Penn coach Ray Priore saw it coming. For the past two weeks, the Quakers won but had played sloppily and committed a ton of mistakes.
Priore told his players he was proud of them for finding ways to win but warned that if they didn't clean things up, they were going to come back to bite them against tougher competition.
On Friday in a nationally televised game on ESPNU, Priore became a successful soothsayer as Yale won, 23-10, in a critical Ivy League game at Franklin Field.
With the victory, Yale (4-2, 2-1) stays in the hunt to defend its Ivy League title. Penn (4-2, 1-2) hasn't been eliminated, but the Quakers face some historic odds: Only once has a two-loss team even shared an Ivy title.
Give Yale credit because the Bulldogs definitely imposed their will, but Penn had opportunities to make difference-making plays.
It started on the first drive of the game when the Quakers had a chance to stop Yale on a third-and-18 and limit the Bulldogs to a field-goal attempt.
Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings, however, completed a 20-yard pass to Reed Klubnik to the 4. Rawlings then ran in for a touchdown and the Bulldogs got a two-point conversion to lead 8-0.
"Those are the plays that you have to come up with," Priore said. "We're not making things easy on ourselves. Critical errors at critical times came back to hurt us. Our kids played hard and the effort was there. I think we have a good team, but I just feel like we haven't hit all strides, all cylinders."
A week ago in the 13-10 win over Columbia, Penn got just one touchdown on five trips into the red zone.
That bugaboo continued as the Quakers moved the ball to the Yale 13 yard line but ended settling for a 23-yard field goal.
"We've been having problems putting the ball in the end zone," Penn receiver Steve Farrell said. "You can't keep kicking field goals when the other team is scoring [touchdowns]."
On Yale's second drive, the Quakers again could not stop the Bulldogs on two third downs. The second came on a third-and-4 when Yale running back Alan Lamar ripped off a 47-yard touchdown run.
Lamar had his way against the Quakers, rushing for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
That really ended the game as Penn never found any kind of consistent effort.
The Quakers' highlight was a record-tying 99-yard touchdown drive that ended with Ryan Glover connecting with wide receiver Steve Farrell for a 9-yard score.
Penn looked to be gaining momentum at the time as it cut the deficit to 21-10 with just under four minutes left in the third quarter.
The Quakers got the ball back, but Glover could not handle a snap and the ball went out of the end zone for a safety and a 23-10 Bulldogs lead.
"Penn had some momentum going, and for us to get that safety and go up three scores was big," Yale coach Tony Reno said. "It's not easy to come into Franklin Field and get a win."