penn football

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.

Penn loses heartbreaker to Dartmouth as time expires in Ivy League opener

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Photo courtesy of Penn Athletics

Penn loses heartbreaker to Dartmouth as time expires in Ivy League opener

BOX SCORE

Jared Gerbino scored on a fourth-and-inches play as time ran out and Dartmouth shocked defending co-champion Penn 16-13 in the Ivy League opener Friday night.

Jack Heneghan and Gerbino, led the Big Green on a 15-play, 80-yard drive, opting to use Gerbino, the 230-pound backup quarterback, on the final play rather than attempt a tying field goal.

Heneghan converted a fourth-and-3 with a 5-yard pass to Emory Thompson near midfield and on the following third-and-4 Gerbino busted up the middle for a career-best 27 yards. Thompson followed with a sweep for 13 yards to the Penn 2.

Penn had taken the lead on a 27-yard field goal by Jack Soslow with 5:37 to play.

Heneghan was 23 of 31 for 199 yards and a 12-yard touchdown to Hunter Hagdorn in the second quarter. Gerbino picked up 71 yards on 11 carries and threw one incompletion.

Dartmouth (3-0) was 1-6 in the Ivy League last year.

The Quakers (2-1), who rushed for more than 300 yards in both their wins, had 85 yards on the ground. Karekin Brooks, who ran for 268 yards a week ago, was held to 47 yards on 14 carries.

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.