It would be my greatest pleasure to introduce Temple’s Matt Brown to anyone who has ever said “size matters.” Well, at least in football for one thing. Just ask the Villanova Wildcats defense and special teams unit.
The 5’5, 165 lb all-purpose back led the Temple Owls to a 41-10 victory in the fourth and final installment of the annual Mayor’s Cup with a 265-total yard performance. Villanova still leads the overall series 16-15-1.
By the way, this article was in no way intended to scare Big East punters, but they’d best be warned…
It looks like Owls head coach Steve Addazio wants to roll with a committee approach at running back for the 2012-13 season. During Temple’s first drive of the contest—14 plays, 78 yards— Brown ran the ball five times while senior Boston College transfer Montel Harris ran six times.
Sophomore back Kenneth Harper hauled in an 8-yard shovel pass from QB Chris Coyer to finish the drive, putting Temple up 7-0.
Despite starting out the game with two straight turnovers on offense, which led to 14 points for the Owls, dual-threat freshman QB John Robertson led his team downfield for its first touchdown. Robertson, who finished the game with 135 yards in the air and 78 on the ground, scored on 5-yard scamper with only one minute left in the first half—Temple 21, Villanova 10.
With Temple juggling an 11-point lead, Brown took over and became the momentum thief.
Facing 3rd and 7 on its own 44-yard line, Temple took the conservative route and decided to run the clock out. Brown took a handoff, stretched the corner and showed his new number off to the Villanova defense—he was No. 22 last season.
Temple slammed the hammer down in the second half; Brown finished the game with 145 yards on 19 carries, as well as an impressive 22.1-yard per punt return average on 4 returns which helped his Owls outscore ‘Nova 20-0 in the second half.
The Skinny: Temple joining The Big East simply adds spice to college football in the city of Philadelphia. Philly fans should be prepared for an exciting season of football this fall. A new era begins for the Temple football program.
The New Guy: Transferring from Boston College, Montel Harris brings his career 3,735 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns over the Ben Franklin Bridge to the City of Brotherly Love. A fifth-year senior who is the all-time leading rusher at BC was removed from the team for violating teams rules. He rushed five times for 12 yards in his Temple debut was cut short by a hamstring injury. The combination of Harris and Brown can potentially really do some damage this season.
The Stat: Matt Brown: Longest Run of 56 yards; Longest Punt Return of 45 yards
The Prediction: 8-3
The Horrible Joke: What’s Matt Brown’s favorite game? Temple Run.
You can find Mike Lavin on Twitter @GoBirds_Lavin or you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org