By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are a lot of college football programs in the country that would do anything to have one talented, experienced quarterback lead their offense.
The Penn Quakers are currently reaping the benefits of having two.
With fifth-year senior starter Billy Ragone out last week with a foot/ankle injury, Penn plugged in their other fifth-year senior, Ryan Becker, and he led the way in a 28-17 win over Yale.
“We have tremendous confidence in Ryan,” Penn head coach Al Bagnoli tells KYW Newsradio. “He thoroughly understands our offense, can execute it. So we felt that we were in good hands and that allowed us to sit Billy.”
Becker went 10 of 13 for 167 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Yale, a win which improved the Quakers to 4-2 overall on the season and, more importantly, 3-0 in the Ivy League.
Next up for the Quakers is a trip up to Providence, Rhode Island, to battle the Brown Bears. Bagnoli talks about Ragone’s status heading into this game.
“We’ll make a game-time decision moving forward,” Bagnoli says. “We want to make sure that he’s healthy enough to protect himself and can run around and avoid contact. So we’ll get together with our medical people and try to make a decision moving forward.”
Brown is also 4-2 this season, but they are 1-2 in the Ancient 8. They picked up that Ivy victory last weekend, winning a 42-35 shootout in Ithaca, New York, against Cornell.
“They’re very explosive on offense,” Bagnoli says. “All eleven of their offensive players are seniors, which is unheard of. So they have great experience, they can really open up the playbook because they can retain all that information. They have a fifth-year quarterback (Patrick Donnelly), so he can certainly run anything they want.”
Brown has given Penn fits in recent history. While Penn won last season’s match-up (20-17 at Franklin Field), they have dropped five of the last eight games in this series.
“We have to do a good job of throwing the football and try to loosen up what is an eight, and sometime nine-man box, versus the run game,” Bagnoli says. “So we’ll have to play well. It’s a tough place to play. It’s our only grass game of the year, and against a really good team, and it’s their homecoming. So there’s a lot of obstacles that we’re going to have to overcome.”
Kick-off at Brown Stadium on Saturday is set for 12:30pm.
You can follow Matt on twitter @mattleonkyw.