Five Penn players named first team All-Ivy

The Ivy League office today announced its All-Ivy teams, and five Penn players were named to the first team: DL Brandon Copeland, P Scott Lopano, OL Joe Bonadies, LB Dan Davis and DB Sebastian Jaskowski.

This is Copeland's third time on the first-team, something only 39 other players have done in the past (Brown DB AJ Cruz also earned his third first-team nod). He has a shot at being named one of the defensive finalists for Ivy Player of the Year, which will be announced next Tuesday.

None of Penn's first-team picks were unanimous selections. Also, Penn was outdone in first-team picks by Harvard, which had 10 first team All-Ivy nods and 19 total.

Eight others were named to the second team or honorable mention. Click the jump to see those: Continue reading

Three Up, Three Down: Columbia Edition

Last week’s predictions were hit and miss. We definitely got a heavy dose of short passes last week, but we did not see as much from Andrew Holland as expected. No QBs in this week’s list though:

Three Up-

Scott Lopano:  This one’s more of a no-brainer than you might think.  Lopano ranks seventh in the nation  in punting average with 43.9 yards per punt this year, including two over 50 yards.  He has pinned eight of his 18 punts inside the 20-yard line.  If Lopano is able to routinely pin Columbia’s anemic offense  deep in its own territory, it could be lights out for the Lions pretty quickly.

Ryan Mitchell: With Joe Holder out for the year and Conner Scott routinely drawing double coverages, look for Mitchell to get more touches in the passing game. Mitchell currently ranks fourth on the team in receiving yards and is tied for fourth in receptions with Holder. Columbia ranks sixth in passing defense and seventh in passing defense efficiency, so you’d expect Mitchell to take on a more prominent role against the Lions this week.

Sebastian Jaskowski: Jaskowski leads all Ivy defensive backs in tackles and ranks sixth in tackles overall.  He’s been a steady hand in what has often been a shaky secondary this season, and it’s hard to imagine him getting burned much by the worst passing offense in the conference.

Three Down-

Pass protection:  The Lions have three players with at least two sacks this year, led by 2010 and 2011 All-Ivy senior defensive end Josh Martin. Columbia ranks third in the Ivy League in sacks, and Penn allowed four sacks last week to William & Mary. One of the few feasible ways Columbia can pull off the upset is to get consistent pressure from up front on Ragone and benefit from resulting turnovers.

Lyle Marsh as a receiver: Offensive coordinator Jon McLaughlin told me this week that he wants to see more downfield success in the passing game in addition to the high-percentage throws Ragone seems most comfortable throwing.  This game is the perfect opportunity to hook up with receivers who can extend the field like Conner Scott, but it might mean less touches for Marsh as a receiver.  William & Mary blitzed often last week, making Marsh a great safety valve for Ragone to throw to. (Marsh had eight receptions for 47 yards.)  But seven of Columbia’s 11 sacks this season have come from the defensive line, suggesting that the Lions may not have to blitz so much to get pressure.  With Penn potentially looking downfield more and Columbia not likely to sell out with the blitz, Marsh’s value as a receiver diminishes.

Kick returners:  Dan Wilk and Dexter Davis may not get a lot of kickoffs to return because the odds are that the Lions won’t be scoring very much.  In this case, kick returners being down means the rest of the team is up.

 

Three Up, Three Down: The William & Mary Edition

Once again we predict three players whose stock will rise and three players whose stock will fall over the course of Penn’s clash with the Tribe on Saturday:

Three Up —

Andrew Holland: Penn will fight hard to win Saturday, but this game is about staying healthy as much as it is getting a ‘W'. Thus you can expect to see a heavier dose of Holland under center than usual this week as coach Al Bagnoli has always been quick to point out the “bumps and bruises” Ragone endures due to his hybrid style. William & Mary safeties Ivan Tagoe and Brian Thompson each have two interceptions and the team has seven picks total in just five games this season, and no matter who the Penn QB is, the Tribe is going to force the Quakers to go deep. Enter Holland.

Dan Wilk: If only because he’s “up” every game. Last week he led the Quakers with eight tackles and registered a sack, one of only four Penn has notched all season. He also has one of only two Penn interceptions so far in 2012. Wilk is also the only defensive back with a sack and simply one of the few explanations in an otherwise weak secondary for Penn’s No. 1-ranked pass defense among Ivies. (Yes, it's true.) There’s no reason why Wilk’s solid play shouldn’t continue against William & Mary’s strained aerial attack.  Continue reading