Over the last two weeks, the Temple Owls made their bed and now have to sleep in it or do the whole thing over.
It’s a bed with a lot of lumps in it and corners not tucked in and they can give up or do it over again starting in a couple of nights at a place where they have never won, Raymond James Stadium.
Unfortunately, it’s a bed that needs others to help them make it. First, the Owls will have to tuck in their corner and win at USF. On the other side, they need help from Cincy and UCF. Cincy will have to lose to USF and Memphis. Then, on top of that, UCF would have to lose twice.
Not likely, but still possible.
So, as long as there is a chance that there is some glory at the end of this rainbow, it’s worth the effort to achieve it. Because the runnerup prize to the non-champion in this league is a bowl pretty much equal to the others.
Nothing happens, though, without a win over USF in a couple of nights. It’s important because the Owls team that started this season bears no resemblance to the team that did a bad impersonation of this one in the middle of the season.
If the Owls are to win on Thursday night, they will have to run–literally–for their lives. Run or die.
They have to do whatever they can to jumpstart what has been a nonexistent running game in consecutive losses to SMU and UCF if they have any chance to beat the next alphabetical opponent, USF. That means not doing the same thing with the running game they have the last two weeks–spreading the field with the RPO and hoping that opens running lanes.
So what do they do? Try something different. Since there is no fullback on the roster, line tight ends as H-backs, put them in motion and bring more blockers to the point of attack than there are defenders in that area to stop them. Mix in a few jet sweeps with either Jaden Blue or Isaiah Wright and get this running game rolling.
Only then will the fakes to the running backs work and open up lanes in the passing game and then the Owls will start to resemble the team we all knew and loved after the Memphis game.
Otherwise, it will be an offseason of tossing and turning in that lumpy and uncomfortable bed asking a whole lot of unanswered questions.
Thursday: Game Night Preview