TU-Houston: Making History?


Temple Houston was the name of a fairly underrated short-lived TV series in the 1960s. Temple Houston, played by the actor Jeffrey Hunter, was the real-life son of Texas founder Sam Houston and a successful 19th Century lawyer.

Temple versus Houston is also a short-lived football series, so one-sided that most sets are turned off by halftime in a lot of the games.

Maybe that will change by Saturday night.

A regular football season usually consists of 12 games, a lucky 13th if your school is listed in the upper 2/3ds of 130 teams.

Rarely does a single game, even a bowl one, offer an opportunity to do something that has never been done before but that’s the chance in front of Temple’s football team on Saturday (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network).

Beat Houston.


Since Temple began playing intercollegiate football in 1888 (four years after its founding in 1884), the Owls have never beaten Houston.

They were the victim of an incredibly bad interference call on an interception by Mike Jones that might have given them that victory last year but that was then and this is now.

They’ve only had six chances but you’ve got to figure that the odds of winning one will eventually go their way.

Vegas certainly doesn’t, as the oddsmakers set the line at 4.5 on Monday. By Tuesday, some Temple money drove the line down to 4 but now it has settled back to the original 4.5.


Owls are unbeaten in Cherry helmets this year and 20-7 with them over the last three. This is the helmet of choice for Houston Saturday night.

Fortunately, the game is not played in Vegas and the Temple kids have a chance to prove the experts wrong and do something that has never been done.

The Owls have more than a puncher’s chance. By comparative scores, they are more impressive than Houston except for one game. Three weeks ago, they beat Cincinnati, 24-17, and the week after that Cincy went down to SMU and won. Houston, on the other hand, wasn’t able to what Cincy did last week at SMU and lost 45-31. Temple beat East Carolina, 49-6, while Houston also beat East Carolina, 46-20. Temple beat Tulsa, 31-17, while Houston also beat Tulsa, 41-26 and both teams also won at Navy (the lone time Houston’s score against a Temple opponent was more impressive).

So, at least from a comparative score standpoint, the numbers indicate there is not that much to chose between the teams. As anyone who knows football can tell you, every game is different and that’s why Saturday night is a relative toss-up.

The game is at Houston, that’s one thing in the Cougars’ favor. So is history unless the Owls are fired up enough to make some history of their own.

In a season where this team has not separated itself from any great prior Temple team, this is the legacy the TU kids can establish if they can tackle just a little better than they did last week in Orlando.

Sunday: Game Analysis


22 thoughts on “TU-Houston: Making History?

  1. Houston has the best offense in the league. Me

    • yes, that quarterback is way more elusive than Milton. Don’t know how SMU was able to beat them. Temple’s best chance is if Russo goes nuts again and puts up 45 on D’Onofrio’s “bend-but-don’t-break” defense. So disappointed in our defense this year, generally.

      • super odd because the defense statistically has played better all year than the offense.

        another track meet with sprinters , and UCF doesn’t have an NFL first rounder on the D-line.

        cherish the football by possessing it every second possible and we have a chance.., this will be the most hostile environment our kids have played since the last loss at Houston.., that little place is loud

  2. This team has surprised everyone a few times already this season, so who knows?

    But I got s bad feeling the the coaching staff is not up to this task and I’m afraid a real ass-kicking is a possibility. A bad loss could set the tone for the last 2 games.

  3. I agree a bad loss will be devastating, definitely need the offense to control the ball. I haven’t seen Houston play so not sure how good they are on defense. Definitely need to use lead blockers, hope the OC finally gets it.

    • I can only see one of two results: 1) a close Temple win; 2) Temple being blown out. Unfortunately, the result I’d MOST like to see (Temple blowing out Houston) seems to be the least likely scenario. Really disappointed with the way these kids are being coached, particularly on the offensive end. So much talent squandered. No team should be able to hold these offensive players to six points in any half, particularly the second.

  4. Houston’s offense may be better than UCF’s. Their QB is more mobile than Milton, who is pretty mobile, and their wide receivers are all going to be pros. The only way to beat them is to outscore them and we saw how that worked out last week. Also, the Owls have to shorten the game, which we’ve seen the coaches are wont to do by running the ball with a lead blocker.

    Army had a 13 minute drive last week against Air Force. To win, the Owls need two or three drives half as long as that. This game is there for the taking because of how bad Houston’s defense is even with Oliver. Without him, they are putrid. Can’t wait to see how the coaches screw this up. I hope I’m disappointed.

    • That is a great point about the 13-minute drive last week. That was the game planned I outlined last week to beat UCF but these dumb coaches think they are smarter than anyone else. Didn’t need to be 12, 13 minute, drives, just 8-9 minute drives each quarter. Run Rock behind a caravan of blockers and he’d chew up 4, 6-7 yard type runs each time. Throw an occasional play-action pass using the center of the field and tight ends and that’s how you get nine-minute drives against the 91st-ranked run defense in the country. That’s the exact game plan that Temple has to follow against Houston. Hell, I think Army is the perfect team (not so much Navy this week) to be the kind of team that ends the UCF streak. Unfortunatetly, those two teams will never meet: https://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/11/03/army-opens-game-with-21-play-drive-that-takes-nearly-13-minutes-off-the-clock/

      • Army almost beat Oklahoma with that same game plan. In the end, Oklahoma’s superior athletes won the game in overtime. Army just could not stop them at the end of regulation and in OT.

      • I hope we have the superior athletes tomorrow night and overcome coaching deficiencies. A plus is that D’Onofrio is their DC. He’s a “bend-but-don’t-break” guy. I like attacking DCs like Jim Johnson and Chuck Heater.

  5. what is the game plan? CC does it butt backwards.., he doesn’t tell his Coordinators what the strategy is for the game, instead he asks each of them to develop their games plans independently….,

    it could be as simple as, “this is how we will beat Houston, limit their possessions and win it in the 4th quarter”


    • I don’t think this staff understands that a game plan has to be in concert with all phases, offense, defense, special teams. Navy playing the exact same way against UCF it needs to–running and killing clock and not getting lulled into a shootout. Don’t think it has the talent to pull it out, but that’s exactly the game plan Temple should have had last week. When you have Rock Armstead against the 91st-ranked defense in the country, chew some clock and get those 10-minute drives you need to beat a quick-strike team. That said, rooting hard for Navy to pull off the upset.

  6. Temple can’t stop the Houston offense. Plan should be to hold the football as long as possible and limit their possessions.

    DO NOT GET INTO A TRACK MEET WITH RACE HORSES. This is a game to define Temple Football.

  7. now it is a 3 quarter game and we open the 2nd quarter with the football on their half of the field.., statistically speaking we should win. period.

  8. i do not understand why we are snapping the ball with sooo much time on the clock.., another game playing with Fools Gold!!

  9. Feed the beast … good time for one of those 8-minute drives Mike always talks about.

  10. Boy, hard to be a Debbie Downer , but just how awful is the Villanova loss now? I’d suggest it’s more harmful than this win is beneficial.

    How’d 7-3 sound compared to 6-4?

    Just how’d they lose tfat game? Nova stinks

    • should have would have could have..,

      beat USF and UCONN, win a bowl game and this team will finish in the Top 25, all thanks to Cincy

    • somebody said it best on this site after the nova game “they could go 11-1 and that loss to Nova would ruin the season” (or something to that effect). .. and it did because it destroyed our attendance for the rest of the season and created the perception that Temple wasn’t even the best football team in its home town. That perception has been somewhat overcome to the fans who follow college football but for the Joe Blows it’s still there and there are many more Joe Blows in Philly than fans who follow college football. Water under the bridge now, though.

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