PHILADELPHIA AREA COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW - WEEK ONE
BY ROCK HOFFMAN
It’s football time again. The NFL may be king but college football rules Labor Day weekend. Starting Thursday, there will be a full slate of games across the country and the Philadelphia region is no different.
Thursday night, Rowan hosts Stevenson at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium, the Profs, coming off a 7-3 season, figure to rely on running back James Fara, who topped the NJAC with 113.2 all-purpose yards per game a season ago. Stevenson was 8-3 in 2022, they were picked to finish second this season in the Middle Atlantic Conferences by the league’s coaches.
Delaware, which lost in the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2022, will open at Stony Brook. The game will see the Delaware debut of Jackson Taylor, who starred at linebacker for West Chester before transferring during the offseason.
Lincoln will entertain Clarion University. The Lions won twice last year and are led by new head coach Frank Turner. They feature the CIAA’s preseason all-league quarterback Isaiah Freeman.
Friday night in Collegeville, Ursinus opens with Alvernia. The Bears return six All-Centennial League players off a team that was 9-2 in 2022. Alvernia is looking for revenge after falling to the Bears 59-27 in last season’s opener.
The rest of this week’s games are on Saturday.
Starting at noon, Villanova is at Lehigh. The Wildcats were 6-5 last season and have won 10 in a row over the Mountain Hawks, including 45-17 last year.
Temple starts the second season of the Stan Drayton era at Lincoln Financial Field with Akron coming to town. E.J. Warner is established as the Owls quarterback as the team looks to improve on a 3-9 season The Zips have a solid quarterback in DJ Irons as well as Alex Adams, an All-MAC first-team wide receiver in 2022.
Delaware Valley, typically a power at the Division III level (they went to the quarterfinals in 2022), opens with a three-game road trip starting at SUNY Cortland which was also a playoff team a year ago.
While their rivals, Del Val, open with three on the road, Widener has their first two at home with Lycoming visiting to kick off the season. The Pride is looking to rebound from a 3-7 campaign.
Legendary head coach Bill Zwaan is leading West Chester for the 21st season and the Golden Rams, who were 7-4 a season ago, play at Bentley University.
Featuring the reigning MEAC Offensive Rookie of the Year Marquis Gillis, Delaware State opens the campaign with Bowie State visiting Dover.
Eastern University officially joins the world of D3 football as the Eagles, who faced a few JV squads last year, play their first-ever intercollegiate game at TCNJ. The Lions were 3-6 in 2022 but three of those losses were by a combined 12 points.
Email Rock Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org