Spotlight On. . .penn-harvard

Posted: November 12, 2009

For the Ivy League championship.

In Al Bagnoli's first 12 seasons, the Quakers won six of them. But there's been none since 2003, as the program tried to recover from the tragedy of Kyle Ambrogi's suicide in October 2005.

"Honestly, when you look back on it, for 2 years we couldn't get out of our way," Bagnoli said. "We were rocked a little bit, as is anyone who's gone through that.

"When Northwestern lost a player, it took them 3 or 4 years to get over it. It'll be interesting to see how [Connecticut] does. It's a little crazy. I hope nobody has to experience it.

"It doesn't end in a week, a month or a year."

Last year the Quakers had a chance to get a share of the title at home but lost to Harvard by three.

They missed a short field goal and had two end-zone interceptions, one at the end when they were in field-goal range.

The Crimson has finished first 2 straight years, and 3 of the last 5.

"Hopefully we're peaking at the right time, which is what you try to do," said Bagnoli, who's probably done one of his better jobs given all of the injuries. "It's nice to be back and playing in these type of games, whether you're home or away. You really don't care."

Penn, which has won six in a row, gets quarterback Keiffer Garton back after a three-game absence. He won't start, but provides a change-of-pace running dimension at the position that can't hurt.

"You want to win it for a lot of reasons, but certainly for [the seniors]," Bagnoli said. "We don't have a lot of them, but the ones we do have had a tremendous impact on the program.

"They've invested so much, left it in much better shape. I think we're heading in the right direction. We've got the pieces, not only for this year but futuristically.

"Last year, we let an opening get away. We've got a lot of the same kids playing in the same game. That's the position you want to put yourself in."

- Mike Kern

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