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  • Rock Hoffman


D'Wan Mathis will be competing for the Temple quarterback job. Photo from the spring game by Jesse Garber.

The college football season opens in about three months with spring practice over, the next thing to look forward to is camps opening just before the season with that in mind let’s look at where some local teams stand.

Temple opens the season on Friday, September 2 at Duke, who the Owls' quarterback will be when they face the Blue Devils remains to be seen. D’Wan Mathis is the incumbent, but Stan Drayton is adding a pair of players to challenge Mathis in an open competition.

E.J. Warner, son of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt, is an incoming freshman while Quincy Patterson has announced he's going to transfer from North Dakota State.

Patterson originally played at Virginia Tech and had the “next Mike Vick” tag applied. He moved onto Fargo and had the Bison at 7-0 before an injury derailed his season but not the team’s as they went on to collect another championship.

After spring practice, Drayton said he liked the direction the defense was going but the offense was still very much a work in progress.

Last year, Villanova had 32 graduate students and seniors listed on their roster and it showed with an excellent season. They won the CAA regular-season title and advanced to the quarter-final of the NCAA FCS Playoffs, they finished with a 10-3 record.

When the Wildcats take the field on September 2nd against Lehigh, there will be plenty of new staters. From the players who started the playoff loss against South Dakota State, four on offense and six on defense return.

Mark Ferrante and his coaching staff will have to replace the likes of quarterback Dan Smith, linebacker Forrest Rhyne and cornerback Christian Benford, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills.

Coming off a 3-7 season that saw them rank last in the Ivy League in yards per game and points, Penn made a change at offensive coordinator.

They hired Dan Swanstrom, who was the Quakers' quarterback coach and recruiting coordinator from 2014-to 2016. He had been the head coach at Ithaca College for the last five seasons.

When the Quakers open the season on September 17 against Colgate, sophomore Aidan Sayin figures to be the quarterback, he started the last five games of 2021.

A lot happened with the University of Delaware football program in 2021. In the spring, in what was considered the 2020 season, they beat Villanova to break an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry game, won the CAA, and advanced to the semi-finals of the playoffs.

A lot was expected last fall but an injury to quarterback Nolan Henderson derailed the season. They were 3-1 when he was hurt and went 2-5 the rest of the way.

It cost head coach Danny Rocco his job. Ryan Carty, a member of Delaware’s 2003 National Championship team and the former offensive coordinator at Sam Houston State, was hired to replace him. Carty’s first game as Blue Hens’ head coach will be at Navy on September 3.

After a 6-5 season in 2021, Bill Zwaan and the West Chester Golden Rams look to return to the playoffs, after missing them for the first time since 2016. The Golden Rams have been postseason regulars under Zwaan, they made it 11 times in 18 seasons.

They’ll look to a pair of Delco running backs to lead them (Desman Johnson (Penn Wood) and Ja’Den McKenzie (Springfield). Linebacker Jackson Taylor is the reigning PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year. Bentley visits West Chester on September 2 to start the season.

Eastern University will play an abbreviated non-varsity schedule in 2022 – its first season of football.

Head coach Billy Crocker and his staff will have around 90 players and are thrilled with the quality and quantity of the first class of Eagles football players.

Upgrades at Valley Forge Military Academy and College – where the Eagles will play - are progressing. The field is done, and the locker rooms, weight, and equipment rooms should be ready in earlier August.

After this season, Eastern will play a full season in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). *

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