TU-UCF: Getting The Swag Back

The real testament to how badly SMU beat Temple was not the final score on Saturday; 45-21 was bad enough for those of us who thought those types of beatings were over under the stewardship of Rod Carey.

The real testament could come in a couple of nights.

Can Temple get its swag back?


Gosh, you have to hope so but that’s the kind of loss that could shake anyone’s swagger.

The Owls have always played with the confidence of a team under control of what was happening on the field. The fact that so many things went wrong on Saturday could shake that confidence.

Or not.

The last time this happened was in Buffalo and the Owls got their swag back rather quickly and played well after that.

You have to hope for the same again but UCF is a very talented team.

Are they as talented as Memphis?

I don’t think so, but we will have to find out on Saturday night.

Unlike the last couple of years, this is a beatable UCF team. They lost at Pitt, the same Pitt team that beat Delaware by three points. They beat ECU by pretty much the same margin Temple did.

This is more about Temple, though.

Temple football is establishing
the run first then, only after
the run is established
bring the linebackers and the
safeties for the bad guys up to
the line of scrimmage and making
the defense susceptible to explosive
plays in the play-action
passing game

Defensive backs that were reliable all season long got beat like drums against SMU. Receivers with relatively good hands (except for the Buffalo game) dropped balls like they were soaked with oil. Coaches who made good decisions all year made questionable ones. (Like, how on any 3d and 5 would you have Todd Centeio in when a completion has to be made?)

One of the things the Owls have to do, in my mind, is changing things up. The film UCF will watch is one of the Owls trying to match SMU point-for-point and that’s not really the Temple football we’ve all come to know and love. Temple football is establishing the run first then, only after the run is established, bring the linebackers and the safeties for the bad guys up to the line of scrimmage and making the defense susceptible to explosive plays in the play-action passing game.

That means using a Temple strength–the offensive line–to establish the run and, at times, using the tight ends as H-blockers for both Ra’Mahn Davis and Jager Gardner if straight-ahead blocking isn’t enough to get the job done.

That approach limits the touches of the high-octane UCF offense, chews some clock, and allows Temple receivers to roam free through the UCF secondary as a result of play-action occupying the eyes of the UCF linebackers and safeties. If Temple has two eight-minute drives that result in touchdowns, the Owls win this game. Even one such drive might be enough.

That’s what UCF hasn’t seen on film so far and that’s what it needs to see on Saturday night.

That’s probably the best way to get the Temple swag back. It probably is the only way.

Friday: Game Night Minus-1 Clues

Sunday: Game Analysis


20 thoughts on “TU-UCF: Getting The Swag Back

  1. Owls are pretty beat up. Several starters on defense have not been able to practice according to Coach Carey and are day to day. It will be a tough game to win if they can’t play. Just hope they pressure the freshman QB for UCF and make him make plays.

  2. COLD Saturday night in the 40s? wholly sh*t…., see you in K lot by the fence?

    • absolutely, KJ. Go in the main entrance of Lot K, make a HARD left in the first row and come across the Arians’ guys (in the middle, Paul Palmer, Joe Greenwood, Eddie Parker, Sheldon Morris, etc.) and then go all the way to the end to the Hardin guys (Steve Conjar, etc.) and at the convergence of those two fences that’s where I will be. Can’t wait to meet you and thank you for all of your great contributions to this blog over the years. I will be there 2 p.m.-7 (if kickoff is 7:30). If kickoff is 7, we will go in at 6:30. Need all fans in the house that night.

      • Hey Mike and KJ, it’s section K-36

      • This is a great blog, you should be proud.

        Will swing by around 6. Walking slow, tore Achilles over two months ago and still limping….

      • Sorry to hear that. Your health is the most important thing you have. I tore an Achillies playing fullcourt basketball (on the day the Challenger Exploded, no less) at the Doylestown YMCA. Was in Doylestown Hospital (across the street) overnight and the crutches are still resting against my basement refrigerator.

  3. Stupid theory But: maybe TUFB just ‘ain’t no good’ as a road team ? We’ve seen that type of team before. That’s my best hope, not a road team.
    But we are fine as a home team ? Let’s hope so

    • Here’s another stupid theory: Maybe we aren’t as good as I thought we were? Really disgusted with Buffalo and disappointed with SMU. I hope these kids realize their potential. It’s a lot more than six wins.

      • I hate to say this Mike but I think this coach is not who you think he is. Got rid of one of the best special team coaches Temple ever had. Don’t think he makes a lot of adjustments during the game, and I think he does not coach offense well. In for a long rest of the season maybe the next couple of years.

  4. Jury is still out on Carey at Temple. Will he fully embrace Temple Tuff and dump the spread? Can he bring in top talent like MR?

    UCF and Cincy have more talent, they should win.
    Temple should beat Tulane and UConn.

    USF will be a hard game, this Temple team does not play well on the road.

    So far Carey gets a ‘B’. He beat two ranked teams, loss to Buffalo is a riddle. SMU is just a great football team this year.

    • Your ranking him pretty high there KJ I’m going to give him a d.he only be one team with a winning record and I don’t know if they beat Memphis I think Memphis beat themselves.I got to see more from this guy the rest of the year before I rank them that high and I’m not that hopeful.I think a lot of teams are going to pass Temple in this league lotta teams are getting better I don’t know that Temple will.

  5. Watching Houston-SMU. Two things. Houston is covering their receivers and also blitzing the SMU QB. I think Carey’s doing fine. Last week, it’s my belief that he may have overestimated the ability of his D-backs. Let’s see if TU plays a different pass coverage scheme this week.

    • Amazing that ever since we’ve joined the AAC if there is an AAC game on, I watch that game (above NFL, above World Series, etc.). I hope the rest of the conference does what I do for them for our games. I find myself strangely rooting for Houston because if there is any hope for a SMU rematch at the Linc SMU has to lose a few that we don’t expect SMU to lose.

      • They’re on because of the enhanced ESPN deal. With all of the other teams playing Saturday night, the league still got a prime 7:00 pm spot and last week TU-SMU got a good 3:30 spot.. Fact is that AAC teams are in some of the biggest TV markets. Really peeved watching Houston run so well against SMU. SMU would only be leading by 1 had Houston’s qb not had the the ball slip backwards out of his hand.

      • peeved about watching them run is EXACTLY what I was thinking. What made Temple football relevant over the last decade? Dictacting that we were going to run and there was nothing you can do to stop us. We totally abandoned the run last week. It’s in our DNA and we’ve got to do it.

      • Sonny Dykes- another genius coach who isthrowing passes with the clock running out. He allowed Houston to preserve two time outs because the passes were incomplete.

  6. Houston’s defense is ranked at 120 and they made SMU look pretty pedestrian. Had the Houston offense not fumbled twice, the second on the first series of the third quarter while inside their five yard line, it’s likely SMU would have lost. Houston’s defense were able to double team SMU’s speedsters most of the time and the blitz bothered SMU’s quarterback. Hope Carey was watching how they held SMU’s O down and apply some of that new found knowledge to good use tomorrow. By the way, don’t understand how TU is an 11point dog and how they got no votes for top 25 while Memphis did,

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