PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The University of Pennsylvania’s hopes for a third straight Ivy League title were dashed last week with a 37-20 loss at Harvard (see game story).
That Crimson win, coupled with Brown’s upset loss to Dartmouth, gave Harvard the title outright with a week to play.
So now, the Quakers focus on finishing with a winning record, as they host Cornell this Saturday at Franklin Field.
Penn head coach Al Bagnoli says there’s a big difference between finishing 6-4 or finishing 5-5.
“I think it’s huge. You never want to leave the season with a loss, or consecutive losses. And I think a victory sends the seniors out (the right way), who have enjoyed stellar careers. If we win on Saturday, they’ve only lost four Ivy League games in the last four years. So I think that becomes huge. I think you generate momentum in terms of your offseason program, the demeanor of your kids, the attitude of your kids and your coaches,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “So I think for us it’s a huge game.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Al Bagnoli in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
As for 4-5 Cornell, they come to town red hot offensively, beating Columbia last week, 62-41.
In that game, Big Red sophomore quarterback Jeff Matthews put together a performance for the ages, completing 40 of 46 passes for 521 yards and five touchdowns. He set program records for completions, passing yards and touchdowns in a game.
“Certainly that’s got our attention,” acknowledges Bagnoli. “They are leading the league in passing, they are averaging now 300 yards a game passing, and I think it will be an aerial show from their perspective. And I think we’ll have to do a great job of trying to alternate pressure and coverage schemes against them to keep them off balance.”
Last season Penn beat up Cornell in Ithaca, 31-7.
Kickoff on Saturday at Franklin Field is set for 1:00pm.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060