Game Day Forecast: Great weather, uncertain outcome

Temple is not getting much respect from the prognosticators.

Fanciers of sports talk radio pick up on the catchphrases of various successful hosts.

Mike Francesa of New York has “wait a minute, wait a minute!” but today’s signature that applies to the noon kickoff between host Temple and Maryland goes to another Mike, Missanelli, who says: “the line is telling me something.”

The opening line was Maryland favored by four.

It has since adjusted to around a touchdown.


No rain, just a beautiful day for football

Shocking, because after last week, I thought the line would open with Temple a mid-teen double-digit dog.

The line should be telling you that Vegas feels that Temple is a whole lot better than Syracuse–which was ranked No. 21 last week–but elsewhere the signs are that there is little respect for the Owls.

“Maryland travels to Temple
this coming Saturday before
a well-placed bye week ahead
of its first significant
test: a nationally televised
home game on Sept. 27, a Friday
night, against Penn State”

_ Ross Dellenger, National College
Football writer
Temple NOT a test?
Bulletin Board material

Only Sports Illustrated said to jump on the Owls but that was to cover, not to win, and I haven’t found a viable prediction service who is picking Temple to win outright.

I won’t but I won’t pick Maryland to win, either, because I think there are too many variables going into this game.

First, Bucknell might be the worst FCS team in the history of college football and I don’t think that game adequately prepared the Owls for this one. That’s not on the kids or coaches but on the Temple administration. To me, even a full-contact scrimmage between the first and second Temple units under game conditions would have been a better way to prepare and certainly a game against another FBS team would have also been better. I’m still very concerned that not a single Temple running back was able to take a handoff from deep in his own territory and outrace that entire Bucknell team for a touchdown.

That’s one strike against Temple.

On the other hand, many of the key players who starred in last year’s victory for Temple–notably Kenny Yeboah, Anthony Russo, and Shaun Bradley.–have not gone anywhere and they all figure to be the same kind of a nightmare for the Terrapins that they were a year ago. Russo was great in his first-ever college start, finding Yeboah for a touchdown, while Bradley had a pick 6.

That’s one strike against Maryland.

The second strike could be coaching but that’s also up in the air. Temple should have an advantage there because Rod Carey entered this season with a 52-30 record as an FBS head coach while Mike Locksley entered this season as a 3-31 FBS head coach. Last week, Locksley had to outsmart only Dino Babers (19-20 as a head coach coming into this season). It should be tougher against Carey. Still, I have a question whether Carey is married to a read-option offense. If he is, that’s playing into Maryland hands by giving the Terrapins more possessions than they should have and, with that kind of speed, that’s a high hanging curveball. If he’s flexible enough to adjust to attack the Terrapins’ weakness–run defense–by establishing the run first and throwing off play-action fakes, that could be a home run for Temple.

This morning it’s the bottom of the ninth and one team is down to its final strike.

We won’t know who swings and misses until 3 p.m., but that’s what makes sports great and just maybe a big and loud home crowd becomes the kind of closer Mariano Rivera was.

Picks this week (record 0-0 against the spread, 0-0 straight up): North Carolina State laying the 6.5 at West Virginia, Penn State laying the 17 against visiting Pitt, Eastern Michigan getting 8 at Illinois, Iowa laying the 2.5 at Iowa State, Buffalo laying the 4.5 at Liberty and Georgia State getting 10.5 at Western Michigan

Tomorrow: Game Analysis

13 thoughts on “Game Day Forecast: Great weather, uncertain outcome

  1. UM will stuff the run and their edge rushers will be too much for our young tackles. Look for Centeio to be in the game early in the 4th quarter.

    Knowles has not seen many teams like this year’s Terps.

    UM 41 – Temple 17

  2. I didn’t watch Syracuse – Maryland but being at today’s game don’t understand all the hype regarding Josh Jackson Maryland’s qb. He didn’t look particularly mobile, was not very good throwing deep passes and not real accurate. Now our defense played out of their mind today so that had more than a little to do with Jackson’s performance

  3. Defense played amazing. Special teams needs some work. Good coaches find ways to win when not all cylinders are running such as the special teams. Very happy Geoff left. Very happy Manny Diaz was just in Philadelphia for only the second half of December. Very happy with Rod. Now time to shuffle off to Buffalo and add win number 3 to our season.

  4. oh please please bring on Geoff Collins.

  5. Coaching carousel finally works in TU’s favor. Clown Collins and his staff of boobs still doesn’t know how to beat a lesser opponent and Diaz, another loser and media hyped fraud, isn’t TU’s coach. And on top of it, TU made millions when they left. Carey, as I’ve previously said, is a professional coach who is no frills and who understands that all that matters is winning. The one thing he has to do is get Russo to run every now and then. Maryland’s ends to the play side were selling out down the line on the read option. Russo should have read that and kept it a couple of times. Today I heard several times that we need Foley back. Frankly, I don’t know what Foley could have done to make the snapper snap better, the punter, who looked spooked, punt better, the FG kicker kick better, or the punt coverage team tackle better. Finally, what really gets me mad is that TU’s defense could have been as good as they were today the last two years had they had good coaches Coach Fancy Pants was more interested in his pants and signs than he was in winning. Thank goodness GT’s administration didn’t follow this blog because they never would have hired him and we’d still be stuck with that dopey phony.

    • didn’t get a chance to read the above links but I assume they referred to him frantically jumping up and down and calling a time out just before his kid runs for what would have been the game-winning touchdown (almost simultaneously, really). So by calling that time out, he took the points off the board and allowed The Citadel to kick the game-winning field goal. Meanwhile, Connor Bowler (who had five 50-yard plus punts for us in the ECU game) is punting for North Carolina-Charlotte. I don’t think we needed another punter but that might be the only mistake Carey has made so far so I will give him a pass.

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