Second Signing Day: Geraldo’s Vault

A lot of old guys in this photo.

Google “famous duds” and you get only a lot of “famous duos.”

Not quite what I was looking for.

I can think of only a handful of duds, but Geraldo Rivera hosting a two-hour prime-time special in 1986 to open an Al Capone vault was probably the best example.

It was empty.

Geraldo had to do a lot of filler.

Same for Temple head football coach Stan Drayton hosting some Owl Club members at a Wednesday Temple signing day ceremony.

The Temple football Twitter web site posted a photo.

A lot of old guys, presumably moneyed supporters, looking at a screen.

One reaction made me laugh out loud.

“They look old, Rob,” Joe Morgan said.

(Loved Joe when he played for the Phillies but don’t think it’s that Joe Morgan.)

Nothing would please me more than to report here that Drayton went out and got the big-time running back Temple needs, but anyone who has read this site over the last 19 years knows it is not a “rah-rah Temple” one but one who calls balls and strikes as we see them.

There is good news and bad news here. The good news was the December Signing Day when Drayton and company not only brought in a lot of talent but fixed all but one area of need.

The more important December signing day was a triple that caromed off the left-center field scoreboard.

This more traditional February one?

Kind of like a called strike three down the middle of the plate.

A Home Run in recruiting was to get a 1,000-yard proven FBS level back and Temple did not do this.

In December, Temple strengthened the offensive and defensive lines and added some elite speed to the secondary in addition to depth at wide receiver.

In my mind, the Feb. signing day was a time to sign a big-time running back.

The saving grace is that Drayton told Owls Daily.com that he is not done. If he signs just one guy between now and Cherry and White Day, it’s got to be the projected starter at running back.

Or else hire Geraldo to host the next signing day. They will need another guy who has experience with filler.

Monday: An Ad Money Can’t Buy

Back to the Future: A win for perception

Our story in September might have had something to do with Temple’s latest move.

Sometimes we swear the powers that be at Temple University read this website.

The other day we got a receipt in the form of a letter sent to every season ticket holder.

I might be one of the few season ticket holders who have two seats and only need one.

Doesn’t matter.

Arthur Johnson follows us. It was his call to move back to the good side of the field.

I felt that if Temple could pony up the money to buy out a failed contract–something it has seldom done in my lifetime–I could do the same for an extra ticket. (The dilemma only came up because of a new requirement that people with a seat at the end of a row had to buy the seat next to it. Dumb rule but I wanted to keep my 40-year seat and looked at Temple’s commitment to fire Rod Carey and reluctantly thought if Temple could come up with the cash so could I.)

Back to the initial claim.

Back in September, after coming back from a game I attended and watching the TV cameras shoot the visiting side, I wrote it was time for Temple to move back to the side where the cameras shoot at the fans.

Now Temple has seen the light.

I never went back to the other side when Carey made the change–ostensibly because he didn’t like looking into the sun–because I always sat in 121 and was perfectly content with those seats. When my long-time seatmates from the beautiful town of Palmerton told me they were also staying put, I decided to stay.

That caused me to sit in the middle of (mostly) obnoxious Rutgers fans who make Mets fans look like choir boys. It did gave me a better look at the great Temple Homecoming crowd that day, though, so it was one plus.

Temporary inconvenience for permanent improvement.

That’s because Temple has seen the light.

The Owls have had trouble drawing fans since the eight-win season in 2019. Partly because of the Pandemic but mostly because the Owls went from 76-54 over the previous seasons to 6-25 over the last three.

Once you’ve been to Heaven, as Owls fans were, you can’t go back to Hell. Owl fans who suffered through 20 years of losing before that good run, were not having it.

I don’t blame a single fan for rejecting that product.

Not only did the Owls have trouble drawing fans in the 6-25 years, Carey compounded the problem he created by adding to the perception that the product was a failed one by forcing TV cameras to show an empty side of the field.

Now, by putting the fans in front of the camera instead of behind it, the nation will know that Temple does have fans. Probably many more in 2023 than from 20-22.

Now things are in place for the Owls to get back to Heaven From Hell.

Moving the fans to the right side of the field when more are coming is a logical way to go.

If this site had anything to do with that move, we have to thank the powers that be for another terrific decision.

Friday: Signing Day Reaction

Monday: An Ad Money Can’t Buy

Signing day and must lists for Temple: Running back

Dae Dae Hunter running for Liberty

One of the many tough things about getting older (I refuse to use the word old until about 91) is going to a supermarket with about five items rolling around in my head and realizing while opening the bag when I got home I forgot something.

Had enough of that nonsense sometime during the Pandemic and finally made a list on the “memo” part of my phone before leaving the house.

So far, the system has worked.

Maybe in five more years, I will forget to put something on the phone but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

I thought about this during the “first” Temple signing period when the Owls “forgot” to sign a big-time transfer portal running back. Now the second signing period–which used to be THE SIGNING DAY–is approaching on Wednesday and it will be only then that we figure out if 54, the current age of Temple head coach Stan Drayton, is “older.”

Drayton must have left the house with a running back on that list and returned home after the first signing period saying, “Damn. I knew I forgot something.”

Certainly signing E.J. Wilson–someone who had half the yards of Edward Saydee for a worse team (FIU) than Temple–couldn’t have been the answer to upgrading an area of need for Temple.

During the first go-round Temple could have had Mississippi State’s Dillon Johnson (he went to Washington), Ball State’s Carson Steele (now at UCLA) but either wasn’t interested or involved.

Alfonzo Graham

Does Drayton really believe a running game he didn’t trust to get a first down on third-and-1 against ECU is in good shape going into the 2023 season? Does he really trust a guy with half the yards of his best back to be an upgrade?

Maybe Drayton feels that way. Maybe he doesn’t.

What can’t be debated is even with that first wave of running backs gone, there are still guys who have done demonstrably more than what the Owls have now in terms of yards still remaining in the portal.

The highest-rated undecided left is Dae Dae Hunter from Chander, Arizona, who is rated the No. 11 running back in the portal, ahead of L.J. Johnson (who went from Texas A&M to SMU) and Caziah Holmes, who went from Penn State to Florida State. Chandler is a big rival of Brody Prep (Phoenix) and who was the Brody Prep quarterback two years ago?

None other than E.J. Warner.

Even with E.J. Warner setting school passing records, Temple ranked near the bottom of college football in yards per play. The culprit was the running game or lack thereof.

E.J. Wilson might be the best E.J. running back who committed in the portal but he’s not in the same league as Hunter. Another Arizona guy uncommitted is Alfonzo Graham from Yuma, who is rated the No. 2 overall RB still available in the transfer portal.

To win the league in 2023, Drayton needs Hunter or at least a guy with his skill set. There are only a few days left. Maybe Drayton and Warner can tag team to phones and get Hunter.

Or Graham.

Time to put one or both on the memo part of that phone before turning off the lights and leaving the office on that next portal shopping trip.

Monday: Back to the Future

Friday: Post-Signing Day Reaction

Monday: A Temple Football Ad Money Can’t Buy

The New Guys: Learning about Temple TUFF

Thanks to Joe Tolstoy for this compilation of a historic Temple football time.

Right about now, the myriad of new Temple football players are learning about both the city of Philadelphia and what it means to be a Temple Owl.

As of Monday morning, it has to be a good thing.

Being in Philadelphia a few months after the World Series was here and a few days before the NFC Championship game will be here has to be the definition of being in the right place at the right time. That’s not even including the Sixers, who might be the hottest team in the NBA right now.

More importantly, being at Temple University the day after its storied basketball program took down the No. 1 basketball team in the country.

All good things. All selling points for recruits.

Those things have been built already by clever drafting and solid management.

That’s how this Temple football program is being built, too.

Stan Drayton had a year of a learning curve and put in place a culture first and a plan second.

The culture resulted in a lot of effort and a significant improvement, if not in the bottom line record, in the scores of the games from the year prior.

Except for the Memphis game, the Owls did much better against every single league foe in 2022 than they did in 2021.

For example, the Owls lost to Navy, 38-14, in 2021 but took that team to overtime a few months ago. They lost to Houston, 37-8, in 2021. They lost to Houston, 43-36, this year. They lost to ECU, 44-3, in 2021 and it took a controversial third-down pass to take them down, 49-46 this year. Those are just a few examples.

With the culture changed, now the approach is fixing those areas.

Pretty much, the Owls have done that but stacking both lines with more size, talent and speed than last year.

Arguably, the only area they have not improved is the running game but there is still time to do that with a big-time portal back.

The Phillies and Eagles have ignited the city in the last few months. Maybe in the next couple the Sixers will,, too.

After that, it will be Temple football’s turn.

Maybe even a college gameday will be sometime in these “new guys’ future. If not in 2023, maybe against Oklahoma in 2024.

Design and fashion: Temple’s New Stadium

Probably the worst design of any new college football stadium I’ve ever seen so maybe no stadium now is a good thing.

While working on painting a wall at a Senior Center for my in-service day on the MLK Holiday a few days ago, I thought about perhaps the most remarkable speech of my lifetime.

That wasn’t Martin Luther King’s more famous “I have a Dream Speech” at the Washington Monument but the speech he made before he died, the “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech in April of 1968.

In that one, MLK said, “I’ve been to the Mountaintop but I might not get there with you” almost foretelling his assassination only a few hours away.

While I haven’t been to the Temple Football Mountaintop, I can only guess what it could be. I did think of how this related to Temple while splashing some red paint on the SC center in Northeast Philadelphia on Monday. (Close enough to Cherry.)

I haven’t been to the Mountaintop but I know the new Temple Stadium probably won’t happen in my lifetime but I think it will well within the next 50 years and that’s close enough.

No doubt in my mind these guys will see a new stadium as alums.

The reason I had that vision is nowhere near as spiritual as MLK’s but based on a few facts.

As an incoming student in the 1970s, I was given a tour of Temple’s campus in an attempt to “recruit” me. (I had a full scholarship offer to Cabrini but chose Temple for sports and journalism.) The tour guide said where we were there was residential housing only “20 years ago.” Twenty years ago would have been in the 1950s then and we were what is now in the middle of Temple’s campus–on Liacouras Walk near the Bell Tower.

Wow.

In those 20 years, Temple facilitated the removal of neighborhood people to build the interior of the campus.

While sitting in Temple’s presentation to the “current” neighbors about five years ago in March, I came to the conclusion that removing those neighbors by the natural course of things will be the only way Temple will ever be able to build a stadium.

Like then, that takes time.

If Georgia Tech can have a stadium like this in Atlanta, Temple should be able to have the same in Philadelphia.

If those properties become so valuable that these once poor neighbors become rich once they move, capitalism will achieve the result no amount of begging and cajoling politicians has now.

Unlike my fellow Temple Stadium fans, that is a good thing, not a bad one.

Once I saw the original plan for a Temple Stadium, I thought this was no more than a glorified Northeast High School Field. I mean, you hired a great architect and that was the best plan you could come up with?

Why not make it look like Boston College’s Alumni Field or Georgia Tech’s field?

Putting it off will give Temple the time not only to consolidate 15th and Norris into the “Green Zone” but build a stadium that would give the Owls a real home-field advantage.

We can only hope.

The current administration has no stomach to challenge the neighbors on what I feel is justified grounds. I mean, if Georgia Tech is allowed to build a stadium in the center of Atlanta and UAB in the center of Birmingham why is it out of the question for Temple to do the same in Philadelphia?

No logical reason other than the corruption which is currently rampant in the nation’s fifth-largest city.

The last Temple administration at least tried. This one seems to have laid down and rolled over.

Maybe the next one will outlast them.

That’s the Temple football mountaintop. It’s not sustainable to try to sell a product that at most 35K is interested in in a 70K stadium. Thirty-five thousand in a 35,000-seat stadium makes a lot more sense.

That’s a dream, though.

I won’t see it and many of you won’t either.

Temple football will get to the Promised Land but a lot of us older guys may have to watch from above. Hopefully, the current Temple students will see it by their late 40s and it won’t be anything like the video at the top of this post.

It will be something glorious.

Monday: The New Guys

Stan Drayton’s best job: Stopping the bleeding

Temple needs another Paul Palmer to have a winning season in 2023.

College football is a bottom-line business.

We won’t know for another nine or so months whether or not head coach Stan Drayton is doing a good job at Temple unless the number on the left (wins) is higher than the one on the right (losses).

For now, though, we have some clues.

The first transfer portal window is still active but, so far, the misguided decision of Darian Varner to leave Temple and the best defensive line coach he ever had (Antonine Smith) looks like it might come back to bite him and could be the only signifcant portal loss for the Owls.

Whew.

Otherwise, Temple has kept its two best players (quarterback E.J. Warner on offense and Layton Jordan on defense) and that’s a reflection of those two guys buying into the vision of Drayton. His preaching that they are thisclose to winning a championship is reaching a choir.

First things first.

Keyvone Lee played his high school ball an hour up the road from Temple and is better than anyone the Owls have now.

To win, you’ve got to keep the good guys and add other good guys and Drayton is the polar opposite of former head coach Rod Carey in that regard.

Even in these days of crazy transfer portal happenings, Temple has kept most of the good guys.

The general long-term plan for Temple has to be getting in a Power 5 conference but the specific plan now is to copy the model of success established by other G5 teams.

Keeping their players.

Notice Vinny Testaverde, Paul Palmer, and Brian Bosworth all wearing Cherry and White at the 1986 Heisman Trophy ceremony.

According to transfer portal expert Mike Farrell, the two teams that kept the most players a year ago were Troy and UAB.

Temple is at the top of that list this year after being at the bottom a year ago.

Troy went from 5-7 last year to winning a G5 title this year. UAB also had a successful season.

Can Temple success in one area improve the bottom line?

That remains to be seen but the Owls did add explosive playmakers on the outside, depth on both the offensive and defensive lines, and speed in the secondary. The Owls even added an experienced kickoff returner and a deep kickoff specialist.

All things they needed.

What’s left?

Keeping the team together is one thing.

To me, they need a big-time 1,000-yard rusher and they don’t have one now. Thinking they can turn a true freshman, Joquez Smith, into one is way too much of a risk.

They definitely need a Paul Palmer, a guy who was overlooked because he was 5-9, 165 pounds out of Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Md. and, in Penn State portal guy Keyvone Lee, that guy is available. Paul is in his 50s right now and out of eligibility, but Lee could fit the bill.

Surely, Drayton knows.

Whether or not he sees Lee as a final piece to a puzzle almost finished could be the difference between 6-6 and 8-4 next season.

Friday: Design and Fashion

Taking down the system might cost nearly a billion dollars

Right about four months ago, just about everybody who knows anything about college football knows this NIL or transfer portal template for the sport is unsustainable.

What is true then is true now.

That light at the end of the tunnel might be an oncoming train but no one is stopping it.

It would truly take something bizarre to take it down.

I’m here for it.

Tonight’s $1.35 billion lottery might present such a scenario.

If I win, I will take the $350 million and donate the billion to Temple University’s new NIL fund with just one stipulation. All the money is spent on football.

You have my word for it.

It’s right here and in writing. I bought three tickets. I have the ticket in my hand, three rows and six numbers, and would publish them here but won’t because I’m worried some Alabama fan might copy them and I’d have to share the winnings with him. If all six numbers win on one line, Temple football cannot be stopped.

I’ve always been a man of my word.

Both my ticket to Florida and Temple’s ticket to the national championship game and, since it didn’t hit three days ago, this COULD probably be the luckiest Friday The 13th in Temple football history.

I’m in a good position only because I have no kids or living parents and nobody is here to say, “Mike, don’t do it.” I don’t even have a lawyer (but hopefully I will after 11 p.m. tonight).

All I need is a new car, a modest home in the middle of Florida and just enough money stashed away in a checking and savings account to survive a rainy day or a hurricane.

That would make me happy on a personal level.

As hardcore fan of really only one team, the Temple University football Owls, nothing would make me happier on any other level than to see a team of 55 Owls making, let’s say, $350,000 a year to kick USC’s butt in a big-time bowl game like my friends from Tulane did. Heck, if every single Temple football player is making $350,000 a year, why not beat Georgia for the national championship in a couple of years?

This the system we have now. The teams with all the resources win all the games.

One billion would buy Temple football a lot of resources. I will have my billion earmarked for just Temple football, no other Temple sports. (Sorry Temple basketball fans who constantly blame the football program for losing to teams like Wagner and Maryland Eastern-Shore. You know who you are.)

Then Temple can buy all of the good players, win the national championship and get ready to hear a lot of people from the big-time schools say, “this is why the system is all screwed up. One guy bought all of the good players.”

Duh.

Good.

Right now, one group of fans (the haves) are buying all of the players so why can’t the have-nots do the same thing?

If I don’t win, I hope some hardcore guy from a school like Akron, Kent State, Fresno State, Ohio (not State) or Buffalo pulls the same stunt I’m planning to do. If it’s Temple, it has to be either me, Winkel or Mrs. Winkel.

Then maybe the NCAA or the Power 5 or whoever the Wizard of Oz behind that curtain calling the shots says, “Err, let’s go back to the old system where everyone gets an equal chance.”

That would be the best $1 billion ever spent. In my modest three- bedroom, two-bath house in a place like The Villages or Sebring or Ocala, I will be sitting back and smiling.

Monday: The Specific Plan

Friday: District Inertia

The definition of Irony: Virginia Tech football fans

Two legends: Manny Diaz at Temple and Darian Varner at Virginia Tech.

Just when you thought the transfer portal couldn’t be a bigger joke, the reaction of Virginia Tech football fans to the flipping of Darian Varner from there to Wisconsin was particularly amusing.

There were a lot of reactions on the Virginia Tech Hokie message board to the news and most of them ranged from “what does signing day mean anymore” to “bleep that guy” to “what does loyalty mean in college football?” Some even speculated he was released “because of his medicals” (he was not).

The dictionary says the definition of irony is a “state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.” Close enough in that Virginia Tech fans expressed outrage over Wisconsin doing to them the same thing they did to Temple.

Not an admission of the irony on the order of something like this:

“Oh no. It’s OK he left Temple. It’s just not OK he left us.

To me, it’s just the best illustration of why the transfer portal is so unfair.

It’s rich that Virginia Tech fans are so upset with Varner now but don’t realize that Temple invested the most to advance his career.

Virginia Tech wasn’t the aggrieved party here. It was Temple. The Owls took a chance recruiting and developing Varner. He had his best year under the tutelage of one of the best defensive line coaches in America, Antoine Smith. Varner even hurt his foot at Temple and Temple paid for the successful surgery.

His thanks?

Looking around.

Temple has had more defensive linemen (three) drafted in the first round over the last 15 years than either Wisconsin or Virginia Tech.

There is no guarantee that Varner’s career would have been served better at either Virginia Tech or Wisconsin.

In fact, if you look at the last Temple portal transfer to Virginia Tech, Jadan Blue, there’s plenty of evidence he would have regressed there. Blue’s best year at Temple was 2019 where he caught 95 balls for 1,067 yards and four touchdowns. His best and only year at VT was 12-128-1. In fact, his worst full year at Temple was the COVID one of 2020 where he went 41-385-5.

So if your worst year is better than one place than your best year is at the new place, why transfer?

Blue found out the hard way.

Varner might thrive but no Temple player who hit the portal and transferred had a better year there (wherever there was) than here. There was one exception, Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie but that’s of more than 50 transfers, a two-percent success ration. That means 98 percent of the Temple players who remained made the right decision.

That’s the logic behind it but, when it comes to transfer portal and logic, that goes out the window.

Particularly when fans of one school are up in arms over losing someone they essentially stole from another school.

Friday: The General Plan

Monday: The Specific Plan

Four to score: Possible running backs for Temple

A great chart here showing yards after contact by running backs. Ball State and Carson Steele were at the top. No one was worse than Temple. The Owls need to find a RB who excels after contact in the portal to make significant improvement in 2023.

Back in the day a couple of years before the shot clock made it to college basketball, one of the more effective offenses was “four to score” designed and perfected by North Carolina coach Dean Smith.

The floor would be spread with four guys in each corner and a pivot man in the middle and the pivot man would find the cutters, usually for easy baskets. That was particularly effective before the shot clock. Not so much after.

The game evolves and ebbs and flows. Every game does. Four to score spread the floor in basketball. A balance between running and passing does the same in football.

There’s nothing more fluid in college football than the transfer portal.

Here today, gone tomorrow is the mantra but as of 12:53 a.m. today, there are four intriguing running backs remaining who can instantly improve Temple football.

Our favorite, Carson Steele, committed to UCLA two days ago but there are still four left who can take Temple to the next level.

The chart above is particularly revealing when it comes to Temple football’s offensive production both last year and in the future. Temple was the worst team in FBS football in yards after contact. Ball State (upper left) was near the top. Surprisingly, Navy and Buffalo were right above Temple and Cal, LSU and Florida were near the top. Those teams had other offensive issues but those run games were solid.

Temple’s passing game was solid, but its run game was an issue.

It still needs attention, and these guys would be an immediate upgrade:

Marshawn Lloyd, South Carolina _ Lloyd had 593 yards and nine touchdowns against a top eight schedule.

Dillon Johnson, Mississippi State_ Johnson, a four-star recruit, has had a productive career with the Bulldogs but fell out of favor with the late great Mike Leach (RIP). He could immediately shine at the G5 level.

Trey Sanders, Alabama _528 yards and three touchdowns for one of the most storied programs in college football. Guaranteed he would get more than double that at Temple.

Treshaun Ward, Florida State _ Had 547 yards and five touchdowns for the Seminoles before Troy Benson took his job.

Before you say, geez, “Temple has no chance for guys like that” you never know until you try. Before Temple recruited the preseason ACC (not AAC) Player of the Year in Boston College’s Montel Harris, no one ever dreamed the Owls would get him.

What happened?

Harris ripped off a school-record 351 yards and seven touchdowns in a 63-32 win at Army. He finished with over 1,000 yards his only season at Temple, got his degree and is doing well in life.

Temple not only has that to sell to potential recruits but Stan Drayton’s history of being a “running back whisperer” and a guy who was considered for many years to be the best college running backs coach in America.

That’s not Stan saying that. It’s his pupils like Dallas Cowboys’ RB Eezkiel Elliott.

Time to get him on the phone and recruit for Stan.

Nothing would make the E.J. Warner passing game more lethal than to add a running threat. It would be scary to see how good Temple would be with a balanced attack and just one of these “four to score guys” would make that happen.

As of Jan. 6, Temple has no running game to get excited about. That can all change with one commit.

Monday: The Definition of Irony

New Year’s Resolutions: Don’t Sweat The Big Stuff

On the first day of the New Year, some sanity was restored to college football when Grayson McCall reconsidered his decision to enter the transfer portal and announced he was returning to Coastal Carolina for what most likely will be his final college season.

Good for him. Good for college football.

Maybe sanity will be restored to the game. Maybe McCall’s story is an outlier.

That’s the big stuff in college football and the kind that you nor me nor really any college football fan can control. John Chaney used to have a phrase for it. “Control the known and don’t worry about the unknown,” he would say.

So with that in mind, I will leave the “big stuff” for the Presidents, athletic directors and conference commissioners to sort out.

The overall theme of my New Year’s Resolutions is to enjoy the game as much as possible with four specific ones here:

Celebrate E. J. Warner: As good as Coastal Carolina fans have to feel about McCall coming back, Temple fans have to feel better about E.J. Warner, who stayed committed to Stan Drayton’s championship visions. The light bulb went on for Warner in the second half of the Navy game. Consider this: In his first five games, Warner averaged 206 yards. Including Navy, he averaged 358.4 yards a game in his final six and that’s even with a season-low 167 against Cincinnati.

Recalibrate Expectations: Last year we thought if everything went right, the Owls would go 6-6 under Drayton the first year and challenge for a championship the next year. Pretty sure Drayton and Company are setting their sights on a championship this year (I’d be disappointed if they weren’t) but fans probably should be satisfied with 6-6.

Jordan Smith scores touchdown here against Rutgers. (Photo Courtesy Zamani Feelings)

Get Excited About the New Additions: With one of the top prep receivers in Florida joining the fold, as what one writer called the steal of the transfer portal in Dante Wright, the already good receiver room at Temple already has been upgraded. Amad Anderson had two of the greatest catches in Temple history in the second half of the season and he’s back as is the rapidly improved Zae Baines. Temple has the two best tight ends in the league in Jordan Smith and David Martin-Robinson. Also, on defense, I thought Tra Thomas was the best linebacker on the team when he went down with an injury against Rutgers but, since then, Layton Jordan and Jordan Magee took that standard and even bettered it.

Take One Game at a Time: The focus should be on winning the opener at home against Akron. But it’s OK if some time in the next eight months is given to game planning the next foe, Rutgers. The Owls were trending upward at the end of the season and Rutgers was spiraling downward. Temple was a 3d and 1 midfield quarterback sneak away from beating bowl champion East Carolina while Rutgers finished with a 37-0 whimper against Maryland.

If those trends continue through the offseason, the short trip up the turnpike should be fun again and coming back home 2-0 would go a long way toward filling the seats in the remaining home games.

Friday: Four to Score