Jordan Smith, Commentary If you've been to a Penn football game, listened to one on the radio, watched UTV or read about the team in the newspaper, you know who Jasen Scott is. The senior tailback has been nothing short of outstanding this season. Despite playing in a a dull, predictable offense with a weak passing attack (at least until last week), Scott has managed to rush for over 1000 yards. When it comes to slipping through a tiny hole and making a gain where there is seemingly none to be had, no back in Ivy League can match him. For that reason, Penn has called his number a grueling 89 times in the last two weeks alone. But if you ask what senior Quakers tailback led the team in rushing yards in 1995, the answer is not Scott, but Aman Abye. In that year, Abye edged his classmate by 9 yards (694 to Scott's 685). This year they were once again expected to share the rushing duties. So why was it that one of the featured backs of 1995 has scored only one touchdown -- and that on a pass reception in the first quarter of the last home game of the year? Nothing has gone right for Abye from the very start. The difficulties started on opening day in Dartmouth when he sustained a concussion early on. Rightfully protecting him, the Penn coaches gave Abye no playing time in the next two games against Colgate and Bucknell. But by the time Abye was ready for action, his status as Scott's partner had been revised. Three 100-yard efforts had made Scott the No. 1 tailback and Abye a forgotten man. "It's been extremely tough," Abye said. "Coming into the season, I had great expectations coming off of last year being the leading rusher on the team. For the season to pan out the way it did is extremely disappointing." That's why it was so fitting that when the dust settled from Penn's first touchdown Saturday, it was No. 32 celebrating. On a little bootleg, Abye got open underneath and freshman quarterback Brian Russell got him the ball. Abye flashed some rarely-seen moves and sprinted for the left corner. On a personal level, those six points salvaged his season. "I'm pretty excited about it," said Abye, who indicated that this score meant more to him in the season's context. "I guess if there's any way to go out you've got to go out scoring a touchdown in your last home game." No one was happier to see Abye score than Scott. "Me and Aman are best friends -- that was great because of all the things he's gone through and a lot of emotions the team has gone through," Scott said. "That was the best thing for him, in his last game, to get in the end zone. It's like everyone scored on that play." There was more than just an injury and Scott's play to Abye's disappearing act. The presence of Rick Granata, the junior transfer from Eastern Michigan, also changed matters. Now the Quakers could complement the slashing Scott, 5-foot-10 and 171 pounds, with the rugged 220-pound Granata. Abye only made life more difficult for himself by making a key fumble against Columbia. The only consolation Abye can draw is that the man getting the snaps is Scott. It typifies Abye's season, though, that his first major contribution of the year is overshadowed by Scott. This time he went for 149 yards and scored the game-sealing touchdown, crossing the 1000-yard barrier in the process. Some guys have all the luck. Aman Abye isn't one of those guys.Comments powered by Disqus
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