Cooking With Gas

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.

The positives:

  • 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

33 thoughts on “Cooking With Gas

  1. A logical post with logical expectations.

    – I am disappointed in the drops…
    Not by the WRs but rather by our DBs. We had 3 more (easy) chances to intercept Sirk, but all 3 were a bobble away from another INT. I am talking to u, Chandler, Walls, and Crump.

    – It’s a good game when that’s my major complaint.

    • as bad as they looked the first five games, and they looked bad, that was the team I expected from the jump this year. Now the question is will they take off from here? I sure hope so.

      • amen.., what a difference a week makes.., outstanding team win.., we should beat UCONN

        the defense played well.., did we just witness “Mayhem”..,

        the OL dominated the line of scrimmage…, this team has eight win talent

  2. ECU sucks. Same as ‘Nova and UMass suck. Owls will beat UConn because they are atrocious.

    Army, Navy, and UCF are all L’s. Cinci and Tulsa are toss ups, but most likely losses as they are on road.

    Owls have talent. it’s a shame. This team was fun to watch last year. No more.`

      • Tulane beat Army, so I refuse to believe Army is a loss. Navy and UCF=likely losses. Cincy and Tulsa are nowhere near tossups and closer to likely wins (the fake Miami beat Cincy, for example). Coaches have to figure out a way to get Sharga on the field, lead blocking for Hood, which would make him that much more effective and open up more play-action passing routes for Marchi. There, I figured it out for them. This wasting of Sharga’s talent is perplexing.

  3. It’s easy to beat a bottom feeder in this conference and feel good about the Owls . Let’s see how how they do in the next 3 games.
    UConn – they should win. After all its homecoming!

    Army – Toss up . Road game in Michie Stadium.

    Navy – Loss. Navy will be looking for revenge for last year’s conference game . Especially in the Linc.

  4. Happy with the win, we are now ready to go to the UCONN game next week.
    Big Question – someone tell me what’s up with RB #7 Armstead ? Is he in the dog house by coach, injured, or pissed off the O Line who won’t block for him, or just tired and done ?

  5. Owls have a pulse. This site has been calling for this offense since game 1. Why did it take the coaches five games to recognize it? Glad they won regardless of how they came to the conclusion that the receivers can catch long passes. Now they have to put in some ten-twelve yard slants and skinny posts, use Wright on underneath drags and jet sweeps, and Hood on screens and flares and they’ll be cooking with a second burner.

    • I can’t believe Wright was that open on the touchdown pass.

    • Im happy with the win, but we just assisted ECU’s defensive average. Teams on average put up 52 points on them. We finally broke 30 points but that doesn’t mean we finally have a reliable offense. I’m hoping for the best for the rest of the season but lets not forget that we still have deep deep issues with paintinthenude, hisofffense, and his relationship with the players

      • Agreed…..sucess against ECU’s defense certainly isn’t a cause for jubilation. Let’s just hope they can keep some momentum and keep improving.
        Anyone have info on why we don’t see more Sharga, especially yesterday. I think Mike will tackle that in “missing without action”.

    • what happened to the screen pass and draw? quick slants against man coverage will be there all day.., Hardin used to run the draw and fake draw to perfection.., both would work against the defenses we see today..,

      Bradley and Russell had great games.., Randle has Sunday talent.., our DTs need to get more of a push, think they should be attacking the opposing team’s center position

  6. Mike

    Can it be safely assumed that 6-6, heck even 7-5, gauruntees a bowl invitation? Is the AAC lock-ins enough to rest assured?

    Looks like 3-3 the rest of the year is pretty attainable, 4-2 would be great.

    • Conference has 7 primary bowl tie-ins for 2017 so 6-6 will probably get into a bowl but the question is what if there are multiple teams at 6-6 for that last AAC tie-in. If Temple finishes at 6-6 the final 3 wins probably need to be Uconn, Tulsa and CIncinnati. 7-5 probably closer to a sure thing getting one of the bowl slots

      • 6-6 is a guaranteed Bowl game. Heck, even a 5-7 team with wins over decent RPI teams would get a bowl game these days (that’s not us). So yes, 6-6 is a lock.

      • CBS predicts Temple vs. Marshall in the Boca Raton Bowl on December 19.

      • I’ll take it. Chuck Heater vs. Dave Patenaude. Unfortunately, Heater is the far better coordinator.

  7. Blow me down! Are ye scallywags three sheets in the wind? The Pirates played like sons of a biscuit eaters and shark bait. Don’t hornswaggle yer doubloons until the dogs feed the fishes and Army be cleaved to the brisket. Savvy?

  8. Beware of Fool’s Gold with Marchi. Even Pravda was calling for his benching after the first pick. ECU is really bad. Marchi is not a D-I talent. Same dumb mistakes. He hasnt learned from them. Bad coaching.

    • MD: Agree with you. A very bad ECU team that pretty much collapsed during the 2nd Qtr. It was the perfect opponent for TU to get back on track. But if ithe opponent was Navy or UCF, and they played a similar 1st Qtr, you have to wonder if the Owls would have been crushed by halftime Saturday and CC losses the team for the rest of the season.

  9. While I agree with the two Owls above, a win against a conference opponent is not a win to be down ot too critical. ECU played VT tough for a half and is better than Umass and Nova, games which should have been blowouts and weren’t thereby warranting the criticism. I still believe that Marchi is out of his league and unless he gets better the team will not win six games.

  10. Happy that Owls finally showed an Offensive pulse but ECU is a bad team giving up 47.8 points per game (287 pts in 6 games). Losing that game would have been disastrous..Glad Temple won for sure but not convinced Temple is “cooking with gas” yet. Marchi has 8 TD passes but 7 INTs (including another against the Pirates). Overall, Owls are still only averaging 19.2 points per game and giving up 26.0 ppg. If Temple can match the Offensive production against ECU for a few more games and keep improving on Defense, then I’ll be convinced we are indeed, “cooking with gas”!

  11. A win is a win is a win, and I’ll happily take it. Moral boost if nothing more. While I’m a tad shy of thinking bowl invite (we’ve been burned with a 6 win season before) I’m more interested if they can sustain those improvements and build upon them. Anyone can have a lucky week, and I’m not saying it was luck. Gotta watch and see if it’s consistent going forward.

    On a technical note can anyone explain what Marchi is doing differently to be more effective? That’s the first I’ve seen him play like that.

    • Marchi played against a horrible ECU Defense giving up 47.8 points per game. Mike Gibson probably would have looked good against them! : • )

    • He did not do anything different. He still made several bad decisions and bad passes. ECU is not good enough to capitalize on them and his WR’s bailed him out on some catches. That pick was as bad a decision as I have ever seen a D-1 QB make.

      • I expected a three-point game, either way. Thrilled that Temple dominated the way I expected Temple would dominate before the season started. This is the way Temple should have dominated UMass and Nova.

  12. Question the D all you want but holding ECU (that had lots more against really good teams) to 10 points was notable. But missing out on a couple opportunities in the beginning of the game that should have been scores (TDs) needs to be cleaned up. All-in-all they played almost a whole game of solid ball,adding on to the good Houston 2nd half play. They’re improving and looking like a real team, especially on D. When ECU was driving and a score would have put them only 2 TDs down, Temple shut them down to pretty much seal the game instead of folding and making it a nail-biter, that was a good sign. Now things are looking hopeful for a winning season and bowl. Much better than Rhule’s first season. But it ain’t over till it’s over……

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