A couple of streaks ended last night in Tampa, one important, one not.
Temple ended a rare two-game losing streak with a solid if unspectacular 17-7 win over a decent South Florida team. That’s the important streak one that supersedes everything else.
In the process, the Owls’ streak of 20-straight games scoring 20 or more points–a Group of Five that included Oklahoma, Ohio State and Clemson–ended when they eschewed a field goal with 32 seconds left.
Speaking of streaks, the Owls now have become bowl eligible for six-straight years under three head coaches (my editors always told me don’t say different head coaches because three is understood). I don’t think college football reference has a stat for that, but that’s got to put Temple in an elite group of maybe one. Plus, the Owls ended a streak of three-straight ugly losses in Tampa (although they did win a bowl game in nearby St. Pete).
Let’s put it this way. It could be a lot worse. We could be Rutgers and a fan base so delusional they think they can beat the Owls next year after they lost (48-7) to a team Temple beat (Maryland).
Always amused reading posts like this one last night:
As a Temple fan, I’m pleased that the Owls are making another bowl but I’m greedy. Put it this way: Was anyone all that excited about the Independence Bowl last year? How about the Boca Bowl? Or the Gasparilla Bowl? They all seem the same to me. The problem with the AAC is that the winner gets all the spoils and everybody else gets crumbs.
I want a championship and, as long as that remains a possibility (although a remote one), that’s what the Owls should go after. UCF and Cincy need to lose twice more, knocking out UCF, and giving the Owls the head-to-head tie-breaker with Cincy and the East title. That probably means a rematch with Memphis on enemy turf, but that’s a fight the Owls should want to pursue.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves here, but the point is a 9-3 finish–something the Owls can control–is a lot more rewarding than a trip to a non-descript bowl game. Let the chips fall where they may otherwise. If anything last night showed, it was if the Owls front seven (major hat tip to Quincy “Reggie White” Roche) plays the way they did against South Florida, the Owls can run the table.
Meanwhile, it would be nice to get Isaiah Wright off the milk carton for once and turn those fair catches into 80-yard punt and kickoff returns, but that’s up to him and not us. The fact that head coach Rod Carey still has him back there indicates this is the desired result.
Now that Carey is probably without Isaiah Graham-Mobley (injured) for the Tulane game, this would be a good time to temporarily take the redshirt off Gasparilla Bowl defensive MVP William Kwenkeu and knock some rust off him. That would still be preserving his redshirt and helping Temple in the process.
It would be a win/win situation for the Owls, bolstering the linebacking corps for both this year and next and hopefully help jumpstart another long winning streak.
Sunday: Fizzy’s Insights on the USF Game
Tuesday: The Scenarios
Thursday: Stopping the hybrid triple option
Saturday: Game Day Tulane