Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004
Franklin Field - Philadelphia, Pa.
Series - Penn 38, Dartmouth 31, Tie 2
Game 3 Notes - Penn v. Dartmouth
Ivy Opener - Penn opens its 49th season of Ivy League football this Saturday. The Quakers' opponent will be Dartmouth as has been the case in every League opener under Penn Head Coach Al Bagnoli. Bagnoli's mark in Ancient Eight-opening games is 9-3 and Penn is riding a six-game winning streak against the Big Green with the last Dartmouth win coming in a 23-15 victory on Sept. 21, 1997.
Doubling Perfection, Twice Over - Coach Bagnoli has coached the Quakers to four perfect Ivy seasons during his tenure. The quartet of seven-win Ivy seasons came in a pair of back-to-back championship seasons. In 1993-94, Penn swept the Ancient Eight en route to its first consecutive titles since winning five-straight from 1982-86. It was the first time an Ivy League team had gone through the conference schedule unscathed. Penn tied its own record in 2002-03 by duplicating the early 1990s effort, going 14-0 over the two-year span and earning two more Ivy titles.
Coaching the Quakers - Al Bagnoli is in his 13th season as the George A. Munger Head Football Coach. He is first in wins (63) among active Ivy League coaches, second at Penn in years coached (12) and wins at Penn (87).
A Loss Suffered, Perspective Gained - The Quakers dropped its first contest in nearly three seasons with a 16-13 defeat at the hands of then-No. 11 Villanova. Ironically, it was the Wildcats that were the last team to hand Penn a loss, 17-3, on Oct. 10, 2002. Despite the loss, Penn was able to gain valuable experience and was able to gauge where its strengths lay heading into the upcoming Ivy League season.
Late Game Heroics - Penn's offense was held in check for most of the game against Villanova but with their backs against the wall the Quakers marched down the field not once, but twice to pull to within a field goal of tying the game. Junior quarterback Pat McDermott found perennial standout Dan Castles in the back of the end zone for the Red and Blue's first score at the 6:11 mark of the fourth quarter. McDermott hit pay dirt again, connecting with Matt Makovsky for a 29-yard scoring strike to give Penn 13 points in a span of four minutes, 39 seconds. It was Makovsky’s first career touchdown catch. It also marked the second game in a row that McDermott threw at least two touchdowns and Castles had at least 60 yards receiving.
Pacing the Race - Sam Mathews led Penn on the ground with 44 yards against Villanova. He added 21 yards receiving on a pair of catches. His 104.5 all-purpose yards per game average leads the team and ranks 10th in the Ivy League.
Hit Parade - Michael Johns is having a blistering start to his junior season. The cornerback has led Penn in tackles in the first two games of the season. He recorded a career-high nine stops (five solo) in the season opener at San Diego and did not let up against No. 11 Villanova, recording eight more tackles (six solo) with one dropping the Wildcats for a 17-yard loss. Johns is tied for ninth in the Ivy League with 8.5 tackles per game and leads Penn with 17 total tackles.
A Little Trickery - With the game against Villanova scoreless in the second quarter, Penn decided to flip to one of the less used pages of the play book. Senior wide receiver Gabe Marabella lined up in the slot to the left. Junior quarterback Pat McDermott rolled out to the left, handing the ball to Marabella, but continued to roll to the right and looking to throw. Who he found made the crowd rise out of its collective seat. Marabella hit McDermott for a 27-yard completion. It was the first career pass for Marabella and the first career reception for McDermott.
Transferring Aggression - Sophomore linebacker Kory Gedin transferred from the University of North Carolina heading into the 2004 academic year and is now a member of the Penn football team. He is a leader defensively after only two games in the Red and Blue, co-leading the Quakers in tackles against Villanova with eight stops (six solo). He is third on the team with 13 tackles (seven solo) and is averaging 6.5 tackles per game. Gedin is one of three transfers on the 2004 squad. Von Bryant (#22) transferred from Duke and Andrew Allen (#99) was formerly enrolled at Bowling Green State University.
His Left Foot - Josh Appell is a specialist in both sports he plays at the University of Pennsylvania. As a left-handed hurler on the Quakers baseball team, Appell relies solely on the strength, accuracy and conditioning of his left arm. As a member of Penn's two-time defending Ivy champion football team, it is his left foot and leg that he relies on most heavily. His leg certainly did not let him down last Saturday as he booted a season-high seven punts for a total of 323 yards and a 46.1 per punt average. Appell knocked three punts down within Villanova's 20-yard line and wedged two within the Wildcats' five-yard line. The senior had recorded five punts over 40 yards, three surpassing the 50-yard mark. His three 50-yard punts were recorded at 52, 52 and a season-high 56, respectively.
On the National Front - Through just two games, Penn has already come to the forefront of the national statistical rankings. The Quakers rank in the top-30 in six categories heading into this weekend's Ivy League opener. Penn received its highest ranking in rushing defense where it ranks fourth, allowing just 68.5 yards per game on the ground. The Red and Blue rank in the top 15 in three other categories including net punting (11th - 38.5), scoring offense (14th - 37.0 ppg) and turnover margin (14th - 1.5), while Penn's rushing offense ranks 26th (194.5 ypg) and its scoring defense is currently 28th in the nation (17.0 ppg).
Ancient Eight Rankings - Each Ivy League team has had a chance to gets its feet wet this season and is now at full stride heading into what is for some a second Ivy contest on Oct. 2. Heading into Penn's week three of the 2004 season, the Quakers rank atop the Ancient Eight in three categories. Penn's scoring offense is best at 37.0 points per game. A net punting average of 38.5 leads the League as does a rushing defense of 68.5 yards per game allowed. Penn's rushing offense ranks second at 194.5, behind League leader Harvard (215.0 ypg).
Among the Nation's Best - Individually, Penn ranks in the top-20 nationally in three categories. Josh Appell ranks fifth in the nation in punting (43.75). Evan Nolan is ranked 17th with 1.00 field goals made per game and Sam Mathews is ranked 20th in the nation in scoring with 9.0 ppg.
Big Five - Five Penn football student-athletes rank in the top-10 offensively in the Ivy League. Sam Mathews ranks fifth in rushing (69.0 ypg) and third in scoring (9.0 ppg). Pat McDermott is fourth in the League in passing efficiency (108.90) and Dan Castles' 61.0 receiving yards per game ranks ninth. Evan Nolan ranks third with 1.0 field goals per game and Josh Appell leads the Ivies in punting with a 43.75 average.
Oct. 4, 2003 - Penn and Dartmouth's last meeting resulted in a double-digit victory for the Quakers, 33-20, opening the Ivy season with a win for the sixth-straight season en route to a second-consecutive Ivy title. All-American kicker Peter Veldman opened the scoring with a pair of field goals of 41 and 22 yards, respectively. Joe Pankratz and Joe Phillips each caught a Mike Mitchell touchdown, making the score 19-0 before the Big Green could get on the board. Penn has outscored Dartmouth, 228-117, in its nine wins under Coach Bagnoli. The closest contest was a 21-20 win in Hanover in 2001, while the largest margin of victory was 35 points when the Quakers defeated Dartmouth, 49-14, in 2002.
Scouting Dartmouth's Offense - Offensively, Dartmouth is having more success through the air than on the ground. The Big Green has three receivers averaging over 60 yards per game receiving and four of their five touchdowns have come via the pass. Andrew Hall is leading Dartmouth's receiving corps with 13 catches for 150 yards and one score. Charles Rittgers is averaging 314 yards passing per game and ranks 10th on Dartmouth’s all-time list with 2,417 career passing yards. On the season, Rittgers has completed 54-of-107 passes but has thrown three picks. Penn's defense will face a Dartmouth rushing attack that is averaging 52.5 yards per game on 47 carries. Chris Little leads the way for Big Green rushers with 52 yards on 23 carries. Ray Rochester has Dartmouth's only rushing touchdown on the season. Dartmouth is 12-of-38 (32%) in converting third downs.
Scouting Dartmouth's Defense - The Big Green defense is allowing 31.0 points per game and is coming off a game against No. 12 New Hampshire where the defense allowed 45 points. Dartmouth opponents are averaging 157.5 yards per game on the ground and a 3.8 yards per carry average. The opposition is averaging 11.1 yards per pass completion and has racked up 791 total yards in two games against the Big Green.
Scouting Dartmouth's Special Teams - One strength Dartmouth has this season is its kickoff return yards and average. In 11 returns, the Big Green has compiled 290 yards for a 26.4 average. Dartmouth has booted 14 punts for a 36.4 per punt average and is allowing 10.3 yards per punt return.
Listen Live - Matt Leon (play-by-play) and Hench Murray (color analyst) return for their second season together in the broadcast booth to bring the Penn fans Quakers football. The game can be heard exclusively on the Internet at www.pennathletics.com and on ESPN Radio 920 AM, the flagship station of Penn Quakers Football. Dartmouth fans can also hear the game in the New England area on WDCR 1340 AM and WFRD 99.3 FM. Rick Adams (play-by-play) and Wayne Young (color analyst) will have the call of Saturday's game.
YES!, Penn is on TV - Penn will have its second-straight game televised this week as the YES Network comes to Franklin Field for the Quakers' Ivy League opener against Dartmouth. It will be one of two broadcasts YES does for a Penn game. The Red and Blue also close the season at Cornell on Nov. 20 on the cable channel, which can be seen throughout New York, Connecticut, North Jersey and North East Pennsylvania. Subscribers of DirecTV can see the game nationwide.
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications
Download: game notes-Dartmouth.pdf