It’s Put Up or Shut Up time for the Owls

About the time the preseason prognostications came out for Temple, the chatter coming from the players at the Edberg-Olson center was picking the Owls for the bottom of the AAC was a “joke” and “completely ridiculous.” Another Owl said: “It’s Temple. You cannot lose here.”

Now is the time for the Owls to put up or shut up starting at high noon on Saturday in the Homecoming Game against Memphis.

Win that one, and a lot of skeptics, including the one here, will be won over.

Lose it and the 2.5 over/under total for the Owls looks about right.

Interestingly enough, we didn’t hear anything on that front from any of the coaches. Rod Carey was the only asked about a win total and he issued some vague responses that “we want to give our fans a team to be proud of” and “we want to play hard every game.”

Hmm.

I suspect a lot of undermanned 0-11 and 1-11 Owl teams in the past played hard (see Al Golden’s first year for evidence of that), but failed to deliver the bottom line.

Wins.

The good news for the Owls is that last year’s 1-6 team pretty much played Memphis to a standoff on the road in a game that only got away in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter. Was that mostly the result of a good game from quarterback Anthony Russo? Can D’Wan Mathis help the Owls gain 500 yards of total offense, like Russo did?

If the Owls want to prove the naysayers wrong, they have a chance to starting on Saturday.

We will find out on Saturday.

The bad news is that if any team has underachieved from a perception standpoint it’s been this one.

We wrote in this space last week that the Owls would “win 61-7” give or take 20 points either way against Wagner and they hit the exact low end of that projection, a 41-7 win. Worse, they had to fight like hell to put lipstick on that slippery pig.

Meanwhile, an average MAC team–Buffalo–had no trouble putting a 69-7 number on Wagner and the Bulls struggled to beat Old Dominion 35-34 on Saturday.

You are the company you keep and Temple isn’t keeping even Buffalo or Old Dominion company.

Can that change?

Err, doubtful, but there is hope.

Memphis doesn’t appear to be as good as it was last year. Sure, the Tigers beat Mississippi State at home but a careful review of the punt return that won it for them showed the ref waving his arms to signify the ball dead before the Memphis punt returner picked it up and went to the house.

Replay or not, that alone should have nullified the return.

Memphis lost to University of Texas (San Antonio) last week and USTA is a nice unbeaten team but not on a par with the other unbeatens. It beat Illinois but Illinois is a second-tier Big 10 squad.

Memphis is not as good as Rutgers nor it is as good as Boston College. Lock down the special teams, do not defer the opening kickoff, and the Owls have a chance to compete. Down the ball, pick it up and hand it to the ref on punts.

Then the Owls have to protect Mathis a lot better than they have and establish the run.

We haven’t seen it consistently so far but all they need to do is put everything together for 60 minutes.

Now that conference play is here, it’s time to stop talking about being good and actually show it. Hell, it probably should have started four weeks ago but better late than never.

Friday: Memphis Preview

Sunday: Homecoming Analysis

16 thoughts on “It’s Put Up or Shut Up time for the Owls

  1. Three more players drop out of the program in the past week? This guy Carey is running them away.

    It just seems to say quite a bit about the state of things.

    • No way MR would have stayed even if an OCS was coming. He has shown what his personal plans were – more money and the NFL. Temple’s biggest problem is that they make lousy decisions most of the time – for instance, getting rid of Carey should be on the agenda at the next BOT meeting. Ok, ok, let’s see how this season turns out first? But then what?

      • Matt told a few of the players he would only “leave Temple for an NFL head coaching job.” Then he left for Baylor. Can’t blame him because somewhere along the line he figured out it would be easier to jump to the NFL from Baylor and not Temple. He did turn down Oregon for Baylor. That’s a head-scratcher. Maybe Oregon went Jets on him and demanded a hand in his staff. Jets being Jets they could have had Matt but wanted to name his staff. That’s why they are perennial losers.

  2. Temple should give Tom Herman a call.. hes still a young energetic coach who proved he could recruit and win in the AAC. He was fired from Texas so maybe he will realize the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and not jump ship to the 1st power 5 school that calls.

  3. Will whoever the new AD is be able to sell the job? Will the AD have a feel for what the school and program are and recruit candidates accordingly? Would they look at candidates who have been exposed to East Coast recruiting and have some results to show for it? Do they go with a younger man who builds back the program (wins, bowls, TV appearances, drafted players) who then bolts to a P5 school, or an older man who’s been there before and can differentiate? Will there be input from current players and alums that is seriously considered?

    We’ve asked these questions before, haven’t we?

  4. “Not liking what I see of the final four” ….. can you share the final 4 with us?

  5. Remind me again of Billy King’s achievements?

  6. This should be the easiest hire in AD History. Nick Gannon from Drexel. Guy has done a phenomenal job at Drexel in men’s and women’s sports. Mens/women’s hoops NCAA tourney. Mens/women’s lacrosse NCAA tourney. Wrestling NCAA tourney. Guys knows football as he worked for the Eagles on compliance, salary cap, scouting, budget. Well respected. Understands what you have to do to be successful at a school like Temple (because he did it at Drexel).
    Too easy of a hire. They won’t be sharp enough to hire him, rather go w/ Billy King that doesn’t have 1/100th of the Athletic Administration background.

    Wingard and Gannon could be persuasive to BOT. It’s a darn shame that they will be a search firm some crazy amount (which they could have used to buy out the current mope) and they have the best candidate already in the city.

    They should make Carey clean the trash out of university village apartments to earn his $, because he sure ain’t doing it on the field.

  7. Good game analysis. I’ll shut up if Carey can pull off a big Homecoming win.

    I like Lauren Adee for Athletic Director. She’s Temple Tuff, knows the big donors, and Dave Zinkoff would love to announce AAAADDDD AyyyyDEEEE from Heaven.

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