BOSTON, Nov. 10 - There is only one game left in the football season, but the pieces have yet to come together for Penn's offense. The Quakers went a staggering 0-for-14 on third down in the second half of its 23-7 loss at Harvard on Saturday, and struggled to find the end zone despite fantastic field position. "We squandered numerous opportunities," Penn coach Al Bagnoli said. "We just haven't been able to finish drives." The best opportunity might have come after senior defensive back Greg Ambrogi recovered an onside kick to put Penn on its own 42 in the third quarter. But two incomplete passes from Bryan Walker and a holding penalty later, Penn was forced to punt and forgo a potential momentum shift. "They just never got any traction in the second half and by not getting any traction . they never really believed," Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. "They never really felt like they were going to win the thing, which is emotionally a big part of letting them back in the game." Penn's next short-field opportunity came in fourth quarter with the Quakers down by ten. Punter Thomas Hull shanked a punt out of bounds to Harvard's 45-yard line to give Penn another start in Crimson territory. But the stifling Harvard defense held firm once again. Walker struggled to complete passes and back-up running backs Kelms Amoo-Achampong and Michael DiMaggio struggled to fill the gaping hole left by injured starter Joe Sandberg. "We struggled, not necessarily moving the ball, we've struggled converting it into points," Bagnoli said. "It's just been very, very frustrating." The Harvard defense took advantage of Penn's vulnerable passing game after Sandberg's injury took him out of the game after the first play. Whether Sandberg could have proven to be the difference in a game that saw many breaks swing the Quakers' way - Penn will never know. "They like to run the ball so I think [losing Sandberg] took a little bit out of their game," Harvard senior defensive end Brad Bagdis said. "They had to throw the ball more than they wanted to." As has been the theme for most of the season, when the Quakers' defense stepped up to give the team a chance, the offense sputtered to a halt despite starting off with the advantage. "They pinned us a couple times and we couldn't eke out a first down and they were getting some short fields," Murphy said. "It was huge because at that point they can generate some momentum."Comments powered by Disqus
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