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Penn football preparing for potential ‘shootout’ against Brown

Penn's offense is coming off its best performance of the season, but the Quakers are hoping their defense can get stops against Brown.

The Quakers will look to capture their first Ivy League win of the season Saturday against Brown.
The Quakers will look to capture their first Ivy League win of the season Saturday against Brown.Read more / File Photograph

It’s usually said around the third quarter of a game.

Sometimes it takes a wild fourth quarter to realize it. Other times, the coaches and players know going into the game.

This game is going to come down to whoever has the ball last.

“You almost feel like you’re in quicksand. You just can’t find your way up out of it," Penn head coach Ray Priore said.

Penn was in one of those shootouts last weekend when they lost 46-41 to Yale. Each team had over 500 yards of offense and traded touchdowns until Nick Robinson threw a fourth-quarter interception.

As Penn (2-4, 0-3 Ivy) prepares to take on Brown (1-5, 0-3 Ivy), they’re expecting another shootout. Brown’s offense ran 103 plays in a 37-35 loss at Cornell last week.

Defensively, the Bears’ opponents are averaging 42 points per game, which is the most in the Ivy League. Penn is allowing 32.3 points, the second-most.

“They’re an explosive offensive team, and they’ve been in some shootouts this year. It’s going to be one of those games,” said Priore.

One turnover is all it took against Yale, and the Quakers were left to play catch up.

Defensively, there’s not much a coach can do in these types of games, but the tendency is to take more risks.

“You have to continue to execute all the way through and somehow, some way, someone will make a big play," Priore said. “A turnover, a tipped pass, somebody’s got to make a big play to get the ball back."

Offensively, the Quakers had their best game against Yale. In that game, they had three scoring drives that lasted more than 10 plays and five minutes.

“We have to keep our defense off the field by controlling the clock," Priore said.

The Quakers will host Brown Saturday at 1 p.m. at Franklin Field. Penn leads the series 61-23-2 all-time and won last year’s matchup, 13-7.

Saturday’s game will be the 1400th in the history of Penn football, which is the most in the nation.