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Mike Mitchell completes a pass to Rob Milanese in Saturday's 41-20 rout of Yale. The senior quarterback tossed two touchdowns to Milanese. [Will Burhop/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Mike Mitchell's performance against Yale was so strong that he was able to complete a pass to himself.

In a wet, wild game, Mitchell's reception of a batted pass was hardly the most extraordinary play.

The Penn passing attack exploded after a rain-dampened first quarter and was the key factor in the Quakers' 41-20 blowout of Yale.

Penn had difficulty establishing the passing game early while being shut out in the first quarter. The rain obviously had an effect on a 30-yard strike from Mitchell to Rob Milanese.

Milanese fumbled the ball after the catch, killing a likely scoring drive for the Quakers. Several passes also slipped out of the Penn signal caller's hands and fell off target.

But Mitchell was the picture of consistency after the rain let up, finishing the game with 351 passing yards and three touchdown throws.

The main offensive emphasis against Yale was to establish the deep pass. Mitchell substantiated his reputation for being a strong-armed field general by executing the vertical passing attack with precision.

Four receivers grabbed passes that gained 30 yards or more, and Mitchell did not turn the ball over after throwing three picks in the last two games.

"In the last week or two, it's seemed that everyone's been sitting down on our short routes," Mitchell said.

"So I just told my receivers that the next time they sit down on us, let's get it by them," he said. "They worked hard to get open. We adjusted to what they did."

This strategy led to several quick scores and ultimately, a big number on the scoreboard next to "visitor."

On the first play of a third-quarter drive, Mitchell lofted a picture perfect strike 45 yards downfield to Daniel Castles.

Castles had good separation from the defender, and Mitchell put the ball right into Castles' chest.

Two plays later, Mitchell hit Milanese in the end zone to put Penn up by three touchdowns.

Milanese was all over the field Saturday, hauling in 12 passes for 140 yards and two scores.

"Milanese had a hell of a day and we didn't have a lot of answers for him," Yale coach Jack Siedlecki said.

Penn receivers Joe Phillips and Erik Bolinder were also part of Yale's nightmare, hooking up on what was the most exciting pass play of the afternoon.

With the game tied early in the second quarter, Phillips took a lateral from Mitchell. Instead of heading downfield he lofted a pass to the wide-open Bolinder for an easy score.

"Joe Phillips is a very good athlete and we've actually run that a couple times," Penn coach Al Bagnoli said.

"They're a really difficult defense to get one-play drives on, so any time you get a one-play drive like that, you're very fortunate as an offense.

Bolinder made several other key catches along the way, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the second time this season.

Even tight end Matt Michaleski -- entering the game with only three catches -- joined the aerial barrage.

The senior put Penn on the scoreboard in the first play of the second quarter. He settled into empty space on a play action rollout and rumbled in for a 18-yard score.

"I think they just flat out beat us in man-to-man and the kid just got himself wide open," Siedlecki said.

Michaleski later caught an identical pass for 19 yards on a third down, setting up Milanese's second touchdown.

"I thought both of their receivers made two or three big plays and the quarterback made big plays, getting the ball off with a guy right in his face," Siedlecki said. "They're a good team."

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