Temple and Villanova played their third straight Mayor's Cup game to open the college football season and for the second year the Owls leave victorious. However, this time, it wasn't even close. Steve Adazzio's debut could not have gone better as the Owls ran rougshod over a completely overmatched and very inexperienced Wildcat squad to the tune of 42-7. Temple, who plays in a division above Nova, lost some key players to graduation, namely defenders Muhammad Wilkerson and Jaiquawn Jarrett who were in action against one another as the Eagles played the Jets in a preseason game tonight. However, they were not hit nearly as hard as Villanova.
The Wildcats lost 12 starters including OL Ben Ijalana went to the NFL, do everything man Matt Szczur chose to focus on baseball post graduation and is currently playing for the Cubs organization, while QB Chris Whitney and standout LB Terence Thomas graduated. With that core the Wildcats won the FCS National Title in 2009 and were the runner up last year. But with those guys gone they simply can't compete with an FBS team like Temple and you would have to shudder to think what would happen if they ended up moving to the Big East in the near future.
Owl RB Bernard Pierce rushed for 147 yards and 3 TDs while Chris Coyer ran for a 78 yard TD for Temple's final score in the fourth. Villanova could never really get anything going, turning the ball over four times and getting out-gained 465-287.
The game drew over 32,000 fans to Lincoln Financial Field. It was not televised, but could be seen on ESPN3.com, until the feed was lost in the 3rd however. That's about the best it gets for college football in Philly I suppose.