Star power at Cherry and White

Stan Drayton takes time from his busy schedule to talk to the fans in Lot 10.

Movie stars from the West Coast were really branching out on Saturday at Cherry and White.

A friend of mine standing on the bleachers behind me tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to Kurt Warner only a few feet away.

Technically, Warner wasn’t the star in his own movie (American Underdog)–Zach Levy played that role–but he was arguably the closest to one we will ever see at the E-O Football Complex.

Pretty good crowd for the 2022 Cherry and White Game.

He wasn’t the only high-profile person. Haason Reddick and Shaun Bradley of the Philadelphia Eagles were there, as were coaches Nick Rapone and Kevin Ross of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All former Temple football Owls were there to show support for the current Temple football Owls.

It was a pretty good day, all designed to get Stan Drayton’s first Owl team up to game speed.

Hopefully, future stars. Maybe even movie ones.

Weather-wise, there was everything–a little rain, some clouds, some sun, even some hail–so at some point if the Owls have to play under those conditions they will be ready.

We won’t make any predictions on records for the season off an uneven performance except this one: Nobody is going to score 61 points or more on this defense again. You read it here first.

The defense beat the offense, 64-54, but it seemed to me to be a more dominating performance than that. The defensive line was into the backfield on numerous occasions and disruptive.

That might cause some concern about the offensive line, but Drayton said a number of them were playing out of position in order to provide some flexibility in the fall (tackles playing guard, guards playing tackle, etc.) When you have guys like Adam Klein, Isaac Moore and Victor Stoffel coming back–people who played at a high level pre-Rod Carey–offensive line shouldn’t be a big concern right now.

Running back and quarterback is somewhat as Darvon Hubbard didn’t have the breakout game some might have expected. Still, it’s a deep unit with a couple of high-level P5 recruits (Hubbard and Iverson Clement) who didn’t play last year and the guys who did nipping on the depth chart behind them. Have to expect at some point they will shake off the rust and perform at a high level.

Drayton, for his part, seemed to get the above nuances and connect with the Temple fans on a level we have not seen since Matt Rhule.

Drayton walked through Lot 10 and took the microphone from former Owl offensive tackle Kevin Jones (see above photo) and said a few words of appreciation to the fans.

“We’re going to do everything we can to get this thing back to the way you are all used to seeing it,” Drayton told the Lot 10 crowd. “I just love you all and I thank you all for the way you received me and I’m going to give you everything I can. I promise you that.”

The last coach to walk through Lot 10 and shake some hands? Rhule, who posted consecutive 10-win seasons here.

On a day when there were a lot of good omens, here’s hoping Drayton’s appreciation of the Temple culture off the field produces impressive results on it.

Friday: Stories from Cherry and White

7 thoughts on “Star power at Cherry and White

  1. OK, OK, OK, just re-upped my Temple Season Tixx. I heard from a few folks the ‘feeling’ there is more positive than last year.
    Let’s all hope, and , hope to see a few of youz guys again.

  2. Mike: This is a good report of the event. Very encouraging for all the fans, and the players who suffered through those lean seasons. For the new recruits, they’re seeing something good to verify their decision to sign with the Owls.

    Most of all, I’m thrilled for you. You’ve been bleeding cherry for a few years. Seems like Coach D has stopped your losses. So much better to go into the off-season feeling improvements are forthcoming, with portal transfers still possible to add depth.

    • Thanks, Blaze. When I walked away from the first Rod Carey Cherry and White Day, I got the distinct feeling (other than the reluctance of that coaching staff to hit), that football was no longer fun for the players. I walked away from Saturday thinking that football was clearly fun again for them and that was the most important thing. That said, I’m from the Wayne Hardin School of Fun: The only fun in football is winning. Let’s have both kinds of fun this fall.

  3. Damn….unfortunately I had another function Saturday and thought/knew I would be missing something promising…a steering of the ship back to the Temple Tuff that we have loved. Really excited for the fall to see what we have….thanks for the breakdown!

  4. Mike

    I only passively follow the Temple MBB team at this point. While once a big fan, I lost complete interest after about 6 years of Fran Dunphy. I have seen that multiple players have left the team for the transfer portal (is it 5?) and now K Battle has declared for the draft.

    I know that this is not the space for much basketball talk, but good grief, what is going on over there?

    • Don’t know. Did see the video where Monte Ross won at UCF and the kids went crazy with him in the locker room afterwards. Didn’t see any of that same connection with Aaron. I know it’s anecdotal but gotta wonder if Monte was head coach if they would have the same number of defections.

      • Aaron must bend just a bit to make the ‘Chaney style’ work. Kids today are softer and need more. Parents are to blame.., every kid gets a trophy fuels expectations not grounded by reality.

        Bottomline, you can’t coach today’s young athletes unless you connect first.

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