Nov. 23, 2002 when Penn shut down Cornell, 31-0. It was the first shut out of Dartmouth in over 20 years. Penn last blanked the Big Green on Sept. 18, 1982, winning 21-0 in Hanover, N.H. Finally, the shut out win marked the first time since Oct. 17, 1998 in which Penn shut out an opponent at Franklin Field, a 20-0 victory over Cornell.

Dan, The Man - Dan Castles continues to be a huge offensive threat for the Quakers. The senior extended his consecutive games with at least one touchdown to six games. The streak began with two catches for scores against Princeton on Nov. 8, 2003. Against Dartmouth, Castles hauled in the second-most touchdowns in one game in his career, catching three from 2, 17 and 52 yards out, respectively. His nine catches were a season high were three short of his career-high of 12 set in 2003's season finale against Cornell. Castles amassed 145 yards receiving, making him the first receiver this season to go over the 100-yard mark in a game.

Making a Name for Himself - Castles is moving up the all-time lists at Penn with ease as the Quakers head into their fourth game of the season. With his 145 yards against Dartmouth, Castles surpassed Doug O'Neill (1996-2000) for fourth all-time in receiving yards with 1,745. His nine-catch effort leaves the Toms River, N.J. native just nine behind Don Clune (1971-73) for fourth on the all-time receptions list at 121 receptions.

A Few Miles to Go - Castles' five touchdowns in 2004 leaves the senior just two back of tying Miles Macik (1993-95) for the all-time touchdown receptions record. Castles and Macik are already joined together in the history books as each share the record for most TD receptions in a season (13). Macik hauled in his bakers' dozen in 1993, while Castles duplicated the effort one decade later (2003).

A Game of Pitch and Catch - Penn had seven receivers catch at least one pass in Penn's 35-0 victory over Dartmouth last week. Pat McDermott hit Castles nine times for 145 yards and Sam Mathews on six occasions out of the backfield. McDermott connected with tight end Matt Boyer and Matt Carre twice each. Jon Robinson, Ryan Pisarri and Ryan Kwiecinski each caught one pass from the junior quarterback and when the dust settled, McDermott had thrown for a career-high 249 yards and completed a career-high 22 passes on a career-high 35 attempts.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better - Duvol Thompson began the game of "Try to beat this" with an interception in the first half of Penn's win over Dartmouth. It was the fifth pick of the senior's career and the first of the season. Thompson has already disrupted three passes this season and now has 15 breakups for his career. Luke Hadden would not be outdone by his classmate, picking off Dartmouth's Rittgers in the fourth quarter for his fourth career interception. Hadden did not stop there as he rumbled 35 yards for the score, giving Penn a 28-0 lead. Victor Davanzo, a junior defensive back, would not let the upperclassmen have all the fun as he stepped in front of a Rittgers pass and scampered 61 yards, also untouched, for the final score of the game. It was his second career interception.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back - The Penn defense was everything advertised and more as it recorded 11 plays where a Dartmouth ball-carrier was tackled for a loss. The 11 tackles for losses dropped the Big Green offense back a combined 40 yards on the afternoon. Brad Martinez registered two tackles for a loss for a combined 12 yards and Casey Edgar also recorded a pair of TFL's for a combined loss of eight yards. Martinez led the Quakers with seven tackles (five solo).

On the National Front - Penn continues to rank among the nation's elite, holding a top-25 spot in six statistical categories. The Quakers' 36.33 points per game ranks the team 14th in the nation. Penn has cracked the top-10 in four categories, ranking in the top-five in three of them. The Red and Blue's net punting average of 39.75 ranks eighth while its turnover margin of 2.00 ranks fifth in the country. Penn has allowed 63.67 yards of rushing in three games, ranking third in the nation and there is no better team in points allowed than the Penn Quakers. The Red and Blue opponents manage just 11.33 points per game.

Ancient Eight Rankings - Penn continues to pace the Ivy League in four categories, leading the Ancient Eight in scoring offense (36.33 ppg), rushing defense (63.67 ypg), scoring defense (11.33 ppg) and net punting (39.75 ypp). Penn ranks second in two other categories - total defense (304.67 ypg) and turnover margin (2.00). Brown leads the way in total defense with 282.00 yards per game allowed and Harvard leads in turnover margin at 2.67.

Among the Nation's Best - Sam Mathews continues to move up the national rankings in rushing. The junior now ranks 38th in the country with his 89.67 yards per game. Dan Castles makes the top-30 in a pair of categories. He is 30th in the nation in receiving yards with 89.00 per game and he ranks eighth in scoring with 10.00 points per game. Josh Appell and his punting abilities keep him in the top-five as he ranks fourth in the country with a 45.06-yard per punt average.

Individual Ivy Accolades - Sam Mathews ranks in the top-20 in the Ivy League in six categories. His 34.33 receiving yards per game ranks him 16th in the League. Mathews ranks 14th in receptions per game (3.33), 12th in total offense (89.67), seventh in scoring (6.00) and all-purpose yards (124.00) and fourth in rushing (89.67). The only Quaker to lead a statistical category in the Ivy League is Josh Appell with a punting average of 45.06 yards per punt. Pat McDermott ranks fourth in passing efficiency (124.98), Dan Castles ranks third with 89.00 receiving yards per game as well as in scoring with 10.00 points per contest. Victor Davanzo, Seth Fisher, Chad Slapnicka, Luke Hadden and Duvol Thompson are tied for third in the League with .33 interceptions per game. All five have one pick in 2004. Davanzo, Hadden and Thompson recorded their respective interceptions in the same game.

Patriotic - Bucknell, out of the Patriot League, is 3-1 heading into its showdown with Penn. Two of its wins have come against the Ivy League. After opening the season with a 20-14 loss to Villanova, one of three opponents Penn and Bucknell have in common in 2004, the Bison ripped off a pair of wins over Cornell (15-9) and Columbia (42-13) before defeating Georetown, 35-17, in their Patriot League opener. Bucknell's fortune seems to have changed from one year ago as it went 0-3 against the Ivy League despite losing those three outings by a combined six points (Cornell, 21-19; Columbia, 19-16; Penn, 14-13).

Oct. 11, 2003 - Halloween almost came 20 days early for the Penn football team as Bucknell put a scare into the then-No. 15 Quakers. With the Quakers in control 14-10, Bucknell's Ryan Korn booted a 28-yard field goal to bring Bucknell within one. Penn had a seven-play, 17-yard drive stall on the Bison one-yard line and Bucknell matriculated the ball 77 yards to the Penn 22-yard line. Korn attempted a 39-yard attempt with 14 seconds remaining but the kick fell short and Penn improved to 3-0 on the season en route to a 10-0 record, the 11th undefeated season in the history of the Penn football program.

Download: game notes-Bucknell.pdf