If today doesn't scream Ivy League football, I don't know what does. The sun is shining, it's a crisp 60 degrees outside, the leaves on campus are turning, and we've got a showdown a Franklin Field with two 2-0 Ivy teams. So I asked the roundtable crew to give me two keys to the this crucial game.
Brian Kotloff: Well, I wrote my whole preview on Yale QB Patrick Witt, so I'll say he holds the key to this game. I think the Quakers need to get an early lead and control possession with the run game to force Yale to abandon the run. A passing attack like Yale's is just so much easier to defend without the threat of the run. Then, I think Penn needs to apply pressure up front, so I see DL Brandon Copeland as a huge factor in this one. Penn should hope to hurry Witt without having to blitz, so it can keep the defensive backs in coverage in order to defend the Bulldogs' spread offense. If Witt can sit comfortably in the pocket all day, the Quakers could be in trouble.
Kevin Esteves: Right, Penn will have to pressure Witt, and at the same time, their secondary will have to be in lockdown-mode. Coach Bagnoli admitted in Kotloff's preview that Witt makes it hard on the secondary because you have to defend the whole field. That could spell trouble for the Quakers, as Penn's own secondary has been burned repeatedly in the team's first few games. They'll need a big performance from a guy like Justyn Williams.
Calder Silcox: Penn's pass defense may not be great, but Yale's is worse. The key to this game won't be Penn's defense. I think this game could be a shootout, and the Billy Ragone connection to Ryan Calvert and Ryan Mitchell will be key. Assuming Penn can open up the game on the ground, that is. My second key, assuming this does, in fact, become a high scoring affair, will be the foot of Connor Loftus.
Megan Soisson: Brian stole my thunder. I spoke with Brandon Copeland yesterday and he had an awesome perspective on playing his position. He said what he loves about defense is the mentality of always trying to get to the QB and force turnovers — as if the ball is his for the taking. If Cope (or anyone for that matter) can get to Witt and put some pressure on him, the Quakers will be in good shape. Offensively, a balanced attack is key. Penn has improved on that in the last few games, and they've had success.
You can follow our liveblog right here on The Buzz, starting just before kickoff at 12:00 p.m.