Gavin Hoffman passed for 336 yards and four touchdowns as the Penn football team steamrolled Dartmouth, 48-14, on Saturday. The Quakers scored touchdowns on their first four possessions en route to a 35-7 halftime lead and an easy victory in both teams' Ivy League opener. Penn's (2-1, 1-0 Ivy League) offensive onslaught marked the third time in as many games that Dartmouth has played(0-3, 0-1) where they have given up 40 or more points. "I just thought we got our asses handed to us," Dartmouth coach John Lyons said. "It was that simple." First-year Penn offensive coordinator Andy Coen's unit was firing on all cylinders. "Last year I was sort of rushed into the starting job," Hoffman said. "I didn't feel that comfortable." But the second-year Northwestern transfer looked completely at ease slicing and dicing the Dartmouth secondary on Saturday. He completed 15 of his first 16 pass attempts and did not throw an interception. Hoffman finished the day 25-for-30, hitting 10 different receivers. Wideout Rob Milanese caught six passes for a team-high 107 yards and two touchdowns. The Big Green -- who in their two previous games had fallen behind 21-0 -- appeared to have righted their ship early on. They marched 74 yards in 3:45 for a touchdown on the first possession of the game for a 7-0 lead. But the Quakers countered immediately, finding the end zone little over one minute later. Hoffman took Penn 70 yards in just four plays, capping the quick drive with a 35-yard strike to a wide-open Colin Smith. On Dartmouth's very next play from scrimmage, quarterback Brian Mann, rolling out of the pocket under pressure, threw an interception to Penn cornerback Kunle Williams, setting up the Quakers at the Dartmouth 27-yard line. Penn wasted no time getting back into the end zone. A screen pass to Smith went for 23 yards, and then Kris Ryan took his first carry of the season in for a four-yard score, putting the Quakers up for good. After that, the momentum swung squarely to the Quakers' side. The suddenly-sluggish Dartmouth offense gave up the ball twice on downs and twice on turnovers, while Hoffman and his receivers continued to run like clockwork. Sophomore linebacker Travis Belden keyed the Penn defensive effort, totaling four and a half tackles and four pass deflections. "They caught us on our heels [with the first drive]," Belden said. "They kind of drove it down our throats." But the defense regrouped and stifled the Dartmouth offense the rest of the day, especially in crucial situations. The Big Green went 4-of-14 on third down conversions and just 1-of-5 on fourth down conversions. All four of the fourth down stops came in Penn territory, two of them in the red zone. On the other hand, Penn converted 12-of-18 third down situations. Three times, the Quakers scored touchdowns on third down plays. "That's a sign that we're getting a little bit more mature," Penn coach Al Bagnoli said of his young squad. "When your offense scores right away, and then the defense slams the door." With a 42-7 lead midway through the third quarter, Bagnoli relieved many of his starters, including Hoffman and running backs Mike Verille and Ryan. Sophomore quarterback Mike Mitchell went 4-for-6 passing for 64 yards, including a 34-yarder to freshman Jonathan Robinson. The third-down connection extended a long drive that culminated in sophomore running back Todd Okolovitch's first collegiate touchdown. Okolovitch carried the ball a game-high 13 times, gaining 48 yards. Ten of those rushes came on the touchdown-scoring drive, which ate up 7:07 worth of clock in third and fourth quarters. News and Notes With his third completion of the day -- a 20-yard first quarter pass to Milanese -- Hoffman passed the 3,000-yard mark in his Quakers career.... Penn now leads the all-time series with Dartmouth, 35-31-2. Penn won the first meeting 16-0 in 1896 .... Milanese is the third-most prolific receiver in Division I-AA, with 8.33 catches per game. Tops is Brown's Steve Campbell, with 12.33, and second is Dartmouth's Damien Roomets, at 9.00.Comments powered by Disqus
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