Lafayette Takes on Penn in Home Opener
Sept. 12, 2012
| Lafayette vs. Penn
|Date||Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. (ET)|
|Location||Easton, Pa. | Fisher Stadium|
|Tickets||Lafayette Athletics Ticket Office|
|Game Notes||Lafayette | Penn|
|TV|| Lafayette Sports Network: RCN-4, WBPH-60 (Lehigh Valley), RCN-8 (Philly, Boston, NYC, DC,
Chicago) (Gary Laubach, Mike Joseph '88, John Leone)
|Video Streaming||GoLeopards.com (LSN Telecast: Gary Laubach, Mike Joseph '88, John Leone)|
|Social Media||Twitter & Facebook|
|More Coverage|| Lafayette Newstand | Shoop, Smith Earn PL Honors | Behind the Roar Blog
Inside the Huddle
THE OPENING KICK-OFF
Lafayette plays its first home game of the 2012 season, hosting regional foe Penn on Saturday at 6 p.m. The game is the season opener for the Quakers who were 5-5 last season, an atypical record for a program that is perennially atop the Ivy League.
Lafayette is 86-40-3 all-time in home openers. The Leopards have won six of their last 10 home openers, but have lost the last three (Harvard in 2011, Georgetown in 2010 and Liberty in 2009). In 2011, Lafayette did not play its home opener until week five of the season.
A win over Penn would...make Lafayette 2-0 for the first time since 2008 when the Leopards opened 3-0. It would give Lafayette wins in five of the last six meetings with Penn, with three straight home wins in the series for the first time since 1978, 1980 and 1982.
The Leopards' win over William & Mary was the program's biggest non-conference win since 2008 when Lafayette beat nationally-ranked Liberty 35-21. William & Mary was receiving votes in both national top 25 polls and coming off a one-point loss to Maryland in the season opener. W&M competes in what most consider the nation's top conference, the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Lafayette defense surrendered 197 yards of total offense against William & Mary. That number didn't quite tell the story as 80 of the 197 total yards came on the final offensive series when the Leopards were in their prevent. Lafayette held William & Mary to 84 yards rushing and 113 yards in the air.
Penn opens its 2012 ledger on Saturday night in a 6 p.m. kick off. The Quakers are coming off a 5-5 campaign in 2011 when they finished 4-3 in the Ivy League in a tie for second place. Penn has been picked to finish second in the Ivy League behind Harvard. The Quakers return 15 starters, eight on offense and seven on defense, and also welcome back two special team regulars.
Offensively, Penn will look to senior quarterback Billy Ragone to run the offense. A year ago, Ragone completed 151-of-265 passes for 1,860 yards. He threw 11 touchdowns, but was picked off 11 times.
Ragone is also a threat to run, churning out 528 yards in 2011. Senior TB Brandon Colavita is the top returning runner, managing 665 yards (4.6 yards per carry) in 2011 while finishing with four touchdowns. Senior Brandon Copeland is the team's lone captain. The two-time All-Ivy League First-Team selection rang up 51 tackles, (six for loss with two sacks) last season.
Al Bagnoli (Central Connecticut '75) is in his 21st season as head coach at Penn. He has a 132-62 record at Penn and a 222-81 overall record in 30 seasons. Bagnoli is the winningest active coach in the FCS and is the only Ivy League coach to capture eight outright titles.