There are not a whole lot of believers in the Temple Owls today, as evidenced by our friend Andy Gresh (above) from the league office all but picking Tulane.
He’s not the only one.
Despite a forecast with wind chills in the 20s and a team from the South coming up North, Vegas had the Green Wave starting as a 3.5-point favorite and that went up to 4 the next and as high as 6 before settling on the 5.5 as we write this post.
That’s a lot of public money moving to the Tulane side.
If the public is right, then today represents a swan song of sorts for the Owls football season. They now have a realistic path to win the AAC East. With a loss, they will not and have to be forced to settle for the same kind of meaningless bowl game they have been in for the last five seasons.
If the public is wrong, though, they can be–to borrow a phrase from Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront–“A contender.”
This game could rest on a couple of observations we’ve been making pretty much the whole season. 1) Does this staff even believe in the concept of establishing a run game? 2) Why does this staff insist on running an RPO that minimizes the strength of their best quarterback?
Nobody is going to buy Anthony Russo as a running threat, so why even run those plays for him? He’s a much more effective guy after the run game is established and with the linebackers and the safeties cheating up to stop the run and him passing over it.
You would think by the 10th game internal film study would have convinced this largely proven championship staff that the personnel here is not the same as the personnel at Northern Illinois nor should the scheme be the same.
So far, not all of the light switches have been turned on in the coaching office on that issue–at least not to our satisfaction.
On a cold day where the Owls need to monopolize the clock and the ball on offense and get about three turnovers defense, we shall soon find out if the experts in the league office or the public is right or Temple TUFF merges with Temple SMART for a satisfying version of ‘][‘ For Temple U about 3:10 p.m. or so.
Sunday: Game Analysis