In a sloppy home opener at Lincoln Financial Field, the renewed football rivalry between Temple and Villanova ended in wild fashion with the Wildcats pulling off a 23-20 win in double overtime.
The game saw the teams commit a total of 24 penalties, with Temple posting 13 for 115 yards. The highly ranked Division I-AA offense of Villanova didn’t disappoint as sophomore quarterback Joe Casamento connected on 28-of-37 passes for 347 yards and two touchdowns. Temple was a dismal 1-of-12 on third downs.
“This was a tough game, a very tough game,” Temple head coach Bobby Wallace said. “I give Villanova a lot of credit, they played an outstanding game.”
The game was decided on a 47-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Adam James, who had a career-high three field goals with a bruised thigh.
The game went to overtime when Temple’s erratic kicker, Jared Davis, hit a 38-yard field goal. He was 2 for 4 on the day missing from 33 and 50.
James had a chance to win the game when Davis missed a 47-yard field goal in the second overtime. Davis is 3-for-8 on kicks this year, including three misses today.
In the first overtime Casamento hit Noble Champen for a 20-13 ‘Nova lead. Temple answered with a 25-yard TD pass from Mike McGann to Zamir Cobb. Cobb finished the game with eight receptions for 111 yards.
‘Nova wasted no time to show that last year’s win against Division I-A Rutgers wasn’t a fluke as they moved the ball well against a tough Temple defense. ‘Nova’s second drive of the game ended on a fumble by Casamento and was recovered by Temple linebacker Rian Wallace, which put the Owls at the Wildcats’ 45 yard line.
The Owls took advantage of the turnover when McGann threw downfield and connected with Phil Goodman over the middle for 34 yards and put Temple on the ‘Nova 2. Makonnen Fenton ran it in from one yard out to give the Owls its first score in the new stadium. He would later leaved the game in the third quarter with two broken ribs and will be out four to six weeks.
To start the second half Villanova got a great opportunity to tie the score when McGann fumbled and Villanova linebacker Brian Huela recovered it at the Owls’ 23. Two plays and 18 seconds later Casamento hit a wide-open Phil DiGiacomo for a 2-yard touchdown pass and a new ball game with 13:39 left in the third quarter.
But penalties cost the Owls a score late in the game when Terrence Stubbs was called for offensive pass interference, negating a 22-yard TD pass from McGann.
‘Nova’s big play offense struck again when Casamento hit a wide-open J.J. Outlaw for 53 yards and brought the ball down to the Owls’ 6. The defense played the goal line tough and set up a crucial fourth down and one from the one with 5:25 left in the third. With the crowd on their feet, the Owls defense forced an incomplete pass and once again another turnover on downs.
“I think it was terrific that two local college teams had the opportunity to play in the opener (to Lincoln Financial Field),” Villanova head coach Andy Talley said. “It was probably written in a book somewhere that it should of gone to overtime, I can’t tell you the best team won.”