Cross: Klecko Was the Best I’ve Ever Played Against


Randy Cross back in the day

Five takeaways from the Navy game:

In between former All-Pro Randy Cross pulling out the hairs on his head questioning both Temple football offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude’s personnel packages and play calls, he dropped this gem when a photo of Joe Klecko playing for Temple was displayed during CBS Sports Network’s broadcast of Temple at Navy on Oct. 13.


“In my 12 years in Pro Football, Joe Klecko was the single best player I’ve ever played against, any position,” Cross said. “In my mind, he should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and it’s kind of a travesty that’s he’s not. I mean, how many players in the NFL have made the pro bowl at three different positions (tackle, end, nose guard)? I would venture to say none.”

Cross’ Temple Connection

In the interest of full disclosure, Cross said: “I have a Temple connection. My niece went there and she’s a proud graduate.” Not because of that or because of the Klecko comment, but Cross–perhaps more than any other color commentator in recent years–did his homework on the Owls and a great job on the game itself.

Not very many UCLA graduates have a Temple connection and, in December, Cross will have two when Paul Palmer is inducted into the college football Hall of Fame. Cross was inducted into the same Hall of Fame in 2011.


Freddy Booth-Lloyd’s Recovery

Seeing nose tackle Freddy Booth-Lloyd (err, Freddy Love) writhing on the ground in pain, it looked to me like he was done for the season. He was reaching down and holding his knee and it did not appear to be a cramp but something like a tear so to see him come back into the game and play like, well, Joe or Dan Klecko in completely bottling up the Navy dive play was a miracle. Maybe one of those Blue Angel jets gave him a quick ride to Lourdes but it was perhaps the most amazing recovery I’ve ever seen a Temple player make during a single game. He should make for a great Temperor should he not make the NFL.


Anthony Russo Should Be 5-0

Through no fault of his own, Anthony Russo chalked up the L against Boston College. That’s a little like Harvey Haddix pitching a 12-inning perfect game in 1959 and losing, but that’s what he did. Russo was not perfect against BC, but one of his interceptions was delivered right between the numbers of a Temple player, who saw it bounce off his chest and then reached up and grabbed it with both hands only to see it bounce off those hands into the arms of a BC defender. Owls were driving for a sure score there with a 21-13 lead and 5:08 left in the half and that turned the game around. Toss in a perfectly thrown bomb that was dropped (by the same Temple receiver) and a horrendous coaching call on a third-and-two play and his teammate and offensive coordinator did him no favors. Here’s how impressive that would have been: No QB in the history of Temple has ever started 5-0 and that includes Maxwell Trophy-winner Steve Joachim and bowl-winning quarterback Chris Coyer, both 4-1 and 4-0, respectively. For a guy who really hasn’t played any meaningful downs in two years, that’s remarkable.

Navy Controversy

After watching the game, I went out to the local supermarket and was able to pick up the Navy post-game show on WBAL (1080 AM), Baltimore. All they did for a good 45 minutes after the game was talk about a “bad call” that “affected the outcome.” I’m thinking, “What bad call?” Evidently, they felt a block in the back a Navy player had on Freddy Love was erroneous but the replay of the game clearly showed the Navy player used both hands to push down on FBL’s back. None of the announcers had any problem with it and it just goes to show you two sets of fans can look at the same thing and come to different conclusions. That’s a call that had to be made, though.

Thursday: A Special Homecoming

Saturday: How Good is Vegas?

Sunday: Game Analysis






10 thoughts on “Cross: Klecko Was the Best I’ve Ever Played Against

  1. Here is another takeaway .
    With Boom Boom out for the tear, Temple needs to find a kicker.
    Will Mobley is 2/4 , with his longest FG of 33 yards.
    Eventually a missed FG is going to cost us a game.

  2. Hardin would ask Walter bahr or John boles if they could recommend a Temple soccer player with a good leg…..that’s how we got 3 great kickers….might be useful now to do same

  3. Is there a men’s soccer team? Too bad A Jones departed. He’s not doing anything in T-town right now.

  4. The controversial flag was similar to a call at Penn State two years ago. Navy OL gets away with a lot. Niumatalolo must add a passing game or it’s Aloha kane Ken.

  5. it will be interesting to see how Cincy reacts to be a ranked team.., they haven’t been there in awhile…,

    they remind me of the first time Temple was ranked in the MR era.., Fickell won’t stay long.

    What he has done in such a short period of time is amazing.

  6. But UC hasn’t played anyone. Beat UCLA in Kelly’s first game (they won their first on Saturday). Then Miami, Ohio, Alabama A&M, Ohio, UConn and Tulane. Owls will be their first real test. Good opportunity for Owls to erase some of stain from early losses by besting a “ranked” team.

    • I’m cautiously optimistic. The guy who really worries me is Cincy’s 12th man (Dave Patenaude).

      • what is the over/under for him staying on next year?

      • For kj: I saw pat Kraft at the last home game and his first words to me were “hi Mike” and he shook my hand. My first words to him were “hi pat…you’ve got to get rid of that offensive coordinator.” I would never quote him here but I will say he is not pleased with coach p….

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