PHILLY COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW
Villanova Opens Home and CAA Schedule, Penn Opens Their Season, Temple Takes First Road Trip
Games of September 15, 2018
The Wildcats open their home schedule and conference schedule taking on the Tigers of Towson. It will be a match up of two of the top offensive teams in the Colonial. Villanova has gained 405 yards of offense in both games played this season. Nova is second in the conference with 810 total offensive yards, one yard behind league leader Towson.
Quarterback Zach Bednarczyk leads a balanced attack for the Wildcats. He is 45 of 69 for 469 yards. His favorite targets have been Ryan Bell (14 catches) and Jarrett McClenton (11 receptions), who posted a career-high 114 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The running game has been a staple for Villanova. Senior back Aaron Forbes leads the team with 168 rushing yards. Four different players have carried the ball ten times or more; Jalen Jackson, Justin Covington, and Matt Gudzak have shown the depth.
Defensively, the Wildcats have given up a total of 427 yards of offense, just 78 on the ground. The unit will be tested by the Tigers offense lead by the passing attack of quarterback Tom Flacco who has thrown for 173 yards per game. Receiver Shane Leatherberry has 13 catches for 181 yards and a score. Running back Kobe Young has 82 yards on 12 carries. Towson averages 28 points per game.
The teams have split their past 14 games. Villanova leads the all-time series 9 – 5. In conference openers the Wildcats all-time record is 23 – 8, and won their home opener in each of the last six years.
Temple (0 – 2) at Maryland (2 – 0) Noon Kickoff
The Owls are looking for their first victory of the season, and have a tough task meeting the Maryland Terrapins in College Park. This will be the first road game of the season for the Cherry and White. The team last met on September 8, 2012. Maryland jumped out to 26 – 3 lead at halftime. Temple rallied and got to within 29 – 27. The Owls were a victim of a turnover on a potential game winning drive and fell 36 – 27.
Offensively, running back Ryquell Armstead is coming off a 107 yard performance against Buffalo, his fifth one-hundred game. Armstead had a 50-yard run in one of his fourteen carries. Quarterback Frank Nutile went 15 of 31 for 216 yards and 3 touchdowns, 2 to Branden Mack.
Maryland gives up an average of 78.5 yards on the ground, but 293 through the air. The Owls average 27.5 points per game, the Terps 21.5.
On the line Maryland has given up one sack. Running back Ty Johnson recorded 154 rushing yards, 124 against Bowling Green. As a team the Terps rushed for 444 yards against Bowing Green, second-most in program history just one yard shy of the all-time record. The Owls give up an average of 151.5 yards on the ground.
Penn (0 – 0) vs. Bucknell (0 – 2) at Franklin Field 3 PM Kickoff
This will be the 142nd season for football at the University of Pennsylvania. The Quakers and the Bison have met 34 times, the first time was in 1895. Penn leads the series 29 – 5.
Ryan Glover was named the starting quarterback. He will have a stout running game behind him led by Karekin Brooks, all-Ivy second team honoree, who averaged 84 yards per game last season. He is on the 2018 College Football Performance Awards FCS National Player of the Year Watch List.
On defense Nick Miller (on the Watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the FCS Defensive Player of the Year), Sam Philippi and Jay Cannon, Jr. (All-Ivy selections) will lead the unit against the Bison. They are led by running back Jared Cooper who recorded 124 all-purpose yards in being named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for his performance against Sacred Heart. Bucknell has scored 21 points this season. They lost a heartbreaking 14 – 7 loss week one against William & Mary who scored on a 75-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, then fell 30 -14 against Sacred Heart. Bryan Marine needs 11 total tackles to reach 150 for his Bison career.