Villanova football

Zach Bednarczyk, Villanova stun Temple in season opener

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Zach Bednarczyk, Villanova stun Temple in season opener

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Zach Bednarczyk threw three touchdown passes and Jeff Steeb and Elijah Trent had interceptions on Temple's last two possessions to lead Villanova to a 19-17 upset in the season-opening crosstown matchup on Saturday.

Bednarczyk connected with Jarrett McClenton for a 30-yard touchdown on fourth-and-9 midway through the fourth quarter to put the Wildcats on top. Steeb then picked off Frank Nutile, who was making his first start, at the Villanova 32 with 6:45 to play. The Wildcats drained 5 minutes off the clock before Nathan Fondacaro pinned the Owls at the 1. One the next play Trent made a leaping pick to seal the win.

Villanova, an FCS school, took a 17-16-2 lead over the FBC Owls in the series that dates to 1908. The Wildcats have four wins over FBC teams, all since 2000. They beat Rutgers in 2002 and Temple in 2003 and 2009.

Bednarczyk, who was 29 of 40 for 254 yards with one interception, had touchdown passes of 1 yard to Ryan Bell and 17 yards to Brandon Chadbourn for a 13-3 lead in the first quarter. Kimere Brown returned a punt blocked by Quincy Roche 74 yards for a Temple touchdown midway through the second quarter and it was 13-10 at the half.

The Owls took the lead midway through the third quarter when Nutile threw a 15-pass to Isaiah Wright.

Tons at stake as Temple hosts unbeaten UCF; Penn, Villanova wrap up

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Tons at stake as Temple hosts unbeaten UCF; Penn, Villanova wrap up

Temple (5-5, 3-3 AAC) vs. No. 15 UCF (9-0, 6-0 AAC)
Lincoln Financial Field
Saturday, noon, ESPNU

Last time out
Temple beat Cincinnati, 35-24, last Friday.

UCF beat UConn, 49-24, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Both teams have a lot at stake in Saturday’s game. An Owls win would make them bowl eligible and give them a victory against a high-ranked opponent, which would certainly help when it comes time for bowl selection. On the other hand, UCF will look to preserve its perfect season and stay atop the AAC's East Division with a crucial matchup against 8-1 South Florida looming.

Frank Nutile, who will make his fourth consecutive start at quarterback, has sparked Temple’s offense. Since he stepped in, he has completed 61 of 89 passes for 803 yards, six touchdowns and just two interceptions, and led the Owls to two wins. He will need to continue his stellar play for Temple to beat UCF, which boasts the second-best total and scoring defense in the AAC, allowing 371 yards per game and 20.7 points per game.

The Knights also have the best total offense in the conference, putting up 538 yards per game and 48.6 points per game, which is more than six points better than the second-best team. The Owls must keep UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton (2,720 yards, 22 touchdowns, five interceptions) and the Knights' rushing attack, which averages 210.2 yards per game, in check if they want a chance at the upset.

Series history
The series is tied at 2-2 and Temple has won the past two matchups, including a 26-25 come-from-behind win last year.

What's next?
Temple travels to play Tulsa next Saturday.

UCF hosts No. 23 South Florida on Friday night.

Penn (5-4, 3-3 Ivy) vs. Cornell (3-6, 3-3 Ivy)
Franklin Field
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.


Last time out
Penn defeated Harvard, 23-6, last Saturday.

Cornell lost to Columbia, 18-8, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Penn has won its last three Ivy League contests and has gained a lot of momentum after losing its first three Ivy League games this season. Cornell shouldn’t pose much of a challenge to the Quakers since the Big Red are second worst in the conference in scoring offense, total offense and pass efficiency. The Quakers’ strength is their rushing attack, as they average 192 yards per game on the ground. Cornell’s rush defense is sixth in the conference, so look for the Quakers to take advantage of this matchup.

Series history
This is the 124th meeting between the teams. The Quakers hold a 72-46-5 advantage and won, 42-20, last season. 

What's next?
This is the final game of the season for both teams.

Villanova (4-6, 2-5 CAA) vs. Delaware (7-3, 5-2 CAA)
Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pennsylvania 
Saturday, 1 p.m.


Last time out
Villanova lost to Rhode Island, 20-6, last Saturday.

Delaware beat Albany, 22-3, last Saturday.

Scouting report
What stands out about this regular-season finale are the defenses for Delaware and Villanova. Delaware’s scoring defense is second to James Madison as the Blue Hens allow just 15.7 points per game. The Wildcats’ specialty on the defensive side of the football is their run defense. Villanova allows only 72 yards per game on the ground and will look to slow down a Delaware rushing attack that averages 200 yards per game. Also to note, the Blue Hens come in fighting for a berth in the FCS playoffs.

Series history
Villanova leads the series 28-21-1. The Wildcats won, 41-10, last season.

What's next?
This is the regular-season finale for both Villanova and Delaware. For the second time in the last three seasons, the Wildcats won't make the FCS playoffs.

Villanova football falls at Rhode Island for 2nd straight loss

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Villanova football falls at Rhode Island for 2nd straight loss

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KINGSTON, R.I. — JaJuan Lawson threw for a touchdown and ran for another, the Rhode Island defense set a single-season record for sacks, and the Rams beat Villanova 20-6 on Saturday.

After trading first-quarter field goals, Lawson scored the go-ahead TD on a 6-yard run after getting favorable field position from a defense that had three first-half sacks for a school record 30 so far this season.

Rhode Island (3-7, 2-5 Colonial Athletic Association) gained 416 total yards and held the Wildcats to 171 yards, including one yard rushing, and forced three fumbles.

Marven Beauvais scored on a 71-yard pass from Lawson in the third and had a career-high 152 yards on six catches. Lawson was 25-for-35 for 336 passing yards. C.J. Carrick kicked two field goals.

Drew Kresge kicked two field goals for Villanova (4-6, 2-5).