Key Numbers: Penn football vs. Yale
While anything can happen any given Saturday, leashing the Bulldogs this weekend will be a tall order for Penn football. Delving into the game of numbers, one cannot find many reasons to pick Penn to beat the 17-point spread. Here are key numbers heading into the Red and Blue’s weekend game with Yale.
28: On September 27, Yale became the first Ivy League team in 28 years to defeat a Football Bowl Series school, ousting Army in overtime. While army itself is only 2-5 on the year, the Bulldogs’ historic victory highlights them as a special team in the Ancient Eight.
72.7: Penn coach Al Bagnoli is 16-6 against Yale for a winning percentage of about 72.7 percent, which ties Princeton for Bagnoli’s third-most beaten Ivy team. That being said, the last three games have gone to the home team, and the Quakers travel to New Haven this weekend.
109.9: Yale quarterback Morgan Roberts sets the tone for the Ivy League’s most prolific offense, boasting a 109.9 QB rating. For context, only Denver Bronco Peyton Manning, Green Bay Packer Aaron Rodgers, and San Diego Charger Phillip Rivers have higher passer ratings in the NFL. In the entire FCS, he has the fourth-highest passer efficiency rating, a category led by a gunslinger known all to well to the Quakers—Villanova QB John Robertson.
84: Yale running back Tyler Varga alone has recorded 84 points this season in all games, averaging over 16 points per game. This is only 20 less than the entire Penn team has scored all year. However, a “welcome” trend may help an already thriving Quaker rush defense: Varga has averaged only 9 points per game in Ivy play (which is similar to not having to play Peyton Manning but then playing Russel Wilson instead).
1: Penn has only recorded more passing yards than its opponent in one game thus far, which was a Dartmouth match where the Quakers gave up over 200 rushing yards. Even in a rout of Columbia, Penn allowed QB Trevor McDonagh to throw for 266 yards. With the Bulldog’s high power offense, something has to click for the Red and Blue defense, which ranks last in league play in sacks (2), fumble recoveries (0), and interceptions (0).
0: Technically, Penn’s and Yale’s conference records are separated by zero wins, as each is 1-1. Both lost their only game thus far to Dartmouth, who looks to be a legitimate contender for the Ivy League Championship. Both have also only defeated 0-2 teams, as Penn and Yale smashed Columbia and Cornell, respectively. Though non-conference play tells a completely different story—Yale went 3-0, Penn went 0-3—hope can be found in the fact that, in common games, the scoreboard shows little difference.
What do you think the result will be this weekend? Can the Quakers upset the Bulldogs? Have you come across your own interesting statistic? Leave your comments below, or tweet them at @DailyPennSports.