By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It will be another chapter in one of college football’s great rivalries on Saturday as the Penn Quakers visit the Princeton Tigers in Ivy league action. This one will have even more juice than usual, because it will be the 23rd and final Penn/Princeton match-up in the storied career of Penn head coach Al Bagnoli, who is retiring at the end of the season.
Bagnoli’s Quakers suffered a frustrating loss last time out on Saturday as they fell at home to Brown, 21-13.
“We had numerous opportunities to score points and we couldn’t,” Bagnoli tells KYW Newsradio. “We had the bad weather day, and we probably let that affect us a little bit more than it should’ve. But we certainly had ample opportunities to win the game and we just couldn’t do it.”
So the Quakers are now 1-6 this season (1-3 in the Ivy League). Princeton, who won a share of the Ancient 8 title in 2013, sits at 4-3 (3-1 in the Ivy) heading into Saturday.
Listen to the entire interview with Penn’s Al Bagnoli
“They’ve been a little been banged up, so they haven’t had as much continuity,” Bagnoli says. “Quarterback has been banged up, the tailback has been banged up. They’ve lost some really good kids on defense, some premier players up front. So they’re not quite as dynamic as they were last year, but they’re still scoring over 30 points a game. They still cause you all kinds of headaches, schematically. They do some really creative things with two and three quarterbacks in the game at the same time. Come out in so many different formations that you really need the entire week to prepare for them. So it’ll be a challenge on both sides. Hopefully our kids will be excited and ready to go and see if we can steal one.”
Bagnoli has enjoyed a lot of success against the Tigers in his career, winning 16 of the 22 games he’s coached against them heading into Saturday. As he prepares for his final Penn/Princeton game, he reflects on what the rivalry has meant to him.
“It’s a game that’s always exciting to play,” Bagnoli says. “There is something to this game, its such a long time rivalry, the proximity, the recruiting base, the whole thing. So it will be one of the games I’ll miss. Just because it’s a little bit extra. All the Ivy League games mean so much because you only play seven of them, but this one means even more. It’s been fun to be a part of. Fortunately we’ve acquitted ourselves pretty well and hopefully we can go up there and do a really good job one last time.”
Penn and Princeton will kickoff at 3:30 pm at Princeton Stadium on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
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