COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK ONE REVIEW AND WEEK TWO PREVIEW. TEMPLE'S RUSSO PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BY ROCK HOFFMAN
COLLEGE FOOTBALL EDITOR
Week 2 of the season kicks off with a nearly full schedule but before we look ahead, let’s look back at Labor Day weekend.
Last Thursday, Delaware beat Delaware State 31-13 to remain perfect in the all-time series. Blue Hens quarterback Pat Kehoe threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the ninth win for Delaware in the Route 1 Rivalry. This week, Delaware (1-0) is at Rhode Island (0-1) in the CAA opener for both teams. The Hornets (0-1) are off until September 14th when they host Lincoln (PA) (0-1) who lost to Lock Haven 51-13 to open the 2019 campaign.
Temple got off to a fast start as they blasted Bucknell 56-12. Temple quarterback Anthony Russo threw for 409 yards (his second-best total ever) and tied his career-high with four touchdown passes. He’s the FootballStories College Player of the Week. The Owls have an early bye week and return to the field next Saturday when they host Maryland (1-0).
Friday night, Delaware Valley, the favorite to win the MAC again, opens at Kean. Wesley, which is coming off of a tough 2018 season, travels to Franklin Pierce University, which is kickoff its inaugural season of NCAA football at the Division II level on Saturday. Also, Saturday at the Division III level, TCNJ visits No.8 Muhlenburg and Ursinus hosts Bethany. Saturday evening, Widener and Rowan will battle for the seventh time ever and for the sixth year in a row to start the season. The Profs, who are the hosts, are planning post-game fireworks and they’ll need to go a long way to top last year’s double overtime thriller which Rowan won 41-34 to take a 5-1 lead in the series.
The game will feature the debut of Mike Barainyak as head coach of Widener, who at 32, is one of the youngest head coaches in all of college football.
“This is a dream come true,” said Barainyak, who was a Pride assistant coach for the last two seasons including spending 2018 as the offensive coordinator. “No doubt I’m excited, I’ll do my best to keep my composure and instill confidence in our guys.”
His counterpart, Jay Accorsi, is beginning his 18th season as Rowan head coach and is doing something he doesn’t like to do – play two quarterbacks.
“They’ve earned it,” he said of redshirt sophomores Nick Couzzi and Mike Husni. “They both kind of do some different things. They haven’t really separated from each other that much. They’re competing every snap and when you have that at that position is just elevates everything else.”
Also Saturday evening, No. 24 Villanova (1-0) has their home opener with Lehigh (0-1) coming to the Main Line. The Wildcats have a new offensive and defensive coordinators and head coach Mark Ferrante said they’ve gotten a little more aggressive of the defensive side of the ball.
“We put a little more heat on there quarterback,” he said referring to the Wildcats season opening win over Colgate, “played a little more man-to-man. We like our corners; Jaquan Amos was the CAA and FCS National Defensive Player of the Week after his performance he had at Colgate. Christian Benford, the other corner, was the CAA Rookie of the Year last year. So, we put a little pressure on them to play more man than we have in the past.”
Coming off of a PSAC Championship, West Chester opens at home with Bentley on Saturday at Noon. Head coach Bill Zwaan, who is in his 17th season, feels his team initially had a chip on their shoulder after losing in the first-round of the playoffs but has put that behind them.
“Right now,” said Zwaan, “they’re looking at this as, ‘hey, we’ve lost a lot of kids. We have to establish ourselves again.’ They’ve got a good approach.”
Email Rock Hoffman at Rock@footballstories.com