#6 Villanova (2-1, 1-0) will host Penn (0-1) this Saturday afternoon at historic Franklin Fild. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00pm ET and the game will be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Penn returns home after a tough 34-31 loss to Jacksonville to open their season.
Last year, John Robertson and Kevin Monangai ran wild while the defense forced 4 turnovers en route to a 35-6 win at Villanova Stadium. It was the first time that an Al Bagnoli-coached team had allowed two 100-yard rushers in the same game.
Here's three things to know about the Quakers:
Al Bagnoli has never beaten Villanova
The legendary Penn coach is 0-12 against the Wildcats, and the Quakers have lost 13 straight dating back to 1911. And I don't say that to say this will be the same story this year. Prior to the season, Bagnoli announced his impending retirement. This will be his last shot to beat his good friend Andy Talley.
The talent level really isn't all that close between the teams, so a good strong effort should see Villanova through. The Quaker players are going to want to send Bagnoli out on top though, so the 'Cats will get a strong effort early.
There's a new quarterback in town
Billy Ragone has departed, so junior Alex Torgensen is now taking the snaps. Penn typically favors a run-heavy offense, and the 6'3" 225 lb. signal-caller fits the bill as a dual-threat option. He kept it himself 12 times for 65 yards and a touchdown last week while also throwing for 200 yards (1 TD, 2 INT). The Wildcats defense can hopefully take advantage of his inexperience and force some turnovers.
All-Ivy League RB Kyle Wilcox is back, but it's a running back by committee approach for Penn - expect to see Tre Solomon and Lyle Marsh get some carries. Keep an eye out for end-arounds and sweeps too. Wide receiver Adam Strouss ran for two touchdowns last week.
The Quaker D will likely struggle
Snap judgments can get you in to trouble - the Quakers have played just one game - but there's every reason to believe that they'll have a hard time stopping Villanova. They return a couple of All-Ivy League players in defensive lineman Austin Taps and linebacker Dan Davis, but as a unit they'll have a hard time stopping the high-powered Wildcats offense.
If John Robertson and the offense can avoid shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers, 'Nova should put plenty of points on the board.