This Saturday at 1 p.m., Penn football (3-6, 1-5 Ivy) will host Princeton (8-1, 5-1) on Senior Day to close out its season. Four Daily Pennsylvanian Sports reporters make their picks ahead of the game against the Tigers.
Princeton 42, Penn 7 - Lochlahn March, Senior Sports Editor
I gave Penn football the benefit of the doubt last week against Harvard, but Princeton has long proven to be the Quakers’ kryptonite. The Red and Blue have dropped their last two games against the Tigers, and have an overall losing record of 17-20 against Princeton at Franklin Field. Penn has given no indication this season that we should expect a different result.
The Tigers come into Saturday’s game with the top scoring offense in the Ivy League, while Penn’s offense has struggled all year. The Quakers rank dead last in the conference in total offensive yards, pass completions, touchdowns, and offensive efficiency.
With only one conference win under their belts, Penn has no momentum going into Saturday. More crucially, the Tigers still have something to play for — they'll need a win against the Quakers to lock up the Ivy League conference title. Expect a Princeton thrashing.
Penn 30, Princeton 27 - Nicky Belgrad, Deputy Sports Editor
Get yourself to Franklin Field this weekend, because Penn football is set to shock the world. The Quakers have a decent shot at pulling off a miracle upset against a Princeton team that is vying for the Ivy League title.
Penn’s gameplay should revolve around its defense and keeping the ball away from the Tigers’ high-octane offense. Through intricate and long drives, the Red and Blue will seek to control the pace of play, and potentially force the Tigers to make impatient mistakes.
Any turnovers, miscues by Princeton, or short fields for Penn’s offense must be capitalized on, and I expect this to be a defensive showdown, highlighted by key offensive plays or defensive mistakes. Time of possession will be crucial for Penn, especially in terms of dictating the pace of play, as the Quakers will need to use any momentum to their advantage.
With one or two big defensive plays, a galvanized Penn team may just be able to spoil Princeton's season. Don’t expect an easy win, but Penn football has it within them to test an aspiring Princeton team.
Princeton 32, Penn 10 - Kristel Rambaud, Sports Reporter
Expect Senior Day for Penn to be spoiled. Penn, who has a 1-5 record in the Ivy League conference, is capping off its season against Princeton, who has a 5-1 record.
Penn quarterback Aidan Sayin is coming off a rough past couple games. For the past two games, Sayin has accumulated no passing touchdowns and four interceptions. Penn will most likely look to the running game to save the day, specifically graduate student Isaiah Malcome and senior Trey Flowers.
However, Princeton has a high-powered offense that has averaged 33.3 points per game, with an average of 268.6 passing yards and 134.1 rushing yards per game. The Tigers are also in a must-win situation. Tied with Dartmouth at the top of the Ivy League, the team needs to beat Penn if they want to a shot at taking home the regular season title. Combining their motivation and offensive power, Princeton is likely to close out the game as the victors.
Princeton 28, Penn 13 - Brandon Pride, Senior Sports Editor
While this is Penn’s last game, its season has long been over. However, the Quakers have a chance to play spoiler against Princeton. While Priore emphasized in his press conference that the team is just thinking about going “1-0 into the offseason,” I have to think that souring the rival Tigers' season at least sparks some fire for the Red and Blue.
Still, Princeton is the better team at this point, and Penn won’t be able to hang on. Even in a loss, many Quakers playing what will likely be their final game — Isaiah Malcome, Brian O’Neill, and Ryan Cragun, just to name a few — will look to go out with a bang, and certainly not without a fight.
If Penn coach Ray Priore can get more aggressive on fourth-down decisions, the Quakers may have a chance. However, if the previous weeks are of any indication, Penn will end its season empty-handed once again.