Temple Routs Villanova 41-10 on Matt Brown's Big Night

Temple Routs Villanova 41-10 on Matt Brown's Big Night

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...

Milestones-- 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.
Team Stats-- 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
Individual Performances-- 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."

-- 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.
 
Next Up-- Temple hosts the Maryland Terrapins next Saturday at Noon. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Best of NHL: Sabres snap Blues' 6-game winning streak

Best of NHL: Sabres snap Blues' 6-game winning streak

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Robin Lehner stopped 16 shots in the third period and 37 overall, and the Buffalo Sabres snapped the St. Louis Blues' six-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory on Saturday.

Evander Kane and minor-league callup Nicholas Baptiste each had a goal and an assist in Buffalo's third straight win, matching a season best accomplished three times. Ryan O'Reilly also scored for the Sabres (26-23-10), who have three more wins than losses for the first time since closing the 2011-12 season 39-32-11.

Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for St. Louis, which lost for the first time since a 4-1 defeat to Pittsburgh on Feb. 4 (see full recap).

Jets spoil Julien's return to Montreal
MONTREAL -- Patrik Laine and Mathieu Perreault each had a goal and an assist, and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled Claude Julien's return to Montreal with a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday.

Joel Armia also scored for Winnipeg (27-29-5), and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 19 shots. The Jets had dropped five of six.

The Canadiens fired coach Michel Therrien on Tuesday and hired Julien in hopes of getting their season back on track. Julien also coached Montreal from 2003-2006.

But Julien's first game back was more of the same for the first-place Canadiens (31-20-8), who have lost three in a row and seven of eight (see full recap).

Senators top Leafs to gain on Canadiens
TORONTO -- Mark Stone had a goal and four assists, Derick Brassard scored twice in the third period and the Ottawa Senators recovered after blowing a two-goal lead to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Senators pulled within two points of Montreal for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ottawa led 2-0 after one period but trailed 3-2 in the third before getting a tying goal from Mike Hoffman and a power-play goal from Brassard. Stone and Brassard added empty-netters, and Chris Wideman and Ryan Dzingel also scored for the Senators.

Ottawa has won four of five overall and three of four against the Leafs this season. Craig Anderson stopped 34 shots.

Morgan Rielly, Nazem Kadri and William Nylander scored and Auston Matthews had two assists for the Maple Leafs. Frederik Andersen allowed four goals on 40 shots (see full recap).

NBA All-Star Saturday: Glenn Robinson III dunk champion; Eric Gordon wins 3-point contest

NBA All-Star Saturday: Glenn Robinson III dunk champion; Eric Gordon wins 3-point contest

NEW ORLEANS -- Glenn Robinson III is the NBA's new dunk king, with an assist to Indiana teammate Paul George, the Pacers' mascot and a Pacers cheerleader.

Robinson leaped over all three, snagging the ball from George along the way before finishing with an emphatic, two-hand, reverse jam, giving him a perfect score -- and the title -- on his final dunk.

Robinson edged out Phoenix's Derrick Jones Jr., who was done in by his failure to complete his difficult first dunk of two in the final round.

Jones still managed a perfect score on his second dunk, when he received a bounce-pass in the paint, put it between his legs and threw down a left-handed jam. But Robinson made sure it wasn't enough.

In the 3-point contest, Houston's Eric Gordon dethroned Golden State splash brother Klay Thompson. Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks won the Skills Challenge.

Both dunk finalists delighted the crowd with soaring slams over teammates and others that showcased the explosive spring in their vertical leaps.

Robinson had one dunk in which he leap-frogged one man sitting on another's shoulders, grabbed the ball from the elevated man's hands and slamming it home.

Jones jumped over four teammates including Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss in the first round. He also drew roars from the crowd when he took a pass off the side of the backboard from Booker with his right hand, put the ball between his legs to his left for a round-house jam.

The dunk that cost him was a bold one. He tried to leap a friend and the Suns' gorilla mascot, grab the ball on the way over, put it between his legs and then finish with a windmill. But he couldn't get the dunk to go down in his allotted three attempts.

DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Aaron Gordon of Orlando were unable to emerge from the first round. Jordan dunked over DJ turn tables and Gordon dunked after receiving a bounce pass from a drone that had flown over the court with the "Star Wars" theme music playing.

Eric Gordon got his win in New Orleans, where he played the previous five seasons before leaving last summer in free agency.

Gordon's score of 21 in a final-round tiebreaker defeated Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, the 2013 winner who had 18. The pair had each finished with a score of 20 in the final round, meaning they each had to shoot 25 more balls to decide it.

"I wasn't really concentrating on how many I made," Gordon said. "It's all about just knocking down the shot. I never counted in my head or anything. I just go out there and just shoot the ball."

Thompson was stunningly eliminated in the first round, missing a final shot from the corner that could have put him through ahead of Kemba Walker.

Big men reigned supreme for a second straight year in the skills competition, with the 7-foot-3 Porzingis beating Utah's Gordon Hayward in the final round.

Those vanquished in earlier rounds included guards John Wall of Washington and Isaiah Thomas of Boston, both because they couldn't make their initial 3-pointers required to close out the course before Hayward did, even though Hayward had trailed each of them dribbling down the court by a considerable margin before hitting his clinching shots.

Porzingis emerged from the big-men's division that included the Pelicans' Anthony Davis and Denver's Nikola Jokic.

"It's a good feeling that I'm able to showcase my skill with my size and show to the kids that you're capable of doing that even if you're tall and lanky like me," Porzingis said. "I think a lot of kids now growing up will improve those perimeter skills just seeing guys like -- I don't want to mention myself, but big guys with perimeter skills that can do it."

Porzingis and Hayward were neck-and-neck until the end of the course, but Porzingis hit his 3 first to end it.

The three-round, head-to-head obstacle-course competition tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills.

Earlier on Saturday, Rollie Massimino, who coached Villanova to the 1985 NCAA championship, and Chris Webber were among the 14 finalists for this year's Basketball Hall of Fame induction class.

Others include NBA referee Hugh Evans, Connecticut star Rebecca Lobo, two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, five-time All-Star Sidney Moncrief, Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey, Kansas coach Bill Self and two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

Previous finalists returning to the ballot include point guard Tim Hardaway, record-setting high school coach Robert Hughes, Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw, former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan and 10-time AAU national champion Wayland Baptist University.

Enshrinees will be announced at the Final Four on April 3. The induction ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts are Sept. 7-9.