Penn Quakers football

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Penn Quakers football
2015 Penn Quakers football team
Penn Quakers wordmark.png
First season 1876
Head coach Ray Priore
1st year, 7–3 (.700)
Stadium Franklin Field
Year built 1895
Seating capacity 52,593
Field surface SprinTurf
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Conference Ivy League
Past conferences Independent (1876–1956)
All-time record 832–489–42 (.626)
Bowl record 0–1–0 (.000)
Claimed nat'l titles Div. I FCS: 7[1]
Conference titles 17
Heisman winners (Alma Mater of John Heisman)
Consensus All-Americans 63
Fight song Fight on, Pennsylvania!
Mascot The Penn Quaker
Marching band The University of Pennsylvania Band
Rivals Princeton Tigers
Cornell Big Red
Harvard Crimson
Yale Bulldogs
Brown Bears
Dartmouth Big Green
Columbia Lions
Lafayette Leopards
Website Penn Football
File:Penn quakes football2 1878.jpg
One of the first teams of the University, 1878.

The Penn Quakers football team is the college football team at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Penn Quakers have competed in the Ivy League since its inaugural season of 1956, and are currently a Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Penn plays its home games at historic Franklin Field, the oldest stadium in football. All Penn games are broadcast on WNTP or WFIL radio.

Overall history

Penn bills itself as "college football's most historic program".[2] The Quakers have had 63 First Team All-Americans, and the college is the alma mater of John Heisman (the namesake of college football's most famous trophy). The team has won a share of 7 national championships (7th all-time) and competed in the "granddaddy of them all" (The Rose Bowl) in 1917. Penn's total of 824 wins puts them 10th all-time in college football (3rd in the FCS) and their winning percentage of 63.4% is 21st in college football (7th in the FCS). 18 members of the College Football Hall of Fame played at Penn (tied with Alabama for 14th) and 5 members of the College Football Hall of Fame coached at Penn. Penn has had 11 unbeaten seasons. Penn plays at the oldest stadium in college football, Franklin Field, at which they have had a 35-game home winning streak (1896–1899), which is the 15th best in the country, and at which they have had 23 unbeaten home seasons. Penn is one of the few college football teams to have had an exclusive contract with a network for broadcasting all their home games. For the 1950 season, ABC Sports broadcast all of Penn's home games. The only other teams to have exclusive contracts are Miami and Notre Dame. The Quakers competed as a major independent until 1956, when they officially joined the Ivy League, which holds the NCAA record for most national championships among its members.[citation needed]

NCAA television controversy

See: NCAA #Football television controversy

Ivy League

Penn joined the Ivy League in 1956 when it was formed. Penn won its 1st Ivy League Football Championship in 1959. It was not until 1982, 23 years later, that Penn would win its 2nd Ivy League Football Championship. Since that year Penn has become a dominant football power in the Ivy League. They are second in total Ivy League titles (17) and tied with Harvard in that category as Dartmouth has won 18 Ivy League Football Championships. Penn, however, is first in outright Ivy League titles (13), and first in undefeated Ivy League titles (8).

NCAA records

NCAA record for most college football games played - 1,363.
NCAA record for consecutive overtime losses - 3 games[3]

Ivy League records

Most outright Ivy League titles - 13 (1959, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012)
Highest number of unbeaten Ivy League seasons - 8 (1984, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010)
Longest Ivy League winning streak - 20 straight games (2001–2004). Penn also holds the next two longest Ivy League win streaks. (18 straight games - 2008-2011) and (17 straight games - 1992-1995).

Franklin Field

Penn's home stadium Franklin Field is not only the oldest stadium in football but holds many other records as well. It is the site of the oldest stadium scoreboard (1895), the "original horseshoe" (1903), the first college football radio broadcast (1922 on WIP), the first double-decker football stadium (1925), the largest stadium in the country (1925 to 1926), the first college football television broadcast (1940 on KYW-TV) and the first FCS stadium to host ESPN's College Gameday (2002).[citation needed]

National championships

Year Coach Record
1894 George Woodruff 12–0
1895 George Woodruff 14–0
1897 George Woodruff 15–0
1904 Carl "Cap" Williams 12–0
1907 Carl "Cap" Williams 11–1
1908 Sol Metzger 11–0–1
1924 Lou Young 9–1–1

Conference championships

Year Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1959 Steve Sebo 7–1–1 6–1
1982 Jerry Berndt 7–3 5–2 (shared title)
1983 Jerry Berndt 6–3–1 5–1–1 (shared title)
1984 Jerry Berndt 8–1 7–0
1985 Jerry Berndt 7–2–1 6–1
1986 Ed Zubrow 10–0 7–0
1988 Ed Zubrow 9–1 6–1 (shared title)
1993 Al Bagnoli 10–0 7–0
1994 Al Bagnoli 9–0 7–0
1998 Al Bagnoli 8–2 6–1
2000 Al Bagnoli 7–3 6–1
2002 Al Bagnoli 9–1 7–0
2003 Al Bagnoli 10–0 7–0
2009 Al Bagnoli 8–2 7–0
2010 Al Bagnoli 9–1 7–0
2012 Al Bagnoli 6–4 6–1
2015 Ray Priore 7–3 6–1 (shared title)

Penn in the AP Poll

Year Final AP Poll Ranking
1936 10
1940 14
1941 15
1943 20
1945 8
1946 13
1947 7

Bowl games

Season Date Bowl Location Result Opponent
1916–17 January 1 Rose Bowl Game Pasadena, California L 0–14 Oregon

Notable Quaker players

John Heisman - namesake of the Heisman Trophy, College Football Hall of Fame
John H. Outland - namesake of the Outland Trophy, College Football Hall of Fame
Chuck Bednarik - namesake of the Chuck Bednarik Award, 1948 Maxwell Award winner, Pro Football Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame
Bert Bell - former NFL commissioner, founder, owner & coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pro Football Hall of Fame
George H. Brooke - Twice All-America, College football Hall of Fame.
Truxton Hare - Consensus All-American every year he played, College Football Hall of Fame, winner of silver medal in the hammer throw at the 1900 Summer Olympics.
Alden Knipe - All-America, led team to 1894 national championship.
Leroy Mercer- All-America, College Football Hall of Fame, Olympic athlete
Skip Minisi - first-round NFL draft pick, College Football Hall of Fame
Bob Odell - 1943 Maxwell Award winner, College Football Hall of Fame
Reds Bagnell - 1951 Maxwell Award winner, All-American, runner up for the Heisman Trophy, College Football Hall of Fame Jim Finn - 1999, New York Giants starting full back in Super Bowl XLII Tom Gizzi - Arena Football League player

Individual award winners

Penn's total of three major award winners surpasses several BCS programs to this day. George Savitsky The only 4 time all- American in college football history

Bob Odell - 1943
Chuck Bednarik - 1948
Reds Bagnell - 1951
  • Ivy League Coach of the Year
Jerry Berndt - 1984
Ray Priore - 2015

College Football Hall of Fame

Eighteen former players have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[4]

Quakers in the NFL

A total of 51 players from Penn have been drafted in the NFL, including NFL Hall of Famers Chuck Bednarik (#1 overall pick in 1949) and Bert Bell (1963) and NFL first-round pick Skip Minisi.



Penn's rivalry with Cornell is the 5th-most played college football rivalry of all time, as the two have met 122 times. Their first game was in 1893 and have played every year since, except in 1918. Penn leads in the series, 71-46-5. Since the official formation of the Ivy League in 1956 Penn has won 30 games and Cornell has won 29 games. There was one tie (1974). Since 1982 Penn has won 23 games and Cornell has won 11 games. The winner is awarded the Trustee's Cup. Penn has won 14 times and Cornell has won 7 times since the Trustees Cup was first awarded in 1995.


Although Penn's rivalry with Princeton is primarily in basketball, the two also have a historic and intense football rivalry dating back to 1876. It is the 5th oldest football rivalry in the Ivy League. Princeton was Penn's first opponent in football and have played 107 times. Princeton won the first 28 games in this series but after Penn defeated Princeton in 1892 and again in 1894 the contest was suspended until 1935. Since then Penn has won 40 games and Princeton has won 35 games. There has been one tie (1942). Since the official formation of the Ivy League in 1956 Penn and Princeton have won 30 games each. Beginning in 2018 Penn and Princeton will play each other in their final game adding to the intensity between these arch rivals.


Penn's rivalry with Yale dates back to 1879. These two Ivy League universities have very historic football traditions. Yale defeated Penn 12 straight times between 1879 and 1893. The series was stopped and not resumed until 1925. After Penn defeated Yale at the Bowl that year, 16-13, the series was stopped again for nine years. When it was resumed for a second time in 1934 Yale won the first 4 contests but Penn came back to defeat Yale in the next 9 out of 10 games. The series since 1925 has been very closely fought with Penn victorious 35 times and Yale winning 35 times. There has been one tie (1977) in the 83 games played.


Since Brown's ascent to a perennial contender in the Ivy League in the late 1990s, the Penn-Brown game (first played in 1895) has had massive implications towards deciding the champion each year. The Quakers and Bears play at a pivotal time each year; the teams face off with just three games remaining on the Ivy League schedule, and both are typically still in the title hunt, leading to a hard-fought battle. Although Penn has a commanding lead in this 84 game series with Brown, 58-24-2, since 1982 Penn has won 22 games and Brown 11 games. There has been one tie (1983). In the last 20 games played since 1996 however, Penn and Brown have each won 10 games.


Penn's rivalry with Harvard dates back to 1881. In the first 18 games played in this 86 game series Harvard won 13 games to Penn's 5 victories. By 1958 Penn pulled even at 14 wins for each with one tie (1940). From 1959 thru 1981 Harvard dominated the series winning 20 games to Penn's 2 victories (1963 and 1972). There was one tie (1965). However, in recent years, the Penn-Harvard football game in mid-November has usually had Ivy League Football Championship connotations. Since 1982 Penn and Harvard have won the Ivy League Football Championship 28 times between them. Penn (16) and Harvard (12). Penn has been undefeated 8 times in the Ivy League and Harvard 6 times during that span. Since 1982 Penn has won 20 games against Harvard and Harvard has won 14 games against Penn.


Penn's rivalry with Dartmouth dates back to 1896. Penn leads in the 83 games played with 47 victories to 34 defeats. There has been 2 ties, (1916 and 1921). For most of the 83 games played Dartmouth has been Penn's first Ivy League contest of the season. Since the official formation of the Ivy League in 1956 Penn has won 32 games and Dartmouth has won 28 games. Since 1982 Penn has won 26 games and Dartmouth has won 8 games.


Penn's 2nd oldest football rival is Columbia. The Penn-Columbia rivalry began in 1878. It has been played 95 times with Penn holding a commanding lead in this series, 73 wins to 21 losses. There has been 1 tie ( 1878). Since the official formation of the Ivy League in 1956 Penn has won 44 contests and lost 16 contests. Since 1982 Penn has won 31 games and lost only 3 games. One of those Columbia victories (1995) however broke Penn's 24 game win streak, an Ivy League record for consecutive victories. Penn is currently on an 19 games win streak against Columbia, the longest against an annual opponent in the FCS.


Penn and Lafayette have played 90 games since their first meeting in 1882. Penn leads in the series 63-23-4. The Penn-Lafayette rivalry was one of the most fierce contests in college football during the 19th century, most notably the 1896 contest. In that game, Lafayette upset Penn 6-4, and eventually was named national champion, the first non-Ivy to win a national championship. Lafayette is one of Penn's primary non-Ivy games but they have not met since 2013.


Lehigh is also one of Penn's oldest opponents. They began playing football in 1885. In the 56 games played Penn has won 43 and Lehigh has won 13. Penn and Lehigh have not met since 2003 but will resume their non-conference series in 2016.


Bucknell and Penn first met in 1895. Penn leads in this non-conference series 29 wins to 5 losses. The last time these schools met was in 2010. Penn has won the last 6 games played. The Penn-Bucknell series will resume in 2018.

Notable games

Penn 23, Harvard 21

On November 13, 1982, Penn defeated Harvard 23-21 at Franklin Field. With this win, Penn clinched the Ivy League conference championship for 1982, their first in 23 years. Penn kicked a field goal in the last seconds to win. After a first field goal kick missed, a flag gave Penn a second attempt which they converted.

Penn 38, Harvard 7

On November 10, 1984, Penn defeated Harvard 38–7 at Franklin Field. 38,000 fans showed up to support Penn as they clinched a third straight Ivy League title. Head coach Jerry Berndt was named Ivy League Coach of the Year in large part because of this game.

Penn 30, Navy 26

On October 18, 1986, Penn defeated Navy 30-26 in front of Navy's Homecoming crowd. Penn finished the season undefeated at 10-0, 6-0 in the Ivy League for their 5th straight Ivy League title.[5]

Penn 17, Cornell 14

On November 20, 1993, Penn defeated Cornell 17–14 at Franklin Field. Penn was 9–0, 6–0 in the Ivy League coming into the game needing a victory to win the Ivy League and preserve an undefeated season. Cornell led 14–0 at halftime, but Penn did not let their rival score in the second half and won by a field goal.

Penn 18, Cornell 14

On November 19, 1994, Penn defeated Cornell 18–14 at Schoellkopf Field. Penn was 8–0, 6–0 in the Ivy League coming into the game for the second year in the row undefeated and needing to win to clinch an Ivy League title. Penn won a close road game over their chief rival to have back-to-back undefeated seasons.

Penn 44, Harvard 9

On November 16, 2002, Penn defeated Harvard 44–9 at Franklin Field. With this win, Penn clinched the Ivy League conference championship for 2002. This game was the site of ESPN's College Gameday program (the first time a FCS school had been the host). ESPN personality Lee Corso dressed up as Penn's founder founding father Benjamin Franklin (who is also the namesake of Franklin Field) and predicted (correctly) that Penn would win the game.

Penn 26, Princeton 23 (OT)

On November 7, 2015, Penn played archrival Princeton at Franklin Field in their Homecoming Game. In a hard fought contest that was tied 20-20 with four seconds left, Princeton had a FG blocked sending the game into overtime. In the OT Princeton converted a FG and Penn replied with a TD, winning the game, 26-23, keeping the Quakers in the Ivy League race.

Penn 35, Harvard 25

On November 14, 2015, Penn defeated 12th ranked Harvard 35-25 at Harvard Stadium. This win ended Harvard's 22-game winning streak; their first loss since October 26, 2013.[6] With this win, Penn improved to 6-3, 5-1 in the Ivy League, and with a 35-21 win in their next and final game against Cornell, were able to clinch a share of the Ivy League title along with Harvard and Dartmouth. The title capped a remarkable comeback season for Penn. After back-to-back losing seasons in 2013 and 2014, Penn started the 2015 season at 1-3, including a loss in their Ivy League opener, but rallied with 6 straight wins to end the season.


  1. "2011 Fact Book Penn Football" (PDF). Retrieved October 18, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Caldwell, Dave. "Penn Loses in Overtime for 3rd Game in a Row". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. See: Penn Quakers#Football.

External links