Temple Owls look to bounce back in Villanova matchup

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 02: Logan Marchi /

The Temple Owls suffered an expected defeat against Notre Dame. This time, they face a geographically close rival.

Temple versus Nova is usually a big deal—when it comes to basketball. This time, the Temple Owls are taking the gridiron against the Wildcats in what has been known as the Mayor’s Cup.

It’s been five years since the two teams squared off, where Temple won in 41-10 rout. In fact, the last three matchups went in favor of the Owls with a lopsided 114-41 point tally. Prior to that, Villanova took the last three meetings.

Surprisingly the series is tied 15-15, excluding two ties. So while this game may seem small in comparison to Notre Dame, this an important face-off historically.

More from Temple Owls

Even if Nova is looked at as inferior, the Temple Owls have gotten off to rocky start, failing to establish the run game last week. This time, the Owls come with Ventell Bryant, one of their more dangerous receivers from last season.

Logan Marchi has one of his most feared targets back in his arsenal, and should follow up a great game with an even better one. Ryquell Armstead will need to break off a big run early for Temple to follow the path of the last few matchups. His tough day against Notre Dame, where he ran for just 67 yards on 19 carries, will have stay in the past.

Defensively, the Temple Owls are going up against a much easier task than last. But even so, they must be weary of the big play. Nova threats in quarterback Zach Bednarczyk and running back Matt Gudzak were the reason why the squeezed a late victory out of Lehigh last week.

Bednarczyk is a dual threat quarterback that can confuse defenses with his ability to run the ball. Last week he accompanied his 209 yards passing and two passing touchdowns with 72 yards rushing and another touchdown that way. Gudzak also ran for two scores.

The Temple Owls have a clear advantage in this year’s matchup, but Villanova comes in with dynamic threats on offense. I’d expect this matchup to be close early, until the Owls’ sheer talent overpowers the Wildcats.

It would be a nice bounce back from a tough blowout loss to the Irish, if all goes as planned on Saturday. The Owls seem set to take home a victory.

You can watch the game on ESPN3, at 3:30 PM ET.

The game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field.