The Whole World Is Watching


Memphis’ Jake Elliott is the best kicker on college football.

There will be a couple of things on the television in every sports bar in America on Thursday night.

One will be an NFL game involving Cardinals and 49er; the other will be Temple football. Since the NFL game will not be on until 8:25, Temple football will be the only thing on TV in every sports bar in America between for an hour and a half. In that time, the Owls have a chance to make their game compelling television.

When it comes to Temple University and national branding, Thursday’s game at Memphis (7 p.m., ESPN) will be a chance to show the product to a wider audience than it has been since the Notre Dame game on Halloween Night last year.


Memphis weather.

In essence, the whole world will be watching and this will be a bigger audience than the last two Penn State games and a chance for Temple to walk away a winner, and not the gallant loser it was seen to be against the Fighting Irish a  year ago this month.

So this is a very unique chance for the kids and the coaches to show what they are made of tomorrow night. Will the nation see the sloppy Owl team that committed 120 yards in penalties at Penn State or will they see the crisp Owl team that raced out to a 34-12 lead at Cincinnati a year ago? Will the nation see a defense that was aligned improperly against Army in the opener or one filling the gaps and making life miserable for Memphis quarterback Ryan Ferguson?

Largely, that’s up to both the Temple kids and the coaches. Let’s put it this way: Probably more people will be watching Temple football tomorrow than watched the Vice-Presidential debate on Tuesday night  or at least they should because football is more entertaining than politics.

The Owls have not played their best game yet, but Thursday night will be a good time to start. They seem to be vulnerable to runs up the middle on defense, but that can be shored up by shifting backup offensive guard Brian Carter (6-1, 303) to his old familiar spot, which was as a starting defensive tackle before he was forced to move over to the other side of the ball. Fullback Nick Sharga, a tremendous run-stopper, would also probably be better-suited to play linebacker from here on out because, frankly, he’s more needed there.

Hopefully, the coaches are using their heads for more than a hat rack.

There is not a whole lot of belief in the Owls among the general public because the line jumped from Memphis favored by 6.5 to Memphis favored by 10.5. Maybe the line is telling the nation something.

Or maybe the Owls should take things into their own hands and tell the line something that cannot be printed. A statement for Temple football on a night the whole world is watching is the perfect prescription to get national respect again.

Friday: Game Analysis


34 thoughts on “The Whole World Is Watching

  1. Memphis has not taken the expected step back from last year, and we have taken an unexpected two steps back.., will 2017 be Unfinished Business Part II? Wins vs UCF, Tulane, and ECU should put in back to back bowls for the first in Temple Football history..

    Louisville vs Houston will be an exciting game.., Houston is an extremely tough team at home and Lamar Jackson is a very special player…,

    • I was hoping Louisville would beat Clemson, setting up an unbeaten showdown versus Houston down the road. Hard to win in Death Valley, though. I think Houston’s small window to a Final Four berth got closed with that loss.

    • Right now Memphis is the AAC program that I look at as a sort of a yardstick to judge Temple. That is why my expectations for this season were at least 8/9 wins, in contention for the east division title and a bowl. Using the Memphis comparison the followed up a 10-3 2013 season (Fuente’s 3rd as HC) with a 9-4 2014 season. This year, while I don’t find there body of work as impressive as some others, they are beating the teams they are expected too. So even with 3 starters from last year’s Temple defense on NFL rosters the expectation for 2016, Rhule’s 4th, shouldn’t be for a 2 step backwards season. With 7 games left I still think that this season may end up with less of a drop off then some fear right now. If we had beaten Army and were going into the Memphis game 4-1 would the feeling be that the team had taken a big step back.
      Don’t forget UConn in your list, they don’t look any better than last season. If as you seem the be implying KJ that this team will end up 6-6, then I would agree, this would be a huge step backwards and you would really have to question whether 2015 was a building block for the program or a “one off” outlier. At this point, I’m not ready to go there and think there is a good chance we can go at least 5-2 over the last 7 games. If we do that and cap the season off with a bowl win your looking at a 9-4 final record and I would say a successful season

      • good news is this is the best freshman class in the MR era, bad news is this might be the weakest senior class in the MR era…., last year’s success had an enormous positive impact on recruiting, hence a great recruiting class…,

        legitimate concern and fear of ‘same old Temple’.., we must get to and win a bowl game this year.., then we’ll be able to market “first time in school history, back-to-bowl appearances” as an indicator of a program on the rise

  2. Personnel change suggestions make a lot of sense, but I feel they won’t be implemented because the coaches didn’t think of them. That they came from this forum may make them toxic.

    • It hasn’t stopped Rhule in the past. We were the first to advocate dropping the five wides and then Temple dropped the five wides. We were the first to say “use a fullback” to help with quarterback protection and lead blocking for the tailback and the fullback soon followed after our post. We were the first to say get rid of the empty backfields and they got rid of the empty backfields. We were the first to say drop the spread and go to the pro-set with plenty of play action and that’s exactly what Rhule did prior to the 10-win season. Not toxic then, nor should it be toxic now. Put Sharga at linebacker and Carter at DT and away we go.

  3. Please go listen to Coach Rhule’s press conference yesterday. He admitted that he screwed up during the Army game by not throwing long passes. He also said that he’s limiting Walker from running more to protect him and that Walker has prodded him to run more but Rhule is concerned about his safety. Good to see that the coaches have recognized what those on this blog have.

    • Amazing that Matt did not say that right after the game. Blame pretty much left at the feet of the kids. Better late than never to accept responsibility now.

    • Weird how MR understands the need to protect PJ but at the same time didn’t throw more deep threats against Army. PJ has the arm and the receivers can spread. Guess not charging it up the middle on every down is just part of the process.

  4. To be honest, we need our QB to be mistake free this evening. I have a bad feeling that is not going to be what happens. It will be a close game with a critical interception at some point.
    The one thing that could change the result tonight is if we get about three sacks.
    We shall see.
    I hope for the best.

    • I see Memphis covering the spread easily unless PJ returns and Philip gets put to rest.

      • The consensus last season was that Memphis was going to beat TU especially because they had Lynch at QB. Memphis beat Ole Miss last season and lost by twenty this season. While the Owls are not the same team they were last year, neither is Memphis and the Owls have a legitimate chance to win there. The Owls have played Memphis tough of late and would ahve beaten them three years ago at the Linc but for some dropped passes. .

  5. I’m getting so sick and tired of this dumb wide reciever screen the Owls run. It doesn’t work, IT DOES NOT WORK!!!

    • This entire offensive philosophy needs to be re-tooled and I don’t think it’s too early to say we probably should be looking at a new OC for next season. Now the question is how bad will attendance be for USF if this team comes home 3-4, which at this point with this offense is a distinct possibility

  6. Dropped passes are killing us as are blocked passes. Where are the roll outs?

  7. Oh no…my prediction of that critical interception came true. Can Temple come back and win this game? I doubt it. One quarter to go. I am praying for the best.

    • I don’t see us coming back with how the offense is playing

      • Very painful. The defense did their part but when the offense does not finish eventually, the defense will break. Riddick had a great game though but there was no star on offense.

  8. These refs are the worst. That was a leap if I ever saw one and the offensive pass interference penalty was bs as was the non-call on the pass interference on TU’s first drive. . Now the can’t miss kicker has missed two.

  9. Hmm..Leaving without any points after that drive. I am quite concerned that this season will be painful to watch.

  10. iTurn out the lights. The party’s……

  11. I’m getting to the point where I’d like to see a new QB. Let Logan Marchi get the reps the rest of year then bring Russo in to be a 4 year starter next year.

    • how long before we change the QB? our offense is one of the worse in all of college football…,

      we should have let MR go to Missouri.., this team has not been the same since.., four years of the process and what do we have?

      burn the black uniforms and play the underclassmen the rest of the year

      • KJ, I have to be honest thought you were overly pessimistic before but I can disagree with one thing you say in this post. I beginning to think MR is mediocre to average at best both coaching and recruiting

    • Have to agree, it is time for a QB change the question is do you go with Marchi or Nutile or bite the bullet, burn Russo’s red shirt and prepare for next season? Not putting all the blame on Walker, what with drops and terrible play calling but can’t get a new OC until next season and we’re already running in a bunch of different receivers. QB change is the only option I can see to try and get something going to try and salvage this season. This team doesn’t look as good as the 2014 6-6 team. I was more optimistic before this game but have to agree with KJs posts, best this team can hope for is 7-5 but I think they might be hard pressed to go 6-6. I’m sorry but if this kind of drop off continues this season, then I’m afraid Rhule has taken this program as far as he can last season, with a good number if Daz players. So while I’m glad he’s BCs problem he obviously didn’t leave the cupboard all that bare when he left. Gee Memphis had a new coach, QB and they don’t seem to miss a beat.

  12. Nice block in the back on the kicker. Of course it wasn’t called.

    • But a lot if those yards were between the 20s I have to be honest I was nervous every time he dropped back expecting a sack, batted down pass or interception. Not disagreeing with regards to the drops or the abysmal play calling but I’m surprised he threw for that many yards, we just didn’t seem to be moving on offense or at least the perception was of a very lackluster, pedestrian offense.

    • Those 400 yards for the most part were trying to get back into the game. To inaccurate, takes to many sacks, to many passes batted down,to many INTs, to many bad decisions. He’s not playing like a 4 year starter should be.

  13. Ref just wrongly kept the clock running.

  14. These refs are the worst. The guy took two steps.

  15. PJ played well and then on the last play Phillip reappeared. Dr. PJ-Mr, Phillip.

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