NCAA

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

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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.

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

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Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright. 

Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

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Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

Villanova is losing its second star player in two days. 

Guard Jalen Brunson has decided to hire an agent and enter the 2018 NBA Draft, he wrote in a letter to Nova Nation on ESPN. He will forego his senior season at Villanova after an incredible college career. 

This news comes a day after his teammate Mikal Bridges announced he will also head to the NBA draft.

“It is with great honor and privilege that I have called Villanova University my home for the past three years,” Brunson wrote in ESPN. “When I decided to commit to Coach Jay Wright and the basketball program, I was driven by three goals: getting my education, competing at the highest level and winning a national championship. While I pride myself on remaining disciplined and focused to achieve these goals, I have grown as a man and have established lifelong relationships with my teammates, classmates, members of the basketball staff, fellow student-athletes and the wonderful educators and administrators of this prestigious university.”

Brunson leaves Villanova as one of the greatest players in Wildcats history, helping lead Villanova to its second national championship in three years. 

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 18.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season. Brunson was named the Big East Player of the Year and was the Wooden Award and Naismith Award winner this season.