PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania sprint football team heads to Annapolis this week, taking on Navy in a battle of unbeaten teams on Friday night at 7 p.m.Week Two of the CSFL season will help break up a logjam atop the CSFL standings. Four teams are 2-0 through two weeks of play – Penn, Navy, Cornell and Army West Point. Only two of those teams will remain undefeated after this weekend as the Big Red and Black Knights will play in addition to the meeting between the Quakers and Midshipmen.
Both teams have been moving the ball at will offensively to begin the 2015 season. Navy enters the week ranked tied for No. 1 in the CSFL in total offense, averaging 460.5 yards per game. Penn is No. 4, averaging 402.5 yards per game.
The Midshipmen have been stingy on defense, limiting opponents to a CSFL-leading 113 yards of offense per game. Through two games, Navy’s opponents have rushed for a total of -25 yards on 72 carries. Penn has had some success on the ground, though, averaging 123 yards rushing per game.
The Quakers have been making most of their gains through the air, though. The Quakers ranked No. 2 in the CSFL in passing offense, averaging 279.5 yards per game. Penn’s seven passing touchdowns are most by any CSFL team.
Through two weeks of action, Penn has earned both CSFL Offensive Player of the Week awards. Max Jones picked up the award in Week One after rushing for 130 yards and scoring three total touchdowns. Last week, Mike McCurdy threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns.
Mike McCurdy is second in the CSFL in passing, averaging 278.0 yards per game. His seven passing TDs are most among any CSFL quarterback.
Henry Mason leads the CSFL in receiving yards per game, averaging 123.5 through two contests. His four receiving touchdowns are also the most in the league, and his 65-yard TD is the longest receiving score in the CSFL this season.
Stu Helgeson is tied for the CSFL lead with two interceptions this season. Brendan Lilley has three forced fumbles, most in the CSFL.
Navy is leaning heavily on the run through two games, leading the CSFL in rushing with 309 yards rushing per game. The Midshipmen have passed for half that, averaging 151.5 yards passing through two games.
The Midshipmen have employed a “running back by committee” approach through two games. Four Navy players are among the CSFL’s top ten rushers, led by Eric Wellmon who is third in the league with 98.5 yards rushing per game.
McLain Lavis is sixth in the CSFL in yards per game on the ground (71.5) but has a league-leading five rushing touchdowns.
Navy leads the CSFL in sacks, with 11 through two games. Marquis white has 3.5 sacks to lead all individual players.
Penn’s last win over Navy came in the 2010 season, a 24-14 win in the Allegiance Bowl in Saratoga Springs.
Last year, Navy edged Penn, 21-19, at Franklin Field. A Penn safety with 12:36 to play closed the Quakers to within two points, but an eight-minute Navy drive all but closed the game late. After the long Navy drive, Penn started at its own 20 with 0:46 to play and two sacks by the Midshipmen defense denied any chance at a comeback.