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Penn football's Hunter Kelley named Ivy Rookie of the Week

Freshman punter Hunter Kelley had a strong first week, punting six times while averaging 42 yards per punt. He beat out fellow-freshman Brock Elmore for the punting position during the preseason.

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A few weeks ago, Penn football didn’t even know who its starting punter was going to be.

Now, it just may have a keeper.

Playing in his first game after being named the starter, freshman Hunter Kelley was named Ivy Rookie of the Week for his debut performance against Jacksonville on Saturday.

Forced to punt six times on a rainy, sloppy afternoon, Kelley averaged 42 yards per punt, and pinned the Dolphins inside their 20-yard line twice. Two of Kelley’s punts travelled longer than 50 yards, including one 58-yard effort.

Last year, punters Max Kurucar and Donald Panciello combined to average only 36.8 yards per kick, and only three of their punts were longer than 50 yards.

It’s early, but the Red and Blue just may have found their punter of the future if Kelley can keep this up.



Liveblog | Penn football at Jacksonville

The season is just on its way for Penn football. Come in live to Jacksonville as we bring you the action

Live Blog Penn football vs. Jacksonville

Live Blog Penn football vs. Jacksonville

Live Blog Penn football vs. Jacksonville




Haiku Corner | September 18

Welcome back to Haiku Corner, a place where Penn Athletics' upcoming weekend is summarized three lines at a time.

Flight to Florida

Bagnoli ready to go

Eyes on Torgersen

American goal

Sets Quakers back a little

Temple is up next

Forget loss to Tribe

Penn has many injuries

Sawczuk plays near home

Ivy play begins now

Penn looks to its strong attack

Weisenfels keeps on

Wagner's season starts

McCurdy and Beamish lead

Mansfield on live stream

Back from Golden State

Red and Blue morale quite high

Big 5 comes to Penn



Which position group has the most to prove this year?

While Penn has a strong set of captains (just look at the front cover) to lead the team in 2014, there are plenty of players and position groups with something to prove. Across offense, defense and special teams, the Quakers will look to shore up a few spots in order to compete with an Ivy title. After all, if any part of Penn’s team appears to be weak, the rest of the Ivy League will look to exploit said weakness. Our editors debate which position group has the most to prove.

Sports Editor Ian Wenik: I’m going to come out and say that the secondary has plenty to prove. Last year, I wrote a story for our supplement talking about how a plethora of veterans in the defensive backfield was going to shut down the rest of the Ivy League. What did Penn’s pass defense promptly do? It surrendered 240.7 yards per game, a middling fifth-best in the conference. The Quakers let their opponents complete 62.7 percent of their passes, the third-worst mark in the Ancient Eight.

Penn has plenty of talent returning in its secondary — fifth-year seniors Dan Wilk and Evan Jackson, just to name a few — but it’s a long way back to the top for a secondary that helped Penn win an Ivy title just two years ago.

Senior Sports Editor Steven Tydings: It’s tough to say anybody but the kickers. Special teams can be a thankless job and fall under the radar, but it is extremely important to any team’s success. In 2012, it seemed like whenever Penn needed a clutch kick, then-sophomore Connor Loftus was there to make it, especially during the Quakers’ 20-17 homecoming win against Brown.

But last season was different as the Red and Blue went 4-for-13 on field goals, setting themselves back in multiple games. While junior Jimmy Gammill has impressed during camp, we will have to see whether he can get the job done within games. If he struggles or gets hurt again, Loftus or sophomore Aron Morgan could get a few reps at the all-important placekicker spot.

Sports Editor Holden McGinnis: I think a young and inexperienced offensive line is going to have the most to prove. The Quakers are fielding a group with a combined five starts between them last season, and they graduated a core group of veteran linemen, including first-team All-Ivy center Chris Bush.

Though Penn had a strong offensive performance last season against Cornell — when three of this year’s projected starters made starts — this group is definitely one of the largest question marks for coach Al Bagnoli. Bagnoli even said so during the Ivy League preseason media teleconference. Every strong offensive performance starts in the trenches, and if this group can’t find a way to protect sophomore quarterback Alek Torgersen, it’ll be a long season for the Quakers.

Sports Editor Colin Henderson: I couldn’t agree more, Holden. The offensive line is a serious question mark. But what about the man that they will be tasked with protecting?

Torgersen has approximately one quarter’s worth of play under his belt. Lighting up Cornell in a relief role at the end of a season is one thing, but taking the reigns of Penn’s offense is quite another. Granted, he seems to bring a downfield passing threat that, paired with Penn’s deep squad of receivers, could be deadly, but with an inexperienced line in front of him, can he handle the pressure?

He certainly doesn’t have the type of mobility that Billy Ragone had, which could make Penn’s questions on the line even more significant. Ragone also set a pretty high mark for Penn quarterbacks, contributing to three Ivy League championship teams. We’ll see if Torgersen can live up to those types of expectations and have a similar level of success.



Turn Back the Clock | Penn football's successful trip to San Diego

Then-junior Sam Mathews had a career day when Penn football visited San Diego in 2004, scoring three touchdowns and rushing for over 100 yards.

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Penn football will leave the friendly confines of the Northeast for the first time in 10 years, heading to the humid metropolis of Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday.

The last time the Quakers ventured out of the Northeast was 10 years ago, a trip that was extremely successful to say the least.

To kick off the 2004 season, the Red and Blue faced off against San Diego, making a cross country flight before taking the field. Penn came in with a 16-game winning streak dating back to 2002, as the squad was two-time defending Ivy League champions.

The Toreros had a former NFL quarterback as their first-year head coach with Jim Harbaugh – now the coach of the San Francisco 49ers – patrolling the sidelines. But his NFL background wouldn’t be any help that day as Penn trounced San Diego, 61-18.

Sixty-one points scored was Penn’s most points in a game since joining the Ivy League in 1956, and the most points allowed by San Diego in a game since 1956 as well. The Quakers’ devastating attack was led by then-junior running back Sam Mathews, who scored a career-high three touchdowns and added 152 total yards.

“He was terrific,” Penn coach Al Bagnoli said of Mathews. “He is definitely one of the marquee players in our league, and I think you can see why if you watch him. He does everything for us.”

Mathews wasn’t the only Red and Blue running back to reach the century mark, as Duke transfer Von Bryant had 111 yards on just five carries. Penn ended the day with 325 yards on the ground and 494 yards overall in a shocking offensive display.

Surprisingly enough, San Diego led in time of possession despite a 26-0 deficit at halftime. The Toreros’ four turnovers and inability to stop Penn’s ground game ultimately did them in.

“They’re a physically overpowering force, and they could stop the run,” Harbaugh said of Penn.

Under Bagnoli, Penn has recruited many players from the California area, so the trip was particularly nice for those players returning home.

“We’ve got a lot of players from California and they were really excited to play in front of their people who usually have to travel all the way out from California,” Mathews said.

Penn would have its 17-game winning streak snapped a week later by local rival Villanova. The Quakers would also not be able to repeat atop the Ancient Eight, as future NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Harvard would hand them their only Ivy loss.

On the other side of the ball, Harbaugh had a bright future in sunny San Diego. His Toreros would win their final five games of the year before back-to-back 11-1 seasons in 2005 and 2006.

Harbaugh would parlay those results into the head coaching job at Stanford, where he worked until joining the 49ers.



Mano a Mano: Who is Penn's top Ivy threat?

-The Daily Pennsylvanian

Penn football is getting its season started this weekend on Saturday in a nonconference tilt against Jacksonville, but some of us are already looking ahead to Ivy play. Sports Editors Ian Wenik and Holden McGinnis debate which Ancient Eight rival poses the biggest threat to the Quakers this year.

Sports Editor Ian Wenik: This is an easy one. It’s Princeton. The Tigers dealt the death blow to the Quakers last year when they came back from a 16-0 deficit to win on Homecoming, 38-26, and they’re just as much of a threat this time around. Sure, defensive tackle Caraun Reid is in the NFL now, but Princeton returns players like two-time first-team All-Ivy selection Anthony Gaffney at corner and 2013 second-team All-Ivy selection Mike Zeuli at linebacker. Their defense won’t miss a beat.

Sports Editor Holden McGinnis: While we’re on the topic of experienced defenses, how about Harvard? Princeton came away with the win against Harvard, 51-48, in three overtimes, but the Crimson pose just as serious a threat. While Harvard graduated a number of All-Ivy players in one of its strongest senior classes in recent memory, they still return dynamic players up and down their roster.

Senior defensive lineman Zach Hodges will pose an even more serious threat to the aforementioned inexperienced offensive line of the Quakers. Meanwhile, the secondary is anchored by senior defensive back Norman Hayes, Harvard’s sole captain. The Crimson still have a strong offense, led by senior quarterback Conner Hempel and junior running back Paul Stanton. Barring injury, they’ll pose serious issues for the Quakers in all phases of the game.

IW: I think that the Tigers have a thing or two to say about offensive firepower. Quinn Epperly is still Princeton’s quarterback, and who could forget his NCAA record-setting performance against Cornell, when he completed 29 passes in a row? Epperly fully deserved to be named Ivy Offensive Player of the Year last season. My only concern is that he’s lost his favorite target, wide receiver Roman Wilson, to graduation. Who will take his place? It might be one of the Tigers’ two main senior wideouts — Seth DeValve or Matt Costello.

Making matters easier for Epperly is that he has running back DiAndre Atwater in the backfield once again — Atwater averaged a solid 4.7 yards per carry last year. Outside of the question mark of No. 1 receiver, I don’t really see a major hole in Princeton’s depth chart. Do you see any weakness in Harvard?

HM: For Harvard, it’s a pretty similar situation in terms of weakness. The Crimson lost their top two receiving targets in wide receiver Ricky Zorn and tight end Cameron Brate. However, they retain most of their other offensive weapons, primarily Stanton and junior wide receiver Andrew Fischer. Hempel has plenty of weapons for his senior campaign and should be able to put up similar numbers to their third-best passing offense last season.

Verdict: It’s a draw as both are daunting competitors to the Red and Blue.



Haiku Corner: September 11

You missed Haiku Corner, didn't you? The Buzz's signature poetry feature returns, previewing a fun weekend in Penn Athletics

Quakers head out west

Shake memory of Blue Hens

Face number one Stanford

Soccer in Seattle

Poplawski and Schott come home

Try to keep winning

Playing to a draw

Chevtchenko finds back of net

Next up is the Tribe

Fairfield comes to Penn

Quakers showing some true grit

Weisenfels in goal

Start of the season

Cross country takes on Big 5

Villanova top test

Jacksonville is near

King and co. quite excited

Freshmen ready as well



Penn women's soccer to play at 6 PM due to inclement weather

For anyone in the University City area, Penn women's soccer's match tonight against St. Francis has been moved up to 6 PM due to inclement weather in the area later tonight. 

The game was originally scheduled for 7 PM. Penn comes into the match with a 2-0 record after two close wins last weekend. The match will be played at Rhodes Field and will be available on the Ivy League Digital Network. 

The Quakers play on Sunday as well at 2:30 against William & Mary, also at Rhodes Field.

Here is our preview of Penn's weekend matches.



Three Up, Three Down | Penn women's soccer vs. St. Francis (Pa.)

Sophomore midfielder Lindsey Sawczuk scored her first goal of 2014 against Old Dominion last weekend and added an assist on a Ana Chevtchenko goal on Thursday night vs. St. Francis (Pa.).

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Following an opening weekend in which Penn women’s soccer won two matches, the Quakers (2-0) will look to keep up the good vibes in their home matches against St. Francis (Pa.) tonight and William & Mary on Sunday. Going against the winless Red Flash, the Red and Blue will be heavily favored to win their third straight match to start the season. Here are some of the reasons why this is the case, and a few reasons why Penn needs to be careful not to slip up.

Three Up

Clutch play: To start last season, the Red and Blue notched two 4-0 wins, kick-starting a run that would eventually lead Penn to a 12-1-4 overall record. The road to start this campaign has not been an easy one, with Penn winning both games it has played by only one-goal margins. It took the Quakers overtime to win their last match against Old Dominion courtesy of a goal by freshman Kristen Miller. While they may not have shown dominance yet, this early experience should bode well for the Quakers if it is a close match against St. Francis.

Penn’s defense: When you think of Penn women’s soccer, you should think of defense. Last year, the Quakers featured one of the top statistical backlines in the country. With several difference makers — like back Haley Cooper and keeper Kalijah Terilli — returning, the same should be the case this year. They may have given up an uncharacteristic two goals in their last match, but the Quakers’ defense should stand tall tonight.

Winless opponent: St. Francis is currently 0-6 on the year, not including an exhibition contest it also lost. The Red Flash have been shut out in four of their six matches. To boot, they have been outscored by a combined total of 14 goals. Not to rub it in, but it hasn’t been pretty. This should be a golden opportunity to pick up an early season win.

Three Down

Penn’s scoring: Offense was the Quakers’ Achilles’ heel last season, and it looks like that may be the case once again this year. Despite winning both of their matches, the Quakers have only been able to produce two goal scorers in regular time thus far. Penn will look to its young players — like sophomore Lindsey Sawczuk, who notched a key score against Old Dominion — to provide a spark offensively moving forward.

Conditioning: Penn has played significantly less competitive soccer than St. Francis has to start the season. This will be the team’s third match in five days, with the last having gone into overtime, and the first significant test of its overall conditioning. It will be interesting to see if the Red and Blue have the legs to fight through the fatigue.

NCAA implications: Despite putting up a very strong overall record and impressive team statistics last season, the Quakers were snubbed from last year’s NCAA tournament. This year, they won’t want to take any chances, and a loss to a winless team would not look good on their resume moving forward.



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