Best of TFF: Streak No. 3 (74)

For our vacation week, we are running a three-part series on the most-read stories in Temple Football Forever history. Here is one on Bruce Arians’ reaction to the win over Penn State published in 2015, published three days after the 27-10 win that ended a 74-year losing streak to PSU:
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When Bruce Arians led the Arizona Cardinals to a late-season upset of the Seattle Seahawks two years ago, it was the final loss of the season for the Seahawks on the way to winning the Super Bowl. The question for Arians then was a natural one as someone in the press room asked him if that was his biggest win as a head coach. Arians paused for a second and said, no, his biggest win as a head coach came at Temple when the Owls broke a 39-year losing streak to Pittsburgh in the 1984 season.

So, of all the congratulatory messages pouring into third-year Temple head coach Matt Rhule after a 27-10 upset of Penn State on Saturday, the one posted by Arians on his twitter page was priceless:

Rhule had one-upped Arians in the sense that he broke a longer streak over another in-state rival in Penn State (after a 74-year drought), so the two men have been in the same shoes at the same place. No one knew more what a win over Penn State could do for the Temple program than Arians, who said the first question asked of him at his first Temple press conference was, “Why does Temple even play football?” Like the presser after the Seattle game two years ago, Arians paused before a thoughtful response: “To beat Penn State.” Arians came close twice, losing to nationally-ranked Nittany Lions’ teams, 23-18, in 1983 and 27-25 to what would become an 11-1 PSU team in 1984, but never quite got over the hump.

Now that Rhule did, Arians used both twitter and the phone to express his satisfaction with the result. Rhule took the call and said, “Yes sir, thank you sir.” to a guy who was a young coach at Temple once, too. Rhule said he did not know what else to say to the NFL coach of the year. Then Rhule went out to the parking lot at Lincoln Financial Field and presented the game ball to another former Temple coach, College Football Hall of Fame member Wayne Hardin, who came close a few times against Penn State but, like Arians, could not get over the hump.

In the fraternity of college coaches, and the circle of life, all three coaches will now share a pretty neat memory forever because only those three fully understand the magnitude of the moment.

3 thoughts on “Best of TFF: Streak No. 3 (74)

  1. I know some folks would love to see Golden come back and maybe he’d be TUs best chance to return. But I’d like to see the Owls lure Arians back not unlike when Hardin was “lured” to come to Temple. Maybe Arians would welcome a lower key merri-go-round to end his career? – he sure seems to still love Temple. Nice article Mike.

    • Wish Arians would too but given his age and health problems he would never take a college job. The recruiting is what many coaches hate and he would too. I was sitting with Wayne Hardin for that Pitt game and could see that he was very happy TU won but wistful as well because he couldn’t do it. In 2015, the wistfulness was gone and he was happy about the win.

  2. Bruce worked miracles at Temple. I’d love to see him win a Super Bowl as HC in Tampa Bay.

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