They lost to Houston, in what was a two-point game with a minute left. Then they lost to FCS Fordham on a 29-yard pass in the final seconds. That was also at home. Now they flew nearly 3,000 miles to lose to what had been the winless Vandals, who also have a first-year coach in Paul Petrino.
The Owls never led. It was 17-3 at halftime, 23-10 early in the fourth quarter. But they got within two, as close as they'd been, on a short TD run with 3:32 to go, culminating a 10-play, 75-yard drive in which they converted a fourth-and-2 at the Idaho 32.
The Vandals then managed to keep the ball until there were 10 seconds showing. They did that by converting a fourth-and-1 from their 39, after gaining 10 yards on the previous snap. So all the Owls could do was throw two long incompletions from their 27.
Sophomore linebacker Tyler Matakevich had 24 tackles, a program record.
The Owls had three new starters on the offense line, including two freshmen. Matt Rhule also used three first-time starters on defense.
Idaho got four FGs from Austin Rehkow.
Villanova 35, Penn 6
Al Bagnoli, for all he's accomplished in West Philly, is now 0-12 against Andy Talley, who got his 200th win on the Main Line.
It was the second straight home win by the same score (last week in the CAA over Stony Brook) for the Wildcats, who are finally looking like the kind of team most folks thought they could be.
It was 21-0 at the half, 28-6 after three quarters.
John Robertson threw for 266 yards and three TDs and ran for 132 (on 15 carries) and another score. Kevin Monangai also rushed for 101 (on 17). Poppy Livers had two TD catches. Craig James ran a blocked field goal back 73 yards for a TD late in the first period. And Joe Sarnese, who'd been out with an injury, had a pair of interceptions.
Penn (1-1) turned it over four times. Connor Scott had 11 receptions for 129 yards. The Quakers open the Ivy League on Saturday against Dartmouth (1-1) at Franklin Field.
The Wildcats (2-2, 19th in FCS) are also home again in the CAA with William & Mary (3-1).
This is what can happen when some people start questioning Alabama's whatever. It beats No. 21 Mississippi at home, 25-0. Not necessarily shocking. But the Rebels hadn't been shut out since 1998, and were trying to go 4-0 for the first time in 12 years.
Alabama might not get back to the national title game for the fourth time in 5 years. But looking at the schedule, it should be 8-0 when LSU visits in early November. And LSU still has to play Florida and Texas A&M, which the Tide has already beaten. So it looks like there's a pretty decent chance the Tide will at least get to the SEC final again, probably against Georgia again.
And who thought that LSU and Georgia would both score 40? Maybe LSU was better off winning games 9-6.
So, you think Notre Dame misses Everett Golston and Manti Te'o? Kind of makes you wonder how good Michigan and Oklahoma are. Still, if Michigan wins at Penn State in 2 weeks, it should be unbeaten come November.
The Sooners' October is TCU, Texas, at Kansas and Texas Tech. They get a bye before going to Baylor for a Nov. 7 Thursday nighter. The Bears could well remain and-0 by then. Wouldn't that be special? Then again, Texas Tech might be unbeaten when it plays OU, too. Baylor and TT were picked to finish fifth and seventh, respectively, in the Big 12's preseason poll.
If Ohio State gets by Northwestern this week, it will be 11-0 going to the Big House on Thanksgiving weekend.
Oregon is averaging nearly 60 per without Chip Kelly. But it does go to Washington in two weeks and hosts UCLA in four.
After Temple, Louisville gets Rutgers and Central Florida, both at home.
And wasn't it a good thing that former Southern Cal coach Lane Kiffin got that vote of confidence from his athletic director not too long ago?
Did you notice? *
Lehigh (4-0, 18th in FCS) scored 31 of the final 39 points to beat visiting New Hampshire (1-2, No. 7) for the first time in 10 meetings going back to 1982, 34-27. It was the Mountain Hawks' fourth straight comeback win.
* Miami (4-0) is off to its best start since 2004, while Washington (4-0), Fresno State (4-0) and Maryland (4-0) are all off to their best starts since 2001.
* Clemson's Tajh Boyd joined Philip Rivers (North Carolina State, 2000-03) as the only ACC QBs to account for 100 TDs.
* Texas A&M has won nine straight road games.
* South Florida has lost 13 of 14. The Bulls do not play Temple this year.
* Washington's Bishop Sankey, the nation's second-leading rusher, carried a school-record 40 times (for 161 yards) in a win over Arizona. Cory Dillon had 38 against Washington State in 1996.
* Florida beat Kentucky for the 27th straight time. First-year Gators assistant Joker Phillips was the Wildcats coach last season.
* Oregon State, which opened with a loss to FCS Eastern Washington, is 4-1.
Michael Jack's Top 10
1. Alabama (4-0). Beat Mississippi, 25-0. Maybe that defense ain't so bad after all. Saturday: vs. Georgia State.
2. Ohio State (5-0). Beat Wisconsin, 31-24. Has beaten Northwestern 28 of last 29. That was in 2004 at NW. Saturday: at Northwestern.
3. Oregon (4-0). Beat Cal, 55-16. Scored 70 against Colorado last year. Saturday: at Colorado.
4. Clemson (4-0). Beat Wake Forest, 56-7. Only played Syracuse once, 41-0 Gator Bowl loss in 1995. Saturday: at Syracuse.
5. Stanford (4-0). Beat Washington State, 55-17. Lost at Washington last year. Saturday: vs. Washington.
6. Georgia (3-1). Beat LSU, 44-41. Dawgs have inside track on SEC East title. Saturday: at Tennessee.
7. Louisville (4-0). Idle. Last time Cards came to South Philly, as No. 13 in 2006, it was 62-zip. Saturday: at Temple.
8. Florida State (4-0). Beat Boston College, 48-34. Has beaten Maryland 21 of 23. Last loss in 2006. Saturday: vs. Maryland
9. LSU (4-1). Lost at Georgia, 44-41. Has beaten Mississippi State 13 straight. Saturday: at Mississippi State.
10. Texas A&M (4-1). Beat Arkansas, 45-33. Johnny Football gets to rest for a week. Next: Oct. 12 at Mississippi.
Five others to consider:
South Carolina, Oklahoma, UCLA, Washington and Miami.
Georgia Tech: Shouldn't be losing at home to a Virginia Tech team that just needed three overtimes to beat visiting Marshall. And it shouldn't be scoring 10 points in the process. Maybe those new Hokie helmets had something to do with it.
Oklahoma State: An 11th-ranked team shouldn't be losing by nine (or even one) as a 19-point favorite at West Virginia, which just lost 37-nada to Maryland.
Connecticut: I know Huskies aren't good, but they did almost beat Michigan. So they shouldn't be losing by 29 to Buffalo.
North Carolina: I don't know much about East Carolina, but I do know the Pirates were 11-point underdogs. And they won by 24.
Purdue: Didn't Boilermakers nearly beat Notre Dame? I know Northern Illinois is unbeaten, but the Huskies did only win by 10 at Idaho. So what are they doing winning by 31 in West Lafayette?