HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Penn.
Penn (6-4 IN 2017)
Ivy League (Penn was 4th in 2017)
COACH: Ray Priore – 4th year (20-10)
2017 OFFENSE: 29.8 ppg. (35th in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 25.7 ppg. (59th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Despite losing its top quarterback to graduation and Justin Watson to the NFL, Penn seems well-positioned for another top-half finish in the ever-competitive Ivy League. The strength of Penn's team has been, and will continue to be, a forceful run game. The Quakers, who ranked 20th nationally in rush yards per game last season, return a pair of All-Conference linemen as well talented junior Karekin Brooks, which should form the foundation of the 2018 offense. Even conservative production from the quarterback position would give Penn a steady enough offense to win most of its conference games in 2017.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Penn won't be the favorite to win the Ivy League, but it certainly has the schedule to make things awfully interesting. After an intriguing September schedule that concludes with a road game at Dartmouth, the Quakers should be favored to win nearly every game remaining on the schedule. That includes a home game with conference favorite Yale, which will feature a must-see tailback duel between Brooks and Zane Dudek. Even if UPenn loses that first Ivy game at Dartmouth, the Quakers could realistically win out. A 6-1 conference record would almost certainly give Penn a share of its 19th Ivy League Title, though a 5-2/4-3 record feels a bit more likely.
TOP RETURNEE: LB Nick Miller (First-Team All-Ivy, Led League with 104 Tackles).
THE NEXT FIVE: DB Sam Philippi (Second-Team All-Ivy in '16 and '17); OL Tommy Dennis (Second-Team All-Ivy, 20 Career Starts, 10 at LT in '17); RB Karekin Brooks (All-Ivy HM, Set UPenn's Single-Season Record with 6.7 YPC); LB/DB Jay Cammon Jr. (All-Ivy HM, 50 tackles in '17); OL Greg Begnoche (All-Ivy HM, 10 starts at RT in '17).
TOP NEWCOMER: DL Cortez Alston (Georgia Tech Transfer).
DID YOU KNOW?: UPenn's Franklin Field, which was built in 1895, is the oldest stadium in America that's still currently in use.
THE QUOTE: "I am thrilled to be able to add an experienced coach like Hank Hughes to our staff at this time. He has seen it all in collegiate football and produced elite defensive players at every stop. I've known Hank for many years, and he's passionate about the game and getting the most out of each student-athlete he coaches. He's won championships and produced Top-10 defenses throughout his career, and we look forward to him joining our staff." -Head Coach Ray Priore, after hiring new Defensive Line coach Hank Hughes in mid-July.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
THE HASHTAG: #ChampionYourLife + #UPrising
FOOTBALL TWITTER: @PENNfb
A Proud Moment For Penn Football As Sam Philippi Has Been Chosen As A Nominee For the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team!
— ????Penn Football ???? (@PENNfb) July 17, 2018