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David Coulson

Villanova vs Temple, 2011

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PHILADELPHIA The Temple band is on the turf at Lincoln Financial Field, some awful singer wearing Owls paraphernalia is warbling through an awful rendition of the national anthem and we are minutes away from the third annual Mayor's Cup here in the City of "Brotherly (to use the term loosely) Love."

It is also hard to believe that Temple is playing the rather time-worn theme from Rocky as Steve Addazio (an FCS alum who played at Central Connecticut State) and its new coaching staff gets ready to come on the field with its team.

I have to wonder right now if former Temple coach Al Golden is feeling forlorn as he considers why he ever left Philly to take the job at Miami?

Villanova's veteran coach Andy Talley has seen a lot of coaches come and go in his 27 years on the Main Line and he will probably out-live quite a few more Temple coaches.

After seeing a crowd of 32,193 show up last year for this burgeoning FCS-FBS rivalry, I am disappointed to see a lot of empty seats tonight in the home of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hopefully there are still a lot of people either still tailgating (a Villanova tradition is to show up fashionably late for games), or stuck in some awful rush-hour traffic.

One fan who made it on time is Philadelphia mayor and first-class attention whore Michael Nutter, who was on the field to conduct the coin toss. Temple won the toss and deferred to the second half, which will give the Villanova Wildcats the opening possession.

And it's time for some college football.

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  1. dcoulson's Avatar
    Wildcat receive Mikey Reynolds took a pitch on the option on the first play from scrimmage and ran for a first down to the VU 35.
  2. dcoulson's Avatar
    Lawrence Doss broke through the Temple line on third and one and broke free for 28 yards to the Temple 28. It's going to be a long night for the Owls, if they don't learn to tackle better.

    New QB Dustin Thomas narrowly missed a potential TD pass to a wide open Dorian Wells on the next play.
  3. dcoulson's Avatar
    I see that Murray State is down 21-0 in the second quarter at Louisville.

    Dustin Thomas made his first freshman mistake on fourth and long, throwing an interception when he misread safety coverage and missed Dorian Wells in the end zone. The Wildcats have to avoid more turnovers if they want to win this one.
  4. dcoulson's Avatar
    Villanova's blitz got to quarterback Mike Gerardi a tad late and the result was a 35-yard TD strike to give Temple a 7-0 lead in the first quarter with 7:23 left (at 7:23 p.m.).
  5. dcoulson's Avatar
    After one period, Temple still holds a 7-0 lead over Villanova. On the final play of the quarter, Temple narrowly avoided an interception when Wildcat All-American cornerback James Pitts made a big hit to force a pass to pop loose.
  6. dcoulson's Avatar
    Ronnie Akins got a hand on a pass in the end zone to break up a potential Temple TD as the Owls have moved back down the field on several third down conversions. We will see if it just stalled Temple temporarily, or not.
  7. dcoulson's Avatar
    Two sacks by the Villanova defensive line ended the Temple threat for the end zone and Brandon McManus missed just wide right on a 48-yard field goal attempt.

    Temple held a 67-32 edge in total yards after one quarter, though time of possession was almost even.
  8. dcoulson's Avatar
    QB Dustin Thomas showed he can catch as well as throw when Dorian Wells hit him on a nifty trick play for 44 yards. But Thomas was tripped up short of the end zone with one player to beat and lost a fumble a few plays later.
  9. dcoulson's Avatar
    The second Villanova turnover proved costly as Bernard Pierce went 19-yard on the ensuing drive to give Temple a 14-0 lead after a five-play, 63-yard march.
  10. dcoulson's Avatar
    Temple is driving again in the final minute of the half, with Villanova needing a stop to stay in the game. It is first and 10 for the Owls at the VU 23 with 53 seconds left.
  11. dcoulson's Avatar
    Bernard Pierce went 22 yards for a TD, with a couple of nifty move to the outside to make it 21-0 with 46 seconds left in the half. Pierce has 116 yards in the first half. VU's failure to convert on a couple of early drives is killing the Wildcats now.
  12. dcoulson's Avatar
    There was some bad news announced by Villanova before the game. All-American senior receiver Norman White, one of the top playmakers in the CAA, is out for the season with a broken foot suffered a week or so back in practice. The good news is that White probably won't need surgery and he has a redshirt season available to him. So White should be back terrorizing secondaries again next year.

    A 47-yard strike from Mike Gerardi to Rod Streater gave Temple a 28-0 lead with 12:05 left in the third period. Another writer said it was the best throw anyone had seen at the Linc all year. Eat your heart out, 100-million-dollar man Michael Vick.
  13. dcoulson's Avatar
    It's been a rough night for Villanova redshirt freshman QB Dustin Thomas in his starting debut. He has thrown back-to-back interceptions on Wildcat drives and has three picks and one fumble for four turnovers tonight. It is still Temple 28, Villanova 0 with less than five minutes left in the third period.
  14. dcoulson's Avatar
    Bernard Pierce strikes again with another TD run, this one for 20 yards. It's 35-0 Temple with 2:20 left in the third period. Pierce has 147 yards on 20 carries, with three touchdowns, tying his career high.
  15. dcoulson's Avatar
    Missed blocks by the inexperienced Villanova offensive line led to a Dustin Thomas fumble and turnover, one play after Thomas was a move away from breaking past a safety for a touchdown. Temple has made two TD-saving tackles on Thomas tonight. That's five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles lost) for Thomas in a nightmare of a debut.

    On the bright side, Thomas has shown some real athleticism tonight and could develop into a very good QB before long.
  16. dcoulson's Avatar
    After further review, the fumble recovery for Villanova was overturned and the Wildcats got the ball back at the Owl 27. So it's back to four turnovers for Thomas.
  17. dcoulson's Avatar
    Villanova decided to go for it on fourth down, instead of trying a field goal of 35 yards, but heavy pressure from the blitzing Owls forced Thomas to get rid of the ball quickly for an incompletion. Temple then replaced QB Mike Gerardi with backup Chris Coyer, who scampered 68 yards for a TD to make it 42-0 with 12:20 left in the fourth period.
  18. dcoulson's Avatar
    Dustin Thomas showed some grit on a scoring drive for Villanova to make it 42-7 with 7:57 left in the game. He had a four-yard scoring burst on an 11-play march that features several nice runs and passes.
  19. dcoulson's Avatar
    And the final score is Temple 42, Villanova 7. The Wildcats have nine days until they open CAA play at Towson on Sept. 10 and a lot of work to do.