college football

Villanova senior safety Rob Rolle to miss remainder of season with torn ACL

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Villanova senior safety Rob Rolle to miss remainder of season with torn ACL

Villanova senior safety Rob Rolle will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in last Saturday's loss to Albany.

He is eligible for a medical redshirt and can return for a fifth year in 2018. In four games this season, Rolle recorded 14 tackles, two pass break-ups and a fumble recovery.

Last season, Rolle had seven interceptions, the most in the FCS, and 63 tackles. 

In the offseason, Rolle was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. He was also one of 21 players named to the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. The Buchanan Award is given to the best defensive player in the FCS.

No. 4 Penn State at Iowa: Pair of unbeaten teams meet in Big Ten opener

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CSN

No. 4 Penn State at Iowa: Pair of unbeaten teams meet in Big Ten opener

No. 4 Penn State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Iowa (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) 
Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ABC

Scouting Penn State
The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions (3-0) drubbed Georgia State, 56-0, last week, as Trace McSorley threw four touchdown passes and Saquon Barkley accumulated 226 all-purpose yards, 85 coming when he turned a short pass into a spectacular first-quarter touchdown. Barkley is second in the FBS in all-purpose yards per game (218.3), while McSorley is 10th in passing efficiency, having clicked on 67.1 percent of his throws, for 753 yards and nine touchdowns. He has been intercepted twice. The defense registered five takeaways last week, including three interceptions, and its six picks to date have all been by defensive backs. The secondary had six thefts all last season.

Scouting Iowa
The Hawkeyes (3-0) outlasted North Texas, 31-14, last week, as Nate Stanley threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns and freshman Ivory Kelly-Martin ran 11 times for 74 yards and two scores. Kelly-Martin and fellow freshman Toren Young saw extensive duty after Iowa’s top two tailbacks, Akrum Wadley and James Butler, were knocked out of the game with ankle and elbow injuries, respectively. Wadley, who is third in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards per game (170.0), is expected to play, but Butler is not. The defense is led by linebacker Josey Jewell, who is fifth in the conference in tackles, with 28. He also has a pair of sacks.

History
PSU leads the all-time series, 14-12, and won last year’s meeting, 41-14.

Storyline to watch
Lions coach James Franklin has expressed concern about his team’s play along both lines — how Penn State has neither run the ball consistently nor stopped the run as well as he might like. Those things are particularly critical in a conference like the Big Ten, which has always defined itself by its smash-mouth tendencies.

What's at stake?
This is Penn State’s first milepost in a season of great expectations — a road game against a tricky opponent. And certainly the Hawkeyes are eager to atone for last year’s poor performance against the Lions.

Prediction
Penn State 35, Iowa 31

No. 7 Villanova at Albany: Taking on strong defense in conference opener

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CSN

No. 7 Villanova at Albany: Taking on strong defense in conference opener

No. 7 Villanova (2-1, 0-0 CAA) at Albany (2-1, 0-0 CAA)
Tom & Mary Casey Stadium, Albany, New York
Saturday, 7 p.m.

It’s time for conference play as Villanova kicks off its CAA slate this weekend. Here’s a look at the matchup:

Scouting Villanova
The Wildcats asserted their FCS dominance last week with a 59-0 thrashing of overmatched Lafayette. That came two weeks after a win over another Patriot League team in Lehigh, which preceded an impressive showing in a loss to FBS Temple. All of which is to say that the Wildcats head into conference play as good as advertised as one of the juggernauts in the CAA, led by quarterback Zach Bednarczyk (who completed 13 of 15 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns last week), a balanced rushing attack (also last week: seven different ball carriers combined to run for 262 yards and three TDs), and a defense that slowed down Temple and had two TDs vs. Lafayette (and was among the nation’s best last season).

Scouting Albany
After losing to Old Dominion in their opener, the Great Danes have won two straight, shutting out Morgan State, 26-0, and doubling up Monmouth, 28-14. In last week’s win over Monmouth, redshirt sophomore quarterback Will Brunson threw for one touchdown and ran for another while the Albany defense, led by redshirt senior linebacker Nate Hatalsky (15 tackles), held one of FCS’s top rushing teams to just 63 yards on the ground. Picked to finish sixth in the CAA in the preseason, Albany also features an all-league running back in junior Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, who scored a TD in his season debut last week after sitting out the first two games with an injury.

History
Villanova leads the all-time series, 3-0, having defeated the Great Danes in each of the past three seasons.

Storyline to watch
Albany’s defense is off to a solid start, ranking second in the CAA in both total defense and passing defense. Bednarczyk and company had a field day with Lehigh and Lafayette but it will be interesting to see how they manage the game, and balance the run vs. pass, against a more proficient defensive unit.

What’s at stake?
Winning on the road is never easy but if it wants to win the CAA, Villanova is going to have to stay unblemished until facing league powerhouse and defending national champion James Madison in mid-October.

Prediction
The Wildcats will immediately show why they’re one of the CAA’s best teams.

Villanova 28, Albany 17