During its back-to-back Ivy League title campaigns, Penn football had an answer for nearly every opponent in its path. But the Quakers couldn't solve the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. On Saturday, the two squads will face off again with redemption on the line for the Red and Blue against the defending Patriot League champions.
Quarterback is not the only place where the Red and Blue need their “next-man-up” mentality to pay off. Both the offensive line and the secondary have some drastic overhaul from one year to another, and these groups will play just as pivotal roles in determining if coach Ray Priore’s squad can make history.
The Quakers' star senior wide receiver helped save Penn's skin in his team's 42-24 defeat of the Division II visitors who gave the hosts more trouble than expected. His performance outshone all others throughout Penn Athletics over the weekend, earning him DP Sports' Player of the Week.
In reality, the game should not be used as a barometer — the Red and Blue were facing off against a winless Division II team. Drawing conclusions from the matchup would be like judging your guitar skills based on a couple rounds of Rock Band (on easy mode).
Penn football hasn’t won its season-opener in three straight years, and at halftime, it looked like the Quakers were on their way to four. The second half was a completely different story, though.
Penn football hasn’t won a season-opener in three straight years, and if things keep going the same way, it could be four. And this one would be the most painful of them all.
At halftime, Penn (0-0) trails Division II’s Ohio Dominican 10-7 (0-2).
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It would be silly to say that the Red and Blue aren’t championship contenders, but there is an extreme danger with using these past two seasons as a benchmark for the upcoming one.
The Quakers have two straight co-Ivy League titles thanks in large part to a dependable defense with Vecchio on the front line. But with former QB Alek Torgersen now in the NFL, the defense will have to step up as an even more dominant unit.
In the past few seasons, Penn football has had some high-profile offensive stars. Players like Torgersen, Watson and Solomon get all the attention for the unit's repeated success. But the unsung heroes of the offense are ones who never get noticed, the ones who grind it out each and every play so that their teammates can go on to make the highlight reel plays — the linemen.
Year after year, Penn’s Southern California recruiting pipeline has grown larger and larger, and this coming season will be no exception. With 16 SoCal natives on their 2017 roster — as many as Penn has from any non-California state — the Quakers are locked and loaded with supreme talent from across the country as they embark on their three-peat attempt.
The arc of the program is bending towards progress, and it’s not hard to see.
Running back by day, memelord by night. Tre Solomon is a football star, an OUP squirrel catcher, and so much more.
Following the graduation of quarterback Alek Torgersen — a two-time first-team All-Ivy selection and Penn’s all-time leader in touchdown passes — the Quakers, for the first time in coach Ray Priore's tenure, have faced an offseason of uncertainty behind center.
Anyone who has spent time around our team over the past two years has heard that word. But to us, it is more than a word. It is what we believe in. It is what drives us. It is what takes more than 100 players and over 20 staff members from so many different backgrounds and bands us together for a four-month journey each fall.
Priore, who spent 28 years as an assistant at Penn before taking over when Al Bagnoli retired after the 2014 season, has joined an exclusive club and will try again to match what became Crouthamel’s three championships in his first three seasons of head coaching.
Watson, the senior receiver out of Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, is more than just a cookie cutter wideout. He’s a playmaker and an offensive weapon who can get the job done in a variety of roles.
Football is back at Franklin Field.
In a span of only a couple of days, former Quaker star Alek Torgersen’s NFL dreams were dashed, and — just as suddenly — resurrected.