By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It wasn’t easy, but the Penn Quakers found a way last time out as they rallied to beat Columbia at Franklin Field this past weekend, 24-20. That upped their record to 2-3, but more importantly, they are 2-0 in the Ivy League and they will look to build on that perfect Ancient 8 mark on Saturday when they visit Yale.
Penn’s head coach Al Bagnoli says he is proud that his team kept fighting against Columbia.
“They reacted very well under duress,” Bagnoli tells KYW Newsradio. “We were down by ten points with about eight-and-a-half, nine minutes left to go. We put together two long scoring drives in an up-tempo, hurry-up offense and then we held on as time expired. So it was good to see our kids still have the faith and the confidence in the offense and in the quarterback to execute under duress. And fortunately for us, we scored just enough points to win.”
The quarterback is senior Billy Ragone, who threw three touchdown passes in the win over Columbia, including the game winner to Lyle Marsh with 50 seconds left in the game.
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Al Bagnoli…
As for Yale, they will bring a 1-4 record under first-year head coach Tony Reno into Saturday.
“They’re a typical Yale team, big and strong,” Bagnoli says. “I think they have two exceptional running backs that they alternate. I think there are still some growing pains with the new coaching staff and new offense, and a little bit different defensive style. But they obviously are still a talented team.”
The Quakers are halfway through their 2012 season. It is all Ivy League opponents from here on out, and Bagnoli says his team can still get better.
“We’re not as consistent as we need to be. We show flashes of brilliance, those two long drives under duress [against Columbia], two consecutive three and outs to get the ball back [also against Columbia]. But yet we are way up and down, much more so than we should be at this point. So really, if we can just get some consistency in our approach I think that will bode well for us. But so far, that has been somewhat elusive, and we’re still trying to figure out why that is and how do we cure it. But…consistency, consistency, consistency.”
Penn and Yale will kick-off at noon on Saturday in New Haven, Connecticut.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.