Sep 1, 2012, 3:56 AM EDT
The fourth and final Mayor’s Cup came to a pretty uneventful end by the time the clock struck zero Friday night. By that point, Temple had amassed a 31-point lead and the fourth quarter had played out more like an inconvenient necessity than a dramatic conclusion to a rivalry game.
Still, the Mayor’s Cup was a certain success, setting a new record for the third-largest attendance to ever watch a Temple football game at Lincoln Financial Field.
Our assorted notes recap featuring Matt Brown’s 270-yard performance, Brandon McManus’ history-making night, attendance details, milestones, stats, story lines and postgame audio from the Temple win after the jump…
– The announced crowd of 32,709 set a new Mayor’s Cup attendance record and was the largest crowd to ever watch a Temple game at the Linc that did not involve Penn State. An encouraging sign for the game’s in-question future, the size of the game’s crowd grew larger in each of the past four years, moving from 27,759 in 2009 to 32,193 in 2010 to 32,638 in 2011 to 32,709 in 2012.
– Temple senior kicker Brandon McManus set a school record for field goals made with the 47th field goal of his career on a 24-yard attempt in the fourth quarter. He extended his newly-own record with his 48th conversion as an Owl later in the quarter. The 61-yard punt he unleashed in the second half wasn’t bad either.
– Just barely a year after his first game with the program, Friday night’s result secured Steve Addazio his tenth win as the head coach at Temple. The victory was Temple’s fifth straight in total and fifth straight at home dating back to last season. The Owls have won their last three season openers in a row, all of them over Villanova.
– Total yards: Temple 362, Villanova 365
– Passing yards: Temple 61, Villanova 163
– Rushing yards: Temple 301, Villanova 212
– First downs: Temple 15, Villanova 18
– Third-down conversions: Temple 6/13, Villanova 5/14
– Turnovers: Temple 0, Villanova 2
– TOI: Temple 30:17, Villanova 29:43
– Matt Brown, RB — 270 yards on 26 touches. That kind of speaks for itself, but is worth detailing nonetheless. Brown rushed for 146 yards on 19 attempts, added 84 more yards on four kick returns and yet 41 more on three punt returns. The most important of those 26 touches came with less than a minute to play in the first half. Right after a failed 4th-and-2 attempt set up a Villanova scoring drive that cut the Owls’ lead to only 11 — 21-10 — Brown ripped a 56-yarder to put the Owls’ back up 18 with 21 seconds to go before the break. Addazio and offensive coordinator Ryan Day opted to go for the jugular with the fourth down call, and it would have cost them on the board had Brown not immediately made up for it by putting the game on lockdown with still 30 minutes left to go. For more on Matt Brown’s stellar night, including how he recruited himself to Temple by explaining that the program “sucked” anyway and that it might as well take a look at him, click here.
– Montel Harris, RB — Through no fault of his own, Harris’ Temple debut was underwhelming. He touched the ball just six times in the first half on five rushes and one reception for 20 yards. When Temple came out of the tunnel at the half, Harris took to the sideline in sweatpants and was done for the night. After the game, it was revealed he had been battling a strained hamstring, and tried to give it a go, but was limited. Addazio said he made the decision to pull Harris so that he’d have the best chance to be ready to go in full against Maryland next week.
– Kenny Harper, FB/RB — In Harris’ absence, Kenny Harper filled in as the complement to Brown, scoring the first two touchdowns of his collegiate career. The first came on an eight-yard shovel pass from Chris Coyer to open the scoring at 7-0 and the second came on a 38-yard run in the second half to push the Temple lead to 35-10. Moving forward, keep an eye on what Temple does with Harper when they start rearranging their backfield in the spread-option. More on that in the section below about the as-yet-unrevealed offensive playbook.
– Chris Coyer, QB — Coyer attempted more plays on the ground than through the air and ran for more yards than he passed. It probably won’t be the last time that happens this season. The stats broke down to 86 yards and a touchdown on 13 rushing attempts and 61 yards on five completions in 11 passing attempts. To be honest, nothing much to report here as his reps were limited. He started out 3 for 3 before then going 0 for 3 and then 2 for 5. Temple ran the ball as expected, and Coyer did what he had to when asked, with the exception of a couple poor passes on third down. Still, the offense was so vanilla that it was hard to get gauge on anything, and he certainly wasn’t going to get into any kind of rhythm passing the ball. In short, he was fine.
– Vaughn Carraway, FS — As good as Brown was, it was Carraway that swung the game in the second quarter. After a 14-play, 78-yard Villanova drive put the Wildcats on the board with a field goal and down 7-3, the Temple offense left the field on two straight three-and-outs as the game was settling in and the VU beginning to generate a bit of momentum. But when ‘Nova QB Chris Polony targeted his star wideout, Norman White, down the left sideline, Carraway came over the top, intercepted the ball and and made multiple would-be tacklers look silly in his 57-yard return to the end zone. It was the second INT of his career and his first touchdown. Just two plays later, a Carraway recovered a Nate Smith-forced fumble. And just three plays after that, Coyer was in the endzone. Those two turnovers advanced the Temple lead from four to 18 points in 48 seconds. Carraway, by the way, also finished with three tackles.
– Nate Smith, MIKE — The man who knocked loose the aforementioned Kevin Monangai fumble, Smith led the Temple defense with seven tackles, all of which were unassisted.
Notes and Story lines
– Don’t get too excited — Yes, it was a confidence-instilling, Week 1 blowout victory, but it was against an FCS team that wasn’t very good last year, and is missing three key guys on offense. This game should have played out exactly how it did. That fact that Temple took care of business is a good sign, but doesn’t say much about how they’ll stack up against the Big East.
– Receivers MIA — Well-explained by the Inqy’s Keith Pompey: “West performance of the game: I hate to do this to the Owls’ outside receivers, especially when Wildcats quarterback Chris Polony completed just 2 of 7 passes and threw an interception. But I can’t overlook that Deon Miller, C.J. Hammond and Ryan Alderman were all held without a catch. Hammond failed to catch a very catchable pass on the deep throw toward the Wildcats’ sideline. In Miller’s defense, he’s getting over an viral illness. But slot receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick, caught two passes for 33 yards, will need help if the Ow
ls expect to keep teams from loading the box to stop the run.”
ls expect to keep teams from loading the box to stop the run.”
– Hamstrings can be like the Cranberries — I mean that they can linger, not that they’re in your head. Montel Harris can be a great weapon for Temple this year; he’s the nation’s active leader in 100-yard rushing games. With any luck, he just needs some rest and a light week of practice.
– Expanding the playbook — The Temple offense was remarkably boring Friday night and with good reason. Temple didn’t want to show much of anything to Maryland or Penn State — their next two opponents — and they didn’t. In addressing Harper’s performance postgame, Addazio spoke with excitement about what the team might look like in his fully-realized spread and how Harper and slot receivers Jalen Fitzpatrick and Khalif Herbin can all line up at tailback. So how much did they hold back? According to Matt Brown, .01% of the offensive playbook was on display Friday night.
– Offensive line status report — They’re alive. They protected Coyer well and opened holes for the backs. They’re alive.
– Not So Stormin’ Norman — Norman White, Villanova’s pro prospect wideout who missed all of last season with a foot injury, led all Wildcat receivers, but caught just four balls for 33 yards. He dropped at least two balls sent his way, including one that went right through his hands on third down. Temple doubled-up him on nearly every passing play. Talley said after that the double coverage obviously kept White’s touches down, but that there were other times when quarterbacks Chris Polony and John Robertson simply missed their open receiver because they were forced to pull the ball down under pressure.
– Fight song drowns out Talley — Just as Andy Talley took the podium to address the media, the Temple locker room began signing the “T for Temple U” fight song. Superb timing. Listen to that audio here and Steve Addazio’s postgame address below.
– Temple hosts the Maryland Terrapins next Saturday at Noon. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
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