The Longest Wait is a book by suburban Philadelphia native Erin Lynne about three Philly friends waiting for love.
Waiting and waiting.
Lynne might have to rip that book up and write a sequel because those three friends have nothing on the thousands of Temple football fans who have been waiting for the 2020 college season to begin.
This is literally the longest wait for a season to start since 1922. From 1918 through 1921, Owl fans had a longer wait because there was no varsity due to World War I. Since the 1922 season, though, this is it.
The first chapter begins tomorrow night (6 p.m., CBS Sports Network) and whether or not it’s a compelling read should be known by, say, halftime. If the Owls use the first half to establish the run behind a veteran offensive line and a terrific running back, they should be coasting by then.
If, on the other hand, they get cute with the RPO and bubble screens and a heavy dose of throwing long bombs, they could be very lonely by the end of the evening. Logic says Navy has had trouble stopping the run all year. So logic will dictate that the Owls attack that weakness.
We shall see but, if we found out something about Rod Carey in his first year as Temple coach, it’s that he does things his way and does not necessarily tailor his game plans around the weakness of the opposition. Good coach, but a little too stubborn. At least in that first season.
When asked about the 26 passes in the first 34 plays from scrimmage at Cincinnati, offensive coordinator Mike Uremovich said “we saw some mismatches with our wide receivers that we thought we could take advantage of and that’s why we emphasized that.”
The mismatches never materialized.
When the Owls went to the run with Ray Davis in the second half, the offense started to click but, by then, it was too late. Navy was also the last place we saw the Owls and they got their butt kicked there 55-13 by a North Carolina team that entered the game only a 6.5 favorite.
The Owls started the season by winning 56-12 and ended it by losing 55-13. They beat Bucknell in the opener and then the Tar Heels made Temple look like Bucknell in the finale.
It was not a good look.
Live and learn.
Or maybe not.
BYU beat Navy, 55-3, and Air Force beat Navy, 40-7. Navy beat Tulane, 27-24. My feeling is that the Owls probably are not as good as BYU but there is no reason to believe they are not as good as Air Force.
Does that mean they are going to win 40-7? No, because each football game is a different entity and the Owls are not going to run the fullback against Navy. That doesn’t mean they can’t win 31-14 because the film has given them a blueprint on how to do it.
Run the ball, control the clock, and THEN make explosive plays in the passing game off play fakes to Ray Davis.
It might not be as sexy as Lynne’s book, but it certainly could be the first chapter of a compelling read.
Rod Carey has the pen and paper in his hands. It could be the best of times or the worst of times depending upon what he does.
Sunday: Game Analysis