Dick Jerardi: Owls' production nonoffensive

Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson
Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson
Posted: September 10, 2012

IT WAS a mini-miracle that Temple was actually within two points midway through the fourth quarter Saturday against Maryland. It was not real, as the Terrapins stormed down the field (11 plays, 75 yards, 4 minutes) for the clinching touchdown in a 36-27 win.

The Owls (1-1) had just nine first downs, 52 rushing yards and 230 total yards at Lincoln Financial Field. Maryland (2-0) led by 26-3 at the half before trying to give the game to Temple. When the Owls needed a defensive stop to complete the comeback, they did not get it.

Temple was a 10-point favorite but did not play like it. The Owls lost a lot of talent from the team that last year beat Maryland, 38-7, and it showed.

The Owls are off this week before going to Penn State on Sept. 22.

Temple kicker/punter Brandon McManus was named specialist of the week for the second consecutive week in the College Football Performance Awards.

Villanova wins first

The Wildcats' home opener was delayed for 2 hours by the Saturday evening storms. 'Nova's offense was delayed by 30 minutes, but once the 'Cats got control of the line of scrimmage, they dominated the game, outscoring Fordham by 21-0 in the second half to win, 28-13.

Villanova (1-1) rushed for 287 yards, including 125 on 16 carries by Austin Medley. Wildcats freshman quarterback John Robertson has taken the starting job from sophomore Chris Polony. Fordham, a long way from the Seven Blocks of Granite, is also 1-1.

Villanova is home to Rhode Island on Saturday.

About that ride

What exactly was Bobby Petrino thinking about the day he chose to take that motorcycle ride with his mistress? Not football, apparently.

This left Top 10 Arkansas in the hands of that meltdown maestro, John L. Smith. Who knew the Razorbacks would melt down against 30-point underdog Louisiana-Monroe in Little Rock and fall from No. 8 to out of the Associated Press Top 25?

Yes, Arkansas lost starting quarterback Tyler Wilson (possible concussion) in the second quarter, as well as its starting fullback and a starting corner. Still, the Hogs blew a 28-7 third-quarter lead, gave up 550 yards and 30 first downs and lost in OT, 34-31, after an overpursuing defense let ULM quarterback Kolton Browning (42-for-67, 412 yards) reverse field and cruise unopposed on a 16-yard run to the winning TD.

Love that ULM went for it on fourth-and-1 in OT. Why kick a field goal and play another OT? You were a 30-point dog. Go for it.

ULM was 6-for-7 on fourth downs. The Warhawks (yes the Warhawks) scored on a fourth-and-10, 23-yard pass with 47 seconds left to get the game to OT.

ULM plays at Auburn on Saturday. Arkansas gets a breather when No. 1 Alabama visits. Think Arkansas might have been looking ahead?

No bet

If you took Florida State and gave the 70 1/2 points against Savannah State, you had to be feeling pretty good after the Seminoles' first 38 plays produced 55 points and they led by 55-0 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Even when they were merciful and went to a running clock, this looked like a lock.

Alas, officials called the game at 55-0 because of a second round of thunderstorms in Tallahassee. A game must be at least 55 minutes to be official for betting purposes so the bettors got a refund and FSU got the win. Savannah State does not have to refund the $860,000 it got for losing to FSU and last week to Oklahoma State, 84-0.

Savannah State goes to Alabama this week. Just kidding. The Tigers get a deserved week off before going back to reality against North Carolina Central.

The Little Ten

Not a good week for Big Ten favorites. Wisconsin was favored by seven points at Oregon State and did not score until 91 seconds were left in 10-7 loss. The Badgers had 35 yards rushing against a team that was 3-9 last year and never gave up fewer than 20 points. Wisconsin beat Oregon State, 35-0, last year.

Nebraska was favored by six at UCLA and promptly gave up 653 yards in a 36-30 loss. The Bruins had 309 yards passing and 344 rushing. Either UCLA is a lot better or Nebraska's defense is awful.

Iowa was favored by four at home against Iowa State and lost ugly, 9-6.

Michigan was a three-TD favorite at home against Air Force and had to hold on to win, 31-25. Michigan's Denard Robinson was a one-man show with 218 yards rushing and 208 passing. Got to be a bit scary for Michigan that Air Force rushed for nearly 300 yards and had 26 first downs.

Old-school SEC

SEC officials wanted to give newbies Texas A & M and Missouri home openers to remember, sending two of the marquee programs on the road. The home teams had nice leads, but neither could hold on. Florida trailed A & M, 17-7, midway through the second quarter but rallied to win, 20-17. Georgia trailed Mizzou, 17-9, midway through the third but scored 32 of the game's final 35 points to win, 41-20. The final score was a bit deceiving, as the Bulldogs got two late scores when turnovers turned into goal-to-go scores.

Fire d-coordinator

Houston's offensive coordinator "resigned" after UH lost its opener, 30-13, to Texas State, a five-touchdown underdog. Well, the Cougars gained 693 yards against Louisiana Tech and lost, 56-49. The teams combined for 1,291 yards and 78 first downs.

Where is Cam Newton?

Auburn (0-2) is 8-7 since winning the 2010 national title. Now, it has to deal with Louisiana-Monroe.

Two teams

Oklahoma State was not as good when it had to face a live opponent instead of Savannah State. The Cowboys lost at Arizona, 59-38. Before you get ready to praise new 'Zona coach Rich Rodriguez, consider that Oklahoma State racked up 636 yards but self-destructed with 15 penalties and four turnovers.

Not back yet

Seems like we have been waiting a decade for Miami to become Miami again. The Hurricanes went to Kansas State and got crushed, 52-17. K-State got nearly 500 yards and 27 first downs. Under second-year coach Al Golden, Miami got every break when it won its opener at Boston College. The 'Canes were never in it at K-State.

Contact Dick Jerardi at jerardd@phillynews.com.

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