Bowl Win: Christmas Gift Nicely Wrapped

One of the many bowl watch parties across the city of Philadelphia had a pretty creative title.

The “I’m-Too-Poor-To-Go-To-The-Gasparilla-Bowl” party was held at an establishment better known for indoor simulated golf on Delaware Avenue.

I had planned to attend but SEPTA strongly advised people coming into town late Thursday to avoid the Regional Rail—my favorite mode of travel—due to a power failure earlier in the day.


So it was off to my neighborhood taproom within a couple of blocks from my house.

Once there, I was surrounded by a group of St. Joseph’s University fans who “hated Temple because they want to displace all the residents to build a stadium” and actively rooted against the Owls.

Never mind that they had all their facts wrong. People who talk about the stadium usually do.

It was with smug satisfaction that I saw that group of haters leaving with their heads between their legs when the Owls built a 21-3 lead in the fourth quarter.

The 28-3 win was a nice Christmas gift for a group of Temple fans who were disillusioned by the results of the last two seasons. It was a long bus ride home from last year for me, but I watched with satisfaction after an agonizingly slow start last night.

It was nice that the Owls followed our advice of putting a nice target on NFL prospect Alex McGough (pronounced MA-GOO, even though we initially though it was pronounced MA-GOW). They hit him hard enough early to knock him out. If you hit quarterbacks hard enough, a lot of good things can happen and those things are usually fumbles, sacks and interceptions. You never hope for someone to hurt and I really would have liked to seen the Owls win with McGough in the game. Alex, we hardly knew ye and I felt bad for the kid when he pounded the turf and left the field for his final time in the first half.

You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out this this game would have been a whole lot closer with McGough in there, and that was too bad for FIU. Nobody felt sorry for the Owls when they missed six starters in a 31-28 overtime loss at Army, so they were due for some breaks in those areas.

Finishing 7-6 and returning a bowl MVP quarterback certainly is a whole lot better than finishing 6-7. Head coach Geoff Collins would have had a lot of explaining to do about greatness not quitting but finishing 6-7 or #TheStandard being a losing one in the offseason.

Now the Owls can say they are winners for three years in a row and bowl winners for the first time since 2011.

The future looks good for the Owls, although I wasn’t buying the Cotton Bowl narrative the announcers said Geoff Collins was selling.

In my mind, the Owls have no more than an outside shot at winning the AAC but the game day coaching and the offensive scheme are among the things that need to be addressed in the off-season.

Monday: Fizzy’s Thoughts On Stadium

Wednesday: Season Analysis

Friday: The Early Haul



17 thoughts on “Bowl Win: Christmas Gift Nicely Wrapped

  1. Happy for the guys, they deserved to go out on a high note!
    I see we got the St.Titus middle school recess officiating crew again this year. Is it too hard to ask for a group of refs who’ve seen a football before next year?
    Merry Christmas to all! Go owls

  2. Agree, FIU losing their QB so early made a difference. Gave the defense time to get back in synch, then use their size and speed advantage to squeeze FIU.

    But those gadget play calls were disasters. Instead, should have done what you’ve been urging all season: between the tackles, leading with the FB. Those 3 and 4 yard carries would have been 7 and 8.

    Nutile and the WR’s looked terrific. Spread the ball around nicely.

    Any word on Hood’s injury?

  3. Mike, tend to agree with you regarding winning the AAC next season, think there is more talent gone this season then a lot of people realize. That being said, great way to end the season and going into 2018 I would be happy with a winning regular season and a bowl victory in one of the conference bowls where a P5 team is the opponent. I think there are 3 primary bowl tie ins where that is the case.

    A Merry Christmas to everyone here!

  4. They won but there were some distressing signs. The offense was horrendous for large parts of the game. What is it with Collins? He said earlier in the week that he made mistakes and then he makes them again by running east-west instead of north-south and by not using Sharga on short yardage. Patenaude has to go. Hope Hood is ok. That was an ugly play. Nutile throws a deep ball as well as anyone and he got hammered at times and toughed it out. The only bad throw was that 40-yard flare play that turned into a lateral. I blame the coaches for calling such a stupid play. Had flash backs to William and Mary when the back didn’t go for the ball. Owls got a break when the FIUback dropped the easy throw. He would have scored and tied it up had he caught the ball. Great call by FIU coaches who guessed right that LB would be blitzing. In the end bowl win and 7-6 is a good gift for the season.

  5. On the pass John B is commenting on, I believe the Temple LB tipped it to change its’ trajectory which caused the muff by the back. The commentators were more concerned about other things than to study the replay and determine that.

    • Losing McGough to them was like us losing Juice and bypassing both Russo and Marchi to use someone like Centeio in the bowl game. Could see the kid has nice skills but was in way over his head against the speed of the Temple defense (which was just fast enough to catch him).

  6. It was a hard hitting, snarky game between the players. Doesn’t bother me one bit that Temple’s hard play knocked out their QB and helped Temple win – that’s football. Hood got knocked out and Nutile tweaked a knee. Only difference was their QB got it at the beginning of the game. CC had the kids ready to play (unlike Rhule’s bowl teams) and they went after it the whole game. FIU is a solid team with a good coach and the Owls dominated more and more as the game went on. We can criticize the details but IMO this was the best game, from beginning to end, all season. I think CC has gotten better as HC and it showed yesterday. How much better from where he started can be debated, but it was a great win, a bowl win for a winning season. That’s something!
    That said, next season will really show where the program stands under CC. We’re losing lots of really good experienced players. He played a lot of young guys who now have experience and we’ll see where the recruiting (his first class and now) stands. I know we all just want to see sustained success and progression. I for one think CC improved in his first year as a HC from season’s beginning to this ending. Let’s hope it continues.
    Wishing you all a great new year…..

  7. Feel more relieved than jubilant. The program needed this win. Would have been a better game with McGoo playing.

    Evaluating the incoming early signees. Six OL and WR , five DB’s, four DL, and not much else. Looks like a future of spread offense. There’s room for a couple top notch RB’s.

    • Dave, that is exactly how I feel….relieved. I wanted the kids to go bowling and win but was torn with the coaches being rewarded for what I thought was underachievement for what they inherited. I still think Patenaude is the biggest fraud on the staff!

      • Patenaude is a dope and Collins is as well for keeping him. Look at the 3 short yardage plays. Despite having the best fullback in college football, he wasn’t used once even as a decoy. Bring in Sharga and and the options are endless including play action. Not with this bunch though, who did the same thing unsuccessfully time after time during the season. Also, when they used the wild cat, you would think that Patenaude would fake it and have Wright throw a pass or hand or pitch off. Not Patenaude though. It does not bode well for next season. We will know after 4 games if the coaches are better because the Owls have Nova, Buffalo, Maryland and BC in September. If they are 3-1 after those games it will be a sign that the coaches are better. 2-2 or less means no bowl next season.

  8. All I can say after watching SFU and Texas Tech is that I’m glad Flowers is gone. He is unbelievable. He is as good as Russell Wilson with his feet, decision making, and running.

  9. Thought USF-TT was a good game. Army SDU was better.

  10. Army winning and their very nice season took a little sting out of Temple’s loss to them – sort of. But we had that game in hand and should have won. It’s nice, so far, to see Temple’s opponents doing well in the bowls. It’s interesting to note how little season records or conference affiliations mean sometimes in the bowls – anything can happen. Now for recruiting….

    • excellent way to finish the season, coaches finally learned what we knew 12 months ago…., this team should have finished 9-4, losses to UCONN and Army were on the coaches PERIOD.

      Golden and Rhule were better recruiters

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