IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON - FOR REAL
BY ROCK HOFFMAN
COLLEGE FOOTBALL EDITOR
“It's football season again,” said Temple head coach Rod Carey with the season’s first game rapidly approaching. “It’s fun, it’s the best time of the year.”
For Carey, the Owls and most of FBS and FCS football the season starts this week. The Owls will take on an FCS team, Bucknell, at Lincoln Financial Field at 3 PM.
Delaware and Delaware State will renew the First State Battle on Thursday night at 7 at Delaware Stadium. Penn, Princeton and the rest of the Ivy League need to wait a few more weeks before they kickoff while Division II and III teams get Labor Day weekend to prepare for their seasons which start next week.
While nearly every other team in the country is looking for their first win, Villanova can bask in the glory of having already achieved it. The Wildcats opened the 150th season of college football by going on the road and defeating Colgate, who was ranked 13th in the country in FCS, 34-14. The ‘Cats scored twice in the first two minutes of the second quarter and twice in the final 2:07 of the first half. Junior quarterback Danny Smith, a transfer from Campbell University, threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in his Wildcats debut. Northeast High School grad Jaquan Amos had an interception return for a touchdown as part of the Wildcats’ 27-point second quarter barrage.
For his efforts, Smith was named the FootballStories College Player of the Week. Villanova’s next game is September 6th at 6 PM when they host Lehigh.
The Owls and Bucknell played every year from 1927 until 1970 and haven’t played since. In fact, it used to be a trophy game with the winner taking home the Old Shoe. While that might not have the same ring to it as the Old Oaken Bucket, Wayne Hardin - the College Football Hall of Fame coach – won his first game as Temple’s head coach by beating the Bison, 10-3, on September 19, 1970.
Carey will be looking to equal the feat against an opponent that is coming off of a 1-10 season, has a new coach and doesn’t quite have the prestige that the first team Carey coached against when he took over as head coach at Northern Illinois. The Huskies battled Florida State in the 2013 Orange Bowl and Carey had taken the helm after Dave Doeren left for North Carolina State.
Anthony Russo is scheduled to make the start at quarterback for the Owls after having battled a calf injury for most of training camp. Temple is coming off of an 8-5 season where they played in their fourth straight bowl game.
In Delaware, the Blue Hens and Hornets are playing for the ninth time after having taken a year off in a series that Delaware has dominated. The Hens have won the previous eight matchups and outscored Del State by a total of 301 to 85.
The Blue Hens were an FCS Playoff team last year and start the season ranked 22nd in the Stats Inc FCS poll and 23rd by the coaches. Pat Kehoe returns at quarterback for Delaware behind an experienced line but he’ll need to find new targets as the top three pass catches from last season graduated. He’ll also need to contend with Hornets linebacker Brian Cavicante, who was named the MEAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Email Rock Hoffman at Rock@footballstories.com