Lucky Strikes


These fans look like people whose prayers were answered (photo from  Shram Shukla’s phone)

If a Temple fan had one prayer after the Army debacle, it would have gone something like this:

“God, I know that there is nothing you can do to get a crowd like 34,000 back after that game, but, please, please, have the Owls get their act together and be the kind of team they can be by the AAC part of the schedule. Please let them beat USF at home and have them at least hold the tie-breakers over the Bulls the rest of the way. Also, please don’t let the final three teams on the schedule, UConn, Tulane and ECU, be any good. Thanks, God. Oh, God, one more thing. If SEPTA goes on strike, please let it be a couple of days after the Cincy game so that the strike can go on for nearly a month without a home game. That’s it, God. I’m done.”

Temple fans must have been living right because it looks like that fervent prayer—which admittedly asked for a lot–was answered.  A significant portion of the Temple fan base takes SEPTA to the games and a strike did happen two days after the Cincy game and, unless it is an all-timer, will be over long before the ECU game. If there was ever a thing like a Lucky Strike, and we’re not talking cigarettes, this was one.
In other Lucky Strike news, the way the schedule breaks for them could not have been scripted better. God has blessed the Owls, and now it is up to them to make the most of those blessings beginning tonight (7 p.m., ESPN2) at the University of Connecticut. God can take this team to the Holy Water, but He cannot make them drink it.

They must do the rest.


If they are Temple TUFF, they should be able to close this bad boy out. Of course, the ball is not round and takes funny bounces but this first part of the Trifecta should be over fairly early. Temple holds a significant advantage in speed on both sides of the ball and that speed should make the night miserable for Huskies’ quarterback Bryant Shirreffs. The Huskies rank 109th in the nation in sacks allowed with opponents racking up 25 in nine games. Temple’s defensive ends, Haason Reddick and Praise Martin-Oguike, probably will be meeting at the quarterback a lot. They have combined for 11.5 sacks and 23 tackles for a loss. Reddick has 7.5 of those sacks and is rising near the top of the NFL draft board  as he is being projected as an NFL linebacker at that level.

If UConn has a chance to succeed, it is against Temple’s formidable run game because the Huskies rank No. 26 in rushing defense. None of those games, though, came against backs like Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead.

Anything can happen in a football game, but the Owls are in a mighty good spot.

Almighty good.

Tomorrow: Game Analysis




9 thoughts on “Lucky Strikes

  1. Regarding UConn QB Shirreffs, during their game versus Navy it was mentioned on the broadcast that his grandfather played for the Mids during the late 1950’s. Coach Hardin probably coached his grandfather while an assistant at Navy.

    Bryant Shirreffs dad, John, is a sort of legend in Delaware as led 2 different teams to state championships in high school as a QB. Junior at downstate Seaford and as a senior at Archmere in Claymont on Delco border. Dad worked for DuPont and was transfered from the Seaford nylon plant to home office in Wilmington. His dad then went to UD Hens but transfered to UVA as unable to unseat Rich Gannon.

  2. Coaches can’t be stubborn tonight by forcing the running game. If I were the coach I’d open with a hurry up and run the plays used at the end of the CFU game. Then I’d liberally use play action and hit receivers behind the linebackers. When the d-backs cheat up throw it long.

    • They are terrible against the pass. I think they will focus much of the night to stop the run and there will be several big play opportunities off of play action. This is exactly what happened against the bearcats who sold out to stop the run. Use the middle of the field, it will be wide open.

      • Use the tight ends over the middle and on throwback routes. There’s almost none of that on Temple game film (a grand total of two TE throwbacks, one that went for a touchdown) and none deep over the middle to the TE. The Owls have two four-star tight ends, one who signed at an SEC school, and the other who signed at an ACC school. Like to see the Owls use those weapons while they still have them.

      • Cincy played a five man front on every first down, and they stayed in five man front on second and long.., we ran the ball much better after establishing the pass.., expect UConn to sell out against the run on first downs,,,

    • Bingo. This will be the ultimate test if the coaches have learned ANYTHING about watching opponents’ game film since Army or are they blindly following “the process” of forcing their system (4-3 defense on an option offense or running game on a terrible passing defense) to the detriment of the overall game plan.

      • Mike it is time to bury the Army loss. We all agree it wasn’t the coaches or players finest hour. Let;s call it a bad day at the office, Team seems to be rolling now and they are 7-3 with 2 regular season games left. D is outstanding with depth, offense is clicking with a great one two punch. Oline has jelled and really improved. Walker took a couple of steps back tonight with the two interceptions in the end zone and the fumble.He cannot do that against a competent opponent.Not sure what UConn is paying Bob Diaco but he is stealing money, his team flat out stinks, Not sure how he is doing it but Phil Snow has this D playing better than last year and that team has three guys playing in the NFL. Nice two week rest and then close out strong by winning the last two.Kudos to the coaches and players for being very professional and winning going away.

  3. Never going to bury the Army loss, especially if it costs this great university a NY6 bowl. We get to an NY6, I will bury the loss. If you have nine months to prepare a report at the office and you come up with that shit,you are fired at any other office. That’s more than a bad day at the office. That’s gross incompetence. Nothing to do with the players; everything to do with the coaches.

  4. Of course, now that they’re heading toward a nice season are you sure they should fire the coaches? But I understand since I just got yelled at too for looking back and bemoaning the PSU and Memphis losses. Some of us just want sustained success at this point. So what appears to be unneccessary losses that rob the program of greatness, even for one season, is lost opportunities and disappointment. Will having that near perfection ever happen at Temple like Houston ad hlast year?

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