Friday, August 31, 2012

Temple routs Villanova to win Mayor's Cup

By John McMullen
jmcmullen@phanaticmag.com

PHILADELPHIA (The Phanatic Magazine) - North Broad was too much for the Main Line again as Temple kicked off its 2012 season by routing Villanova, 41-10, in the fourth annual Mayor's Cup in front of 32,709 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Senior running back Matt Brown dominated the Wildcats, accounting for 270 all-purpose yards and a touchdown as the Owls won for the 16th time in 19 tries at the Linc.

It was the 10th career 100-yard rushing game for Brown, who finished with 145 yards on the ground and passed Todd McNair to climb into fifth place on the all-time Temple rushing list with 2,420 career yards. The diminutive 5-foot- Brown added 84 yards on punt returns and another 41 on kickoff returns.

"Matt Brown had a heck of a night," Owls coach Steve Addazio said. "He's a warrior out there. Running -- on punt returns -- he was gassed but that's what he does. He's relentless."

Addazio, in his second year as Temple's head coach, went with Chris Coyer as his starting quarterback and the dual-threat finished 5-for-11 passing for 61 yards and a TD and added another TD on the ground, finishing with 80 yards rushing.


Montel Harris, the all-time leading rusher at Boston College who transferred to Temple and is expected to be a big part of the offense, struggled with a strained hamstring and finished with just 12 yards on five carries.  Sophomore Kenny Harper picked him up, however, by scoring two TDs, one through the air and one on the ground.

"I though we played a physical brand of football," Addazio said. "We wanted to run the football and I thought we did that. For night one with a young team right out of the box, we got accomplished what we wanted to get accomplished."  

Chris Polony split time with redshirt freshman John Robertson at quarterback for Villanova but Robertson was much more effective, leading the Wildcats to their only touchdown and finishing with 135 yards passing and adding another 78 rushing.

"We never got a real offensive rhythm going," Wildcats coach Andy Talley said.  "I was hoping our quarterback  Chris Polony would play better. We got a lift from Robertson and stuck with him."

After forcing a three-and-out to start the game Temple took the early advantage on its first possession with a methodical 14-play, 78-yard drive which took nearly eight minutes off the clock. The Owls gave Villanova a heavy dose of Brown on the march before Harper found the end zone on an 8-yard shovel pass from Coyer.

The Wildcats answered with a 12-play, 85-yard excursion before Temple stiffened inside the 5-yard line and forced Villanova to settle for a 20-yard Mark Hamilton field goal.

Temple extended their lead early in the second quarter when Polony aired it out and overthrew Norman White, allowing Vaughn Carraway, who was playing center field, to intercept the ball. The senior free safety then followed a caravan down the right sideline for a 57- yard score and a 14-3 Owls cushion.

A few plays later Carraway was at it again recovering a Kevin Monangai fumble at the Villanova 24. Coyer quickly made the Wildcats pay, gashing up the middle on a quarterback draw for a 19-yard TD with 9:08 remaining until halftime.

Robertson gave Villanova some life with his movement skills and capped a 69-yard scoring drive by pulling the ball down and rushing up the middle for a 4-yard score with just 1:04 remaining until intermission. The Wildcats' first TD of 2012 cut the Owls' lead to 21-10 but any momentum was short-lived.Seconds later Brown took a sweep off right tackle and burst through the line, running 56 yards for a TD and giving Temple a 28-10 advantage heading to the locker room.

The rout was on early in the third quarter when Harper went off left tackle and galloped 38 yards for a TD.

A pair of Brandon McManus field goals in the fourth quarter, which vaulted him past Bill Wright into first place atop Temple's all-time list accounted for the final margin.

OWL Droppings:

*This was the 33rd meeting between the Owls and the Wildcats since 1908, renewing a 104-year old cross-town rivalry. The Wildcats still hold a 16-15-2 series advantage.

*The 32,709 was the third largest crowd to watch a Temple home game at LFF trailing the two times Penn State has visited and edging the 32,368 that was at the 2011 Mayor's Cup. Five of the top eight Temple crowds at the Linc have been against 'Nova.

*McManus now has 48 career filed goals compared to Wright's 46.

*Scouts from the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, San Diego Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins  and Jacksonville Jaguars were on hand as well as the Optimum Scouting Service.

*Cat Scratches:

*Villanova is 3-14 vs. FCS teams since restoring football and is 2-3 vs. Temple, dropping the past three Mayor's Cup games.
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