Penn (4-2, 3-0 Ivy League) vs. Brown (2-4, 1-2 Ivy League)
Franklin Field, Philadelphia
Saturday, 1 p.m.
It’s homecoming at Penn, and the Quakers will look to stay perfect in the Ivy League in front of all the alumni returning to Franklin Field. Here’s a look at the matchup:
The Quakers were clicking on all cylinders last week, showcasing their electric offensive trio of QB Alek Torgersen, WR Justin Watson and RB Tre Solomon perfectly in a 42-7 road rout of Yale — their fourth straight win. Torgersen found Watson for nine catches, a career-high 160 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, leading to the star wide receiver being named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week. Solomon, meanwhile, finished with 120 rushing yards and a touchdown, remaining the league’s rushing leader by a hefty amount. And Penn’s defense enjoyed its best performance of the season, holding Yale to 229 yards while forcing a pair of turnovers.
The Bears snapped a four-game losing skid with a 28-21 overtime win over Cornell last week, riding three touchdowns from All-Ivy receiver Alexander Jette and the game-winning rushing TD from Johnny Peta. Jette ranks second in the Ivies in receptions per game (behind only Watson) and third in receiving yards per game. As a team, though, Brown is only averaging 310.2 yards per game, second-to-last in the Ivies. But the Bears’ defense, led by Ivy tackling leader Will Twyman, is tops in the league, allowing an average of 306.7 yards per contest, including a league-best 189.7 yards through the air.
Penn holds a 58-24-2 advantage, including a 40-10-1 mark at Franklin Field dating back to a 12-0 win in the stadium in 1895. But the Bears are 6-4 vs. the Quakers in the last 10 matchups, beating them in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014 before Penn picked up a 48-28 win last year.
Storyline to watch
The Quakers should have the advantage in this one but, as always, playing in front of a homecoming crowd adds an interesting dynamic. This year’s homecoming has an especially cool storyline as Penn’s 1986 team will be honored on occasion of its 30-year anniversary. One of the best teams in the program’s long and illustrious history, that ’86 squad was the first in the Ivy League era (1956 to present) to finish 10-0 with one of those wins coming against Division I-A Navy.
What’s at stake?
The only two teams sitting at 3-0 in the Ivy League, Penn and Harvard are careening toward a title showdown in two weeks at Franklin Field. But before that, the Quakers need to beat Brown and then take out another title contender in Princeton next week.
The Bears’ pass defense is good but, like other Ivy teams, they’re not going to find an answer to Torgersen and Watson.
Penn 31, Brown 14