Waiting: The hardest part

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers said it best.

The waiting is indeed the hardest part.

No season has been more anticipated in Temple football history than the 2020 season that will hopefully begin in a couple of weeks.

Saturday’s TV schedule

That’s not because of championship aspirations or unbeaten seasons but simply because everybody else is playing while Temple waits. UCF and Cincy look like tougher outs this season than last but there’s no reason to believe that Temple can’t go 6-2 this regular season and maybe (gasp) even win a bowl game.

At 0-7, Rod Carey is due. Or maybe you are what your record says you are.

I’m still hopeful for unbeaten seasons but I always feel that way before pretty much every year this last decade and it never happens.

The most impressive thing to me about UCF’s 49-21 win at Georgia Tech was not the score itself but the fact that so many of those scores were the result of quarterback Dillon Gabriel squeezing the ball into tight windows to make touchdown passes. One of them, where the Georgia Tech defender was draped all over Marlon Williams, seemed to pass through a needle. It reminded me very much of the time Temple’s Will Hayes covered Notre Dame’s William Fuller well but not good enough for the touchdown that gave the Irish a 24-20 win. Those were five-star players making plays against two-star players.

Can Temple beat guys like that? They deserve another shot to avenge a 62-21 loss but 62-21 losses happen for a reason.

Right now, Temple will be the last team in the AAC kicking off. Houston, which has had a couple of games scheduled and postponed/canceled, kicks off two nights earlier than the Owls.

Maybe it’s for the best. Maybe not, but all of these wasted weeks have put the Owls behind the eight ball. If any of their eight regular-season games are postponed, there is little to no wiggle room to reschedule.

Hopefully, the Owls are playing in the championship game but teams in the league who will not could also be playing postponed games on that date.

Right now, the most important game is Navy and it does not engender a whole lot of confidence knowing Rod Carey has never coached against a triple-option team. He was the offensive line coach for Northern Illinois in 2012 when it allowed 40 points to Army. NIU won, but that was against a 2-10 option team.

A few games later, he became head coach in the Orange Bowl when G5 teams do what G5 teams always seem to do–have great seasons and lose their head coaches to P5 teams for the bowl game.

It would be nice if the Owls could get a tune-up for Navy on Oct. 3 against a triple-option team but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

We can only hope that a professional coaching staff knows the way to stop the triple option is to close the A gaps and string the plays from sideline to sideline, allowing the Owls to use their speed to dominate. Tulane allowed the fullback dive and that set everything else up for Navy, including the occasional surprise pass.

Tulane’s Willie Fritz is a professional coach, too, and he didn’t figure it out. Many don’t, including Matt Rhule and Phil Snow in 2016 and they had nine months to prepare for Army. That loss might have cost the Owls a BCS bowl bid.

Maybe the extra couple of months will be helpful for Temple this time. If the Owls spend it dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s of the option, the wait might even be worth it.

Monday: 5 Under-The-Radar Newcomers

Friday (Oct. 2): 5 Things We’d Like to See This Season

Monday (Oct. 5): The Other October

Friday (Oct. 9): Finally, a Game Day

Sunday (Oct. 11): Game Analysis


3 thoughts on “Waiting: The hardest part

  1. Might as well face it you’re addicted to…Temple Football.

    Freddy Booth Lloyd took out the fullback plunge, which was previously the bane of Temple’s defense . Keep it simple and put your biggest bodies up front and center to clog up the middle.

  2. There was no excuse for the loss against Army or, for that matter, not to be ready to defend any offense. As the above video shows, the internet can provide instructional videos for every aspect of football. The Army loss was unforgivable and a blot on Rhule’s and Snow’s records especially because the students did not attend another game that season in the numbers they did that night and the game was surely winnable..

    • 35,004 and on the way out I heard a lot of guys who I only see once a year say they would not be back Plenty more people I’ve never known were heard saying the same thing walking down the concourse afterward. I realize those are anecdotal but that evidence is backed up by real attendance figures year after year. Winning big in the opening game against a respected opponent does more for attendance than any amount of advertising. Being upset in the home opener kills attendance for the rest of the year. Of course, none of that applies this year.

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