PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The University of Pennsylvania football team heads to New Britain, Connecticut this week to play its final non-league game of the season against Central Connecticut State on Saturday afternoon.
Penn is 2-1 on the season, coming off a heartbreaking loss last week in its Ivy League opener against Dartmouth. The Big Green scored a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play from the one-yard line as time expired to beat the Quakers, 16-13.
“It was what we thought it would be,” Penn head coach Ray Priore tells KYW Newsradio. “We’d have to fight for every inch, every foot, every yard and it really was that type of contest. We just have to make sure we understand we controlled a lot of the game in our own regard, we left a lot of plays on the field we didn’t take advantage of and I think our kids will learn a valuable lesson coming out of that game.”
Penn senior running back Tre Solomon missed his second straight game against Dartmouth with an ankle injury, but Priore is hopeful to have last season’s top rusher in the Ivy League back for the game with the Blue Devils.
“By the end of last week he was feeling a lot better,” Priore says. “Had not taken a lot of practice reps so we decided not to play him on a Friday night. But it looks like he’s on course for helping us out this weekend.”
The Quakers have gotten tremendous work in the backfield from sophomore Karekin Brooks in Solomon’s absence. He has rushed for 457 yards this season and five touchdowns.
Central Connecticut State is 2-3 so far this season and coming off a 26-15 win over Sacred Heart last time out.
“They are really, really skilled,” Priore says. “Skilled on both sides of the football. They have really talented defensive backs, wide receivers, running backs. And they have a real good quarterback [junior Jacob Dolegala]. That league [Northeast Conference] is a tough one, they go out there, one of their losses was to Youngstown State, another was Syracuse. Those are two real, real good football programs.”
Last season these two teams played at Franklin Field with Penn winning, 28-16.
Saturday’s game gets underway at 1:00pm.