Thursday, October 19, 2006

From Sports Network

Penn (4-1, 2-0) at Yale (4-1, 2-0), 12:30
The resurgent Ivy League will really start to iron things out this week. The battle between undefeated top 25 teams from Harvard and Princeton will receive most of the attention, but this matchup in New Haven could be just as important in the final standings. The Quakers and Bulldogs have very similar resumes with 4-1 overall marks and 2-0 records in the conference.

Penn beat Lafayette and Bucknell out of the Patriot League while losing to Villanova, while Yale beat their Patriot League competition (Lehigh and Lafayette) and lost against San Diego. The Bulldogs might be in the slightly more desirable position with two road wins in the league, including a triumph over a solid Cornell team. They get Princeton and Harvard in the final two weeks of the season, and can have a 5-0 mark in the league if they win here.

But that won’t be easy, because Penn’s defense will give Mike McLeod and the Yale running game a good test. The Quakers are holding opponents to 3.4 yards per carry and have only surrendered four rushing touchdowns this season, and should keep McLeod, the nation’s fourth-leading rusher, from matching his averages of five yards per carry and nearly 150 yards per game. The Quakers have been solid against the pass as well despite giving up a lot of yardage, and should limit Yale’s production. The Penn offense hasn’t been spectacular, but quarterback Robert Irvin has picked up his play of late. Yale won close games against Lehigh and Lafayette, but it is tough to keep that up and the Bulldogs are due to fall. Penn will be ready to make the loss come this week with a good defensive effort and solid play from Irvin.

Prediction: Penn 20, Yale 17


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