Friday, August 31 • 7 p.m. • ESPN3
Lincoln Financial Field (68,532/Natural Grass)
ESPN3 — Scott Graham and John Blount
WPHT-AM 1210 (flagship)
THE GAME • THE MAYOR’S CUP
Temple opens the season against Villanova for the fourth straight year as the local rivals meet for the 33rd time overall … Villanova leads the all-time series 16-14-2, though Temple has won the last two meetings after last year’s 42-7 win … Friday’s game will be the fourth in the series that will be contested for the Mayor’s Cup … The schools are located roughly 10 miles apart … While Temple competes in the BIG EAST for football only in 2012, Villanova is a member of the BIG EAST in all conference sports except football.
Steve Addazio (Central Connecticut ’81) - LISTEN TO THIS WEEK'S TELECONFERENCE
9-4, second season
Temple, which competed as a BIG EAST member in football from 1991-2004, makes its return to the league in 2012 … The Owls have registered more wins in the past three seasons (26) than in any other three-year period in school history … Temple’s four-game winning streak entering the 2012 season is the longest active streak among BIG EAST members … Temple went 9-4 in Steve Addazio’s first season as head coach in 2011, but returns just 10 starters from that group … The Owls have the fewest returning starters of any BIG EAST team … Temple received a late boost with the arrival of RB Montel Harris — a transfer from Boston College who is the active career rushing leader among Football Bowl Subdivision players and the career rushing leader in the Atlantic Coast Conference (3,735 yards) … Harris joins RB Matt Brown, a two-time All-MAC selection who had 916 rushing yards, six TDs last year, to comprise one of the nation’s top backfields … QB Chris Coyer, who led the MAC in pass efficiency last year (177.4), takes over as the everyday starter after sharing the role last year … Temple’s defense ranked third nationally in scoring last year (13.9 ppg), trailing only Alabama and LSU — the participants in the BCS National Championship Game … K/P Brandon McManus, who scored 98 points last year, is the team’s top returning scorer.
Andy Talley (Southern Connecticut ’67)
190-116-1, 28th season at Villanova
218-134-2, 33rd season as collegiate head coach
Villanova is coming off a 2-9 season in 2011, snapping a string of five consecutive winning seasons that culminated with the 2009 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision title … Five of Villanova’s first six games will be played in the greater-Philadelphia area, with three home dates and a pair of short road trips to Temple and Penn … The Wildcats return 22 starters from last year, including all 11 on offense … Villanova has 10 starters back on defense and returns its regular kicker/punter … The top returning players are WR Norman White, a 2010 All-CAA First Team selection who missed the entire 2011 campaign, and C Dan Shirley, who earned All-CAA First Team accolades last season and has made 34 career starts … LB Dillon Lucas was the 2011 CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year after he made 92 tackles in 2011.