Coastal Carolina Soft

Bye week has arrived for Temple football and, frankly, it could not have come at a better time.

An intervention is needed and someone needs to slap both Dave Patenaude and Geoff Collins upside the head. Not enough to hurt them or put them into the hospital, mind you, but just enough to slap them out of this soft Coastal Carolina poison they have fed as the antidote to Temple TUFF.

It’s one thing to lose,
but it’s quite another
to lose by tearing
apart what has been
the very fabric of
this program for the
last decade. This is
not on the kids, it’s
on the coaches.
It’s been on the
coaches all season

They need to get Patenaude and Collins into the conference room at the Edberg-Olson Complex. Maybe Matt Rhule and Al Golden can explain what Temple TUFF means to them in terms that only a fellow football coach understands. In the back of the room, Ed Foley and Adam DiMichele need to be nodding their heads in agreement.

Saturday’s excruatingly painful 31-28 loss at Army—easily the most painful of many painful losses I can remember in over 40 years as a Temple fan—wasn’t decided on Boomer’s two missed field goals nor the unexplainable final drive as much it was much with 3:16 left in the third when Isaiah Wright was tripped up on the Army 1.

The former Temple coaches who built this thing and do not want to see it collapse like a house of, err, straw, cannot explain to Patenaude and Collins what Temple football is as much as what is is not. This is the message that Rhule, Golden, Foley and DiMichele should deliver to Collins and Patenaude.


That other stuff, running Frank Nutile out of a shotgun on first-and-goal, is not Temple TUFF. That’s Coastal Carolina Soft.

Run Ryquell Armstead three times, four if you have to, behind Nick Sharga and get the seven right there and the game is over. Hell, my money is that Armstead and Sharga get the job done the first time, not the second or third–just like the two did here a year ago against Cincinnati. That time, Sharga pushed Armstead into the end zone. He does even better lead blocking. That’s Temple TUFF. I’m not sure these coaches understand that. As Harry Donahue might say, check that. I AM sure they don’t.

Temple got no points out of that possession when it should have gotten an easy seven. Get those seven points and the Owls are sitting on a  14-point lead, not a seven-point one and the Owls didn’t have to worry about any other sins that they committed. Playing a prevent defense against a team that is just not comfortable with throwing the football makes that team comfortable. Putting the quarterback on his ass, especially with his team having no timeouts, is the best pass defense that has ever been devised by man. If you can’t get there with four, send five. If you can’t get there with five, send six.

Just get there.

That’s Temple TUFF, too.

It’s one thing to lose, but it’s quite another to lose by tearing apart what has been the very fabric of this program for the last decade. This is not on the kids, it’s on the coaches. It’s been on the coaches all season.

Whatever happens in the remainder of the season, an intervention is needed now.

Tuesday: 5 Quick Patches


The Point of No Return


Temple stacked the box and made Navy pass. It should follow the same blueprint against Army

A college football game runs about three hours in real time, maybe three hours and 15 minutes.

Fast forward to today
and Rhule’s successor,
Geoff Collins, has
reached the point
of no return this
season. Lose, and
the Owls can kiss
any outside hope
of a bowl goodbye

When Temple visits Army at high noon on CBS Sports Network (94 on Verizon Fios, 221 on Direct TV and 734 on Xfinity Comcast), fans should be able to find out whether Temple will win or lose within about the first five minutes.

If the Owls come out in their usual 4-3-4 defense with the A gaps uncovered and no nose guard, Temple fans should probably find something better to do than torture themselves for the next three hours.

In fact, Army is hoping for that to happen because they run their fullback through the A gaps—the spot to the left or right of the center—to set up everything else.

Most teams fall for it and that’s why an undermanned Army can beat these more talented teams who recruit players with NFL aspirations.

A 5-2 defense, though, with the A gaps plugged is Kryptonite for even the best triple-option offenses.

There are some teams that go out of their way and change their defenses up to stop the triple option, though. Three years ago, Duke plugged the A gaps but going to a 5-2 and using two tackles and came away with a 34-3 win over Army. Last year, North Texas did the same in a 31-19 win at West Point.

A year ago, then Temple head coach Matt Rhule—given nine months to prepare for the Army triple-option—said he wouldn’t do anything out of the ordinary that he “we don’t worry about the other team does. We do what we do and concentrate on that process.”

That kind of stubborness led to a 28-13 loss against Army before 34,005 fans at Lincoln Financial Field and many of those same fans did not come back for the rest of the season.

Months later, both Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow were able to turn that season-opener into a learning experience that resulted in a 34-10 win over Navy. Snow put Averee Robinson and Freddy Booth-Lloyd over the Navy center and started Michael Dogbe and Greg Webb alongside those guys as the starting tackles. Without a hole to run the fullback through, the triple option was plugged up and the Owls had maybe the most important win of their history. The Owls sold out and swarmed to the ball and that’s just the approach they should use these next two weeks. Eight in the box and let Sean Chandler, Artrel Foster and Mike Jones deal with any passes these teams attempt. Football is not rocket science.

Fast forward to today and Rhule’s successor, Geoff Collins, has reached the point of no return this season. Win, and there’s a chance to salvage something. Lose, and the Owls can kiss any outside hope of a bowl goodbye and they are staring at a three-or-four win season.

Let’s hope he studied film of the two service academy games the Owls played a year ago and applies the Kryptonite that keeps hope alive for the Owls and their fans.

Either way, the outcome could be decided in the first five minutes.

Tomorrow: Game Analysis


Throwback Thursday: Fighting Fire With Fire

Things We Have That Army Doesn’t: Swag, Juice, Money Down, #The Standard; … Things Army Has That We Don’t: Five Wins


If the Owls follow the 2012 blueprint of run-heavy on Saturday, they could be doing this post-game at West Point.

Very few civilians living in California today would say this, but the professional firefighters know the best way to fight fire is with fire.

It’s called a backfire and has often stopped wildfires faster than gobs of water have.

Temple fans know all about the backfire Steve Addazio set to stop Army’s wildfire triple option in 2012.

Montel Harris, Nate Combs

My all-time favorite Temple post-game photo, then Army captain (now Ft. Hood Texas Major) Nate Combs congratulating Montel Harris for his 351-yard, seven-touchdown, game.

His name was Montel Harris.

Harris at the time was splitting duties with Matty Brown but when the Bug (of Bernie and the Bug fame) went down with an injury after scoring a pair of first-quarter rushing touchdowns, Harris had to carry the load and what a load he carried.

When it was all over, Harris set a Temple single-game record with 351 rushing yards and scored seven—that’s right, seven—touchdowns.

Quarterback Clinton “Juice” Granger was largely a game manager that afternoon in West Point, throwing only five passes in a 63-32 win over Army.

The pass-happy coaches
at Temple now might do
well learning from that
experience as they have
two really good tailbacks
(three, if you count
Isaiah Wright and they
apparently are not aware
of the fact that Wright
was a good tailback
for Matt Rhule)

The pass-happy coaches at Temple now might do well learning from that experience as they have two really good tailbacks (three, if you count Isaiah Wright and they apparently are not aware of the fact that Wright was a good tailback for Matt Rhule) and probably the best blocking fullback in Temple history, Nick Sharga.

Last week, in a 28-27 win over Eastern Michigan, Army rushed for 417 yards as a team and held the ball for over 37 minutes despite not completing a single pass. They threw as many passes last week as the Owls did in that 63-32 win. Five.

If the Owls repeat history, throw only five passes, and gain 417 yards on the ground, you’ve got to like their chances again on Saturday. Hell, a now fully healthy Ryquell Armstead even might be able to run for 351 but, if Hood, Armstead and Wright combine for 417, that will probably be more than enough. Run the ball, eat the clock, throw the rare pass to keep them off balance and the Owls might just do what Army did a week ago in controlling 37 of the game’s 60 minutes. That would keep the triple option off the field for at least that much time. That’s fighting fire with fire.

They might even go the full Monty (Harris?) and fight fire with fire by starting another game manager quarterback who goes by the nickname of Juice and run those tailbacks behind Nick Sharga left, right and up the middle all day. At least that’s the type of game plan devised by some remnants of a national championship coaching staff at Florida coming off a bowl win in their first season at Temple. In 2011, that staff took a team with less talent than this team has now and won nine games.

With this staff, though, don’t hold your breath.

Saturday: Stacking The Box.

Perfect Day For Openers

The key will be avoiding the letdowns that ailed TU last year.

In the closing months of a losing battle, Democratic primary contender Bernie Sanders told supporters that he was “good at math” but assured them that he still saw “a narrow path” to the nomination. Due to circumstances beyond his control (super delegates), that narrow path turned out to be as small as the eye of a needle.

So, too, it is for Temple’s path to the national championship game. Even folks who are good at math can see it’s a narrow path for Temple, but it’s a path nonetheless and it might be larger than the eye of a needle. The reality is that if both Houston and the Owls go 12-0 during the regular season, and Temple beats the Cougars in the title game, it would be extremely difficult to keep Temple out of a four-team playoff—especially if Penn State beats Pitt and has an upper-tier season in the Big 10.


Biggest depth chart surprises:

  1. Adrian Sullivan beating out last year’s starter, Brian Carter, at RG; Logan Marchi earning a second team QB tie with Frank Nutile; Marshall Ellick beating out Ventell Bryant at WR and Brodrick Yancy earning a No. 1 at WR; On defense, freshman and special teams star William Kwenkeu earning a backup LB spot and true freshman Benny Walls doing the same at SS.

In that scenario, Houston would own a win over a team picked to win the Big 12 title and Temple would hold a road win against a Big 10 contender. If Penn State does the impossible and wins the Big 10, then the Owls would be shoe-ins for a four-team playoff but that’s probably asking for a bit much.

On this perfect day to open the season, maybe the Owls will finish perfect but that’s a lot of gravy to ask for because they had their head-scratching moments a year ago (USF, SMU in a win, Toledo) and lost four of their last seven. That’s been the pattern for long-time Temple football fans, even in good seasons, since 1982.

After Wayne Hardin’s tenure, even good Temple football seasons have gone like this: Beat someone you are not supposed to beat (Wisconsin, 1990) and lose to someone who are not supposed to lose to (Wyoming, 1990). The pattern repeated itself under Al Golden (UConn win and Ohio loss, 2010), Steve Addazio (Maryland win, Bowling Green loss, 2011) and Matt Rhule (Memphis win, Idaho and Fordham losses, 2013).

That pattern did not exist in Wayne Hardin’s best years, especially 1979 when the Owls only lost to two ranked teams, Pitt and Penn State, and the average margin of those two losses was eight points. No one on the current schedule, including Penn State, will probably be ranked and there is no reason why Temple has to repeat that pattern this season.

The key, of course, to break it and we have not seen it done in 30 years. I’ve said a few months ago that this team is more than capable of breaking the school record of 10 wins with 11, and that’s the minimum acceptable benchmark.

Anything else will be gravy and I like gravy.

Tomorrow: Game Analysis

Monday: What’s New?

Army’s Vanishing Problems

In my mind, Army’s biggest problem is Temple.

About a month ago, I thought Army had problems.

Yesterday gave me some perspective in the form an unrestrained pit bull.

I got bit minding my own business on my walk in the park in Huntingdon Valley on an otherwise great Tuesday afternoon. Said a friendly hello to a stranger who looks like Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski and the next thing I know is that the dog that should have been on a short leash was on a longer one and my right arm was spouting blood. Just got back from Holy Redeemer Hospital and eschewed the five rabies shots offered me. If I start frothing at the mouth on Friday night, it won’t be because of Temple’s vanilla play-calling as so beautifully chronicled by Fizzy in this January post.


Army’s last visit to LFF.

That just goes to show you how problems change in a month. I will take Army’s over mine right now because the Army looked like it had major problems a month ago.

Their leading rusher, Aaron Kemper, and one of their bigger playmakers on defense, cornerback Josh Jenkins, have left the team between spring and summer camp. Additionally, a fullback and a slot back as well as a starting lineman, all of whom were expected to contribute, have departed, meaning the Black Knights have lost five potential starters since May. Army only returns about a dozen seniors to a team that only had one FBS win last year.

Add Army’s starting QB from last season — Ahmad Bradshaw — to the list of key players that have left the team.  The next guy up, Chris Carter, is a sophomore who started two games last year.  He has not practiced since the first day due to a hamstring injury.  Behind Carter are four freshmen. If you don’t think that’s a problem against this speedy Temple defense, you have not been paying attention.

Let’s go with the most important player, Bradshaw, first. He’s not only back, but head coach Jeff Monken has said all is forgiven and he will be the starter for the Cadets on Friday night (Lincoln Financial Field, 7 p.m., 2 p.m. tailgate).

Well, that changes a lot of things because Carter is the quarterback who brought Army to within four points of an upset over a team all of us respect, Navy, and its great head coach Ken Niumatalolo and Monken figures Bradshaw is the better player.  Still, only 16 seniors on a roster of 142 players has to mean something. Jenkins is also gone, but does that mean new Temple offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas will use play-action passes to suck in the linebackers and safeties and go over the top to people like Marshall Ellick to attack the new guy replacing him?

Hell, yes, I hope so.

Or I will be frothing at the mouth. If the score is 0-0 and I’m frothing, call the EMTs.

Friday: Depth Chart Thoughts

Game Week: Don’t Sleep On Cadets


For all of defensive coordinator Phil Snow’s accomplishments, and there are many on this last-go-round at Temple, an Achilles’ heel for him has been trouble defending the triple option.


That’s one reason why the Owls cannot sleep on the Army Cadets (7 p.m., Friday, Lincoln Financial Field). There are many more and we will outline those later in this post, but first let’s concentrate on Snow’s recent history against those teams. In three of the four games his teams have played against the triple option since 2010, his defenses have allowed those teams at least 31 points.

The reason for Snow’s problems have been simple. He stubbornly has played his base defense, the 4-3, against a speciality offense that requires a standard speciality defense. The way to stop the triple option is simple: 44 stack, nose guard over the center, the two A gaps (to the left and right of the center) covered by a tackle, eight in the box and force the triple option team to pass.

For some reason known only to God and Snow, he refuses to do that.

The most recent game was an abomination, a 31-24 loss to Navy played on a 92-degree day in September of 2014. (For those who say Navy was good that year, Western Freaking Kentucky—which I call WFK—beat them, 18-6. Their coaches found a way to stop the triple option.)  In 2012, while coaching Eastern Michigan, his defense allowed 38 points against the Cadets. Fortunately, the EMU offense bailed out the Eagles, winning that game, 48-38.  In 2010, his EMU defense allowed 31 points in a 31-27 loss to Army. The one outlier was a 33-14 win for Temple over Army in the 2013 game. The next year, though, the black-helmeted Owls sat back in the heat and waited for the triple option offense to attack them and often found themselves in 3-on-2 mismatches against a quarterback, fullback and pitch man. That’s how Navy won that game, 31-24.

Montel Harris, Nate Combs

Temple running back Montel Harris (8) talks with Army linebacker Nate Combs (22) in my favorite Temple-Army photo of all time.

After that game, I asked former Temple coach Wayne Hardin—who never lost to a triple-option team while at Temple (he did at Navy, but that was to No. 1 Texas in 1962)—how to defend it and he told me that the triple option leaves the backside unblocked for blitzes. If you have a particularly fast corner, you can give up the backside by blitzing him and blowing up the play before it starts. He said the one gamble is vulnerability  to the throwback pass (ala Adam DiMichele to Matt Balasavage for a score in 2007), but that happens so infrequently it’s worth the risk.

For some reason, Snow has refused to do that. Maybe the Owls will try it with 4.3 sprinter Nate Hairston on Friday night.

The other reasons why you cannot sleep on the Cadets are rather obvious. First, their toughness is unquestioned. They are literally on the frontlines for this country. In addition, they play a fairly challenging schedule and are often in games against so-called Power-5 teams. Last year, they lost to a very good Navy team by four, Penn State by six and Wake Forest by three.

They will not be intimidated by the Owls and the Owls have to strap their helmets on tight Friday night. Hopefully, those helmets will be Cherry or White, not Black.


Wednesday: Army’s Vanishing Problems

Friday: Depth Chart Thoughts and Predictions

Saturday: Game Analysis

Monday: What’s New?

The best running back nobody is talking about

My favorite photo of Montel Harris as a Temple Owl, sharing a moment
of respect with Army linebacker and captain Nate Coombs after going for
351 yards and seven touchdowns in a 63-32 win.

My favorite Montel Harris moment this year had nothing to do with what he did during a game, but it had a lot to do with what he did on the field.
After the Army game, both Montel  and Army linebacker Nate Coombs shared a few words after Temple’s 63-32 win at Michie Stadium.

Draft expert Matt Waldman was talking about Harris.

After it was over, Montel and Nate shook hands, laughed and walked off the field.
That’s what sports is all about. It was a great sportsmanship moment between a future NFL player and a guy who is going to put it all on the line for our country.
We can only imagine what Nate told Montel, but we can guess it went something like this:
“Man, I tried to tackle you, but it was like tackling air out there.”
After a fairly good performance in the recent NFL combine, draft expert Matt Waldman called Montel “the best running back nobody is talking about.”

The thing the combine can’t measure is start/stop ability and Harris is the best I’ve ever seen 

I think they will be talking about him on draft day.
Last year, I predicted Bernard Pierce would go in the third round. I think Harris goes in the sixth, no lower than the seventh.

How Harris and Pierce compared at the NFL combine:

40 time
Bench Reps
Vertical Jump
Montel Harris
19 (at 225 pounds)
32.5 inches
Bernard Pierce
17 (at 225 pounds)
36.5 inches

How Harris and Pierce did in best single season:

Longest Run
Montel Harris (2009)
72 yards
Bernard Pierce (2011)
69 yards

After watching Harris last year and Pierce the three years before that, the difference is simply this:
Pierce is faster and can do more damage on the outside but Harris is much better between tackles and starting and stopping to get out of trouble.
The only reason Harris drops three or so rounds below Pierce will be his knee injury history, but his knee held up pretty well at Temple despite the workload.
To me, the combine numbers are nowhere near as important as these numbers:

Career Carries
Career Yards
Average  (2012)
Career Long
Montel Harris
Le’Veon Bell
Montee Ball
Ray Graham
Gio Bernard
Jawan Jamison

To me, what you do on the field is a lot more important than what you can do at the combine and Harris’ numbers stack up very well against some of the top running backs in the group above.
Remember, Harris never fumbles while Eagles’ seventh-round pick Bryce Brown fumbled a lot. You can gain all the yards in the world and have all the speed and the vertical leap and bench press, but if the ball ends up in the hands of the other team after the play is over you are worthless.

How cool would it be for Montel Harris to introduce himself on Sunday or Monday night football by saying, “Montel Harris, Temple Football Forever”

That’s another metric that can’t be measured at a combine.

How cool would it be for Montel Harris to introduce himself on Sunday or Monday night football by saying, “Montel Harris, Temple Football Forever.”
Heck, if Mo Wilkerson or Bernard Pierce beat him to the punch, that would be cool, too.

Whatever questions that some may have had about his character were answered with a season as a solid citizen and terrific teammate at Temple.
I wish him all the best.
My guess is that Army’s Nate Coombs does, too.

Better late than never

Montel Harris (8) needs a lift  to see what is distracting Cody Booth (38) and Wyatt Benson (44).

Two phrases rattled around my head during the fourth quarter of Temple’s 63-32 win at Army on Saturday:

  • That’s more like it.
  • Better late than never.

This is the Temple football team I envisioned back in August and September.
No, I’m not crazy enough to think that Montel Harris would have gone for 351 yards and seven touchdowns every Saturday but I thought both Harris and Matty Brown could go near or over 100 yards each game and that their running ability would set up some “explosive plays downfield in the passing game” that head coach Steve Addazio promised in the summer.

Temple football records Saturday:
Most rushing yards game individual: Montel Harris (351)

Most touchdowns game individual: Montel Harris (7)

Most career points individual: Brandon McManus (332).
Most touchdowns game by a Big East team (9).

Whatever the Owls lacked on defense I thought could be made up by an offense turning the Lincoln Financial Field scoreboard into an adding machine.
And, I thought, that would have been good for at least six wins and, maybe, as many as eight.
Now, the best the Owls can do is five because those explosive plays in the passing game never materialized, simply because the Owls stubbornly tried to pound the rock against bigger, more talented, defensive fronts for most of October and November. They might as well have been pounding their heads against a rock with that misguided approach.
The Owls were just as stubborn on Saturday in a 63-32 win over Army, but they could afford to do that against a team ranked near the bottom of the country in rushing defense.
They also helped themselves by eliminating the turnovers which, as Michael Vick can tell you, is the key to winning any football game.
If the Owls can somehow parlay Syracuse’s fear of Harris (and Brown) into some, err, explosive plays downfield in the passing game (perhaps off a fake to Harris on an early down), they can make a statement that they are ready to make a run at the top of the Big East ladder next year by rudely sending Syracuse off to the ACC.
The Owls won’t have Montel or Matty next year, but Jamie Gilmore and “Montrell” Dobbs figure to have the requisite three-star talent to pick up where those two left off.
And, pretty much, the rest of the team is back although I’d like to see a serious upgrade in the defensive secondary (hint: Kevin Newsome).
Harris’ performance was an eclipse that obscured a lot of other good things on Saturday, but it should not go unnoticed that Brandon McManus set the school record for career points by an individual, breaking Bernard Pierce’s standard of 324. McManus needed four going into Saturday’s game.
Another great kicker, high school All-American Jim Cooper, Jr., arrives for summer classes in July.
Other than that, as Jose from Norristown might say, it was amazing to see how much misinformation is out there.
Twice during the game, CBS Sports announcers said that Harris was the “leading rusher all-time in the history of the ACC’ and, later, the “15th-leading rusher all-time in the history of the ACC.”
Both were wrong.
In reality, Harris is still the second-leading rusher in the history of the ACC, falling 828 yards short of Ted Brown’s record set at North Carolina State. He is only 50 yards away from another 1,000-yard season.
I was privileged to see Paul Palmer’s 349-yard game against East Carolina and Saturday’s performance by Harris was even better, both on the stat sheet and stylistically.
Harris will have spent only one year here but he will always be remembered by me as a warrior and a great Temple Owl.
So will Brown and McManus and the rest of the seniors.
They deserve to go out in front of a large, appreciative home crowd on Friday.

Tomorrow: You think you’ve got troubles?
Tuesday: ???
Wednesday: A tribute to the seniors 
Thursday: Throwback Thursday 
Friday: Game Day Preview

Fast Forward Friday: What, Me Worry?

In this, the second installment of “What, Me Worry?” ,  Temple Football Forever is officially worried.
Fortunately, the first installment of worry (The Big East invitation) turned out to be unfounded.
I hope this installment turns out the same way.
Worried  about the outcome of tomorrow’s game at Army.
Nothing the Owls have done in the last four weeks have shown me they can beat EVEN Army, and that would be the exclamation mark of a downward trend between this season and last season that is alarming at best.
Look at what Army’s has done in recent weeks:

  • Beat Boston College, a team that gave Notre Dame a decent game.
  • Lost by one point to an outstanding Northern Illinois’ team.
  • Beat Air Force, a decent team from the West that gave Michigan a good game.

Look at what Temple has done in recent weeks: Lost by 47-17 to a Pitt team that gave Notre Dame a good game.

Even Temple grad Dick Weiss is picking against the Owls.

Lost by 45-17 to  a Louisville team that was given a good game by 0-9 Southern Mississppi and 1-9 Florida International.
Lost by 35-10 to a Rutgers’ team that lost to Kent State.
Temple beat Kent State, 34-16, last year.
Temple also beat Army by 42-14 last year.
Temple also beat Ball State by 42-0 last year.
Ball State is one of the best teams in a Mid-American Conference that is outstanding this year.
Listen, I know Temple lost six starters on defense and most of the offensive line to the pros last year but it did not lose SO much talent to have this kind of a downturn in 12 months.
Except for a 16-for-20 performance in the passing game against South Florida, Temple seemed to spend the entire season in an attempt to return college football back to the days of Woody Hayes and “three-yards-in-a-cloud-of-dust” approach. Only it worked for Ohio State, not Temple.
Beating a 2-8 Army team would not be a feather in the Owls’ cap, but it would certainly show signs that this program has a pulse and won’t take the final game against Syracuse lying down.
Yeah, I’m worried.
I have reason to be.
I hope the football program and team prove my worries as unfounded as the administration did back in March.

Last week: Was a good week. I went top-heavy on high-value underdogs. The only loss was the Army game and it was 7-7 in the fourth quarter. I had ARMY getting 18 at Rutgers; MIAMI (FLA.) getting 1 at Virginia (a push); VANDY getting 3 at Mississippi (Vandy won outright); GEORGIA TECH getting 9 at North Carolina (GT blew out UNC  outright); BUFFALO getting 2 1/2 at home vs. Western Michigan (Buffalo won outright). Only liked one favorite: TULSA giving 2 at Houston and Tulsa won, 41-7.
This week: Going the other way, liking three favorites and a dog.  BUFFALO giving 10 at Umass; TULSA giving 2 to visiting UCF and LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE giving 4 to visiting Western Kentucky. Like one underdog and that’s SOUTH FLORIDA getting 7 at Miami.
Last week: 4-1 overall, 4-1 ATS.
Season: 17-8 overall, 15-11 ATS.

Saturday: No story, but complete analysis of the game on Sunday

Teams to root for today: UB, SMU, Rutgers

Even in this age of instant communication, it’s going to be hard to find the score of the Buffalo at Eastern Michigan game.
First off, it’s never on KYW-AM (they only give top 10 scores) and it’s not on over the air TV (even pay cable) anywhere.
But it is on the internet and, for Temple fans, provides a rooting element.
All these teams would do Temple a big favor by winning:

Hooter is more endearing.

BUFFALO at Eastern Michigan (1 p.m., MAC all-access) _ If the Bulls finish ahead of Bowling Green in the standings, they provide a positive backup tie-breaker for Temple should it finish in a three-way tie with Miami and Ohio. Eastern Michigan is a three-point favorite. The game is on internet only. Buffalo’s got a chance. It beat Ohio.

She’d be perfect for me
if she was 20 years older
and I had $1 million

Navy at SMU (3:30, FSN) _ Southern Methodist football players wrote a letter to the school newspapers complaining about the lack of enthusiasm by their own fans in a win over TCU. They must be looking at the coeds and not on the field of play. Navy has to win all three of its remaining games (at SMU, at San Jose State and vs. Army) to qualify for a bowl Temple could be looking at attending (D.C., likely) and SMU is the toughest of the three. SMU is a seven-point favorite.

Cos and Hall and Oates are more famous.

RUTGERS vs. Army (3:30, Yankee Stadium, CBS College Sports) _ Same deal with Navy as Army has to win all three of its remaining games to qualify for a bowl. If Temple LOSES to Army, it still has a chance to qualify for a final bowl slot if Army loses today. Hopefully, both Rutgers and ESPECIALLY Temple beats Army. The Black Knights of the Hudson have proven to be a tough out on occasion this year, losing at Miami (Ohio) by only a touchdown and beating Northwestern, 21-14. Northwestern, you’ll recall, won AT Nebraska last week. Rutgers is an eight-point favorite.