#37 Penn FCS Football 2012 Preview

Penn Quakers

Overall Rank: #37
#2 Ivy League
Penn FCS College Football 2012 Team Preview
Penn Team Page


Penn ended the 2011 campaign by uncharacteristically losing three of their last four games. That has many concerned that Quakers are falling, especially with the loss of some key defensive playmakers. However, if history has taught us anything, when perceived through the eyes of Ivy League football at least, it is that Penn never falls too far and they will be the team that can give Harvard a run for their money.

2011 Record: (5-5, 4-3)
2011 Postseason: None
Coach: Al Bagnoli (136-62 at Penn, 222-81 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jon McLaughlin
Defensive Coordinator: Ray Priore

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Brandon Colavita, RB, 665 yards
Passing: Billy Ragone, QB, 1,860 yards
Receiving: Ryan Mitchell, WR, 587 yards
Tackles: Brandon Copeland, DT, 51
Sacks: Brandon Copeland, DT, 2.0; David Park, LB, 2.0; Justyn Williams, CB, 2.0
Interceptions: Joe Holder, WR, 1; Daniel Ritt, S, 1

Other Key Returnees: OT Joe Bonadies, DT Taylor Brown, C Christopher Bush, WR Joe Holder, S Sebastian Jaskowski, LB Steve Lias, G Michael Pinciotti, S Dave Twamley

Key Losses: WR Ryan Calvert, S Matt Hamscher, LB Erik Rask, DE Jared Sholly

Even with the loss of two of Penn’s best tacklers in safety Matt Hamscher and linebacker Erik Rask, not to mention the best pass rusher in Jared Sholly, the Quakers defense should be better this season. That is because many of the other major contributors were pretty young by Ivy League standards and they will grow up and fill the void. It all starts up front where all-everything lineman Brandon Copeland is back to lead the entire defense. Copeland is a great run stuffer and will spend some time in the backfield too. With Taylor Brown back at nose guard, the Penn front line just needs to find somebody who can get into the backfield on a consistent basis. Linebacker David Park will help in that regard and Steve Lias is due for a breakout year if he can stay healthy. The secondary was the weak point last season and may be again with Hamscher gone. However, Dave Twamley, Seabastian Jaskowski, Daniel Ritt and Justyn Williams are not a bad group to build around.

The offense has so much more potential than what they showed last year. Quarterback Billy Ragone is now a senior and should start playing like one sooner or later. He is an accurate passer and a great rushing threat, but his interceptions proved to be a big problem. If he can keep those down, Penn will be looking at a much, much better record than 5-5. Ragone does lose his top receiving threat in Ryan Calvert, but Ryan Mitchell and Joe Holder are both more than capable of picking up the slack. Running back Brandon Colavita totaled 665 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in nine games last season. Jeff Jack and Lyle Marsh are also extremely experienced seniors who have had some big games throughout their careers. With a strong offensive line, led by tackle Joe Bonaides and center Christopher Bush, the ground game should be better than they were last season. But they should have been better last season too.

The Bottom Line:
This Penn team is all about potential. The offense has the experience, but has not put up the results. The defense has a little rebuilding to do but, for the most part, has kept the Quakers in a lot of games. The loss that started the late season slide was a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Brown. The defense cannot do much more than that. However, in the two other losses at the end of the 2011 season, the Penn defense did allow 37 and 48 points. Coach Al Bagnoli knows what needs to be done to get this group back towards the top of the Ivy League standings, but it remains to be seen if he really has the talent on his roster to do it.

Projected Postseason: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 145.90 (65th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 207.70 (58, 5)
Total Offense: 353.60 (62, 6)
Scoring Offense: 24.90 (66, 3)
Rushing Defense: 117.10 (16, 2)
Pass Defense: 222.00 (84, 3)
Total Defense: 339.10 (31, 3)
Scoring Defense: 25.20 (51, 4)
Turnover Margin: -.30 (77, 5)
Sacks: 2.20 (42, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.40 (33, 3)

Madness 2012 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#2 Cameron Countryman
#53 Jack York
#60 Tyler Drake
#125 Alex Matthews
#157 Andrew Lisa