Dolphins not sure what to expect from Penn

Ulysses Bryant (Photo by Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)
Ulysses Bryant (Photo by Skip Tapp - Widespread Photography)

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The JU football team plays host to its first-ever Ivy League school Saturday and knowing what to expect from Penn would be nice. Unfortunately, the Dolphins aren't quite sure what the Quakers might come up with for the 1 p.m. Military Appreciation Day game at D. B. Milne Field.

Why JU (1-1) is on the edge of its seat is Penn has yet to play a game, therefore, there is no current film to watch. Ivy League schools play 10 games a season, thus the comparatively late start.

"We know what they've done in the past, but they have a pretty new quarterback (Alek Torgerson) and a running back (Lyle Marsh) who missed all last season so they might change things up,'' JU coach Kerwin Bell said.

Torgerson, a sophomore, played in one game last season, the season-ender against Cornell, and was 6-for-10 passing for 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His longest completion was 45 yards.

"He's young but from everything we understand he's going to be a good one,'' Bell, who with his next win will have his 50th at JU, said.

Also returning is senior running back Lyle Marsh, who missed all last season, and his backup, Kyle Wilcox, who ran for 493 yards last year.

Penn is coming off a 4-6 record, an unusual below .500 mark for legendary coach Al Bagnoli who is in his 23rd and last season for the Quakers.

"They're like us in that they had kind of an off year last year but they are a championship program,'' Bell said. "They won the Ivy League in 2012 and won three of four titles between 2009 and 2012.''

Bagnoli's teams have won a record nine Ivy League titles and he is one of only six FCS coaches with more than 200 wins. In a 32-year coaching career, he is 232-91.

While this is the first meeting for the Dolphins against an Ivy League school, the Pioneer Football League has won three times against the Ivy since 2000. The last time it happened was in 2006 when San Diego beat Yale, 43-17.

JU is looking to pick up its second win of the season as the Dolphins beat San Diego, 35-18, last week in both the home-opener and the PFL opener.

In that game, sophomore running back Ulysses Bryant (Jacksonville, Fla.) ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns as was named PFL Player of the Week.

As part of the game-day atmosphere, the Dolphins will play hold Military Appreciation Day. The JU Navy ROTC will play host to 14 NJROTC units with more than 400 cadets for a tour of the campus, lunch, and the game. 

The game can be heard on 92.7FM with Scott Manze and David Lamm on the call.