college football

Temple eyes streak, Penn looks to dethrone Columbia, Villanova on the road

usa-logan-marchi-temple.jpg
USA Today Images

Temple eyes streak, Penn looks to dethrone Columbia, Villanova on the road

Temple (3-3, 1-2 American) vs. UConn (1-4, 0-3 American)
Lincoln Financial Field, ESPNews
Noon Saturday

Last time out
Temple beat East Carolina, 34-10, last Saturday.

UConn lost to Memphis, 70-31, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Last week, quarterback Logan Marchi finally got on track with his first 300-yard game of the season against East Carolina. This week, the redshirt sophomore will face UConn, the team he initially committed to in high school under former coach Paul Pasqualoni. Marchi was then denied after a coaching change was made. The Huskies have the worst passing defense in the AAC, giving up 399.8 passing yards per game, and have allowed 19 touchdowns through the air in 2017. If Marchi can play well for a second week in a row, look for Temple’s offense to put up some points. 

Another matchup to look at is UConn’s passing attack against Temple’s defense. The Huskies’ boast the best passing offense in terms of yards in the AAC, averaging 325.8 yards per game, but have only scored nine touchdowns this year. Temple, on the other hand, allows the eighth-most passing yards in the conference (253 yards per game), but is ranked fourth in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 26 points per game. Connecticut must convert drives into touchdowns against this Owls defense if it wants to compete.

What it means
Temple’s hopes to reach the AAC championship game might not be realistic anymore but its bowl hopes are still alive. A win against UConn would put the Owls just two victories away from becoming bowl-eligible, which after their start would be good for Owl fans.

Series history
Temple holds the 12-5 series advantage over Connecticut, and is currently on a three-game win streak.

What’s next?
Temple travels to Army.

UConn hosts Tulsa. 

Penn (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) at Columbia (4-0, 1-0 Ivy)
Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium
1:30 p.m. Saturday


Last time out
Penn lost at Central Connecticut State, 42-21, Saturday.

Columbia defeated Marist, 41-17, Saturday.

Scouting report
Penn’s strength is its rushing attack. They rank second in the Ivy League averaging 204 yards per game on the ground. Karekin Brooks has 543 yards rushing and five touchdowns so far this season. Getting the ground game going will be key for the Quakers this week.

Columbia defense has been strong so far this season. The Lions rank second in the Ivy League in total defense only allowing 316 yards per game and are third in the Ivy in pass defense. The Lions allow 194.8 yards per game through the air.

Series history
This is the 96th meeting between the teams. The Quakers hold a 73-21-1 advantage and have won the last 19 editions.

What’s next?
Penn hosts Yale.

Columbia is at Dartmouth.

Villanova (4-2, 2-1 CAA) at James Madison (5-0, 2-0 CAA)
Bridgeforth Stadium
6 p.m. Saturday


Last time out

Villanova defeated Maine, 31-0, Saturday.

James Madison beat Delaware, 20-10, Saturday.

Scouting report
Villanova has allowed just 1.6 yards per carry and 52 rushing yards per game this season. The Wildcats boast a strong scoring defense as well, the best in the Colonial allowing only nine points per game.

James Madison boasts the second-best rushing offense in the CAA averaging 223 yards per game and is second in scoring defense. The Dukes allow just 10 points per game to opposing offenses. Look for this game to be defensive showdown.

Series history
This is the 26th meeting between the teams. James Madison leads the series 14-11 and won 20-7 last season.

What’s next?
Villanova hosts Elon next Saturday.

James Madison travels to William & Mary next Saturday.

No. 4 Penn State at Northwestern: Trying to stay perfect before facing the big boys

No. 4 Penn State at Northwestern: Trying to stay perfect before facing the big boys

No. 4 Penn State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) at Northwestern (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)
Ryan Field, Evanston, Illinois
Saturday, noon, ABC

Scouting Penn State
The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions drubbed Indiana, 45-14, last week, as Saquon Barkley returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, helping PSU establish a 28-0 first-quarter lead. Barkley, tops in the FBS in all-purpose yards per game (243.6), had 205 in the game. The Lions, however, managed just 39 yards on the ground on 37 attempts, and are seventh in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (179.0). They also allowed five sacks last week and have surrendered 11 to date, putting them in the middle of the conference pack in that department. Right tackle has been the trouble spot. Chasz Wright and Andrew Nelson have been slowed by injuries, leaving the position in the hands of redshirt freshman Will Fries, who began the season as the backup on the left side. 

Scouting Northwestern
The Wildcats, down 31-10 with 9:54 left in last week’s game at Wisconsin, cut the gap to seven but could get no closer in a 33-24 loss. Clayton Thorson threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns, but he was intercepted twice and sacked for a safety late in the game, sealing the verdict. Star running back Justin Jackson, who rushed for 1,524 yards last year but has picked up just 273 (4.3 per carry) this fall, left the game with a leg injury but is expected to play this week. Linebacker Paddy Fisher has 37 tackles and safety Godwin Igwbuike has contributed 29, as well as an interception. The Wildcats are, however, 10th in the Big Ten in points allowed (25.3), 11th in yards allowed (384.3) and 11th in rushing yards allowed (145.0).

History
Penn State leads the all-time series, 13-5, but the Wildcats have won the last two meetings, in 2014 and ’15. PSU coach James Franklin is, in fact, 0-3 against Northwestern, having also dropped a meeting while the head man at Vanderbilt. 

Storyline to watch
The weather. Rain is in the forecast today in Evanston, and that could serve as something of an equalizer.

What's at stake
The Lions are looking to keep their ducks in a row heading into their bye week, with games against Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State to follow.

Prediction
Penn State 28, Northwestern 16

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.