Penn seeks second straight Ivy title
By Andrew Gaddess, FCS Assistant
Princeton, NJ (Sports Network) - The Penn Quakers find themselves in a familiar position today following a 52-10 win over the Princeton Tigers.
With the win the Quakers moved to 7-1 (5-0 Ivy) and maintained sole possession of first place in the Ivy league.
The Quakers now control their own destiny as they head into a Nov. 13 showdown with Harvard.
If the scenario seems familiar, that's because it is.
Last season, on Nov. 14, Penn defeated Harvard 17-7 to clinch a share of the Ivy title. The Quakers defeated Cornell the following week to win the title outright.
This year, the scenario is nearly identical. If the Quakers defeat Harvard next week they will again clinch a share of the Ivy title. If they defeat Cornell the following week they will again win the title outright.
Harvard defeated Columbia today, 27-3, and now sits at 6-2 (4-1 Ivy). A loss next week will eliminate the Crimson from title contention. They will be supremely motivated.
Still, Penn appears equipped to repeat. Entering today's game at Princeton, the Quakers led the Ivy league and ranked in the top-10 in the FCS in sacks, total defense, and scoring defense.
The defense's dominance is well-documented, but today the offense proved it is capable of shouldering some of the load.
The Quakers racked up 600 total yards against Princeton, including 396 yards on the ground.
"We're clicking right now," said quarterback Billy Ragone. "Everyone's confident in what we're doing in practice, everything is working. We're confident in the coaches putting us in the right position and we have some kids making some good plays out there."
The 7-1 start is Penn's best since 2004. Ironically, in 2004, the Quakers defeated Princeton to move to 7-1 before losing to Harvard the following week in the de facto Ivy title game.
With a Nov. 20 win over Cornell likely, it appears the Ivy championship will again come down to Penn versus Harvard.
"You guys all want to know about Harvard," Penn head coach Al Bagnoli said after today's win, choosing to keep mum on the subject.
Yes coach, we do.
Fortunately, Ragone was willing to expound.
"We're real confident going in," said Ragone. "I know the defense is confident, I know the offense is confident and that's all we can be at this point. We've just got to get ready to go, enjoy this win and starting Monday, get in the coaches' office and get ready for Harvard."
Penn is attempting to repeat as Ivy champions for the first time since winning the league title in both 2002 and 2003.
11/06 19:44:37 ET