NCAA

Big 5 football: Temple needs AAC win; Penn hits road; Villanova shorthanded

Big 5 football: Temple needs AAC win; Penn hits road; Villanova shorthanded

Temple (2-3, 0-2 AAC) at East Carolina (1-4, 1-1 AAC)
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, North Carolina
Saturday, noon, ESPNU


Last time out
Temple lost to Houston, 20-13, last Saturday.

East Carolina lost, 61-31, to South Florida last Saturday.

Scouting report
Temple’s offense showed signs of life in the second half against Houston, scoring 13 unanswered points. The rushing attack saw dramatic improvement. The Owls rushed for 142 yards on 37 carries after rushing for negative yards in the first half. The Owls began to run the ball more between the tackles once Houston’s All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver left and was unable to return because of an injury. After five games, Temple has a rushing unit that ranks last in the conference averaging 84.2 yards per game. Each team in the AAC averages at least 100 yards on the ground except for Temple.

East Carolina owns the worst scoring defense in the AAC. The Pirates allow 50.6 points per game while scoring only 24.6 points per game on offense. The Owls need to take advantage of a struggling Pirates defense to avoid losing their first three conference games.

What's at stake
Temple is still looking for its first conference win of the season after winning seven conference games last season. A loss to a 1-4 ECU team may cause panic for Owl fans.

Series history
This is the 15th meeting between the two squads. The series is tied, 7-7, and Temple defeated ECU, 37-10, last November.

What's next?
Temple hosts Connecticut.

ECU is at Central Florida.

Penn (2-1, 0-1 Ivy) at Central Connecticut State (2-3, 1-0 NEC)
Arute Field, New Britain, Connecticut
Saturday, 1 p.m.

Last time out
Penn lost to Dartmouth, 16-13, last Friday.

Central Connecticut State beat Sacred Heart, 26-15, last Saturday.

Scouting report
After losing to Dartmouth on a last-play TD run, Penn will look to get its 17th-ranked (FCS) running game back on track against one of the worst rushing defenses in the FCS (ranked 116th with 257.6 rushing yards allowed per game). Tre Solomon, the Ivy League's leading rusher from last year, will also likely return on Saturday after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. Look for this matchup as a key to victory for Penn.

Central Connecticut State is also averaging a measly 163 yards per game through the air and has completed just 45 percent of its throws. The Blue Devils will try to get their passing game going against Penn, which ranks 120th in the FCS in passing yards allowed per game at 332.

What's at stake
The Quakers want to rebound from a gut-wrenching loss in their Ivy League opener while building some momentum before heading into the remainder of their conference slate.

Series history
This is just the second meeting between the two teams. Penn won last year’s matchup, 28-16, at home.

What's next?
Penn heads to Columbia.

Central Connecticut State travels to Wagner.

Villanova (3-2, 1-1 CAA) vs. Maine (1-2, 0-2 CAA)
Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Saturday, 1 p.m.

Last time out
Villanova won at Towson, 24-9, last Saturday.

Maine lost at James Madison, 28-10, on Sept. 23. 

Scouting report
The 12th-ranked FCS Wildcats are going into Saturday’s matchup dealing with a lot of injuries. Last week against Towson, veteran QB Zach Bednarczyk left the game with a knee injury, just one week after Rob Rolle, senior safety and CAA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was lost for the season with an ACL injury. Now, the Wildcats will have to start redshirt freshman Jack Schetelich, who threw three interceptions and was just 5 of 15 for 59 yards passing after coming into last Saturday’s game against Towson. He did, however, have two rushing scores to go with a passing touchdown. His play will be a large factor in deciding the outcome against Maine.

The Black Bears haven't played in a game since their loss to top-ranked James Madison on Sept. 23 because of a scheduling conflict caused by Hurricane Irma. Nonetheless, Maine boasts a top-25 FCS rushing offense, led by top-seven rusher Josh Mack (502 yards, four touchdowns), and could test ‘Nova’s stout D-line.

What's at stake
For now, the Wildcats are trying to weather the storm without Bednarczyk and avoid a slipup before their road showdown at unbeaten JMU.

Series history
The two teams are meeting for the 21st time, with Villanova holding an 11-9 advantage. Last year, the Wildcats topped the Black Bears, 26-7.

What's next?
Villanova travels to James Madison.

Maine hosts Rhode Island.

College football capsule: Temple eyes rebound; Penn opens Ivy play; Villanova on the road

penn-usa-will-fischer-colbrie-ryquell-armstead-zach-bednarczyk.jpg
CSNPhilly/USA Today Images

College football capsule: Temple eyes rebound; Penn opens Ivy play; Villanova on the road

Temple (2-2, 0-1 AAC) vs. Houston (2-1, 0-0 AAC)
Lincoln Financial Field
Saturday, noon, ESPNU


Last time out
Temple lost at South Florida, 43-7, last Thursday.

Houston lost, 27-24, against Texas Tech last Saturday.

Scouting report
Temple’s offense needs improvement. It has a unit that ranks last in the conference in scoring offense, total offense and rushing yards per game. The Owls played three quarterbacks against USF, combining for four interceptions. Head coach Geoff Collins said he was leaving the competition open this week in practice to see whether Logan Marchi, Frank Nutile or Todd Centeio would get the nod against Houston.

Houston has the 18th-best scoring defense in the nation, allowing 15.3 points per game. It's led by sophomore defensive tackle Ed Oliver, an AP Preseason All-American, and senior linebacker Matthew Adams, who leads the American with 34 tackles. Houston’s defensive line could wreak havoc against a struggling Temple offensive line.

What's at stake
Temple needs to get back on track after an embarrassing performance against South Florida. A win over Houston would go a long way in keeping the Owls from the bottom of the AAC East.

Series history
This is the sixth meeting between the two squads. Houston holds the series lead at 5-0 and defeated Temple in the 2015 AAC conference championship game.

What’s next?
Temple travels to East Carolina.

Houston hosts Southern Methodist.

Penn (2-0, 0-0 Ivy) vs. Dartmouth (2-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Franklin Field
Friday, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Network


Last time out
Penn defeated Lehigh, 65-47, last Saturday.

Dartmouth beat Holy Cross, 27-26 in OT, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Penn is atop the Ivy League in rushing, averaging 334 yards per game, and has rushed for 300-plus yards in each of its first two contests. Sophomore running back Karekin Brooks rushed for a combined 410 yards in the first two games, the most ever in a two-game period in Penn history.

In the OT win over Holy Cross, Dartmouth’s Jack Heneghan completed a career-best 72 percent of his passes and Ryder Stone rushed for 100-plus yards for the second time in his career. 

Series history
This is the 85th meeting between the teams. The Quakers hold a 48-34-2 advantage and are 31-17-1 at Franklin Field.

What’s next?
Penn heads to Central Connecticut State.

Dartmouth hosts Yale.

Villanova (2-2, 0-1 CAA) at Towson (2-0, 0-1 CAA)
Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson, Maryland
Saturday, 6 p.m.


Last time out
Villanova lost at Albany, 19-10 in OT, last Saturday.

Towson lost at Stony Brook, 25-17, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Villanova has allowed just 2.2 yards per carry and 60 rushing yards per game this season. The Wildcats boast a strong defensive line and rank fourth in the FCS in rushing defense.

Towson has forced six turnovers in its first four games. Redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Stover leads the Tigers on offense with 663 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. On defense, junior linebacker Diondre Wallace has a team-high 34 tackles and one forced fumble.

Series history
Villanova leads the series, 8-5, and has won the last four games.

What’s next?
Villanova plays Maine at home.

Towson hosts Richmond after its bye.

Best of CFB: Mayfield with 3 TDs as No. 5 Sooners top No. 2 Ohio State

ap-baker-mayfield.jpg
AP Images

Best of CFB: Mayfield with 3 TDs as No. 5 Sooners top No. 2 Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Baker Mayfield threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns as No. 5 Oklahoma pulled ahead in the second half to knock off No. 2 Ohio State 31-16 on Saturday night to give first-year head coach Lincoln Riley an early signature victory.

Mayfield lived up to his billing as a Heisman Trophy candidate in shifting the Sooners (2-0) into overdrive and piling up the yards in the second half as the Buckeyes' offense sputtered. Oklahoma took its first lead of the game near the end of the third quarter and cruised in the fourth (see full recap)

No. 15 Georgia outslugs No. 24 Notre Dame, 20-19
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Georgia got to Dawg Walk out of Notre Dame Stadium with a victory, dozens of its fans forming a line from the locker room to the buses to congratulate the Bulldogs after their first trip to this part of the country in more than 50 years.

Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy led a swarming Georgia defense and the No. 15 Bulldogs got enough plays from an offense starting a freshman quarterback to beat No. 24 Notre Dame 20-19 on Saturday night (see full recap).

The Bryants lead No. 3 Tigers to 14-6 win over No. 13 Auburn
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson's new starting quarterback had an easy way for the third-ranked Tigers to keep winning the next several years - recruit more Bryants.

Kelly Bryant, Clemson's first-year starter, ran for two touchdowns after a scary hit knocked him to the ground and defensive end Austin Bryant had four of the Tigers' 11 sacks in a 14-6 victory over No. 13 Auburn on Saturday night.

"The Bryant guys were pretty good," said Kelly, who's not related to Austin. "We've got to keep it going."

If they do, the defending champion Tigers (2-0) might be playing in their third straight title game (see full recap).

No. 6 USC routs No. 14 Stanford 42-24 for 11th straight win
LOS ANGELES -- Steven Mitchell and Deontay Burnett caught two touchdown passes apiece from Sam Darnold, and No. 6 Southern California extended its winning streak to 11 games with a bruising 42-24 victory over No. 14 Stanford on Saturday night.

Darnold went 21 of 26 with 316 yards passing for the Trojans (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12), who snapped their three-game losing streak in this California private-school rivalry. USC racked up 623 total yards and won the first Pac-12 game of the new season by beating the hard-nosed Cardinal (1-1, 0-1) at their own physical game (see full recap).