Game Day Minus-1: A Smelly Old Shoe


Here’s the list of good things we can see the Owls do for the first time under Rod Carey tomorrow:

Hit people.

That’s it.

For the first time in my memory of Temple football and that’s, err, 40-plus years, we have gone through an entire spring and summer practice without anyone wearing Cherry or White getting hit.

That’s only a little exaggeration because although there have been some sleds hit and some people blocked, there hasn’t been a single tackle to the ground under Carey so far in any practice or scrimmage.

Screenshot 2019-08-29 at 11.44.59 PM

You can flip Harrison Hand and Freddie Johnson on this list since Carey has indicated that Hand will probably start.

It was all done in the hope of limiting injuries, but it is a gamble nonetheless. In his first season at Temple, Bruce Arians had plenty of hitting before his first game–a 17-6 win over Syracuse at Franklin Field–but none the week before a 35-0 loss to Pitt.

“Dumb mistake by a rookie head coach,” Arians said.

After that game, the Owls had their most physical practice of the season and Arians never let the pedal off the hitting medal in his five years on the job.

Different strokes for different folks and college football’s rules for practicing have changed significantly since the 80s but we will see hitting Saturday (3 p.m., Lincoln Financial Field, ESPN+). At stake is the old shoe, which must be pretty smelly because it’s been in McGonigle Hall and Edberg-Olson Hall for over 50 years.

But back what happened after Arians had his own epiphany on hitting in practices.

The Owls went on to beat Pitt three of the next four seasons under Arians and have two winning seasons against what was then rated as a top-10 national schedule.

The Owls will learn pretty much nothing from the exercise as they enter the game as a 40-point favorite and I fully expect them to challenge the team’s 82 points scored in an 82-28 win over Bucknell in 1966. Last year, Bucknell lost to both Penn (34-17) and Villanova (49-7) and a professionally coached Temple team should exceed those numbers by a lot.

This is a professionally coached Temple team but they won’t get to 82, probably because Carey will probably do something creative like take three knees on the 1 a few times in the fourth quarter if the Lincoln Financial Field scoreboard is about to break.

In a game that probably should have never been scheduled, Temple 65, Bucknell 14.

At least the hitting should knock some rust off before Maryland.

We won’t find that out for sure until Sept. 14.

Sunday: Game Analysis

Wednesday: Most Impressive Rookies


13 thoughts on “Game Day Minus-1: A Smelly Old Shoe

  1. Blowouts are not a fun thing to watch and I ‘m recalling 2 blowouts involving TUFB, both sides here.
    Except the thrashing of PSU, not quit a blowout, will always be Fun.

    Few years ago we killed Delaware State, it was a crime. However the Del State Band was fun.

    15 + years ago , TUFB got the piss kicked out of them by Bowling Green, something like 72- 6 Loss. BG had a great QB we had nothing, 0, zilch.
    After that game who would have guessed TUFB would ever come back…

    Poor Bucknell, not fair really to be lead into the Lions Cages.

  2. Another “classic” scheduled in a future year:

    Lafayette will travel to take on the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, September 10, 2022. The game will be the 14th overall meeting between the two schools.

    The addition of Lafayette tentatively completes the Owls’ non-conference schedule for 2022. Temple is also slated to play at Duke on Sept. 3 and host Rutgers on Sept. 17 and UMass on Sept. 22.

  3. UConn barely beat Wagner last night. Apparently, they’ve already folded their football tent. One thing Mike, if you heard Carey’s last press conference, he said he did a poor job of conveying what he meant by no tackling and that they had been tackling. In any, event, he also knew he had the Bucknell game to practice tackling with little worry about losing.

    • yeah, I heard the quote that where he said there was no tackling to the ground. Sheldon has mentioned that he saw tackling to the ground. Hope not too many Bucknell guys are carted off the field tomorrow. I’m really concerned and I’m not kidding.

      • Mike, this will be a travesty. Bucknell likely chose to play the Owls for a pay day. Money won’t mean much if key guys get hurt. They were ranked 221 in recruiting last season out of 250 after a 1-10 season.

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