Penn football season ends with 42-14 loss to Ivy League champion Princeton
Penn finished 3-4 in the Ivy League. Princeton won its 12th conference title with an undefeated record and a record-setting 470 points on the season.
PRINCETON, N.J. — Penn ended an unremarkable football season with a 42-14 loss to Princeton on Saturday that the Tigers will gladly remember for a long time.
The Quakers finished 3-4 in the Ivy League and 6-4 overall. Princeton, meanwhile, won its 12th Ivy League championship and its first outright title since 1995 with its first perfect season (10-0 overall, 7-0 Ivy) since 1964.
Penn didn't score until 1:29 remained in the first half, when Nick Robinson threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Christian Pearson.
There was a bit of drama just over a minute into the third quarter, when Robinson connected with Tyler Herrick for a 69-yard touchdown pass play to cut the deficit to 21-14.
"They're so explosive and powerful in scoring — how do you match the scoring?" Penn coach Ray Priore said. "We had them at 21-14 … you're thinking you can hopefully grind it out."
That did not happen. Although Penn held Princeton to a punt on the ensuing drive, the Quakers mustered just 5 net yards in six plays before punting.
Princeton marched down the field on a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive.
It was 28-14 then, and the Tigers never looked back.
Princeton senior quarterback John Lovett was 20-of-28 for 255 yards and three touchdowns, and ran 20 times for 123 yards and a score. Senior wide receiver Jesper Horsted had eight catches for 165 yards. The second of his four touchdowns gave Princeton the Ivy League's all-time single-season record. They finished the season with 470 points.
Other than Herrick's big play, Penn simply didn't have that kind of threat on Saturday – or for much of the season. In the team's first season since Justin Watson's graduation and move to the NFL, the top wide receiver was Steve Farrell with an average of 60.8 receiving yards per game.
There were also struggles at quarterback, as junior Nick Robinson and sophomore Ryan Glover were inconsistent. Priore designed a playbook to have the two split time, but neither excelled.
The result: Penn, which was picked fifth in the preseason poll, finished tied for fourth.
"I think we did OK," senior wide receiver Christian Pearson said, "not anywhere close to where we wanted to be, but OK."