Mark the Calendar: 9/28/2019

Screenshot 2019-03-27 at 10.18.32 PM

A recent headline in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The guys who write the scripts in Hollywood could not have penned a better outline for at least one game this Temple season.

The Minister of Mayhem vs. Mr. Traditonal Buttoned Down coach.

As boring as the opener versus Bucknell should be (the April 13 practice that takes the place of the Cherry and White game this year will be more competitive), the storyline on 9/28/2019 should represent a season’s worth of drama.

The most interesting part of this script is that it was made possible long before the plot line was established as it was negotiated in September of 2017 by Temple athletic director Pat Kraft. Geoff Collins was just starting his first season at Temple and Rod Carey was in the fifth of is six at Northern Illinois.

Now the guy who is known for “swag” and “money downs” will be replaced by a more traditional coach and it will be a battle of old and new. Cell phones versus landline. Social media versus texting.

Make no mistake about one thing: The more motivated team should be on the home side of this one because the Owls would like nothing better to take down their ex-head coach. The Yellowjackets don’t even know who Rod Carey is. There should also be a sizable group of hometown Temple fans who will be similarly motivated.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution already made note of this fact (see graphic at the top of this post) recently and the accompanying story said this:
“Given the itinerant nature of the profession, it’s not unheard of for a coach to face a former employer. Coach Paul Johnson faced Georgia Southern, which he led to two Division I-AA (now FCS) national championships, in 2014 and 2015, but that was 13 years and two jobs after he had left Statesboro.
“But this a meeting of a different sort. Much of the Owls’ roster will be made up of players who were recruited to Temple by Collins.”

Kraft pulled a coup when he scheduled this game not because of the circumstances that developed, but because of the circumstances that existed. Home and homes between P5 and G5 teams are unusual enough. Home and homes that give the G5 the team the first date are impossible to find. (Usually, this is set up to allow the P5 team to dump the G5 team if something better comes along). Temple returns the favor in 2025, not 2020.

ESPN should give this storyline major play and no one should be surprised if the game (listed as TBA now) be moved off a noon slot to a more appealing 3:30 or night time slot. After all, the television markets involved are four (Philadelphia) and nine (Atlanta) nationally. This has the makings of a higher-than-usual audience for a late September non-conference game.

No one knows if the “money downs” signs will be on the other side of Lincoln Financial Field, but I would not be surprised.

All that matters will be actually turning those money downs into real-time stops and Temple could have the advantage in that regard.

It should be the most fun home date of this or the last several years.

Monday: Glass Houses


11 thoughts on “Mark the Calendar: 9/28/2019

  1. I’m not exactly suggesting that I’d be pleased with an 1-11 season, but if there is ANY game on this schedule that is a must win this is it.

  2. What a storyline…, Pat Kraft is probably getting more anxious by the day

    So far, the edge goes to Ga Tech. Their coaches know the strengths and weaknesses of every Temple player. And, they will try their hardest to exploit that knowledge.

    Carey and crew will only know what they see on tape about Tech. This will be a great data point in the evaluation of the Carey hire. First year coach vs first year coach.

    It kind of reminds me of the bowl game vs Duke. AAC vs ACC, with both teams similar in talent level. Cutcliffe out-coached Foley, and it didn’t help Temple played without their best player on both sides of the ball…,

    • KJ, you failed to take into account that those same coaches were clueless about the strengths and weaknesses of their own players. Two years in a row they picked the wrong QB, ran the wrong offense based on their personnel, lost to inferior teams too many times, wasted Sharga’s talent, were unable to make meaningful adjustments at half time, stubbornly stuck to a bad offense for the personnel despite having success with play action in a couple of games, had no red zone offense to speak of, and wasted a lot of time and energy on things not having anything to do with football like money downs, team dj and, and no depth charts. The only thing they have going for them is better talent based on the level of recruits they have and that edge isn’t all that big. Changing offenses at GT with players recruited to run the triple option will not be easy and they did such a poor job installing their offense at TU, it will be a miracle if they are successful next year. Also, they suffered a big loss when the d-lineman tragically died. The kid was projected to be a starter. If TU can score points against them, which I think they can based on their scores last season, TU will win. They gave up 49 to USF and lost to some bad teams. The game is eminently winnable for a good coach and we’ll know whether Carey is a good coach by that date.

  3. It is one of the best OOC home games since PSU and ND. Here’s a question for everyone who thinks TU has a shot at getting into a P5 conference: what attendance number for this game impresses the AAC? I say 50,000 at a minimum. That’s about 20k more than a Villanova game. Is that a realistic goal?

  4. Meant ACC not AAC.

  5. surprising to hear Sean Ryan is in the transfer portal.., going to Ga Tech? is that the missing piece of information?
    Maybe why the coaches refuse to move Wright to RB?

    If so, huge blow to TUFB. Ryan is a P5 starter..,

    imagine Ryan and Mack at WR, Wright at RB.., wow!

    how in the world did they let Ryan go…,

    • Joseph Tacopina also entered the transfer portal.
      Which means we won’t see his father at the TUFB games.
      Which will devastate ED Foley .

      Why do I bring this up ? Because Joe’s father represents Meek Mill. Ed Foley’s favorite rapper.

    • I think he let them go. Not showing up for practice doesn’t give them much choice.

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