By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – While the vast majority of college football teams across the country are getting ready for their second or third game of the 2012 season, the Penn Quakers and the rest of the Ivy League are preparing to play their openers on Saturday.
Penn will start things off on the road, visiting Lafayette.
Quakers head coach Al Bagnoli says his team is more than ready to face an opponent.
“Our kids after 29 practices are pretty tired of hitting each other, so they are anxious for the opener,” Bagnoli tells KYW Newsradio. “And I think, just like any other program, there’s that fear of the unknown going into the opener of how you’re going to play and how the young kids are going to respond. But they are certainly ready.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Al Bagnoli:
Penn is coming off a 5-5 season in 2011 and Bagnoli says they had a good camp.
“We’re pretty experienced, so I think we’re going to be able to hit the ground running, which is good. I think we are probably just about where we thought we’d be. We have some question marks with some young kids, not necessarily in terms of athletic talent, but experience. But we have a good nucleus of kids that we think can help us early on until those young kids grow up.”
Lafayette opened their season last weekend, as they picked up an impressive 17-14 road win at William and Mary. Bagnoli says their defense played very well against the Tribe.
“It was really impressive how many three and outs there were during the course of the game.”
Bagnoli adds that the Leopards offense will keep his defense on its toes.
“Their multiplicity becomes an issue for you. There’s an awful lot of personnel that can line up in different spots that do similar things, but really can all do it within one personnel grouping. So it really makes you have to recognize things, make sure you know what you are looking at.”
Lafayette beat Penn last season at Franklin Field 37-12.
Penn and Lafayette will kick things off at 6:00pm up in Easton on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.