Benard Pierce, Temple Owls Run Past Inexperienced Villanova Wildcats To Win Philadelphia Mayor’s Cup 42-7
First year Temple Owls coach Steve Addazio spoke on Wednesday about how the time for talking was over and that it was time for his players to get down to business.
Last night, his players responded in kind to his fiery words.
Junior running back Bernard Pierce displayed the elusiveness and breakaway speed that garnered him Heisman consideration in his freshman season while quarterback Mike Gerardi showed the touch of a veteran on several passes including a beautiful 47-yard touchdown toss as the Temple Owls claimed the annual Philadelphia Mayor’s Cup with 42-7 thumping of the Villanova Wildcats in front of a record crowd of over 32,000 at Lincoln Financial Field.
Pierce rushed for 147 yards on 20 carries and 3 touchdowns in a game that was well in hand by the half. Onone of his three scores, Pierce was able to make a jump-cut that left Nova defenders flat-footed as he scampered 22 yards to the end zone. Pierce’s night was over by the end of the third quarter with Temple up 35-0.
Mike Gerardi took advantage of a superior effort from Pierce and used it to go deep on a wide-eyed Wildcat defense. The left-handed junior finished 14 for 20 for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns of 35 and 47 yards. Gerardi started the last five games of last season but was uncertain about his status until Tuesday after battling in camp to keep his starting job.
A speedy defense pressured Nova freshman quarterback Dustin Thomas for most of the night as the Wildcats tried the spread the Owls defense but there was too much closing speed from the home team. It was evident early that the Wildcats would struggle in that area. Villanova head coach Andy Talley lost a total of 12 players last season including 10 who were All Conference. Talley’s young bunch did not mail it in despite what the lopsided score might indicate. This is a talented young squad that should factor well in the FCS again this season as they are ranked #13.
Temple travels to Akron on September 10 to face the Zips before a home date with Penn State in two weeks.