Penn hosts Dartmouth Friday night in Ivy opener

Matt Leon
October 01, 2019 - 3:01 pm
Penn head coach Ray Priore.

Courtesy of Penn Athletics

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The University of Pennsylvania opens its Ivy League schedule on Friday night by welcoming Dartmouth College to Franklin Field.  

The Quakers (1-1) picked up their first win of the season this past Saturday, beating Lafayette in Easton, 28-24. Penn rolled up 530 yards of offense in the win and rallied from a 10-7 second quarter deficit.

"Took us a little bit to get ourselves focused and on point," Penn head coach Ray Priore told KYW Newsradio. "But after that, the kids really rose to it and finished it out in the fourth quarter."

Penn got big days in the win over the Leopards from senior running back Karekin Brooks and sophomore wide receiver Ryan Cragun. Brooks rushed for 202 yards and two scores while Cragun caught eight passes for 128 yards and two scores. 

On defense, the Penn pass rush was in high gear as the Quakers finished with seven sacks against Lafayette. The Quakers have 10 sacks on the season through two games with eight different players registering at least half a sack. Priore talks about what is allowing them to put such pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

"I think the first thing is to get (opposing offenses) into obvious passing situations," he said, "which our defense has done a very good job of stopping the run and getting to a lot of third down and long situations. But we do have multiple schemes and depth. We bring on pass rush downs, (players like) Benji Mowatt, Hunter Hayes, Jake Heimlicher. We're blitzing linebackers in different combinations. That is a very, very athletic group of kids on the field."

Dartmouth is 2-0 this season and coming off a 9-1 (6-1 Ivy) 2018 campaign. Last week, the Big Green hammered Colgate 38-3 up in Hanover.

"I think it starts with their defense," he said, discussing what makes Dartmouth good. "Very, very sound defense. Strong up front. They dare you to make a mistake. Go for the big things, get you off schedule and then they have real, real talented kids in the second and third level as well. On offense, it reminds me of the old Wing-T. A lot of motion, a lot of shifting, trading, really takes you off point. They are making big plays. That's their play-action game, boot game, really establishes their big play opportunities. So the key here is really to play sound football on both sides of the ball."

Last year, Dartmouth beat visiting Penn, 37-14, blowing open a close game with a 21-point third quarter.

Friday night's game at Franklin Field kicks off at 7:00 p.m.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.