Second Time Around

Last time around, it took four years and 27 losses before Temple won its first Big East game. This time, it didn't take so long.

Last time around, it took four years and 27 losses before Temple won its first Big East game.

This time, it didn't take so long.

The Owls were a founding member of the Big East Football Conference in 1991. And for several years, they were a floundering member. Temple lost 27 consecutive Big East games before picking up a victory over Pittsburgh in 1995. And they celebrated by promptly losing their next 11 league games.

So, if you're counting, that's one win in 39 games. It took more than six years for the Owls to win two Big East games.

This time around, they can match that number in two weeks.

Following an exhilarating, 37-28 victory over South Florida on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field, Temple is headed to UConn next week, seeking a 2-0 start in Big East, Version 2.0.

During their previous 14-year run in the Big East (1991-2004), the Owls never won consecutive league games. That bears repeating.

Never ... won ... consecutive ... games.

Coach Steve Addazio's squad has a chance for another history-making win next week.

They beat South Florida thanks to a whirlwind second half performance on offense, a scattered but aggressive effort on defense, and one gigantic play on special teams.

For the Owls, there were heroes everywhere:

-- Marcus Green's blocked field goal preserved a two-point lead with barely a minute to go.

-- Montel Harris was nearly unstoppable running the ball in the fourth quarter.

-- Chris Coyer completed 16 of 20 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown, and ...

-- The Owl receivers dropped zero passes (technically, maybe one).

-- The offensive line surrendered a sack on Coyer's first pass attempt. He wasn't sacked again.

-- Brandon McManus missed an extra point and a 22-yard field goal in the first two quarters. Then he hit a 50-yard field goal at the halftime gun. And he averaged 42.9 yards per punt and every kickoff was a touchback.

-- In his first start, freshman linebacker Tyler Matekevich recorded 15 tackles, including two stops in the backfield. His last tackle dumped USF tailback Demetri Murray for a five-yard loss, making standout placekicker Maikon Bonani's game-winning field goal attempt that much tougher. (Matekevich started in place of injured linebacker Olaniyi Adewole.)

-- The Temple defense limited star quarterback B.J. Daniels to six yards rushing. In his previous four games, Daniels had run for 53, 68, 75, and 72 yards.

The Owls are 2-2 this season.

Next up is a trip to UConn.

Addazio, a Connecticut native, closed Saturday's postgame press conference with a simple line: "It's always nice to go home."

He could have been talking about next week's game, or Saturday's game, which was Temple's first home game in a month.

Or he could have been talking about the Owls' return to the Big East.

It's a long trip from 0-27 to 1-0.

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