Reporting Matt Leon
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In what has become a common occurrence the last several years, Penn and Harvard will meet Saturday in Cambridge, Mass., in a game that will go a long way toward determining who wins the Ivy League title.
Harvard is a perfect 5-0 in the Ancient 8 (7-1 overall), and Penn is just a game behind, at 4-1 (5-3 overall). Brown also sits just a game behind the Crimson at 4-1.
Last time out, the Quakers dismantled rival Princeton, 37-9, at Franklin Field. In that game the Quakers continued to develop their vertical passing game, as quarterbacks Billy Ragone and Ryan Becker combined to throw for 302 yards.
Penn head coach Al Bagnoli says being able to consistently stretch the field makes his offense that much more dangerous.
“I think it’s critical in any offensive attack,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “I think there are very few teams that can go 75 yards on 15 plays and not make any mistakes. So I think your opportunities to hit home runs and do it on a somewhat regular basis is huge. We’ve gotten much better in our vertical passing game, and I think if we continue to improve and capitalize on it , I think it makes us a very potent offense.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Coach Al Bagnoli in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Harvard is coming off a 35-21 win last weekend over Columbia. What does Bagnoli think makes the Crimson so good?
“I think offensively it’s their balance. They have a terrific attack throwing the ball, with tight ends who not only play in tight but also detach out wide, who can catch the ball and create mismatches. Defensively it’s their down kids — they historically have always had really good defensive lineman and this year is no exception.”
Penn and Harvard have split their last ten matchups. Last season, the Quakers hammered the Crimson, 34-14, at Franklin Field.
Kickoff on Saturday in Cambridge is set for 12 noon.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060