The Listerine Bowl

Sometimes it’s hard to taste the fruit when the mouth has a sour taste in it, so consider today’s 38-0 win over Stony Brook The Listerine Bowl.

Stony Brook is not that bad, and Temple is probably not as bad as it showed against Army. Still, the loss a week ago left a bad taste in the mouths of Temple fans and, on my way out, I heard a surprising number of fans say they will never come back again. For those who did come back, that sour taste now has been rinsed for awhile.


For the others, the 12,000 or so who did not return this week but were there last week, they cannot be blamed.

That’s the price of not being prepared for a triple-option team when you had nine months to prepare for one. That game is over now and there is no way to get either it back or a good portion of the 34,005 fans who attended the Army game. Earlier this week, in a post I titled “Unintended Consequences” I wrote the Owls would be lucky to draw 22,000 for Stony Brook. Make it 22,256, which was the official attendance. In a 70K stadium, 22,256 looks small and it was.

Maybe if the Owls beat Penn State and take a very good record into USF, we will see 34,005 again but I doubt it—at least this year. As the editor of Pravda likes to say, it is what it is.

Saturday, we learned a lot of things, but mostly we got the bad taste out of our mouths. Here are a few of the things:

  • Logan Marchi, not Frank Nutile, is the backup quarterback. Marchi was the first quarterback in after Phillip Walker left the game.
  • Redshirts were burned all over the place, including Benny Walls, who got an interception, Karamo Dioubate, who put good pressure on the quarterback, and Isaiah Wright, who looks like he possesses the “it” factor as an offensive threat. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. If your recruiting is good enough to get players who can play right away, that’s the idea.
  • Walker says Jahad Thomas will be back for the Penn State game. That is the best news of all because, as good as Ryquell Armstead is, he is not capable of stopping in the middle of the field at full throttle and doing a 360-degree spin to get away from defenders. Thomas is, and he did that in two games last year (UCF and UConn). Thomas is a game-breaking talent and he will be needed against Penn State.
  • Stony Brook beat a North Dakota team that won at FBS Wyoming last year. North Dakota gave Bowling Green all it could handle yesterday and Bowling Green is usually pretty good. Beating a team like Stony Brook, 38-0, should be a confidence-builder but, for the Owls to re-establish their brand, they must win at Penn State next week.

It won’t be easy, but it is doable—unless James Franklin comes out in a triple option.

Monday: Penn State Week


19 thoughts on “The Listerine Bowl

  1. I am now very optimistic about this season. Temple’s D is built to stop the spread this year. They looked great. This D is not built to stop the inside run of the triple option. Temple shouldnt play another power running team this year.

    I still think 10-2 and winning the Division is a real possibility. Beat PSU next week and it becomes a strong possibility.

    • Beat PSU with this schedule after it and there is a hole wide enough to drive a truck through to double-digit wins. Must beat PSU. Last game of the series for a LONG while and it would be sweet to go out 2-0. Kent State blows and hung with PSU. Pitt was leading Villanova, 14-7, late into the third quarter. Nova stinks.

  2. I guess I’m a bit dense here Mike but your comparisons above are to indicate that PSU is beatable next weekend? I agree it will be tough tho since they put up a lot of points in a big comback effort and stifled Pitt more and more as the game wore on. McSorely looked pretty good.
    What a way to lose for USF. Opens up things for the Owls in conference.
    Go Owls, beat PSU.

    • Pitt struggled with VIllanova (and lost to Navy in the bowl game). Penn State struggled with Kent before scoring a late touchdown to put some lipstick on that pig. Yes, it’s true Temple lost to Army but Temple is a much better team against more conventional offenses. It’s quite possible that where we sit now, Temple is the best team in the state. We will find out on Saturday. With JT back and rolling that pocket to help “Phillip” see the field better, I think Temple can score a lot of points.

    • I thought USF beat NIU, 48-17. What loss are you talking about?

  3. PSU showed much coming back against Pitt…., Barkley scored five time and Joe Moorhead owns Phil Snow…, PSU 37 – Temple 9 as McSorley outplays Walker and Barkley runs for over 135 yards

    • i respectfully disagree. Temple will win, but it will be closer than 27-10 but not quite as close as the 6.5 spread (PSU favored). Temple 24, Penn State 16. I think a lot of the line is based on historical factors, name recognition, homefield, revenge play and not as much to do with personnel or matchups.

    • i love it when KJ picks us to lose bcuz it’s usually means we will win. remember he picked us to lose to Penn St last year? He’s r reverse good luck charm.

      • Nobody will be happier WHEN Temple wins than K.J. I think this prediction of PSU is just his doubling down on his bad last year prediction. A reverse wammy. Last year, he had PSU winning, 34-13. Temple should have won 34-10 if Matt wasn’t such a nice guy and fell on the ball deep in PSU territory. Since this is the last game of the series, no more Mr. Nice Guy. Owls have got to roll it up with a 4-year starter at QB against a rookie.

  4. Yesterday the Owls were dominating. The only flies in the ointment are the increasing number of injuries and the dropped passes. Can’t have drops if the Owls expect to win especially when they result in interceptions. That’s occurred in both games.

    • I think they will eventually work Wright in as a starter for the guys who drop balls and Kirkwood, who improved his play, will probably win the possession receiver job. Love to see them do funky things with JT if he comes back (reverses, bubble screens, long bombs, regular screens). JT has very underrated hands.

  5. Bring PJ back this guy Phil looks terrible. He’s a 4 year starter and so far he can’t complete 50% of his passes. Without Thomas they are feckless on offense. The other backs have no home run potential. Glenn Thomas’ game plans show no imagination. Lots of runs with short passes outside the hash marks. As for the crowd, really hot day against an overmatched opponent.

    • generally agree with the GT game plans. The first week was an abomination and there was a little improvement the second week. Do not try to make Russell Wilson (Phil) into Tom Brady and I think he rolled the pocket a bit more. Phil is very accurate on the run, not so much in the pocket where he has 6-5 guys jumping at him that impede his vision.

  6. We are going to learn a lot about Temple this week.

    1. If it is the same vanilla Offense that we saw in the first two weeks, then Thomas is not cut out to be an OC. I understand showing nothing the first 2 weeks. Stonybrook put up no fight and Army had the ball so much that it was hard to get into a rhythm. He better show something this week.

    2. If this “faster, more athletic” defense is really better than last years.

    3. If Temple has taken a step forward where they can go into a hostile stadium and compete, or will they crumble like Temple of old.

    • No. 3 is a great question. Was Vandy a hostile environment? Probably not because of the the rain delay. ECU certainly was and the Owls got the job done down there. This is ECU times two.

  7. i love it when KJ picks us to lose bcuz it’s usually means we will win. remember he picked us to lose to Penn St last year? He’s r reverse good luck charm.

  8. To be honest, they had to win that game big. Now the real season begins. Let us see what happens.

  9. Oops, I WAS talking about the UConn game – sorry.

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