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Junior running back Isaiah Malcolme.

Credit: Son Nguyen

New offensive coordinator, new quarterback, and a new Penn football. 

In the first matchup of the two teams since 1983, Penn football has gotten off on the right foot against No. 20 Delaware. The Quakers lead the Blue Hens by a score of 14-7 at halftime. 

The Blue Hens struck first as quarterback Nolan Henderson led a picture-perfect five-play, 72-yard drive capped by a 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Thyrick Pitts. 

On the Quakers' first drive, senior quarterback Nick Robinson missed senior running back Karekin Brooks on a routine screen pass that resulted in a 13-yard fumble. The Quakers punted back to Delaware, which promptly marched down the field thanks to big gains by running back Andre Robinson.

Penn’s fortunes changed, though, after Delaware failed to convert a 39-yard field goal. Then Robinson — shaking off a rough first drive — led an 11-play, 78-yard drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock. Robinson found sophomore wide receiver Ryan Cragun for a big 27-yard gain while adding a 19-yard run of his own. He capped off the drive by rolling out of the pocket and throwing a four-yard touchdown to senior wideout Kolton Huber.

Delaware couldn’t do anything with the ball after getting it back, as junior defensive lineman Benji Mowatt sacked Henderson to force a three-and-out. On the ensuing drive, Brooks helped lead the Quakers into enemy territory, but the Blue Hens were able to intercept Robinson to regain possession. 

After forcing another Delaware three-and-out, junior running back Isaiah Malcolme ripped off a 46-yard run, and he capped off a seven-play, 66-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown reception to give the Quakers their first lead of the afternoon at 14-7. 

Delaware stalled on another drive but pinned Penn back at its own 7 on a coffin-corner punt. The Quakers were able to drive 56 yards down the field before Cragun fumbled the ball back to Delaware with 56 seconds left in the first half. 

Penn continued its stout defensive performance on Delaware’s next drive and forced a punt. Malcolme fumbled the punt return, but the officials ruled that Delaware interfered with the fair catch — much to the ire of Blue Hen fans. 

The Quakers have put up an impressive 281 yards of total offense while limiting Delaware to just 126 yards, and the Red and Blue have converted seven of eight third downs. 

Check out the full recap here.

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