Ready for Prime Time?

For about the better part of the last year, my plan for the Rutgers’ game was to watch on TV with one hand covering an eye and the other eye catching the game.

With the recent announcement of the Owls’ opening date moving from Saturday, Sept. 4 to Thursday, Sept 2 history (at least for me) will be made.

No doubt in my mind had PJ sneaked behind Kyle the Owls would have beaten RU in Piscataway.

If the university doesn’t offer a bus (and I don’t think it will because of Labor Day Weekend), I’m planning to rent a car and drive to the game. It’s a 6:30 p.m. kickoff and it’s on the Big Ten Network.

It will be the first Temple game in at least 15 years I will not drink anything stronger than a Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry either pre- or post-game because I will be taking that rental down the Garden State Parkway and heading to the shore immediately afterward. For Temple fans who want to join me, our sections are 102, 103 and 104. You can wait for Temple to make an announcement for tickets in a couple of months or purchase them now.

You’ve heard about situations driving you to drink?

Rod Carey has driven me to be sober.

First, the 2004 Chevy Cavalier has 161,000 miles on it right now (probably 162,000 by game time) and it’s a perfectly good car that I trust for 5-mile drives to the store but not long distances.

Second, I have to have an escape plan without worrying about being stopped on the way to real fun.

If the Owls are losing, 44-0, at halftime, I’m outta there and headed for Stone Harbor by halftime.

If the Owls are winning, I’m staying to the end.

We’re No. 1 and RU is No. 2.

Are the Owls ready for prime time?

I don’t think so but I’m still going to be screaming my head off in the stands with however many Temple fans make the trip with me hoping they will win.

The penultimate time Temple played at Rutgers, Cap Poklemba kicked a field goal and Tanardo Sharps ran for over 200 yards in the rain and Temple won, 20-17. The Owls, who were kicked out of the Big East for being “non-competitive” ran over to the Big East logo and danced on it as an exclamation point. The same group of Owls won, 48-14, at Rutgers two years earlier and beat Rutgers four years in a row.

The last time Temple played at Rutgers a rookie coach named Matt Rhule had a 4th and 1 inch on the RU 20 and decided for a 5-yard deep handoff to Kenny Harper that turned into a five-yard loss when he could have had the day’s best quarterback, P.J. Walker, sneak for two inches behind the day’s best center, Kyle Friend. (Mind you, RU had no time outs left and a first down would have ended the game.)

Rutgers won on a late touchdown pass.

Live and learn.

Cap Poklemba holds up the 3 points his field goal beat RU by in 2002.

Rhule did, but too late to ever beat Rutgers.

If the lessons Carey learns from a 1-6 season makes him 6-2 against the Big 10, I’m hopping aboard the Rod Carey train. Don’t expect to, but it’s worth the trip nonetheless.

If Rod proves me and the so-called experts wrong, the post-game Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry will taste better than any Michelob Light and “T for Temple U” will be on a continuous loop all the way down to Fred’s in Stone Harbor.

Monday: What Could Go Right?

2 thoughts on “Ready for Prime Time?

  1. Mike, you better check the cost of a car rental. It’s not cheap like it used to be.

    • I rent one when I go to the shore or the poconos. Since my credit card covers primary collision, I decline the CD waiver and it’s not cheap but reasonable.

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