Quakers Set for Season Opener Against Philadelphia Rival

GAMEDAY CENTRAL

Bagnoli Press Conference Quotes - Sept. 17, 2008

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – For the fifth-straight season Philadelphia’s FCS rivals, Penn and Villanova, will go head-to-head for city bragging rights. The 13th meeting between the teams will mark the season and home opener for the University of Pennsylvania football team while the Wildcats enter 1-1 and ranked 19th in the nation. Penn trails the series 7-5 with the Wildcats winning each of the last seven meetings.

The Series

Close games have defined the series as of late. Other than Villanova’s 20-point win in 2007 - a game in which Penn actually led 14-10 at the half - Philadelphia bragging rights have come down to the final possession in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Villanova has been victorious in all of them, leading to a string of seven straight wins between the two teams. Penn won all five games over Villanova between 1905-1911 by a combined score of 113-12, but are looking for their first win over the Wildcats since the series resumed in 2002.

The last time Penn beat Villanova...

... the cost of a stamp was two cents, a loaf of bread was a nickel, and a gallon of milk averaged 34 cents. A car could be purchased for $500.

... the Titanic and Fenway Park were under construction

... the first Indy 500 was run

... William Howard Taft was President and Ronald Reagan was born

Up Next

Penn will hit the road for the first time this season when they travel to Lafayette to take on the Leopards next Saturday. The Quakers will not leave the state of Pennsylvania until Oct. 11 when they visit Georgetown - the latest that has happened since 2002. The Leopards (RV/RV) are 2-0 after opening the season with a 28-6 win over Marist and a 24-6 win in their home opener against Georgetown on Sept. 13. Lafayette will be coming off a bye week when they host the Quakers.

Tough Slate

A tough road is ahead for the Quakers. After the season opener against No. 21/20 Villanova, Penn will face four more teams that have already reached the top-25 or are receiving votes in The Sports Network FCS top-25 rankings as well as in the FCS Coaches Poll. See page three of these notes for a complete list of rankings.

Let the Games Begin

Penn has traditionally started strong under Bagnoli, winning 11 season openers in 16 seasons.Prior to starting the season 0-3 in 2007, the Quakers won 12 of 15 September games between 2000-2006. However, all three losses did come to the Wildcats with Penn going 12-0 against the rest of their competition.

Non-Conference Success

Not only does head coach Al Bagnoli hold claim to more Ivy wins than any of his peers, but since the beginning of the Bagnoli era in 1992, the Quakers have won nearly two-thirds of their non-conference contests at 30-16 (.652). They are 30-10 (.750) vs. teams not nicknamed the Wildcats.

Penn Rushing Trend

Coming off the season finale in which Penn rushed for 329 yards and four touchdowns, the Quakers have had a rushing touchdown in each of their last four games and in six of the last seven contests. They totaled 15 rushing touchdowns in those six games.

Other Penn Trends

Josh Koontz has had a reception in six straight games ... Michael DiMaggio carried the ball more than 20 times in each of the last two games in 2007 ... Chris Wynn had a pass breakup or interception in all but one game last season ... Penn has forced a turnover in 12 straight games dating back to the two-overtime loss at Princeton on Nov. 4, 2006.

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