This Season’s Most Pleasant Surprise

Just when you think nothing could surprise you about this Temple football season, the most pleasant surprise arrived a week ago on Saturday.

No, it wasn’t Dave Patenaude using Rob Ritrovato as a full-time fullback (although that would be an even more pleasant surprise for me) nor was it even the win itself over a ranked foe, it was the Temple fans in the final moments against Cincinnati.

What first started as a murmur turned into a loud roar:

DEE-FENSE!!!!

DEE-FENSE!!!

DEE-FENSE!!!

For what seemed to be the last five minutes of the game, I turned around and everybody was yelling it. All 33,026 fans were on their feet, clapping and stomping and yelling and pounding the seats in front of them.

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After years of imploring my fellow fans in Section 121 and 122 to join me in chanting “DEE-FENSE, DEE-FENSE” everyone got with the program and it was a beautiful thing to see. Often times in the past, those folks sitting were clamoring for the ones standing in front of them to sit down. If you want to attend an entertainment function and do nothing but sit and politely applaud, I recommend the Kimmel Center. A football game is a real chance to affect the outcome and, when that happens, it becomes a magical event to attend.

With the exception of the final five minutes of the PSU game or the AAC title win at Navy, those final five minutes might have been my favorite five as a Temple fan.  You know, the kind who cheers and helps the team. The Penn State and Notre Dame home games in 2015 were nice, but there were those pesky other 35K  non-Temple fans in the stadium that day and that night who were annoying.

The Tulane game that came in between those two featured 35K Temple fans (and nearly zero Tulane fans) but that was a 48-14 beatdown and fan support was not needed that day.

It was very much needed eight days ago and the Temple fans, like the team, came through in the clutch. They impacted the outcome because, in a vacuum, Cincinnati probably wins that game.

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The Temple fans standing, stomping and cheering for the Cincinnati game made a difference. You could see the Temple defense feeding off the crowd and the crowd feeding off the Temple defense. Cincinnati’s quarterback blamed the snap snafu in overtime–really the key play in the game–on the crowd noise and when was the last time an opposing player blamed Temple crowd noise for a loss?

I can’t recall it in my 40 years of watching–and cheering–for Temple football. I was able to rewatch the game on ESPN and the crowd noise came through loud and clear. The fans helped a lot and they knew it.

The Cincinnati game is hopefully a blueprint for the Nov. 17 game against South Florida for the fans to follow and one that hopefully becomes the norm, not the exception, in years to come.

Tuesday: A prescription from the doctor

Thursday: Game Day

Friday: Game Analysis

10 thoughts on “This Season’s Most Pleasant Surprise

  1. A great surprise and a surprise in the true sense it was, considering the horrible, 3-and-out offense almost all day long. The D won this game for the most part along with the unexpected O flurry at the end. Can’t see the same happening at UCF tho. To win that one or even have a chance the O is going to have to change, work the clock to keep the ball out of UCF’s hand as much as possible. An O like at Maryland would be a nice surprise. Go Owls.

  2. I remember at the old Temple Stadium the sound really reverberated when the crowd got wound up.

    • west virginia, 1974 and bc, 1975, especially

      • Mike, West Virginia was in 1972 and BC in 1974. Owls went to the VET in 75 for all games except for the PSU game which was played at Franklin Field. The noise for the BC game was extraordinary and I believe that had the Owls played PSU there in 75 and 76 TU likely would have won. Frankly, like everything the University does, it was shortsighted to sell the stadium and the land.

      • correct, the farther I get from those years the more the memory fails.

  3. I only hear the thunder of the cheer

    “ Special Teams “

  4. For the game last week, our group decided to sit on the visiting side, we thought TU wouldn’t win and the we wanted to observe a top 20 team close up.
    BTW their cheerleaders were great, lots of difficult flips also, that’s what I noticed about them most. I don’t hate Cincy, they deserve some respect.
    .
    Then as things got going –
    We got to hear the loud crowd noise come over from the Temple side and it was great..
    In the 4th Q near the end when it got so tense nervous and happy , the crowd noise on our side was great also.

    Temple fans a pretty good really, especially when we are IN the game with a chance.

  5. The few, the loud, the Owl fans.

    • With this coaching staff they’re going to need a miracle to win the next three games so let’s see how loud they are go owls

      • Hopefully, the Owls can quiet the UCF fans early on Thursday. Either way, I hope they are blaring the noise in practice this week and working on silent counts.

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