Well it's almost here . We are one day away from the second annual Mayor's Cup game and I hope everyone is nearly as excited for it as I am. Villanova comes into this season after winning the 2009 NCAA Division I Football Championship and Temple comes off this season fresh off a berth in the prestigious Eagle Bank Bowl (which is almost like a BCS game, minus the crowd, interest or talent.) Anyways, Villanova has a tough fight ahead of them and they hope to make it three in a row against Temple.
Here are my keys to the game
- Make Chester Stewart beat you- Temple's greatest perceived strength is their offensive line and their running game. If "Heisman candidate" Bernard Pierce and his diminutive counterpart Matt Brown are stopped in the backfield, Temple's offense will be severely hampered. Chester Stewart, the quarterback for The Owls has completed less than 50 percent of the passes he has thrown in his career and has never thrown for 200 yards in a game. I know that pass defense has been a perennial weakness for The 'Cats, but I'd rather take my chance with an unproven quarterback than a pair of good running backs.
- Don't be afraid to pull out a gadget play- Andy Talley has received somewhat of a reputation (Mostly from angry Delaware fans) a for his team's propensity to use trick plays (fake punts, receiver passes etc.) I think that this game would be the perfect time for some trickery, especially since they are playing against an opponent that has considerably more players on scholarship. When a team has an advantage in an area like depth, the other team must find a way to out-scheme them. What is there to lose if you take a few chances in this game?
- Use Matt Szczur- Last season, Matt Szczur received only seven touches in the Temple game (one of his lowest totals of the season.) I believe that that number must double in order for us to win this year because The Wildcats won't have Brandyn Harvey to bail them out. Szczur receiving touches in creative ways is beneficial to the Nova cause.
- Establish the run game- Last season, Villanova was unable to establish the run and because of that, the defense was on the field for most of the game. This year, it is imperative that they give Temple a heavy dose of the run. Chris Whitney is where the running game starts, as he has the option to run the ball on almost every play. After Whitney, I would think that the primary running option will be senior runningback Aaron Ball who will most likely be looking to bounce back after a (somewhat) disappointing junior year. Ball's backfield mate is fellow senior running back Angelo Babbaro also figures into the mix as Villanova's 3rd down back, and I'd be a retard to not mention Matt Szczur as an integral part of the Villanova run game.
- Make the fans proud- Running out of Lincoln Financial Field yelling like an idiot last season was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I expect nothing less than an inspired performance this year from the team as they hope to assert their dominance in the Philadelphia football scene.