Regarding visual artistry, no one quite matches Temple University’s official team photographer, Zamani Feelings. The guy shoots from different angles and gets shots no one else does that are pretty breathtaking.
Telling a story, though, the champion is a fan in the stands and former Temple player Mike Edwards.
When the entire fan base was wondering if junior running back Bernard “The Franchise” Pierce would be coming back for his senior season (which would have been in 2012), a shot Edwards took captured the moment and removed all doubt.
The pre-game discussion about Pierce in the tailgates was split. Half of the guys thought had he come back for his senior year at Temple he would earn first-round money the next season. The other half said Pierce needed the third-round money now. Nobody thought he’d be higher than a third-round pick if he left after his junior year so we were looking at keys to his intentions and we got it later that day.
Pierce went over to then-head coach Steve Addazio and hugged him as if to say his Temple home career was over. Daz wasn’t happy and went out and convinced ACC Preseason Player of the Year Montel Harris to transfer to Temple in an attempt to replace the production of an NFL third-round choice.
Harris was the last Temple player to do what Edward Saydee did in a 54-28 win over USF: Gain almost a quarter of a mile on the ground. In 2012 at Army, Harris went for a school-record 351 yards and seven touchdowns in a 63-32 win.
Saydee didn’t reach that number, but getting 265 and three touchdowns was pretty darn good. On Saturday, Edwards captured the pretty neat photo at the top of this post.
So many stories in that one photo. 1) Saydee leaving both teams in the dust; 2) Adonicas Sanders way in the back with his finger in the air; 3) Isaac Moore celebrating a job well done with a block; 4) Stan Drayton reliving his All-American running back past by running for the touchdown, too; 5) A vertically challenged person holding what looks like a medical bag on the sideline (presumably oxygen for Saydee); 6) the smiles of the Temple players on the sideline.
That pretty much seems up the Temple reaction in one snapshot. As Henrik Ibsen first said, a picture is worth a thousand words.
The outside reaction, though, was somewhat less impressive. One UCF fan offered his congratulations and said he “admired” the Owls because they tried hard in a 70-13 loss.
Vegas, though, has not shown respect just yet.
If you thought the win over USF might bring down the point spread for Saturday’s game at Houston to low double digits (which I did before I checked), you’d be mistaken. Houston opened as a 20-point favorite despite having a defense that gave up 77 points on the same day Temple dropped a 54-burger on USF.
The message was loud and clear. The nation does not respect Temple quite yet and the Owls are going to have to go out and get it.
Just like Daz got Montel Harris.
Friday: Houston Preview