Every Penn fan is thinking the same question this week: Who’s going to start at quarterback Saturday versus Bucknell?
They won’t get their answer until the opening drive.
With starter Keiffer Garton doubtful at best with a upper arm injury, backup Kyle Olson hurting and third string Billy Ragone out for the year after suffering a broken collarbone against Dartmouth, there’s certainly no definite No. 1 signal caller.
When asked if Olson would be the starter, coach Al Bagnoli said he wasn’t sure but only that Olson would be “available.” Meanwhile, running back Lyle Marsh said sophomore John Hurley — who’s never seen varsity action — has been taking first team reps at practice.
“We’re confident in his ability to step up and get the job done,” Marsh, a freshman, said of Hurley.
But the injury bug has bitten more than just the quarterbacks. Preseason All-American cornerback Chris Wynn is also doubtful after missing last week’s game in Hanover.
Fortunately for Penn, it got some good injury news: sophomore running back Matt Hamscher will return.
Rain, rain go away. Penn’s last two games have had one constant: rain.
Though the first half was mostly dry against Lafayette Sept. 26, the skies opened up right before halftime and it continued to pour throughout the second half and overtime. Against Dartmouth this past week the rain started even earlier and it never let up.
“I’m sick of rain,” Bagnoli said. “We’d like at some point to play in nice weather conditions.”
The rain has noticeably affected kicker Andrew Samson. The 2008 All-American has missed five field goals in the rain this season, including a critical 42-yarder in overtime against the Leopards.
“If [Samson] were not so accomplished, we probably would not even ask him [to kick long field goals in the rain],” Bagnoli said.
Tricking the Big Green. With the injuries to the passing corps and rain pounding down, the Quakers basically abandoned the passing game in the second half against Dartmouth.
After halftime they threw only seven passes, completing just four. One of the seven went for a first down.
And that pass wasn’t even thrown by a QB.
Junior running back Bradford Blackmon had already run for a career-high 70 yards in the game. But with under five minutes remaining and Penn up by 10, he received a pitch and threw it 21 yards downfield to David Wurst for the first down.
“We have a lot of special [plays] that we wanted to use,” Bagnoli said. “So we thought that was a great time because we were running the ball so much and people were starting to come up, lining nine, 10 guys in the box.”
Running towards the near sideline, Blackmon threw a slightly high ball, but nothing Wurst couldn’t handle.
“David went up to make a great catch,” Bagnoli said. “Bradford did a nice job throwing the ball.”
— Staff Writer Eli Cohen contributed reporting to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.