Penn football announced the 2016 slate of games it will play in the quest to repeat last year’s Ivy title-winning campaign.
After going 7-3 in 2015, the Quakers will keep nine of the same 10 teams on the schedule that features five home and five away games.
The only team being dropped from last year is Villanova — who the Red and Blue defeated for the first time in 104 years in 2015 — as the series had been scheduled to end with that contest.
Replacing the Wildcats will be Central Connecticut State, marking the first time the two programs have ever met.
Opening the season, however, will be Lehigh on Sept. 17. This will also be the Quakers’ home opener, after Penn was handed a 42-21 defeat by the Mountain Hawks on the road to open 2015.
There are two other non-conference games on tap for the Red and Blue. The week after Lehigh, Penn will travel to New York on Sept. 24 to take on Fordham. Last year, the Quakers almost pulled off the upset at home over the Rams with a late rally, but a field goal with eight seconds remaining secured a 48-45 win for the visitors.
After opening Ivy play on Oct. 1 against Dartmouth — who shared the 2015 Ivy title with the Quakers and Harvard — the Red and Blue return home for the final non-conference matchup of the year against Central Connecticut on Oct. 8.
The next week, on Oct. 15, Penn will host Columbia, marking the first time Coach Al Bagnoli returns to Franklin Field after coaching the Quakers for over two decades and fittingly coinciding with Family Weekend for the University.
For the final five games of the season, the Red and Blue will alternate between road and home games, traveling to Yale on Oct. 22 before hosting Brown for Homecoming on Oct. 29.
Down the stretch, Priore’s squad will head to Princeton on Nov. 5, after which the Crimson will return to Franklin Field on Nov. 12.
The final contest in the bid to repeat as Ivy champions will come on Nov. 19, as the Red and Blue head up to Ithaca to take on Cornell.
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