It was Penn's first victory over Villanova since Oct. 14, 1911.
Penn opened the game with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped by Torgersen's touchdown pass to Watson for 12 yards. The duo connected again on a 33-yard scoring play in the second quarter.
Villanova pulled to 17-7 with 1:28 left in the third on Gary Underwood's short touchdown run. But Donald Panciello put Penn up 24-7 on a 90-yard fumble return with 6:51 remaining.
Ray Priore got his first win as coach for Pennsylvania (1-1).
Zach Bednarczyk made his first career start for Villanova (2-2) and threw for 185 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The game was originally schedule for Saturday, but was moved up because of the Pope's visit to Philadelphia.