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After going undrafted, former Penn football quarterback Alek Torgersen signed with the Atlanta Falcons before being waived at the end of preseason.

Credit: Alex Fisher

Quakers fans won’t have to make the trek over to Franklin Field for a chance to see the team this fall.

As part of a the Ivy League’s new deal with ESPN, Penn football will play two nationally televised games on the network’s ESPNU channel, which is dedicated primarily to college athletics. The team will be showcased on two Friday nights — October 19, playing Yale at home, and Cornell on the road on November 2.

Although games had previously been broadcast on the Ivy League Network, this change will give college football fans around the world greater access to Penn games. While only die-hard Ivy sports fans would have an ILN subscription, over 70 million households have access to ESPNU, which is half the monthly price.

This will also give the Quakers a chance to show the rest of the country what the team is all about, and will potentially garner more attention and respect for the program nationally. This is especially true given the significance of the games; if Penn can pull off a win against the Bulldogs, the reigning conference champions, it should win them some deserved respect.

The game against Cornell is also an important one, as the series between the two teams, dubbed “The Trustees Cup” has been played 124 times and is the fifth-most played rivalry in Division I college football. Last season, the Quakers beat Big Red, 29-22.

In all Friday night games during coach Ray Priore’s tenure, which stretches back to the 2015 season, the Red and Blue have a 4-1 record. The Quakers have had a fairly high national profile for an Ivy League team during those three season, winning back-to-back conference championships and seeing both quarterback Alek Torgersen and wide receiver Justin Watson make it to the NFL. Torgersen was signed to a few different practice squads as an undrafted free-agent back in 2017, while Watson was recently drafted in the fifth round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Quakers will certainly look to use this opportunity in the spotlight to bolster their reputation, as well as attempting a comeback after being dethroned in their bid for a three-peat last season. How they perform, though, can only be decided on the gridiron.