Nippert Stadium possesses a charm that few stadiums can match. Built in 1915, it has maintained an old-world appeal with its classic early-century brickwork and wrought-iron entryways. Sandwiched amongst a variety of campus buildings, Nippert Stadium offers some of the most unique surroundings in college football. This venue proves, however, that charm can be intertwined with modern architecture. An 86 million dollar project completed in 2015 includes an impressive four story pavilion including press and luxury box seating.
This is not the same Temple that I watched lose 65-0 in Madison ten years ago. This program has progressed from whispers surrounding the termination of the football program to last week’s first defeat of rival Penn State since 1941. Suddenly, Cincinnati had to be on high alert.
Last year, the Bearcats pulled the rug out from underneath the Badgers leaving them dizzy and confused on the Cincinnati astroturf. Wisconsin fell victim to the largest upset of the year and even though they recovered to win their second consecutive Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship, the aftertaste of the defeat lingered.
Wisconsin had some deep wounds in their playing style. An inept offense was being covered by a band-aid of special teams, defense, and a heavy reliance on their Heisman trophy candidate, Ron Dayne. For Wisconsin’s last two opponents, the band-aid was strong enough to hold. However, the Cincinnati Bearcats not only located the protective covering, they clawed it off and dug deeper into the wound.
Many factors contributed to the dreariness of this game. Being a mid-November game was the first contributor. The day was dark, cold, and almost eerie. It was the quietest group of 77,000 that I have ever heard. Cheering was at a minimum. The game started early to mid afternoon and finished in the darkness.