Another last-second loss for Owls

Posted: November 05, 2013

Players of the weekend

National: Princeton's Quinn Epperly set an NCAA record by completing his first 29 passes in a 53-20 win over Cornell.

Local: Withler Marcelin carried 28 times for 168 yards as Rowan beat SUNY Cortland, 10-9.

Around town

Rutgers 23, Temple 20

It's hard enough to lose one game a season on a last-second pass. Or even one every 3 or 4 years. The Owls (1-8, 0-5 AAC) have now done it twice in less than 2 months.

Remember Fordham?

This time, Gary Nova threw a 33-yard touchdown to Leonte Carroo on fourth-and-10 with 35 ticks left to bail out the host Scarlet Knights (5-3, 2-2), who had lost their last two.

The Owls had taken a four-point lead with 11 minutes to go. With 1:53 left they were stopped on a fourth-and-1 run at the Rutgers 27. It took the Knights, who had no timeouts left, eight plays to reach the end zone.

The Owls missed a PAT for the fifth time this year. They've missed four field goals, with one conversion. They haven't tried one in the last four games.

Nova passed for 371 yards and no interceptions, after throwing seven the past two games.

Temple's Kenneth Harper scored twice, his fourth multiple TD game of the season. True freshman P.J. Walker has thrown for 11 TDs in four starts. That would have led the Owls in each of the past 2 years.

Temple led at the half for the fourth straight week and fifth time overall.

The Owls now get their second bye, before once-beaten Central Florida comes to South Philly on Nov. 16.

James Madison 31, Villanova 21

The Wildcats (4-5, 3-3 CAA) are not going back to the FCS playoffs.

This was their third straight loss, after winning at then-No. 3 Towson on Oct. 12. The previous 2 weeks they'd lost by one (on a late two-point conversion) and two, to nationally ranked teams. Doesn't matter any more. The best they can hope for is to finish with a winning record, after starting No. 5. That's what too many injuries in key spots and the toughest strength of schedule can do.

The Dukes (6-3, 3-2), who are 6-0 at home, never trailed. It was 17-14 at the half. Villanova wouldn't score again until late. By then an 86-yard interception return by DeAndre' Smith with 6 minutes remaining had already put things out of reach.

The Wildcats need John Robertson to be really good. This time, for one of the few times, he wasn't. The 44 rushing yards (on 17 attempts) were his second-fewest this year. And that included a 31-yard run. He'd been averaging 134 per. The last two games he'd become the first Wildcat to rush for 200 back-to-back. He did pass for 219.

Next week the Wildcats are at Rhode Island (3-7, 2-4), their fourth road trip in five games.

Brown 27, Penn 0

Al Bagnoli has been coaching in West Philly since 1992. Before Saturday his Quakers had been shut out once. That was 2 years ago, 6-0, in some bad weather at Brown. This time the conditions had little to do with it.

If the Quakers (4-3, 3-1) want to win an unprecedented fourth outright Ivy title in 5 years, they're going to have to beat Princeton (6-1, 4-0) and win at Harvard (6-1, 3-1), which has already lost to the Tigers. Brown (5-2, 2-2) had lost to both. The Bears have beaten Penn four of the last five times in Providence. The Penn win was in overtime.

The Quakers haven't lost to Princeton since 2006. That was in double OT.

John Spooney, the Ivy 100-meter champion, ran 93 yards on the first play. Early in the second he went 94 for a TD. He finished with 231, 146 more than the defending champs. It was 24-0 at intermission. Ryan Becker, in his second start for the injured Billy Ragone (ankle), was picked three times.

No contest

Apparently there was a reason why Florida State was a three-touchdown favorite at home against fellow unbeaten Miami, even though it was only 21-14 at halftime. The Seminoles won the last 30 minutes, 20-zip, and the game, 41-14. Good thing Jameis Winston only went 21 of 29 for 325 yards, with two INTs to one TD.

FSU has beaten the Hurricanes four straight for the first time since the late 1990s.

Last month it beat two other ACC unbeatens, Maryland and Clemson, 63-0 and 51-14, back-to-back.

Miami lost running back Duke Johnson with a broken ankle.

It was a light weekend as Alabama, Oregon, Stanford, Baylor, Oklahoma and LSU all had off to get ready for their respective Thursday/Saturday encounters. The six in the top 12 that did play won by a combined 279-51.

What rivalry?

Remember when Michigan beat Notre Dame and everyone was loving Devin Gardner?

The Wolves (6-2) lost at Michigan State, 29-6. MSU (8-1) has beaten them five of six. It's the first time the Spartans have beaten UM three straight at home. And this is their best stretch against UM since winning six of seven from 1956-62.

It was UM's most lopsided loss in the series since 1967 (34-0). The Spartans, who haven't been to the Rose Bowl since 1988, held UM to minus-48 yards rushing.

Did you notice? * 

Widener's Anthony Davis had 14 receptions in a loss at Albright. That gave him 76 for the season, which broke the program record of 73 set by Jeff Chick in 2005.

* Beleaguered Grambling won for the first time, 47-40, over Mississippi Valley State.

* Clemson's Tajh Boyd (116) passed Philip Rivers (112) as the ACC's all-time TD leader.

* South Carolina tied a school record with its 15th straight home win, set from 1978-80.

* Nebraska beat Northwestern on a 43-yard tipped Hail Mary pass on the final play. The Wildcats are 0-3 in games this year decided by seven points or less, 0-4 if you count the final-play fumble againt Ohio State. Last season they lost three times after leading in the fourth quarter.

* Arkansas finally scored to break a string of 111 straight points given up over three games. The Razorbacks have lost six straight, their longest streak since a seven-game slide in 1990.

* Northern Illinois is 9-0. It hasn't been 10-0 since 1963.

* Virginia has lost 59-10 at home this year to both Oregon and Clemson.


1. Alabama (8-0).

 Idle. Lost at home in November each of last two seasons. In 2011 it was to LSU. Saturday: vs. LSU.

2. Oregon (8-0).

Idle. Lone loss last season was to Stanford, at home in OT. Thursday: at Stanford.

3. Florida State (8-0).

Beat Miami, 41-14. Lost at Wake Forest 2 years ago. Last year it was 52-0 at FSU. Saturday: at Wake Forest.

4. Ohio State (9-0).

Beat Purdue, 56-0. So you think Michigan can beat these Buckeyes? Next: Nov. 16 at Illinois.

5. Baylor (7-0).

Idle. Beat Oklahoma at home with RGIII 2 years ago. Thursday: vs. Oklahoma.

6. Stanford (7-1).

Idle. Hasn’t beaten Oregon back-to-back since 1995-97. Thursday: vs. Oregon.

7. Missouri (8-1).

Beat Tennessee, 31-3. Beat Kentucky by 23 at home last season. Saturday: at Kentucky.

8. Auburn (8-1).

Beat Arkansas, 35-17. Has beaten Tennessee five straight. Last played in 2009. Saturday: at Tennessee.

9. Clemson (8-1).

Beat Virginia, 59-10. Taj Boyd ACC career TD leader. Next: Nov. 14 vs. Georgia Tech.

10. Oklahoma (8-1).

Idle. Has won 21 of 22 against Baylor. Thursday: at Baylor.

Five worth considering:

Miami, Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina and Oklahoma State.


1. Virginia Tech: Shouldn’t be losing at Boston College, the week after losing to Duke. But it is the Hokies.

2. Michigan: Maybe it’s not OK to keep losing to Michigan State. And this time scoring all of six points in the process.

3. Oregon State: Shouldn’t be losing to Southern Cal at home. At least not by 17.

4. Texas Tech: Shouldn’t be losing to Oklahoma State for fifth straight time, and not by 18 at home as slight favorite in battle of nationally ranked teams.

5. Towson: Usually don’t pick on FCS, but it was that kind of week. Shouldn’t be blowing 21-point lead at home in last quarter, even to Delaware, especially as seventh-ranked team.

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