PHILADELPHIA – Looking to continue its best start since the 2010 CSFL championship season, the University of Pennsylvania sprint football team hosts Navy this Saturday evening beginning at 7 p.m. at Franklin Field.
Penn (2-0) is coming into the Navy matchup with an opening week, 14-13, comeback victory over Mansfield and a 36-19 victory over Cornell in its home opener last Friday. The Midshipmen (2-0) have defeated Princeton, 63-0, and Mansfield on the road, 26-14, to start the season.
Navy enters the game leading the league in scoring offense (89 points) and rushing offense (463 yards), while the Quakers lead the league in total offense (707 yards).
SCOUTING NAVY: The Midshipmen have outscored opponents 89-14 in the first two weeks of the season. Navy enters the game No. 1 in the league in scoring offense (89 points) and rushing offense (463 yards), along with having the leading rusher in junior Eric Wellmon (34 carries, 303 yards, 8.9 yards per carry, 6 TD). Senior quarterback Joe Hampton has completed 17-of-30 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, the Midshipmen are anchored by seniors Brady Flies and Billy Eisenhauer, along with sophomore Keegan Kush, each having 10 tackles on the season. Navy is plus-two in turnover differential, having forced five turnovers.
THE SERIES WITH NAVY: Penn trails the overall series with Navy, 9-55-1, in the Quakers third most played matchup – 65 games. Two of the Quakers’ nine wins have come in the last 10 years, defeating the Midshipmen, 36-21, at home in 2012 and 24-13 in the Allegiance Bowl in 2010. Last season, Navy defeated Penn 34-14 in Annapolis, Md.
DIORIO CSFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Penn sophomore Robert Diorio earned the CSFL Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in the Quakers 36-19 victory over Cornell in week two. Diorio provided the defensive lift that led the Penn rally, when he scooped up a fumble and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. He also recorded an interception that set up a touchdown and finished the game with seven total tackles – five solo stops – and one sack. The captain now has 15 tackles in two games, with two sacks, and the interception and fumble recovery.
PENN ‘D’ GETTING PRESSURE: The Quakers defensive line has played exceptionally well in the first two weeks, getting pressure on the opposing quarterback and playing with their hands up in the passing lanes. Penn is second in the league with 10 sacks, led by sophomore Arthur D’Angelo with three. Sophomore Chris Colavita is second in the CSFL in tackling averaging 10.5 tackles per game (21 total).
GROUND GAME: Navy leads the CSFL in rushing with 463 yards – 231.5 yards per game, while Penn is third in the league with 304 yards on the ground – 152.0 yards. The Midshipmen boast the league’s top-rusher in Eric Wellmon (303 yards, 6 TD), while the Quakers tout the league’s second rusher in senior Mike Beamish (274 yards, 4 TD).
RUNNING INTO THE RECORD BOOKS: Speaking of Beamish, the senior running back has now moved into third place all-time rushing for sprint football after running for 149 yards against Cornell last Friday. Beamish now has 2,235 yards rushing and surpassed Steve Galetta (2,091 yards, 1975-78) and Mark Gannon (2,106 yards, 1999-2002). He now sits just 292 yards behind Mike Bagnoli (2,527 yards, 2007-10) for second place all-time in program history.QUAKERS CAN THROW TOO: Penn has had success on the ground and through the air during its 2-0 start, and lead the league in total offense (707 yards – 304 rushing, 403 passing). Sophomore quarterback Mike McCurdy ranks third in the league in passing, having completed 32-of-52 passes for 403 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown reception came on a brilliant full-extension diving catch by sophomore Mario del Cueto in last week’s win over Cornell.