Somewhere near the bottom of yesterday’s post, I wrote:
“If Temple wins 41-10, then we are cooking with gas.”
Well, it was 34-10, and probably would have been 41-10 had Geoff Collins not called off the dogs on the final six-minute drive.
So where does that leave us?
Cooking with gas, which means a lot of the more realistic goals for the season are in sight.
Before yesterday, it would have taken a lot to get a spark by rubbing two sticks together.
No one—not even me—expected the Owls to repeat as AAC champions, but, with six games remaining in a 3-3 season, a bowl game and a bowl win are something even the most pessimistic among us feel is possible.
Really, the only game I feel the Owls will be in over their heads is the UCF game, but they can win four or five of their last six. Five would get them to eight and that would be an outstanding season. Splitting the final six would be a minimum expectation.
There were plenty of things to be happy about and only a couple of questions but we’ll get to those in the Tuesday post.
- Logan Marchi finally played like the quarterback Dave Patenaude thought he was with two touchdown passes and over 300 yards of passing. There is some promise there and plenty of room to improve.
- Keith Kirkwood’s one-handed catch on a crucial third down was another ESPN Sports Center highlight.
- The defense showed a relentless pass rush, led by senior Jacob Martin.
- Walk-on fullback Rob Ritrovato showed that the position will not die with the graduation of Nick Sharga, who was strangely AWOL during this game but played well (as he usually does) the few opportunities he got.
- Third-down back David Hood showed that he can ball on first and second down as well and he has an uncanny knack for staying on his feet after the first hit, even using his hands to regain his balance.
- Unlike the better part of the last three years, when Temple got a comfortable lead, the second-string quarterback was allowed to come in and he moved the team. That is a nice insurance policy should any injury to the starter take place. Let’s face it, had P.J. Walker gone down in any game last year, there would have been no championship season. Marchi’s development probably wouldn’t have been stunted had he had the same game reps in the last two seasons.
Since Temple beat ECU, 34-10, and ECU beat UConn, 41-38, that bodes well for a nice Homecoming if the team continues to improve. (Heck, even Lafayette—a team that Villanova smoked, 59-0, beat a Holy Cross team UConn struggled against.)
The pre-game burgers should be tasting pretty good and, if the Owls play next week like they did this one, so should the post-game ones. After that, it’s about improving each game.
Fire up the Kerosene.
Tuesday: Missing Without Action