Boca Raton Bowl: The Final Game Day

You won’t see much two-minute drill practice here.

Now we have arrived at the final “Leave No Doubt” Game Day and the kids who will be playing in it are safely tucked away in their beds, I have a confession to make: I do not have a good feeling about this game and I usually have a good feeling about every Temple football game.


No predictions, but this has all of the makings of an ambush. Without a doubt, I feel Temple is the better team in this matchup with Toledo (7 p.m., ESPN) but we all know that the better team doesn’t always win. Just ask Alabama after its loss to Mississippi.

There are other factors, like psychological ones, that have to go into the equation. To me, Toledo sees Temple as a team from a better conference that it could make its season with a win against. I don’t think the feeling is reciprocal from Temple’s end. A lot of things have already made Temple’s season, like tying a school record for wins (10), an extended run in the national top 25, a win over a Power 5 in-state rival (Penn State) and an appearance in a league championship game. Toss in Game Day showing up,  the top TV-rated game of  the Saturday night season, which featured a close loss to a NY6 iconic team, Notre Dame, and you’ve crammed 134 years of Temple accomplishments into three months.


Temple fans might not be biting their fingernails over this matchup, but some appear to be biting their lips.

Toledo had a short stay in the top 25, no parallel win over an in-state Power 5 rival (beating Ohio State would have been the Rockets equivalent), no school record for wins and no appearance in a league championship game.  No national  TV and no Lee Corso, either. To Toledo, Temple is big, bad Temple and, to Temple, Toledo is just a team from a conference the Owls used to play in before being “promoted.”

New Toledo coach Jason Candle will want to prove to his administration that their confidence in hiring an unproven assistant was well-founded. Temple coach Matt Rhule has nothing to prove to the Temple administration, which already has full confidence in him.


Today’s Metro has caught Temple fever, something LaSalle grads and writers Mike Sielski and David Murphy never will.


Stir in the Temple season motto “Leave No Doubt” and there is some added doubt. That motto was born in a post-season meeting when the Owls were told they would not be awarded a bowl appearance despite being bowl eligible. Kenny Harper told his teammates to leave no doubt about a bowl invitation next year by their play on the field during the regular season. Harper forgot to make up a slogan for the team when it got to the bowl.

You have to wonder, at least subliminally, if the team is just satisfied by appearing in a bowl. One way to artificially change the mindset would be by, say, a surprise onsides’ kick on the opening kickoff that would say, “Hey, we’re here to win this.” That might get everybody pumped up. Passing out pickle juice in the heat might also help.

I just hope I’m being a worry wart and I’m as wrong as Donald Trump ends up being after his “facts” are checked.  Yeah, that might be it. We should find out long before the clock strikes midnight on this Cinderella season.

Tomorrow: Game Analysis

23 thoughts on “Boca Raton Bowl: The Final Game Day

  1. I think your feeling regarding the game is valid but this staff does seem to do a real good job preparing for a team when they have extra time, evidenced by the last 2 season openers. A couple of other things are that i feel this group of seniors want to finish up with a win and end their Temple “careers” with a record setting year

  2. The OWLS have a little extra motivation for the game. It just happens to be Tyler Matakevich’s birthday and I am sure the team wants to give him a. great present!

  3. Still a lot of time left in this game but so far in the 2nd quarter it’s beginning to look like Temple rolled the dice and it’s coming up craps with regards to choosing a bowl where more fans could make. Don’t care how good Toledo is losing to them will have much more negative perception than losing to a 6-6 SEC team. Hopefully the offense gets it’s act together in the 2nd half

  4. Win, Lose or Draw…my Christmas present came early! It’s rumored that Satterfield is a leading candidate for the Tennessee Tech HC vacancy. I would be trilled beyond belief if he took it.

  5. After the first half, this has got to be one of the most boring games I’ve ever seen. Walker is reminding me of Sam Bradford this game, 3rd and 11 and he throws the ball to a reciever 7 yards shy of the 1st down marker.

    • Also for the second game in a row the O-line is getting pushed around. No yards after catch.

      If Toledo scores a TD here before the half this game could get ugly.

      I’m confused which team has the depleted coaching staff

      • Hell, this is Toledo not Notre Dame. We are doing nothing on Offense. The Defense is missing tackles and not putting any pressure on the QB. Owls are playing an ugly game and we can only hope Rhule gave a Knute Rockne speech at halftime to fire his sleeping team up. Despite the 10 wins, a loss here will be devastating and hard to get over.

      • 10-4 Stan, Pitiful performance, can’t tackle, receivers can’t catch a cold!!!!! Should be playing golf!

  6. Ok still have a half to turn this around. Now premature with this but if Temple loses this game where would you this season from the Hardin era onwards, 2nd or 3rd best? To me 1979 would still be #1. Hopefully we have a big 2nd half comeback and this season for me moves up to #1.

    On another topic things aren’t looking too good for the AAC so far

  7. I remember reading a factoid before the Temple at USF game (a loss) that Temple had never won a game in the state of Florida. Can the Owls snap that losing streak tonight?

  8. Is it just me or does pj seem to get slower each season. His freshman year he was said to have michael vick type ability. Tonight he seems to be lugging a piano and can’t even pull away from a 250 lb linebacker.

    • I agree. PJ is not a running QB, look how many times he is run down from behind by defensive lineman. He can scramble to buy time and had mobility but until a lot of people I don’t think this offense should have a lot of designed running plays for him

  9. Well folks program really shot itself in the foot choosing this bowl. At this point this season is marginally better than 2011 but that’s about it. Is anybody else concerned with this trend. 2014 5-1 first half of season, 1-5 2nd half
    2015 7-0 first half of season, right now looks like 3-4 second half. And again which team is working with a make shift coaching staff, I can’t tell

    • Making matters worse, just read on the Owlscoop Twitter feed that Matakevich finished with 11 tackles putting him in a tie with Conjar, just 1 damn tackle away from setting a new Temple career tackling record. Lousy birthday all around for the Temple MVP.

    • Wait a minute…Zach Gelb just tweeted that Matakevich got that 12th tackle and 493 breaking the Conjar record of 492. If that’s right, at least something good came out of that game!

  10. I said this a few games ago and il say it again, Chandler has got to be one of the slowest DB’s at the FBS level.

  11. Temple will be lucky to win 6 games next year.

  12. Team Is Terrible!!!! Can’t catch a cold or tackle a pee wee girls hockey player!!!!! Pitiful performance!!!!!!

    • just got back to the hotel, Redzone offense was lousy…., we should have scored TDs on the first two drives in the second half…, for the 10th time, PJ is not a QB who can be counted to win games in the 4th QTR he was very inaccurate when he did have time to throw, would have liked to see Nutile play a series in the second half..,, our OC is one of the worst in the conference

      • Mike Locksley (Maryland OC who was promoted to head coach) is available. Matt should drive down to Tennessee with Sat and beg them take him. Then pick up the phone and call Mike Locksley. Locksley is a great recruiter, former head recruiter at Florida under Urban Meyer (before Daz). I don’t think his offensive philosophy is to throw 4 yard passes on third and 7 and 7-yard passes on 3d and 12, plus we need to open up that D.C. pipeline again (Paul Palmer was from there).

  13. Pingback: Stadium: The End Game | Temple Football Forever

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