Ending a streak and starting one in Tampa

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Since CBS sports made this graphic, Owls have had four more games of 20 points or more that ended last night

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:

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My reaction to the above post

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.


With the new rules, Owls can take the redshirt off Gasparilla Bowl defensive MVP William Kwenkeu (35) and play him the final three regular-season games, still preserving his redshirt for next year.

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.

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From Friday’s Tampa Bay Times

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


26 thoughts on “Ending a streak and starting one in Tampa

  1. Bowls mean a chance to my Owls in Florida. I just want them you try and win the bowl they play in.

    • I think we’ve entered a new era of bowls where multiple guys will sit out, rendering the bowls about as meaningless as the NFL All-star Pro bowl. Sad time indeed. Focus should be on maximizing the regular season. Talked to so many Owl fans who were so disgusted our two top players sat out last year they said they would never spend money on a bowl trip again. Can’t blame them nor really the players who sit out. It’s the way the world is now.

      • Glad to see you’ve come around on this in regards to the player’s interests. The players have few people looking out for their interests in this.

  2. Mike, I look at the bowl games aside from maybe a NY6 bowl as just extra practice time, especially for guys who will be stepping up to more prominent roles the following season. As for for spending money on a bowl trip outside of an NY6 bowl, I’ll go to the Military Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl if that opens up and that new one in Boston. Basically one where all I have to do is buy a ticket and drive there and back on game day. I don’t mind the cold weather 🙂

    • Me, too. I will go anywhere the uni can offer an alumni bus. Other than that, don’t want to spend a couple of thousand to see a game where there is a potential for multiple players to drop out at the last minute. That’s why I respected Duke’s Daniel Jones so much last year.

  3. Russell can play next week because the penalty occurred in the first half. Second, it’s clear that the blowouts can be blamed to a large part on the njuries on the defensive front. With those guys healthy, it made covering the receivers that mush simpler. Nevertheless, they had too many receivers free deep. The big injury loss is the kid who hurt is leg and was carted off. let’s hope the frosh running back is better. Question. Why didn’t they run the play action play or a variation of it that went for a TD on the 4th and 1 play late in the game? Frankly, on both failed 4th down plays, they handed the ball off 4-5 yards from the line of scrimmage. That kind of play hardly ever works because defenders are all penetrating. Overall, a good win especially because the Owls showed that they can control the ball for long stretches of time. They did it in the first and last drives. Too bad they didn’t score on either drive.

    • Russell can against Tulane, yes. With IGM out , and William about 90 percent healthy (good enough to play), go play Will, Bradley and Russell at LB. Hate this targeting rule. Don’t think Joe Greenwood or Kevin Ross would have played in half of the games back then if they had it. 🙂 Should be just a 15-yard penalty.

      • Also mark mccants different time

      • I was on both coaches for the last two losses the offense of coordinator and the defensive coordinator . But I’m going to give credit to the defensive coordinator for a great game last night .

      • Good point. Defensive coordinator Jeff Knowles had a strong game after a couple of weak ones. Remember, this is a USF team that scored 45 points on improving ECU and 27 in a win over a BYU team that beat Southern Cal, Tennessee and Boise State. With only Liberty, UMass and Idaho State left, BYU is going to finish 7-5. BYU really needs to move to the AAC to upgrade its schedule.

  4. Russell left the game in the first half, so he should be eligible for the whole Tulane game. Sure hope the Ray Davis and Benny Walls get to play. That would be a big help. Rabbi Dick White

  5. Compared to Temple’s past, going bowling is good to see. But as I’ve said before, it’s really no big deal anymore – if you don’t go it means you’re prettgy bad. SFU had a lot to play for last night and Temple controlled the game for the most part – that was good to see. Half a minute to play in great field position and we run the clock out? Sportsmanship is good to practice but at least a field goal (and that 20 point streak) would have been ok – I’ve seen the big boys pad scores plenty of times. Whatever bowl the Owls go to, they really need to win this year. Nice win, now,
    beat Tulane.

  6. PS: a bowl game against BYU would be pretty neat!

  7. Temple Football has 6 bowl eligible win seasons under a Three Headed coach ?

    Sorry, impulsive nonsense , Mike…. Please forgive…
    Hope its not tooo cold for next Saturdays’ game…
    I want to see Tulane.

  8. UCF plays Tulsa tonight. Gonna be cold-forties going into the thirties. Have to hope that Tulsa finally pulls of the upset and Memphis does the last league game.

  9. Bowl Eligible! I hope it’s in Florida, but NY or MD are easy trips.

  10. Tulsa tried to give it away, but UCF said no thanks…..

  11. Tulsa game doesn’t surprise me at all. Tulsa is better then their record shows. They could easily be 5-5. Shows the depth of the American this year.

  12. Phillip Montgomery is a pretty good coach who faced all kinds of bad luck.They had a dynamite team in 2016 only to lose close at Navy or the championship game would have been Temple at Tulsa and there’s no way Temple would have been able to bring the 10-12K fans they brought to Navy and it might have been a different outcome. Really feel the loudness of the Temple fans made that championship game a Temple home game and helped put Temple over the top. Plus, happy for the Tulsa kids, who probably should have beaten both Memphis and SMU.

  13. Call me old fashion, but I like a college coach (PJ Fleck, Al Golden etc ..) who wears a shirt and tie on game day . Especially with school colors. Very Classy !!
    Better yet, love the fact PSU is loosing to UMinn.

  14. Great perspective (as usual), Mike. The game vs. USF shows our defense is back to the “bend but don’t break” form that wins games. And the offense demonstrated that we can sustain drives and avoid major mistakes that lose games. But we still need to clean up some things – starting with the unnecessary penalties.
    Mike’s question, “Was anyone all that excited about the Independence Bowl last year?” – brings back the memory of Ed Foley and his press conference. : ) Actually, it shows just how far the Temple football program has come when the issue being discussed is bowl quality vs. not even being close to bowl-eligibility.
    And, for what it’s worth, we’ve still got an active streak of 30 games where we’ve scored 17+ points. (Thanks, defense!) That ranks #4 in the country, behind Oklahoma, UCF and Ohio State.

  15. What’s going on with Ray Davis…why didn’t he play ?

  16. Just watched the highlites above and Russo’s interception at the start of the 3rd quarter was just a horible pass. had he led the receiver to the corner it was a TD. Instead he tried to rifle it in. That cannot happen during the next two games.

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