Villanova has never seen anything like Bernard Pierce
This thing has gnawed at the stomachs and heads of Temple fans for 364 days and no amount of Pepto Bismol or Advil has been able to get rid of it.
That's how bad they took the loss to Villanova last year.
Err, no, I didn't enjoy this.
That's how bad they take losing to Villanova 364 days later.
"If you didn't enjoy that, you don't enjoy football," Temple head coach Al Golden said after a 27-24 loss to Villanova 363 days ago.
No, Al, I didn't enjoy it. But I do enjoy football.
What a good 1-A (FBS) team should do to Villanova:
2005: Rutgers 38, Villanova 6
2006: Central Florida 36, Villanova 15
2007: Maryland 31, Villanova 14
2008: West Virginia 48, Villanova 21
Down to just one day now to wait for the antidote for this ailment: a convincing Temple win over Villanova.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
I won't predict a score because of the variables involved. There could be a hurricane (Earl), then again there could not. There could be a little wind or a lot. There could be five unforced turnovers or not. Temple's coaches could elect to play it close to the vest, like last year, and that would shorten the game in my opinion and play into Villanova's hands.
I would like to see Temple's defense set up camp in the Villanova backfield. By that, I mean constant pressure on Villanova quarterback Chris Whitney, and by constant pressure I mean bringing him to the ground and not just getting close.
If you can't do that with 4-5 rushers, do it with 7-8, and don't wait until it's too late to turn up the heat. If Temple stops the run and RELENTLESSLY rushes the passer, it could put up 70 points on this team.
I'd like to see that. I really would. That would be "enjoyable" for me.
Realistically, though, it should fall somewhere in between 27-24 and 70-14 if that happens. If not—if Mark D'Onofrio inexplicably allows Whitney to dink and dunk like last year—it could be 27-24 either way.
I'd like to NOT see that. I really do not want to see that. That would not be enjoyable.
So, I fully expect D'Onofrio to learn from last year's game and attack, attack, attack. I hope that's the medicine he ordered and I fully expect it won't take effect until 8 p.m. or so on Friday. But, it should work. Then, the feeling many of us have had for 365 days or so should be finally gone and we can all smile again.
Former Temple kicker Cap Poklemba said it best in the Villanova pre-game tailgate last year, talking about the Mayor's Cup:
"There should be no other name on that trophy besides Temple," Cap said. "It should say 2009 winner: Temple, 2010 winner: Temple and so on. Temple's name should be the only name on that trophy."
Right on, Cap. That problem gets corrected on Friday.
"We want to win because that trophy belongs here," Temple's Bernard Pierce said.
Temple will bring its 30,000 fans. If Villanova brings 7,000, we should get to my target number of 37k. If Villanova brings its usual 5K, we'll hit 35K.
Those numbers aren't nearly as important to me as 70-21 or 35-14.
Seventy-to-21 would be enjoyable, but I could also get enjoyment out of 35-14.
In two days, I will get this bad feeling out of my stomach and my head. Only then will Temple fans forget about last year's pain.