12:00 PM ET, September 4, 2004
Franklin Field, PHILADELPHIA, PA
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Once Wali Lundy calmed down, he took over.
Lundy ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns, and Alvin Pearman returned a punt 70 yards for a score to lead Virginia (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) to a 44-14 win over Temple on Saturday.
Lundy, from nearby Willingboro, N.J., acknowledged some pregame jitters with dozens of friends and family in the stands, including the grandmother that raised him. He didn't receive nearly enough tickets to accommodate all the requests.
"Before the game I might have been thinking about it a little too much," he said. "I was a little hyper coming back to play where I grew up."
Lundy said it took him a couple of carries before he finally felt comfortable. Not long after, he was on his way to his eighth career 100-yard game and the Cavaliers on their way to a rout.
"Everything he does, he does right," Virginia coach Al Groh said.
It seemed the Cavaliers did everything right against the Owls. Not surprisingly, this wasn't much of a game as Temple was awful even by its own low standards.
The Owls had porous pass protection, off-target throws and more fumbles (four) than third-down conversions (two). It seemed like one big lowlight reel of why the Owls have 13 straight losing seasons and are getting kicked out of the Big East after this season.
Cavaliers fans even took over Temple's homefield, with most of the lower bowl of Lincoln Financial Field filled with orange-clad Virginia supporters.
It got ugly early as the Cavaliers backed up their highest ranking since 1998 and extended Temple's losing streak against Top 25 teams to 18 games.
Quarterback Walter Washington fumbled on Temple's first possession and Virginia turned that into a 39-yard field goal by Connor Hughes. On the Owls' next possession, Tim Brown fumbled and five plays later Lundy broke left and had his first score on a 3-yard run for a 10-0 lead.
"It certainly gave the players a charge," Groh said of the early turnovers. "It gives you a spark and gives you some confidence."
Lundy led from there, picking up where he left off last year when he ran for a career-high 929 yards and led the ACC with 14 total touchdowns. Stuck on 99 yards, he carried once in the fourth quarter to get over the 100-yard mark.
"I probably would have been sour, but I played good enough to help my team," he said.
On the 6-yarder, Lundy broke right, slipped by one would-be tackler and shook off another before lunging into the end zone. Temple's tackling was no better than its blocking.
Pearman's 70-yard punt return opened the second quarter, helping the Cavaliers take a 30-0 lead into halftime.
"They just jumped on us," Temple coach Bobby Wallace said. "I think up front, they whipped us on both sides of the ball, badly."
Hagans finished 17-for-22 for 211 yards and rushed and threw for a touchdown.
Temple's first-half highlight came on a fake punt that Troy Bennett ran 26 yards for a first down. The excitement didn't last long -- Washington was sacked twice and Temple punted on fourth-and-23.
It was a long day for Washington, who confidently talked of leading Temple to a bowl game and wins over ranked teams. Instead, he was hurried and harassed, overthrowing his receivers and finding little room to run when he was forced out of the pocket.
Washington, 11-for-23 for 132 yards, did add touchdown runs in the third and fourth quarters.
"Walter threw the ball, for him, terribly," Wallace said. "That has not been the case in camp. He threw the ball great."
Of course, Washington wasn't facing Virginia's defense.
Virginia's defense came in with something to prove after allowing more than 20 points and 380 yards per game last season. Signs of progress are tempered because they were playing the Owls, but the defense recovered two fumbles and had five sacks.
"We wanted to make the quarterback never feel comfortable in the pocket," Groh said. "It looked like their quarterback had difficult getting into a rhythm."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-12||2-13|
|4th Down Conversions||2-2||3-3|
|FG||8:01||CONNOR HUGHES 39 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 14 yards.
|TD||5:59||WALI LUNDY 3 YD RUN (CONNOR HUGHES KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 32 yards.
|TD||0:50||WALI LUNDY 2 YD RUN (CONNOR HUGHES KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||14:01||ALVIN PEARMAN 70 YD PUNT RETURN (CONNOR HUGHES KICK)||24||0|
|TD||5:29||WALI LUNDY 6 YD RUN (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 14 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||5:51||WALTER WASHINGTON 3 YD RUN (RYAN LUX KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 74 yards.
|TD||0:22||MARQUES HAGANS 1 YD RUN (CONNOR HUGHES KICK)|
Drive info: 15 plays, 71 yards.
|TD||9:40||HEATH MILLER 4 YD PASS FROM MARQUES HAGANS (CONNOR HUGHES KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 58 yards.
|TD||6:55||WALTER WASHINGTON 2 YD RUN (RYAN LUX KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 68 yards.