PHILADELPHIA — One game in, and Villanova has a quarterback controversy.
Matt Brown ran for 141 yards and a long score, Chris Coyer had a touchdown passing and rushing, and Temple beat Villanova 41-10 on Friday night in its first game since returning to the Big East.
The Owls won their third straight Mayor's Cup — presented to the winner of this city rivalry — in the finale of this series played before 32,709 fans at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles.
While Temple seems on the rise, the Wildcats have to figure who'll be under center next week.
Chris Polony was pulled after completing just 2 of 7 passes and throwing an interception that was returned for a score. John Robertson took over and threw for 133 yards and ran for 81, including a TD.
"We have to look at that now," coach Andy Talley said. "You can certainly see that Robertson is gifted at running the ball. He doesn't see as much in the passing game as Chris does. So we will start to look at it. I don't like to play two. We will evaluate this week."
Robertson prepared during the week to run a wildcat version of the offense. Polony didn't expect him to stay in.
"I was a little surprised," Polony said. "He was going to come in and run a couple plays. He did really well and I didn't perform as I should have."
These clearly aren't the same Owls who used to be a pushover and were booted out of the Big East in 2004. Al Golden turned the program around before bolting for Miami, and Steve Addazio kept it rolling last year in the MAC.
Addazio led Temple to a 9-4 record and the second bowl victory in school history, a 37-15 rout of Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl.
The Owls picked up where they left off last December, dominating inferior Villanova from start to finish as Bill Cosby, the most famous of Temple alums, looked on.
"I wanted us to establish that toughness and see us play that smash-mouth football," coach Steve Addazio said, pumping his fist for emphasis. "And, we did."
Coyer connected with Kenneth Harper on an 8-yard shovel pass for a score to put Temple up 7-0 on their first possession. Coyer threw just three passes during the 14-play drive, completing all of them for 30 yards.
"We executed very well the first drive made a lot of really good reads," Coyer said. "Then we had some hiccups."
The Wildcats answered on the ensuing possession, driving down to Temple's 3. But they couldn't push it in and settled for Mark Hamilton's 21-yard field goal.
Temple went up 14-3 when Vaughn Carraway intercepted Chris Polony's pass and returned it 58 yards for a TD.
Another turnover two plays later set up Coyer's 19-yard TD run that made it 21-3, and the rout was on.
Just when it seemed Villanova had gained momentum going into the half on John Robertson's 5-yard TD run late in the second quarter, the Owls struck back 43 seconds later.
Brown burst through the line and sprinted 56 yards for a score to make it 28-10 with 21 seconds left in the half.
"I think they broke our back with that run," Talley said.
Harper had a 38-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Temple's Spencer Reid, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, entered late in the game and carried three times for 4 yards. Andy Reid and his wife Tammy were there to greet their son afterward.
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