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Credit: Nicole Fridling

“We’re winning by 50. They’re getting rocked.”

Needless to say, Penn sprint football senior defensive lineman Angelo Matos is not lacking for confidence when it comes to the Quakers' game on Saturday against Caldwell (1-3, 0-1).

Last year, the Red and Blue (2-2, 1-1) shellacked the Cougars to the tune of 69-6. Caldwell should merely be looked at as a stepping stone, a confidence booster before the Quakers they play divisional rival Navy next week. 

But this year isn’t last year. 

Junior quarterback Eddie Jenkins has been banged up, missing their game against Chestnut Hill. They were blown out in the second half of last week’s game against Army, eventually losing the championship rematch 28-6. The Quakers have slipped from a championship favorite to a pedestrian .500 record. They’re looking for some life.

“Every week is do or die from this point out. Caldwell is in our division, so it’s a must win game for sure. We’re all focused on this one,” Jenkins said.

Expectations have been tempered since the beginning of the year. Though it’s clear that a championship isn’t going to come without its  fair share of obstacles, the team has a quiet, confident intensity about them. They know there is no more room for error after the divisional loss to Chestnut Hill two weeks ago.

“We’re gonna have a winning mindset coming in,” said freshman cornerback Luca Curran, who leads the Collegiate Sprint Football League with 4 interceptions. “We’re healthy now, we’re gonna put up the points we need to and we’re gonna take care of business.”

After two early losses, this team has a chip on its shoulder. Saturday’s game is the first step back to the title game, and Curran wants that goal to be known.

“Expectations are we’re gonna win out and get to [the championship game]. That’s gotta be the mindset.”