Other schedule storylines: Why not us?

Not a whole lot of respect for Temple from this Miami fan. He didn’t have much respect for MTSU either

Posted the other day on Facebook this simple thought.

“If Middle Tennessee State can beat them in Coral Gables, Temple can beat them in Philadelphia.”

Obviously, I was referring to MTSU’s demolishing Miami, 44-21, in one of the more shocking college football results of 2022.

Was it really, though?

One of my Facebook friends, who shall remain nameless, immediately tried to temper my thought with this response:

“Yeah, but they are a much different team this year.”

Perhaps the most perfect spiral ever in the history of football was thrown by E.J. Warner here in an otherwise routine practice on March 2, 2023. Zamani Feelings captured this image.

I took the bait and turned it into a 360:

“Absolutely right, Temple is a much better team with E.J. having one year under his belt.”

There is a significant defeatist part of the Temple football fan base that we need to defeat this year along with our opponents.

Obviously, my friend was referring to Miami being “different” and “better” but why can’t those adjectives refer to Temple as well as Miami?

Why not us?

Why indeed?

The same people who set the bar as low as 6-6 for Temple in 2023 are already counting games like Miami and Rutgers as losses.

That type of thinking has to end now.

MTSU didn’t think going into spring practice a year ago it would lose to Miami because the Hurricanes were “better” or “different” than the 2021 season due to Mario Cristobal replacing Manny Diaz.

Nor should Temple now.

Cristobal was the guy who applied for the Temple job and was considered the leading front-runner until he called then-athletic director Bill Bradshaw from the airport and asked for directions to Temple. Bradshaw then told other Temple people that was the moment he heard Al Shrier’s voice in his head, “Bill, listen to me. Hire Matt Rhule.”

Bradshaw told Cristobal to cross the Platt Bridge, find Broad Street and head north. In those 45 minutes, he decided to do what Shrier told him to do.

Hire Matt Rhule.

It was a key moment for Temple football.

Nobody thought going into the 2014 season (at least among the Temple fan base) that the Owls were going to win at Vanderbilt. Fortunately, Matt Rhule didn’t let those Owls think that way and Temple came away with a 37-7 road win over an SEC team.

Guaranteed Stan Drayton is taking that same kind of mindset into spring practice currently going on at 10th and Diamond.

One game at a time means Akron is the most important game of the season as it should be.

That’s the job of the coaches and players.

Peaking ahead to the other teams left on the schedule is the job of the fans and not a single Temple fan should be thinking there is not a single Temple opponent the Owls can’t beat.

Not true last year, but certainly this one.

Monday: Spring Practice Thoughts


6 thoughts on “Other schedule storylines: Why not us?

  1. I’m from the Philly area, not Missouri, but you gotta show me for me to believe. Temple has a history (mostly) of not doing well in the toss up games, and that’s what I see here. Rutgers and Miami are winnable but we gotta win them to win over the fans. Lose at Akron and we’re toast, again! But yeah, I get your point Mike.

    • Akron should be the focus because we know damn well Moorehead is going to make Temple the focus. That said if a “fan” looks ahead to other games on the schedule it has no impact on whether Temple wins or loses the first game.

      • Yup, too many times we lost a first game that was “supposed to be” a win. Not only that but we have a very sketchy history against MAC teams – even when we had the top recruiting under Arians, as a member of the MAC, we never beat a winning MAC team. And back in my day Temple played Akron and Bowling Green, tough games we didn’t always win; and more recently to my chagrin, lost games to Ohio U that I attended. It sure hasn’t been easy with that conference.

  2. Temple won three games last year without doing job #1 – stop the run, and run the football. They were the worst team in the conference in running the football, and at the bottom of the pack in stopping the run.

    Temple Tuff means you need big strong mean OTs and a make you miss RBs. As of today, TUFB has neither. However, the new teams on the schedule this year means they will win more games just by doing the same.

    Let’s get to next level football. Hopefully after Spring practice the lights will come on.

    TUFB didn’t move the line of scrimmage on offense last year. To me it’s kind of simple, hire a running back coach who can recruit and teach. It’s no coincidence we haven’t had an effective RB coach who can recruit in how long? Don’t say Infante. He didn’t recruit for crap while at TU. Preston was a big hat no cattle guy.

    Cristobal will kill TU if we can’t run the football.

    • Infante is more of a defensive coach than an offensive one. It was Carey’s fault that he tried to plug that square peg into the available round hole but that was Carey’s legacy, a lot of square pegs into round holes (making pro set quarterback Russo an option qb, failing to establish trust with the team, etc., etc. etc.). Yada, yada, yada as George Costanza used to say. Hell, if offensive line guru Steve Addazio was here, Carey would have made him an LB coach.

      • Good point about the run on both sides of the ball KJ. It’s a real head-scratcher than Drayton hasn’t given his own run game the same priority he gave stopping the run with priority portal and recruits coming in on the defensive line. I can only think that he is 100 percent sold on Joquez Smith. Pretty hard to put that much faith in a 5-7, 190-pound true freshman when the last true freshman to have a significant impact at Temple was Bernard Pierce, who was 6-foot and 200 pounds (and the state indoor 100-meter champion) his freshman year.

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