Cincy Throwbacks: Game With a Kick


Ironically, No. 17 gave Temple a 17-17 tie with Cincy.

If Friday’s game with Cincinnati comes down to a kick, no one will be surprised.

The Owls are 2.5-favorites and many of their past games against the Bearcats have involved a kick.


Last year’s 34-13 win gave the Owls a 12-7-1 lead in the series.

The Owls have a great kicker in Aaron Boumerhi, who already has the pressure of a game-winning OT kick under his belt this year against Villanova.

If past games with Cincinnati are a yardstick, it just might come down to the length of a leg.

Field goals have played a big role in the series, which Temple leads, 12-7-1.

Probably the most famous kick came in the series only tie, 17-17, on Oct. 29, 1977.
A year earlier, Temple coach Wayne Hardin eschewed an extra-point attempt by kicker Wes Sornisky in an attempt to beat Penn State on the final play of the game. The two-point conversion pass went off the hands of the Temple receiver and the Owls lost, 31-30.

“A tie is like kissing your sister,” Hardin said afterward. “I felt the kids came too far and deserved the chance to win.”

Facing a similar situation the next season at Nippert Stadium, Hardin went for the tie, a 33-yard field goal by Sornisky.

It was good and the teams walked off the field with a 17-17 tie. It was Cincinnati’s second 17-17 tie that year. The Bearcats tied Louisville in an earlier game.

Afterward, a famous photo of Sornisky, who ironically wore No. 17, was published with him whispering something in Hardin’s ear.

“I asked him if this was like kissing your sister,” Wes said.

Those were pretty strange days. Now nobody gets to play for three hours and come away with a result that is pretty much like not even having played the game at all.

It was probably like kissing your half-sister from Temple’s point of view because the Owls came from down 11 points in the fourth quarter to get in a position for a tie. That year, Cincinnati lost by two points to a Maryland team that finished No. 13 in the nation.

Sornisky was a great kicker for Hardin, who helped the Owls set what was then an NCAA record for consecutive extra points (106) that was snapped earlier that season.

Another kick that factored into a memorable Temple vs. Cincy game came in 1974.

The Owls had a nation’s best 14-game winning streak and Don Bitterlich, who still holds the school record for longest field goal (56). A Cincy field goal ended that long winning streak, 16-15.

Temple also won the 1978 game on a field goal, 16-13.

Missed field goals also factored into the 2003 game. That game, on a Saturday night at unbeaten 13-point favorite Cincinnati, featured missed field goals from 37 and 24 yards by the Owls’ kicker. Temple, with a 24-10 fourth quarter lead, threw a bomb on 2nd and 2. Incomplete, of course. The Owls also threw three passes when they had a first-and-goal on the Cincinnati 2.

INCOMPLETE, of course, and the missed kicks had everything to do with a 30-24 double-overtime loss.

Now if the Owls can just put Boumerhi in a position to win, they’ve got to feel good about their chances.

The last time they were 2.5-point favorites, though, they won, 34-10.

To me, that would be the result I would most get a kick out of now.
Tomorrow: Cincinnati Preview


9 thoughts on “Cincy Throwbacks: Game With a Kick

  1. Cincinnati is a team I have respected and sort of followed for many years because they have often produced good football and nice players despite playing second fiddle to the big boys of Ohio. My hope is TU could emulate a ‘mid-level ‘ team like Cincinnati or Louisville, etc… We have played against some nice teams the last 25 years while in the old Big East, and today’s AAC Old MAC days still make me cringe, like this week watching mid week football with empty stadiums with Akron, Toledo, Ohio U, no respect there. even if MAC plays some good football. Like a funeral .

  2. I think you guys likely win this game outright. Cincy seems to have been cratering a bit since they shared the AAC title in ‘14 and they don’t seem to play much defense. l really respected what they accomplished in the BE v2 (arguably the 2nd-most accomplished team behind WVU though UL had 2 BCS wins) but the last round of conference realignment really seemed to take a lot of the wind out of their sails. The only way l see them winning is somehow drawing you into a shootout and they score last.

    Joe P.

  3. Cincy, UCONN, and Temple are a few of the teams in the AAC at a crossroads.

    USF and UCF will always enjoy somewhat sustained success, cornucopia recruiting area.., you trip over three/four stars on the way to see a five star in Florida.

    Navy is unique and has found a nice home in the AAC. The Memphis BOT is committed and enjoys the strong $$ FEDEX support. SMU, with the Texas recruiting area, is the team on the rise…,

    Temple and Cincy represent the old Big East.., urban schools, in pro football cities, rich in b-ball history, limited resources $$, and casual student/fan support…,

    UL, BC, and Rutgers broke the code, Temple, Cincy and UCONN remain stuck and trending down.

    Look for USF, UCF, and/or Memphis to get the nod over Temple, Cincy, and UCONN in the next re-alignment.

    Why? For many reasons including the important criteria of number of weeks in the Top 25 over the last 3/5/7 years.., whatever number the P5 league selection committee decides to use

    • Spot on KJ……if Temple U doesn’t take Temple Football seriously…..why would anyone else?
      Been that way for a long time.

    • Don’t count UConn out of the equation because they are part of the New York market and their BB teams have national attention much like Nova does. I have no doubt that had Nova had D-1 football, the ACC would accept it as a member in a heartbeat. The story is that UConn was blocked from the ACC by BC and Syracuse which did not take kindly to the criticism UConn threw their way when they left the Big East. As time goes by, that reason will fade away as administrations change along with the money.

      • I think the P5 expansion is over for a long, long time. The TV money dried up.

      • I really feel the P5 is going to turn into the P4 with teams from the Big12 being lured to significantly better conferences (BIG & SEC). It’ll leave the SEC, BIG, ACC, a weak PAC12 and leftovers of Big12 & AAC followed by the G4.

      • UCONNs situation will be interesting to watch going forward as they are facing fairly severe budget cuts from the state. If they aren’t included in the next re-alignment whenever that happens I could just as easily see them trying to go the Big East route for basketball and either moving football back to FCS or just being football only in what will be left at the G5/4 level, which I really think will be more of an FCS+

      • From reading their board, most of their fans think they are behind us, UCF and Cincy in the next expansion period. Personally, I think that ship has sailed and we are stuck in the G5 port with no departures planned for at least a decade.

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