Villanova 27, Temple 24
Sept. 4, 2009
With tonight's win, Villanova improved to 3-11 against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams since 1985. Two of the three wins have come against Temple, with the other victory coming in 2003 by a 23-20 score in double overtime. One year earlier, the Wildcats defeated Rutgers, 37-19, in 2002.
The meeting between Villanova and Temple in 2003 was the first game played at Lincoln Financial Field. The teams had not met since then. The Wildcats lead the all-time series with Temple by a 16-12-2 margin.
Tonight's game marked the fourth straight year that a team from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) has defeated an FBS opponent. Since 1997, teams from the CAA are a combined 17-68 (.200) against FBS teams. The other wins for the league in recent years include:
The last time Villanova overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win a game was on September 24, 2005 in a 28-24 win over Penn. In that game, the Wildcats trailed 24-14 going to the fourth period but Frank Jankowski threw a pair of touchdown passes in the quarter to lift Villanova to the victory.
Less than one minute into the third quarter, senior free safety Ross Ventrone returned a fumble 59 yards for a touchdown, giving the Wildcats their first points of the game. Ventrone's fumble return is the longest by a Villanova player for a touchdown in at least the last 12 years. The Wildcats have returned a fumble for a touchdown eight times since the start of the 1997 season. The list includes:
Ross Ventrone registered his sixth career interception in the first quarter. Ventrone is the younger brother of former Villanova star Ray Ventrone, who now plays in the NFL for the New England Patriots.
Villanova gained five turnovers in the game, as Temple threw three interceptions and lost a pair of fumbles. In addition to Ventrone, junior strong safety John Dempsey and sophomore defensive back James Pitts had interceptions. Ventrone and junior linebacker Marquis Kirkland recovered fumbles that were forced by Dempsey and senior defensive end Tim Kukucka, respectively. The Wildcats committed just one turnover of their own, on a lost fumble in the first quarter.
Junior quarterback Chris Whitney established career highs for attempts, completions and passing yards in a game with tonight's performance. Whitney threw for 278 yards on 24-of-35 accuracy. It was his third career game throwing for over 200 yards and the first time he had surpassed 250 yards.
Senior wide receiver Brandyn Harvey set new career highs for receptions and receiving yards in a game. Harvey caught nine passes for 142 yards against Temple, surpassing the 135 yards he had against Richmond on November 3, 2007. Harvey is the first Villanova player to post a 100-yard receiving game since Phil Atkinson had 108 yards at Rhode Island last year on October 18, 2008.
Redshirt freshman kicker Nick Yako was 2-for-2 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points in his collegiate debut.