Only One Thing Needs To Be Done

No respect for the Owls by the scruffy guy and the young guy.

A real rivalry is like a delicious cake in that it needs a few basic ingredients to be meet the minimum taste standards.

Geography, animosity (at least with the fan bases, but it would also help with the coaching staffs) and arrogance from one or the other parties makes for a good college football rivalry.  This used to be a rivalry in the 1930s and 1940s. Even an old headline in a newspaper (see inset) acknowledged that.


Note “rivals” in headline

Years of Temple futility followed and ended the rivalry and fostered a decades-long lack of respect for the Owls. All of those ingredients are there for Temple and Penn State except one: Respect. The PSU fan base and even their own “experts” are predicting a beating of Temple similar to what PSU did to a very poor Kent State team.

If they think another version of Kent State is coming to town, they will be in for a huge surprise on Saturday (noon, Big 10 Network). Temple is in another stratosphere than Kent State.

Only one thing needs to be done to get that respect and the Owls know what it is: Win at Penn State and win for the second year in a row.

You would think the Owls would have earned at least that with a 27-10 win last year, but instead all they have received is a lot of excuses. “If James Franklin had coached a better game” or “if Saquon Barkley got the ball more” the Nittany Lions would have won. From my seat at Lincoln Financial Field, Franklin had nothing to do with his offensive line getting boatraced by the Owls’ defensive line.  Barkley’s one carry was for minus-1 yard. After that, maybe an objective observer can see why Franklin did not have a whole lot of confidence in giving the ball to Barkley again.

In my lifetime, Temple has only had three real rivalries—Delaware, Rutgers and Villanova—and, while Penn State always met the geographic requirement, the other rivalries always had it over anything Penn State-Temple. There was a real dislike between the coaching staffs at Delaware and Temple when Tubby Raymond coached one team and Wayne Hardin the other. Temple was where Delaware was when Hardin was hired. Hardin took the Owls to the “big time” and Raymond always resented it. That made for a good rivalry.

Rutgers always thought it was better than Temple, but it never proved it on the field over the long haul as the series is basically even. The Rutgers’ fan base is New York arrogant and, after Temple beat Rutgers four-straight times, it was Rutgers who was retained by the Big East and not Temple and that made for a lot of resentment. That was a great rivalry.

Villanova kept Temple out of the Big East and Temple resented it and, when Steve Addazio beat Villanova, 42-7, and 42-10, in back-to-back years, that was extra satisfying for Temple.

Since this is the last meeting between Penn State and Temple and the Penn State fan base seems to have learned little from the beating they received last year, the only thing to cement this as a rivalry in the minds of a lot of people is for Temple to go out by winning two in a row.

That would be extra sweet Karma on a day that the Penn State community broadcasts its tone-deafness by honoring Joe Paterno. Beating Penn State up there would earn the Owls a measure of respect that even 27 unanswered points a year ago has not yielded. Maybe, just maybe, that is the only ingredient  needed now for a real rivalry.

The Owls know what needs to be done and they need to do it.

Saturday: Game Analysis


26 thoughts on “Only One Thing Needs To Be Done

  1. We can only hope the coaches have been saving something and somebodies for this game and talents will be utilized, not forced to play to a specific idea of how to play.

    • Temple is not a big trick-play team, but they need to pull one or two out a game and especially in this game. Also, unconventional plays like a shovel pass to Nick Sharga or Jager Gardner would work well against the suspect middle of the PSU defense. Would not necessarily bring back the reverse pass that former Florida high school quarterback John Christopher threw last year but, just remember, Temple wide receiver Marshall Ellick was a pretty good high school quarterback in southern Virginia, so maybe that is also an option for the Temple coaching staff.

  2. With Rutgers-Temple, the reason Temple was dropped from the BE was because your administration at the time was basically taking the BE football check and throwing it down a manhole. Part of me ‘got’ your resentment but a big part of me never understood why so many of your fans seemed to ‘blame’ us while your school did literately next-to-nothing to support your program.

    Even during that 4-year period you mentioned it was clear we were investing in our program and developing infrastructure for the future; by 2003 it started showing up on the field. Temple meanwhile didn’t even have a confirmed stadium for home games (for whatever reason there was still no lease with the soon-to-open Linc) and when the BE brass asked Temple ‘what are you doing to improve football?’, your admins seemingly answered with ‘we’ll get back to you sometime’.

    Joe P.

    • Rutgers-Temple needs to be on the regular schedule. There is no reason why Temple should play Stony Brook or Rutgers should play Howard. Pitt-PSU, Rutgers-Temple, West Va.-Pitt, UConn-BC, Maryland-Wva, should be yearly or close-to-yearly staples. Great for the fans of all schools involved.

      • While we are ecstatic and forever greatful to be part of the B1G, a number of Rutgers fans have said that in a ‘perfect world’, their first preference would have been a viable Big East. It reality it was never meant to be due the BE admins having a very conflicted view of football right from the start (as a basketball-centric league they saw football as a ‘necessary evil’ to keep the league together), though it was more possible than many realize, especially when you consider the dynamics of college sports in the East in the 80’s/ early 90’s.

        Joe P.

      • The ESPN 30 for 30 about the demise of the basketball Big East (and, with it, the football one) is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen on television. Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim, John Thompson, Rollie Massimino, Lou Carnesecca, all said their preferences would have been to hold it together but admitted the football model wasn’t consistent with the overall business model.

  3. Temple vs PSU .., let’s move on.., finishing the season over .500 and going to a bowl game will define success for the 2016 squad.., Temple has clearly taken a step back this year while our opponents have taken giant steps forward…,

    good news is the 2016 freshmen class is head and shoulders above the last three classes

  4. Mike, agreed on the documentary and I’ll never forget after watching it (and initially being a firm believer in BE Football) I went to the Rutgrs board and started a thread basically titled, ‘BE Football- It was never going to work’. At its core the BE was a basketball league that played football out of necessity and they never really deviated from that mindset; their main interest was protecting the well-being of Providence, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Nova, etc as opposed to evolving with the times and developing a higher-profile/ well-rounded conference.

    Once college football on TV started really exploding in the late 80’s, the league schools were never on the same page. The ‘final straw’ though for me was the half-baked Nova expansion plan in 2011; easily one of the worst ideas Ive ever seen a major conference come up with.

    Joe P.

    • totally agree with all of those points. Villanova’s “plan” to play football in an 18K soccer stadium jump-started both Pitt’s and Syracuse’s (and then Louisville’s) Big East exit. For awhile, it looked like the Cats had the votes and Pitt and Cuse said no way Jose.

      • IIRC the ‘Nova Plan’ was for them to play in PPL Park while the BE provided them with some sort of ‘support package’ for them to upgrade their on-campus practice facilities and help with the transition. Nova was putting up X amount of dollars while the league was going to front them Y. I vaguely remember the total of X and Y being something like $32 mil.

        …needless to say a number of schools became enraged. We had just spent $100 mil to expand and upgrade our stadium. Louisville had just completed a $70 mil expansion on their stadium. Cincy was in the planning stages of updating Nippert. UConn and the Connecticut state gov spent over $100 mil when they upgraded a decade back. WVU was completing a multi-million dollar upgrade of their 62K seat field. You had all of these teams spend over $300 mil to keep pace in CFB and your plan to help them was to have them subsidize Nova while playing in an 18K seat soccer stadium???? Yeah, that’ll look good on ESPN- a late November game with postseason implications implications at an 18k soccer stadium in front of maybe 14k fans…just SCREAMS ‘big-time college football’, doesnt it?

        From what I recall, RU, UL, Pitt, WVU, cuse, Cincy and UConn were all vehemently against it. USF was possibly aligning with Nova with USF possibly counting on Nova voting with them to block a possible UCF invitation. A few of the bball-only schools were on Nova’s side but it wasn’t enough for it to pass. After it was defeated, I vauguely seem to remember Marinatto making some sort of petulant statement saying the plan was a good idea and would have been successful if given the chance (?!????). That’s pretty much when I lost all faith in the BE as any type of long-term viable option.

        Joe P.

  5. This is pathetic. DL is getting killed. Special teams look horrendous. 2 pass plays so far!? Are you kidding me. This is like watching Tempme in the early 2000s

    • we are what our record says we are…, this really hurts and it is going to take a minor miracle to get back to a bowl game this year…., we simply must get bigger and stronger at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball…, let’s keep playing and developing our outstanding freshmen and recruit big strong bodies next year..,

      some guys just want to go out and do their jobs, leadership is not the DNA.., that is fine but in team sports someone has to step up.., who is the leader of the 2016 team? we are still searching after 3 games

      Louisville vs Houston is shaping up to be the game of the year.., Charlie Strong left Louisville for Texas, and Kevin Sumlin left Houston for Texas AM.., who has the greener grass?

      • KJ, good points regarding the type of players going forward. I have to say right now I have some doubts creeping in as to how good Rhule and staff are at getting and developing lineman. On offense you would have thought between McHale, Ruff and I missing at least one other name, 1 would be starting. Right now are our best o-lineman still Daz recruits? On defense things look a bit better but development still needed. I’m still holding out hope for an 8 maybe 9 win season as outside of USF our conference schedule are all winnable games. Now I’m not advocating this just looking at the class of the AAC, but if the step back this year is less than 6 wins would this admin ever consider taking the same kind of bold move that was done at Houston when Herman’s presessor was replaced after multiple 7 win seasons because that wasn’t good enough. Or do we just come to the realization that Rhule can keep this program at a 6 to 8 win team with the occasional season like last year. Bottom line while not what most here would like still better than the Dickerson, Berndt and Wallace era

      • JD given the admins continued support of Dunph in the hoops program I think you more than have your answer. Good enough is good enough

      • Matt’s got a job for life at Temple. Still would like to see him get better. The good news is that he has gotten better each year and he wants to get better.

      • Louisville is showing what can happen when you go out and hire a great coach. Guy has issues, but he can take Western Kentucky talent and beat Louisville talent and he can take Louisville talent and beat Florida State talent. I think Houston’s national championship hopes ends against Louisville.

      • Dayowl, point taken. I guess we need to figure out at what level “good enough” is. If you asked that question say in the ’90s I probably would have said I would have been happy with a consistent 6, 7 win seasons, being competitive in most games and eliminating those 76-0 embarassments. My expectations were higher for the program in recent years and I thought we really turned a corner last year with a lot of that fueled by the quest for a P5 slot. With that I think being a very remote possibility going forward I’m not sure if “only” having a team that wins 6+ games a year, is in the hunt for a conference title each year ( in whatever lineup the AAC has going forward), and making second tier bowls isn’t the best we can get

  6. Watching the game I see why you argue that we should be rolling Philip out instead keeping him in the pocket.😥

  7. the seniors never took ownership of this team, and by not doing so have lost the team…,

    continue playing more freshmen at EVERY position and focus on winning the AAC Championship next year when Houston and Cincy are gone

  8. This game wasn’t anywhere near as painful as the Army game. While temple lost a completely winnable game, PSU is in fact the better team. Penn State has better talent and depth as evidenced by their ability to absorb several significant injuries and still field a respectable team. Also, any perceived superiority in our coaching staff isn’t significant enough to offset these differences.

    Temple had a season for the ages last year but with complete objectivity most schools would have considered this to be just a good season. This year is shaping up to be a very mediocre season in which Temple will win some of the games we should but also lose a few of those too. In other words Temle football is back.

    • While my post on the game centers on the misuse of Phillip Walker, the defense should share a lot of the blame. Thought our pass rush would have gotten to McSorley more. We only lost Ioannidis and Walton and Walton was phased out of the lineup for FBL in the second half of the season so it really was just Ioannidis. Since Matakevich got three sacks blitzing against PSU, thought we should have used Avery Williams in Tyler’s blitzing role (which we did not). We’ve got to be more creative with a pass rush. These were essentially the same players (PSU’s OL and our DL) as last year.

      • Mike, don’t really want to open this can of worms but this has been Snow’s track record as DC since 2000. Gets a defense to one good year then a drop off. Happened at UCLA, EMU and I believe his 2nd year Washington defense tailef off from his first year. One of the things that was brought up here early on with this staff. Not saying he wasn’t a top notch coordinator at ASU but can he still get a defense close to those levels on a year in and year out basis anymore. You have to have the players but I also think you need coaches who can also work with what they have. Anymore I’m being to think Phil may not be able to do that

      • I think when you get to his age a little of the fire wears off. I would like Temple to get Nick Rapone, who is the DB coach at the Arizona Cardinals, and whose daughter goes to Temple, to replace him. Snow is close to retirement age.

  9. Why did Snow use the 3 -4 in the first 20 minutes. PSU moved the ball easily. When someone’s light went on and the 4-3 was employed, yards got tougher to get by the Nitts. But overall, the Penn State DB’s were just as fast if not faster than the TU backs and ends. Plus a once-in-his-life catch by Gadzicki gave them a score they’d not otherwise have gotten. Game was winnable. And what’s the problem with the O-line jumping so much?

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