Game Four Liveblog: Penn vs. Fordham at Lehigh (NIT Tip-Off Tourney)

I'm here with Allison Bart at Lehigh as Penn (1-3) takes on Fordham (0-3) in the consolation bracket of the NIT TipOff Tournament. The Quakers are fresh off a two-point loss to Drexel on Saturday.

Penn FB coach Al Bagnoli interview with CBS Philly

Katie Rubin/DP

Katie Rubin/DP

The Quakers are already looking ahead to this weekend's matchup with Columbia in NYC, but here are some extra tidbits from last week's 35-20 win over Fordham.

  • Penn coach Al Bagnoli speaks about the improvement the team has showed in this interview with CBS Philly, but he is still concerned about his team giving up too many big plays.
  • Speaking of Bagnoli, the coach said in his weekly media conference that junior running back Lyle Marsh has suffered a broken ankle and is done for the season. Check out Cal's post below for more info.
  • Lastly, in case you missed the game, here's what you need to get caught up on the team: staff writer Aaron Campbell's recap and assistant sports ed. Mike Wisniewski's column on how Penn made great strides against the Rams.

Liveblog: Penn football vs. Fordham

Coming off an exciting win at Dartmouth last week, Penn returns to Franklin Field tonight for some Fall Break action against Fordham (1-3). The Quakers (1-2, 1-0 Ivy) get a break from defending the 16-game Ivy win streak. Penn is winless at the Frank so far this season and Fordham is winless on the road, so something's gotta give tonight. Bringing you the action from the north side of Franklin Field are Aaron Campbell and Mike Wisniewski:

SATURDAY ROUNDTABLE: 'how should Al Bagnoli use this last non-conference game?'

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Saturday Roundtable: Out of conference

The Quakers are back at Franklin Field for a final non-conference tune-up before the six-game Ivy stretch to close out the year. Without worries of an Ivy League winning streak in the back of their mind, the players and coaches can use this game to rest, to go hard, to solidify things or to make necessary tweaks. So I asked my panel of experts, which this week includes the talented Mr. Bradford Blackmon: If you are Al Bagnoli, how do you use this last non-conference tune up before the Ivy stretch?

MeganMegan Soisson: Coach Bagnoli saw a lot from his team last week against Dartmouth — a defense that made some big plays and an offense that ran a successful two-minute drill — so as far as tune-ups, he's in decent position this week. I would think Bagnoli could use this week to gain some confidence for Ragone and his receivers. This non-conference game coming off an improved showing last week can be a great opportunity to establish a rhythm in the passing game. If it doesn't take off, Bagnoli can go back to the run without consequence, but if it works, Penn can feel good entering Ivies with another threat.

KevinKevin Esteves: Yeah, I don't think it's one particular facet of the game — Penn just needs to dominate. Say Penn beats Fordham, yet it's close throughout. Then the Quakers are getting back into the Ivy season with a narrow win over Dartmouth and what would be an underwhelming win over Fordham on their resumes. Not the biggest confidence builders. The Red and Blue, if they do have that championship moxie, understand they have to take care of business to stay on the right trajectory, so that will be the priority.

kotloffBrian Kotloff: I'd use the first half to assert my team's dominance over Fordham. Pound the rock nonstop and play physical defense, and hopefully the Rams will cave. I'd use the second half more for experimentation. Loosen the reins on Ragone and test the limits of what he's capable of. What I have in mind is the Princeton game last year — obviously, Fordham is a much tougher team than Princeton, but Bagnoli employed Aaron Bailey on some creative plays for the first time and took a lot of shots downfield. If the team can handle some more complex plays, it will be that much better heading into Ivy season.

calCalder Silcox: First, let me say that I am permanently banning the word "moxie" from this blog forever. In general, I'm with Kotloff here. Work with what will be the gameplan for the rest of the season and tighten any loose screws. This Fordham team prefers to move the ball through the air, so it will be a great chance for Penn's defensive backs to get better reads on a passing offense and close the gaps for big plays that have plagued them. I'd like to see more time for some of the second stringers just so they have some live snaps. There will be injuries as the season wears on, so it will be good for guys in every area who might not have had much playing time so far.

BradfordBlackmonBradford Blackmon: If I'm Al Bagnoli I'm taking this as a chance to get the teams' confidence at a high level. Try to dominate the game in all facets: offense, defense, and special teams. Don't hold anything back. Let the team know that you can not take this game lightly especially after coming off an emotional last second win like last week. It'd be easy to come out flat with no energy and let the game slip away. It's imperative to take care of teams you are supposed to beat, the way you are supposed to beat them, and that is convincingly.

If you're not on campus this fall break, be sure to follow our liveblog right here on The Buzz, starting just before kickoff at 6 p.m.