Franklin Field. Saturday at noon. The last two unbeaten teams (4-2, 3-0) in the Ivy League. On Versus.
The Quakers used to put themselves in this position just about every season. But it's been a while now. The Bears won their first outright title, and third overall, in 2005.
Penn has gotten to this point mostly with defense, which is one of the best in I-AA, and special teams. Brown can move the ball. And can hold its own on the other side of the line of scrimmage, too. Especially against the run.
The teams have yet to play a common opponent. Brown has won the last three meetings.
Two years ago, the Bears won here in overtime. Back when it seemed as if the Quakers could never convert a kick. That's changed, in the form of sophomore Andrew Sansom, who's missed one field goal this season. That was last week, at Yale. But he then made three in the second half of a 9-7 win.
"It's a huge factor, because it allows you to manage the game completely different," said coach Al Bagnoli, who won six rings from 1993-2003. "You don't feel like you need to force anything, because you still have a very reasonable chance of putting some points on the board.
"One of the worst things that can happen is you have a long drive, do all that work and come away with nothing to show for it. Right now, we feel pretty confident in him. That's somewhat contagious. When you get paranoid about that stuff, then so does the team. And you worry too much about what could go wrong.
"We've been through that. It's frustrating. You try to control so many variables, and all of a sudden you hit an upright, from point-blank range. Again. I'd much rather focus on trying to capitalize on the things you do have going for you." *
- Mike Kern