Temple will have to play for the die-hards Saturday

Photo in post below courtesy of Zamani Feelings

Perhaps the best thing to happen in Philadelphia sports this week was the worst thing to happen for Temple football.

The Phillies won that first game in Philadelphia on Tuesday which meant that a Saturday night World Series game would be played and have the attention of the entire city including the “casual” Temple fans who make up at least half of the fan base.

I had a chance to visit the campus yesterday and picked up a copy of The Temple News. The story on the front page wasn’t about being excited for the Temple football game against visiting USF on Saturday but about how much Temple students were into the recent success of the Phillies. The Temple football game wasn’t even mentioned, not even farther back in the sports section. They were interviewed about what they were going to do the rest of the week and their plans revolved around the rest of the World Series.

This city loves a winner and, even though the Phillies lost on Thursday night, they will still be playing for something meaningful on Nov. 5. Temple will be playing out the string on Nov. 5 and whatever games are left after that.

Those are the hard, cold facts.

Even though the Temple game is at 2 and the Phillies game is at 8, that has to affect the attendance from the perspective of people driving in from the suburbs or catching a weekend regional rail schedule where the trains to the suburbs are two hours apart (pre-pandemic, for example, they have spaced only an hour apart on Saturday). My guess is that a lot of people will say bleep it and stay at home to watch what might be the last baseball game of the season.

That means the Owls will be playing in front of roughly 10-12,000 die-hard fans at Lincoln Financial Field in search of their first league win.

The Owls made their bed by first not winning the Homecoming Game against Rutgers–their best chance to keep a large following–but also by sleepwalking through the subsequent games.

Some terrible offensive coaching last week (a pass targeting their second-best pass-catching tight end was dropped and zero thought in play calling with a first-and-goal at the 5 in regulation when Temple had to score to win) robbed them of their first real chance of a league win.

Now they have perhaps one more. Vegas had USF favored by 3.5 points going into the game and some money went Temple’s way as the Owls were bet down to three as of Thursday night.

That’s a tepid acknowledgment that USF is bad, too.

Who will win?

Who knows but for this Temple fan I’ve been hoping for the offense to show up for a month now and all hope has gotten me is three points against Memphis, 13 points against UCF, 9 offensive points against Tulsa, and 13 offensive points against Navy.

Those are the kinds of numbers that get an OC fired at a place like, say, Rutgers (which happened earlier this year). For some reason, first-year head coach Stan Drayton has not felt the same sense of urgency that coach Greg Schiano has at Rutgers.

At some point, the post-game analysis needs to shift from “they lost but played hard” to “they found a way to win.”

Saturday, in front of a sparse crowd at the Linc, would be a good time for that narrative to be born.

Late Saturday Night: Game Analysis

Picks this week: After an unbeaten Thursday night, going to sit this one out due to nothing jumping out at me as a mistake by Vegas. Record for the season: 22-17 ATS. (If I was going to bet, would take the under 39.5 in the AF at Army game because the under is 42-9 in the last 51 service academy games.)

10 thoughts on “Temple will have to play for the die-hards Saturday

  1. Football at Temple University right now is obviously of little interest to students and to the university administration as a whole. The Owls are often not even mentioned on local TV news and sports segments. Let’s face it, everyone loves a winner and the Owls have been mostly an embarrassment of late. I can’t help but think back to 2015 and sellouts for the PSU and ND games with a huge student presence for both. How did we get to this low point in the program in such a relatively short time? Some blame the COVID pandemic, but everyone had to struggle through that. Some blame the player transfer portal. Some of that may be true but most of the blame has to go to the previous HC. This season is one to forget. So I hold out hope that our new HC will do what it takes to build back a winner on North Broad. That is the only way that student and overall university support will happen.

    • The trend started moving down in the Collins era. Collins had nice records in his time here and picked up a bowl win from what he inherited. He was unable to recruit at Rhule’s level which showed in subsequent seasons. His recruiting doomed him at Georgia Tech.

      Recruiting grew even worse under Carey, compounded by running off most of the good talent that he had. The bottom finally fell out the past two years. Carey obliterated 15 years of progress in his time here.

      Drayton was fully aware coming in that this was a complete rebuild. The best comparable is Al Golden’s first season here. Not a retool or tinker. First big tasks were to stop the portal exodus, get some new talent, and repair recruiting relationships that were destroyed during the Carey era. He has made good progress on these points but this is not a one year fix. This was the year to set the foundation. There is some AAC talent on this roster. Much more is needed. There have been spots of improvement in the second half of the season. More is needed. This is year zero where it’s coaching and development.

      The team should be better next year. Bowl eligible is possible. In the race for the AAC title the year after. There are positive signs there if you look for them.

      • All of what you say is true. This is indeed year zero as a beginning for a complete turnaround to better days!

  2. Saturdays Game: pick a seat, pick any seat. I will have room to stretch out in all directions, that’s my bet…. And no long lines for security check either. Listing the good things about an empty stadium and an empty Temple football team, with some coaches having empty space ‘twixt’ their ears….

  3. Pat Kraft….., pls tell us again exactly what he did at TU and BC? granted he didn’t hire the current BC coach, so what did do? And, he rode MR’s success at TU for P5 $$$$$$ and status.

    not throwing shade but it amazes me how some folks do nothing and move up, good for him 🙂

    Nice guy, passionate about football, and all that…., but just look at TU and BC now…, wow. Paterno’s son does all the alumni fundraising and NIL., so what does Kraft do?

    My bet is he’ll leave PSU before Franklin.

    • If Pat Kraft does as much damage at PSU that he did at TU, take Temple and the points in 2026 (only if Drayton fires Langsdorf before then, though)

      • Lessons Learned: take guys out of plain Jane middle America and put them in No Philly at your own peril.., Theobald, Kraft, and Carey. Look at where we are now…,

        Just Facts and Reality w/o judgements.

  4. I am officially furious!!! 9 point lead, half time coming up and they give USF a chance to run it back on the kickoff, knowing that they’re not good to prevent long run backs – which they already had seen from USF in this game. Why not put it into the the endzone so USF has to start from the 25 instead of what ended up being the 50 and great field position. And of course the D screws up and allows a TD, not even just a field goal with seconds left. AND THEN, they don’t even try to go down field with 37 seconds left to at least go for a field goal. What is the matter with these coaches? And Drayton stands there with his finger up his rear end instead of stepping up and demanding his assistants to try. 2 point lead in this game is nothing, 9 points would’ve been something at least. If we don’t win this game the whole staff should be fired at seasons end. I for one have had it!

  5. Go Owls! Thank you Jeff Scott and best wishes. USF will fire you soon.

    Mike is spot on, somebody on the staff has been reading this blog 😎

  6. vennie vedi vicci, we came, we saw, we conquered. Damn what an enterrtaining victory for the crowd. Finally a win but is USF so bad it can not contain our run game ? Anyway we and all others went home happy at last.

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