In its two games this year, Penn football has shone, largely powered by the light from a number of breakout stars. But this weekend, the team faces its first Ivy test when Dartmouth rolls into Franklin Field. Here's how members of The Daily Pennsylvanian's Sports Department think Saturday's Ivy opener will go.
Penn 28, Dartmouth 10 — Caleb Crain, Sports Editor
Through two games, Penn has looked electric. While Dartmouth showed flashes of success — notably in last week's win against Lehigh — the team has yet to exercise the regular brilliance of this Quaker squad. The Big Green's big strength so far has been their pass defense, which is allowing under 100 yards per game, while Penn has featured a dynamic and multifaceted aerial attack, meaning that Saturday's game will be a test of strength versus strength. But in front of the home fans at Franklin Field for the first time in 2023, I expect big things from Penn's offense. Also, look for Penn's defense — which is so far allowing just 1.3 yards per carry — to step up big time.
Penn 28, Dartmouth 14 — Walker Carnathan, Deputy Sports Editor
A season ago, ahead of Penn football’s trip to Dartmouth, only one of our writers picked the Red and Blue to knock off the Big Green and end what was then a five-year losing streak for the program. What followed was a rousing double-overtime victory for Penn that changed the trajectory of the season. This year, the Quakers will be more heavily favored.
After comfortable victories over Colgate and Bucknell, Penn opens its Ivy season with an old foe. But the Big Green do not pose nearly the same challenge they did in years past. After a seventh-place finish in conference standings last season, this year’s Ancient Eight opener is unfamiliar territory for Dartmouth. But if the Big Green are going to get on track, it’s not going to come this week. I expect the Quakers to keep rolling, with sophomore wide receiver Jared Richardson helping usher in a new era of dominance for the Red and Blue over the Big Green.
Penn 32, Dartmouth 0 — Sean McKeown, Sports Associate
Penn’s offense is better than it’s ever been, while its defense has shown signs of dominance by shutting down opposing offenses for the majority of its first two games. I predict that the Quakers will pull it together on both sides of the ball against Dartmouth, and shut out the Big Green while putting up over 30 points. Look for junior quarterback Aidan Sayin and Richardson to connect on more big passes, and for the Quakers' defensive line to dominate the line of scrimmage versus Dartmouth's potent running attack.
Penn 24, Dartmouth 21 — Griffin Bond, Sports Associate
This week's matchup features Sayin and his emerging arsenal of weapons versus the relentless Dartmouth passing defense.
Sayin has averaged 260 yards per game this season, aided by Richardson, who, after logging his first career reception against Colgate in the first game of the season, has exploded onto the scene. On the other side of the ball, Dartmouth’s defense has given up a total of 182 yards of passing through its first two games. Saturday will be a chance for Sayin to prove himself and show that he has taken the jump that the Quakers need him to take if they want to win an Ivy League title.
Based on everything we have seen so far this year, I think he has made that jump. Even if he falters, he will have Penn’s strong rushing attack to fall back on. I predict Penn winning a nail-biter, and wouldn’t be surprised if it heads to overtime as it did a year ago in Hanover, N.H.
Penn 35, Dartmouth 21 — Ansh Jakatimath, Sports Reporter
After a strong performance against Bucknell, I predict the Quakers triumphing over the Dartmouth Big Green in the upcoming game. My confidence in this prediction is largely based on the performance of Richardson and fifth-year senior running back Jonathan Mulatu, both of whom stood out in last week’s game. Sayin delivered an efficient game last week, but he must ensure that offensive firepower can be maintained while minimizing the risk of interceptions, as he had two risky ones in the last game.
The Big Green come into the game with guns blazing after securing their first win of the season against Lehigh. However, the Quakers’ momentum and synergy provide a lot of confidence in maintaining the winning streak at Penn.
Penn 24, Dartmouth 14 — Andrew Stratton, Sports Reporter
Penn’s offense has been electric to open the season, scoring a staggering 37 points last week against Bucknell. The team's defense has followed suit, stifling Colgate in week one and shutting down Bucknell for most of week two. But don’t expect Dartmouth to back away from the challenge; after all, the Big Green did force last year’s matchup into double overtime. Dartmouth’s offense had a resurgence after week one, scoring 34 points against Lehigh. The Quakers should walk away with another win, but expect it to be pretty close for most of the contest.