Penn, Villanova get first wins

RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Penn's David Park causes Lafayettequarterback Zach Zweizig to fumble in first quarter.
RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Penn's David Park causes Lafayettequarterback Zach Zweizig to fumble in first quarter.
Posted: September 24, 2013

AROUND THE CITY

Penn: Finally plays and keeps on winning.

Al Bagnoli's Penn team finished last year on a roll and earned another Ivy League championship. This being the Ivy, they wait a while to begin, but the Quakers were ready, beating Lafayette on Saturday at Franklin Field, 27-21.

Penn's quarterback Billy Ragone was 21 of 28 with two touchdown passes. He has now accounted for 49 TDs in his career (30 passing, 19 rushing), just five shy of the school record held by Gavin Hoffman.

Penn (1-0) pretty much dominated the game until the final moments, holding Lafayette (0-3) to just 45 rushing yards while creating three turnovers and getting six sacks. The Quakers led Lafayette, 27-7, before giving up consecutive touchdowns late. Lafayette actually had the ball at Penn's 48 with 3 minutes left and a chance to steal the game. They promptly lost 19 yards on the next four plays and that was that.

Villanova: Gets first win.

It was not like Villanova had lost to bad teams when going 0-2. Boston College obviously has significant advantages. And Fordham, it turns out, is very good as Temple and now Columbia (52-7 losers to the Rams on Saturday) can attest.

Still, Andy Talley's team needed a win. That the Wildcats overwhelmed Stony Brook, 35-6, perhaps made it just a bit nicer. Stony Brook, after all, was the team that knocked the 'Cats out in the first round of the 2012 FCS playoffs. That day, Stony Brook threw just six passes, had two 100-yard rushers and rushed for 263 yards overall.

This day, Stony Brook rushed for 87 yards on 32 carries as the Wildcats outgained them on the ground, 266-87.

Villanova (1-2, 1-0 CAA) led 21-0 at the half. The game was not in doubt over the final 30 minutes. Stony Brook (1-2, 1-1) could not generate enough offense or do enough to slow down the 'Cats terrific quarterback John Robertson.

Robertson threw for 140 yards and ran for 119 more. Villanova's really good teams have usually had at least one exceptional offensive player. Robertson looks like that player and this still looks like a very good Villanova team.

Area FCS bragging rights will be on the line Saturday when Penn comes to Villanova Stadium to play the Wildcats.

AROUND THE NATION

The serfs fight back

The games involving many of the top teams were mostly a joke, but what some players did was decidedly not a joke. Little by little, the fraud that is the NCAA is starting to be exposed.

Players from several school wore wrist tape with the acronym APU, standing for "All Players United."

College football players are starting to get a voice, wondering why guys in suits get all the cash and they get nothing.

There is also the matter of rules that are outdated, punitive and selectively enforced.

The players create the interest. It is one thing not to compensate them (at the very least market forces should be unleashed), but another thing entirely to treat the players like they are somehow evil if they break rules that are somewhere between nonsensical and outrageous.

Thrill of competition

Ohio State 76 FAMU 0.

Louisville 72 FIU 0.

Miami 77 Savannah State 7.

Baylor 70 UL Monroe 7.

Washington 56 Idaho State 0.

Beyond the obvious question of wondering what is wrong with the Huskies, why?

Yes, FAMU got $450,000 per first down in guaranteed money to be sacrificed on the altar of Buckeyes football. But what is this, exactly? Seriously, 34 first downs to 2, 603 yards to 80. By quarter, the score was 34, 21, 14, 7. OSU backup QB Kenny Guiton had a school-record six TD passes - in the first half.

Louisville outgained FIU, 464 to 30. It was 20 first downs to two. These may be games, but they are not contests.

Miami had a school record for points while racking up 637 yards and never punting. The coaches agreed to shorten the fourth quarter to 12 minutes. They should have agreed not to schedule the game.

Baylor finished 19 yards shy of 800. In recent years, the only team to put up 28 or more points in the first quarter of any three games in a season was 2008 Oklahoma. Baylor has done it in its first three games. Maybe, it wasn't just about RGIII and Danny Watkins.

Somebody wanted to know when UL Monroe coach Todd Berry knew it was over.

"I think when we were down 42-0 in the first quarter, I think that was the moment," he said.

Actually, it was not 42-0 until 2 minutes were gone in the second quarter, but the coach made a very good point.

May the football gods have mercy on all their cold souls.

J Football

There is no defense for Johnny Football. Manziel threw for 244 and ran for 102 in Texas A&M's 42-13 win over SMU. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner played one series in the second half.

'Bama keeps winning

Jim McElwain was the offensive coordinator at Alabama and was there for two of the recent national titles. Now, he is the coach at Colorado State, which also plays football but not that kind of football.

His team lost just 31-6, which - on the third Saturday of September - was sort of like winning.

Putting up numbers

Georgia's terrific QB Aaron Murray has thrown 102 TD passes, 12 shy of Danny Wuerffel's SEC record.


Email: jerardd@phillynews.com

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