Ivy O-Penn-er Televised Nationally on ESPNU

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By: Rick Bender

DARTMOUTH (2-0, 0-0)
at PENN (1-1, 0-0)

Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 | 7 PM | ESPNU
Franklin Field | Philadelphia, Pa.

One team has won each of its first two games going away. The other has split its two with each game decided by four points or less. And the two are tied for the most Ivy League titles with 18, looking to gain an edge toward winning another championship on national television.

Dartmouth has made winning look easy to start the 2019 campaign, outscoring the opposition by a 73-9 margin with a defense that leads the FCS in fewest points allowed. Last week, the Big Green handled Colgate — a team that reached the FCS quarterfinals last year — in the first meeting between the two in eight years. The 38-3 final provided the largest margin of victory for either team over the other in their 26-game history.

It was a breakout game for QB Jared Gerbino, who is quickly shedding his ‘wildcat quarterback’ label this season. The senior completed 12-of-16 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns, all of which are career highs. The 193 yards more than triple what he had amassed in any game previously.

Gerbino showed he could throw the ball downfield after throwing for a mere 39 yards on eight completions in the opener as he completed five passes of at least 30 yards, three of which put points on the board. Sophomore TE Robbie Mangas had three of those 30-plus yard grabs, including a 34-yard touchdown. The first score came on a 30-yard toss to WR Hunter Hagdorn, and the longest of the night was a perfectly placed throw in the end zone to WR Drew Estrada from 40 yards out.

While not one Big Green runner had even 50 yards on the ground, Dartmouth still managed 175 with RB Dakari Falconer racking up 49 on six carries, all during the 97-yard, fourth-quarter march for the final touchdown. Zack Bair added 40 on six carries plus caught a team-high five passes for 41 yards, while Caylin Parker ran for a 4-yard score among his 37 yards.

The defense was just as impressive, denying Colgate the chance to move the chains on fourth down four different times. DL Jackson Perry was in on three of those tackles, two of which were sacks. Dartmouth as a team got to the Raider QB four times after coming up empty at Jacksonville in the season opener.

Although the Big Green D was on the field for 35 minutes, they played fresh the entire game with Buddy Teevens — who needs two more wins to reach 100 at Dartmouth — shuttling in numerous players throughout the night. A total of 24 players had at least one tackle with Perry leading the way with nine and LB Jack Traynor and CB Isaiah Johnson adding eight apiece.

As much as the offensive line was a question mark prior to the season with four starters having graduated, place kicking was an unknown as well. Connor Davis, who had some difficulties with the duties last year as a freshman, has started his sophomore season strong, converting all 10 PAT opportunities and also booting a 39-yard field goal last week as time expired for halftime. His performance garnered him the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week, Dartmouth’s first such honor in just over two years.
 

Dartmouth vs. Penn
36-48-2
Oct. 10, 1896 A 0 16 L
Oct. 16, 1897 A 0 34 L
Nov. 8, 1913 A 34 21 W
Nov. 14, 1914 A 41 0 W
Nov. 6, 1915 B1 7 3 W
Nov. 11, 1916 A 7 7 T
Nov. 10, 1917 B2 0 7 L
Nov. 28, 1918 A 0 21 L
Nov. 8, 1919 NY 20 19 W
Nov. 13, 1920 A 44 7 W
Nov. 12, 1921 NY 14 14 T
Oct. 15, 1932 A 7 14 L
Oct. 21, 1933 A 14 7 W
Oct. 9, 1943 A 6 7 L
Oct. 7, 1944 A 6 20 L
Oct. 6, 1945 A 0 12 L
Oct. 12, 1946 A 6 39 L
Oct. 11, 1947 H 0 32 L
Oct. 2, 1948 A 13 26 L
Oct. 1, 1949 A 0 21 L
Oct. 14, 1950 A 26 42 L
Oct. 6, 1951 A 14 39 L
Oct. 4, 1952 A 0 7 L
Oct. 6, 1956 A 7 14 L
Oct. 5, 1957 A 6 3 W
Oct. 4, 1958 H 13 12 W
Oct. 3, 1959 A 0 13 L
Oct. 1, 1960 H 15 0 W
Oct. 7, 1961 A 30 0 W
Oct. 6, 1962 H 17 0 W
Oct. 5, 1963 A 28 0 W
Nov. 21, 1964 A 27 7 W
Oct. 9, 1965 H 24 19 W
Nov. 19, 1966 A 40 21 W
Oct. 14, 1967 H 23 0 W
Nov. 23, 1968 A 21 26 L
Oct. 11, 1969 H 41 0 W
Nov. 21, 1970 A 28 0 W
Oct. 9, 1971 H 19 3 W
Nov. 25, 1972 A 31 17 W
Oct. 13, 1973 H 16 22 L
Nov. 23, 1974 A 20 27 L
Oct. 11, 1975 H 19 14 W
Sept. 18, 1976 H 20 0 W
Nov. 12, 1977 A 3 7 L
Sept. 23, 1978 H 31 21 W
Nov. 17, 1979 A 20 6 W
Sept. 20, 1980 H 40 7 W
Nov. 21, 1981 A 33 13 W
Sept. 18, 1982 H 0 21 L
Nov. 19, 1983 A 14 38 L
Sept. 22, 1984 H 24 55 L
Nov. 23, 1985 A 14 19 L
Sept. 20, 1986 H 7 21 L
Nov. 21, 1987 A 7 49 L
Sept. 17, 1988 H 27 33 L
Nov. 18, 1989 A 24 0 W
Sept. 15, 1990 H 6 16 L
Sept. 21, 1991 A 21 15 W
Sept. 19, 1992 H 36 17 W
Sept. 18, 1993 A 6 10 L
Sept. 24, 1994 H 11 13 L
Sept. 16, 1995 A 12 20 L
Sept. 21, 1996 H 24 22 W
Sept. 20, 1997 A 23 15 W
Sept. 19, 1998 H 14 17 L
Sept. 18, 1999 A 6 17 L
Sept. 30, 2000 A 14 48 L
Sept. 29, 2001 H 20 21 L
Oct. 5, 2002 A 14 49 L
Oct. 4, 2003 H 20 33 L
Oct. 2, 2004 A 0 35 L
Oct. 1, 2005 H 9 26 L
Sept. 30, 2006 A 10 17 L
Sept. 29, 2007 H 21 13 W
Oct. 4, 2008 A 10 23 L
Oct. 3, 2009 H 24 30 L
Oct. 2, 2010 (ot) A 28 35 L
Oct. 1, 2011 H 20 22 L
Sept. 29, 2012 H 21 28 L
Oct. 5, 2013 (4ot) A 31 37 L
Oct. 4, 2014 H 31 13 W
Oct. 3, 2015 A 41 20 W
Sept. 30, 2016 H 24 37 L
Sept. 29, 2017 A 16 13 W
Sept. 29, 2018 H 37 14 W
Oct. 4, 2019 A
Average Score 17 18
Total points: Dartmouth 1498, Penn 1579
B1-Boston (Fenway Park) ~ B2-Boston (Braves Field) ~ NY-New York, N.Y. (Polo Grounds)

Scouting the Quakers
Penn’s season-opening loss was perhaps more impressive than its victory last week as the Quakers were nipped by a single point at Delaware, a team which is currently ranked in the top 20 in the national FCS polls. But last week Penn held off a winless Lafayette team on the road by a mere four points.

Marching the ball up and down the field has not been a problem as the Quakers average nearly 500 yards a game. Nick Robinson lines up behind center, throwing for 463 yards at a nearly 70 percent completion rate with five touchdowns and one pick.

The running game belongs to Karekin Brooks, who leads the nation in rushing by a wide margin, averaging 180 yards, including his third career 200-yard game (202) last week. He hasn’t had much luck with the Big Green defense in the past, however, with 106 rushing yards and one touchdown on 27 carries in three games against Dartmouth. And he has had only one run longer than nine yards (11), that coming as a freshman.

Ryan Cragun does the yeoman’s work among the receivers with 16 grabs for 273 yards and two TDs. The next leading receiver is Tyler Herrick with eight catches for 75 yards, and Brooks has hauled in six throws out of the backfield.

Penn has been quite good against the run, yielding just 102 yards per game, but the opposition has averaged over 270 yards through the air at a 68 percent completion rate. Linebackers Zach Evans (16 tackles) and Brian O’Neill (14) are generally in the middle of the action, with the latter registering a pair of sacks. All of that passing has helped the Quakers lead the FCS in sacks per game (5.0) with nine different players having a hand in that number.

The kicking game features David Perkins who has converted all 7 PATs but missed his lone field goal attempt, Jake Haggard who boomed a pair of punts over 50 yards last week, and Drew Brennan on kicking off, though he performed the punting duties in week one.

Ray Priore, in his fifth year at the helm of the Quakers, earned the Ivy League Coach of the Year award in his first season and led the Quakers to a share of the conference crown in each of his first two years. This is his 33rd season on the Penn staff, helping secure 10 Ivy titles in 28 seasons as an assistant with his last 16 as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

Last Year Against Penn
Dartmouth jumped out to a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter before the Quakers closed the gap to six points shortly before halftime. But the second half was painted Green as Derek Kyler threw three TD passes and Connor Davis booted a career-long 44-yard field goal before Penn tacked on an inconsequential touchdown in the final 20 seconds. Kyler finished the game with 221 passing yards on 18-of-21 throws, and the Big Green racked up 186 yards on the ground as well despite not one player collecting more than 37.

The last game at Franklin Field was a bit more memorable as Dartmouth came away victorious on the game’s final play. Trailing 13-10 with 5:37 to go, the Green traversed 80 yards in 15 plays, the last being a one-yard bull run into the end zone by Jared Gerbino for a 16-13 victory as time expired.

The Series
• Penn holds a 48-36-2 advantage all-time against the Big Green.
• Buddy Teevens is 6-12 against the Quakers overall with a 4-6 mark at Franklin Field.
• Penn coach Ray Priore is 1-3 versus Dartmouth.
• Since Ivy play officially began in 1956, Penn holds a 33-30 advantage. Dartmouth won 20 of the first 26 games before Penn took 26 of the next 32, but the Green have since won four of the last five meetings.
• The Quakers own the longest winning streak in the series at 11 games from 1942-56.
• Dartmouth is 17-31-1 at Franklin Field but have won its last two contests at the venue.

15 Straight Non-League Victories
With the 38-3 win over Colgate last week, Dartmouth has now won its last 15 non-conference games dating back to the 2014 season, beginning with a 24-21 victory over Holy Cross. It is the longest such win streak for the Big Green during the Ivy League era that began in 1956. You would have to go back to the 1922-28 seasons to find a longer win streak against teams that did not eventually form the Ivy league — nearly twice that of the current streak (26). Oh, and the last five wins in the streak have been by a combined 190-23 tally.

Putting on the Wins
Since the start of the 2014 season, Dartmouth was won 40 games and lost only 12, the best overall record amongst Ivy League teams in that span, two games ahead of Harvard. The Crimson has a slight edge in conference games (26-10 compared to the Big Green’s 24-11), but Dartmouth has won eight or more contests in four of the last five years; no other Ancient Eight squad has accomplished that more than twice.

Outside Looking In
Dartmouth finds itself pressing its nose against the window of the STATS FCS Top 25 poll as the Green are listed as the first team among the others receiving votes. The team just ahead of them happens to be Princeton, the only Ivy League team in the top 25. Last year, Dartmouth ended the season 18th in the STATS poll and 15th in the coaches’ poll.

Special Teams Player of the Week
Thanks to a perfect night kicking the football against Colgate, Connor Davis was selected as the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week. The sophomore (and son of the 1993 Lou Groza Award winner as college football’s best kicker, Judd Davis) converted all of his PATs as well as his lone field goal attempt from 39 yards as time expired in the first half. He is not just the first Big Green player to earn the honor in two years, but first Dartmouth place kicker to be honored since Alex Gakenheimer in November of 2014.

Buddying Up to 100 Victories
With the 2-0 start to the 2019 season, Buddy Teevens enters the Ivy League opener with a 98-92-2 record at Dartmouth, leaving him two wins shy of 100. Only one other Big Green coach has won more than 60 games at the helm of the program, that being the legendary Bob Blackman, whose name also graces the endowed coaching position inhabited by Teevens. Blackman won 104 contests, so if Dartmouth can at least repeat its record from a year ago, Teevens would surpass Blackman as the school’s winningest football coach.

Defensive Domination
After two games, Dartmouth leads the FCS in fewest points allowed (4.5 per game), a year after finishing second in the category (12.0). The Big Green also rank in the top 10 in passing yards allowed (126.5, second), red zone defense (50.0 percent, second), total defense (287.5, ninth) and team passing efficiency defense (108.46, 10th).

Gerbino Lets It Fly
Entering the game with just 22 completions and 210 yards to his ledger in 18 games at quarterback, Jared Gerbino was given the opportunity to air it out against Colgate, and he did with great success. The former wildcat QB connected on 12-of-16 throws for 193 yards and three touchdowns, all three of which went for at least 30 yards. All told, five of his passes went for 30 or more yards, the longest a 40-yard bomb in the end zone to WR Drew Estrada. His pass efficiency rating of 207.36 and completion percentage (74.1) would both rank second in the FCS, but he is three pass attempts shy of the minimum qualification.

Mangas Hits 100
Sophomore TE Robbie Mangas got a chance to dip his toes into the receiving waters last year, catching five passes for 80 yards as a rookie. Against Colgate, he surpasses that yardage on just three catches of 34, 35 and 36 yards. The “short” one took him to the end zone, and his 105 yards gave Dartmouth a 100-yard receiver for the second straight week and matched the team’s 100-yard receiving games from last season — two.

Perry Plugs the Gaps
Colgate attempted six fourth-down plays on Sept. 28, and four times the Big Green defense was up to the task. More often than not, it was DL Jackson Perry that stood in the way of the Raiders picking up a first down as he made a stop on three of those four denials — all in the first half — including two sacks. The last of the three tackles was a 7-yard sack as he swatted the ball loose, which LB Naeem Morgan scooped up and set up the field goal as the half expired. Perry’s work garnered him the DartmouthSports.com Cape Air Male Athlete of the Week honor.

Running the Wealth
The Dartmouth running game, which ranked 12th in the FCS last year at over 250 yards a game, is piling up the yards once again (208.0 per game, 23rd nationally). But the Big Green don’t feature a workhorse like Penn’s Karekin Brooks. Instead, Dartmouth has five players averaging between 26 and 50 yards per game, led by junior Dakari Falconer. He led the Green on the ground against Colgate on a mere six carries totaling 49 yards — all of which came during one possession in the fourth quarter.

Semifinalist for Campbell Trophy
Linebacker Jack Traynor was named as one of the semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, known as the academic Heisman for college football. The fifth-year senior is an engineering major with a 3.68 GPA and twice has been named to each of the All-Ivy League First Team (unanimously), the Academic All-Ivy League Fall Team and the FCS Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. He celebrated the honor by collecting his 200th career tackle with his first of eight stops in the 38-3 win over Colgate. Traynor is the first Big Green player with 200 tackles in a career in six years.

Swann Song
Preseason All-America CB Isiah Swann has yet to make his 2019 debut, having sat out the first two games while nursing a minor injury. The senior is tied for the Dartmouth record for career interceptions with 13 after leading all of Division I (FBS and FCS) last year with nine picks. Though his services have not been needed in the first two games as the Big Green shut down the opposing passing games, he is expected to play — will be a welcome addition to the defensive backfield — against the Quakers.

Shut-Down Defense
A year ago, Dartmouth had one of the best defenses in the FCS, ranking second in the country in fewest points allowed per game (12.0) and rushing average (79.7). That defense has led to opponents finding it difficult to rack up big numbers. Not one opposing player has run for 100 yards in a game in the last 22 games, and only one amassed 100 receiving yards in a contest last year. Also, no quarterback threw for 300 yards against the Dartmouth defense in 2018. Here are the most recent players to top those marks against the Big Green D:
 

100 Rushing Yards
Charlie Voelker, Princeton (111) Nov. 19, 2016
100 Receiving Yards
Reid Klubnik, Yale (124) Oct. 5, 2018
300 Passing Yards
Chad Kanoff, Princeton (444) Nov. 18, 2017
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