A guest post by the Inquirer's Marc Narducci, who covered the Penn-Villanova game for the paper. Read his recap here.
Penn football coach Al Bagnoli wanted to make one thing perfectly clear following Saturday's 24-8 loss to Villanova at Franklin Field.
"There is no quarterback controversy," he said.
Starter Billy Ragone played most of the first half. He was replaced in the last series of the half by Andrew Holland, who then stayed in the entire second half.
Yet this was the plan from early in the week. Bagnoli said that Ragone suffered a bruised collarbone in Penn's opening 28-21 loss to Lafayette. In that opener Ragone threw five interceptions and Holland threw two more. Neither threw any against Villanova.
Regardless, Bagnoli was only going to play Ragone for a certain amount of time against Villanova.
"I didn't want to get him too many hits and it is why he didn't carry the ball," Bagnoli said. "This was planned."
So Ragone will be the starter on Saturday at Dartmouth.
Against Villanova Ragone completed 4 of 7 passes for 40 yards. Holland was 11 for 17 102 yards and one touchdown, a 5-yarder to Scott Conner. Ragone was sacked once and Holland three times.
Holland is considered the better passer, and Ragone the top runner.
Don't be surprised if both play in games this year, but Ragone, is likely to get the bulk of the time. His running ability provides another dimension to the offense, similar to Villanova's redshirt freshman John Robertson.
Bagnoli said earlier in the week that regardless of the injury situation, he wanted both quarterbacks to play in non-league games.
Now both quarterbacks have seen sufficient time in the first two games and even though Ragone is the clear-cut No. 1, knowing that Holland can come in and produce, is a comforting thought as the Quakers get ready for the rigors of Ivy League play.