Temple vs. Penn State: One day later

Joe Paterno on the practice field,
prior to the 1950 Temple game.

The last time Temple walked off the field not a loser to Penn State, an assistant coach shook the hand of Temple coach Albert P. Kawal congratulating him on a good game at then Beaver Field, a 7-7 tie.
The assistant coach was Joe Paterno, then a 23-year-old assistant to Rip Engle.
The year was 1950 and the city of Philadelphia was giddy over a team called the Phillies, who had just won a National League pennant. They were known as the Whiz Kids.
After a sleepless night of tossing and turning over the Penn State sanctions, I’ve come to a different conclusion than a day ago. I really don’t care much for Penn State, but I do care a lot about Temple.
Yesterday, I hoped that if Penn State players transfer they would consider nearby Temple as a landing spot.
Today, I hope none of them transfer and that they win the Big 10 championship.
Most of all, I hope that Temple beats them fair and square on the football field and that the win carries all of the prestige a win over PSU would have last year.
I predicted as much on Black Shoe Diaries, a Penn State blog, last week. I thought Temple would win, 17-7, based on having the entire defensive line back and some good replacement talent on the back end of the defense coached by the best coordinator in the country and a playmaking quarterback on the other side of the ball. I was called overly optimistic in the comments below the story.

Al Kawal, Temple coach (1950)

If, for example, Penn State was to open this season losing to Ohio University and then follow that up with a loss to Temple a couple of weeks later, that would be viewed as the beginning of the end of Penn State football.
No big deal, PSU fans, Joe Philly fans, the nation, would say.
I want that end to come next year, not this year.
On the other hand, if Temple were to beat the eventual Big 10 champion or even a Big 10 contender ALONG with winning the Big East, that WOULD be a big deal. That’s the scenario I want.
At the top of my bucket list, I want to be alive and present when Temple beats Penn State in football.
 Penn State players knew they were in a game when they played Temple a year ago. They have the bumps and bruises to prove it. I want them to experience Temple tough (or, TUFF) again, this time with the Owls coming out on top.
I don’t want that win to be diminished in any way.
So,  for now at least, go Lions and, more importantly, go Owls.


Joe Paterno and Temple

Joe Paterno and Wayne Hardin promote series.

By Mike Gibson
Every death is an incredibly sad thing, but I can’t help but think Joe Paterno’s passing on Sunday was sadder than most.
Paterno was faced with reporting a repugnant crime, something none of us ever even think about, and he went to someone who was effectively the head of the Penn State police department.
I thought he did his duty.
He could have done more and, in retrospect, he would have done more.
I don’t think that should erase all of the wonderful things he did for Penn State in particular and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in general.
The true measure of a man is how many people whose lives he has touched in a positive way and I think Paterno more than met the measure.
I’ve never even been aware of a man who came into contact, directly or indirectly, through more Pennsylvanians than Joe Paterno.
My colleague at the Inquirer and fellow Temple News sports editor, Joe Juliano, often told me great stories of the “off-the-record” cocktail parties for Penn State beat writers. Paterno held them at his modest home a block or two away from Beaver Stadium. I wish I could tell you some of those stories, but off the record means off the record to me.
Even after the man’s death.
Paterno would have a cocktail or two and loosen up, giving the reporters a more human side of the legend.
When it comes to Temple, I have my own Paterno story.
As I young Temple fan, I read an anecdote that appeared, ironically enough, in a Bill Conlin column in  in the Philadelphia Daily News about Temple signing a deal to play Penn State beginning in 1975.
“The guy who scheduled Temple must have been drunk,” Conlin quoted Paterno as saying, referring to the PSU athletic director at the time.
Who knows, maybe Conlin both picked up the quote at one of those cocktail parties and violated a confidence mentioning the exchange.
I have a strong suspicion both of the above are correct.
Either way, the remark stirred enough of my fuel that I wrote Paterno a letter (back in those days we wrote handwritten letters), detailing how improved Temple was and that the Owls would be a worthy foe.
Paterno wrote me a letter back, also handwritten, and admitted to the quote but said he was first against the idea but, upon refection, thought the series would be a “great gift to our wonderful Philadelphia alumni.”
(Originally, the plan was to play all of the games in Philadelphia but that changed when the first one ended in a 26-25 win for Penn State at Franklin Field in 1975.)
At the end of the letter, Paterno wrote:
“Good luck to Temple.”
I wish I had saved it but, to the best of my knowledge, it was in a shoe box I lost in one of my many moves since.
Later, while working at the Doylestown Intelligencer, I fielded a call every Thursday morning from Paterno to Terry Nau, the sports editor of the Intel at that time. Nau and Paterno were friends from State College, where Nau was sports editor of the defunct daily the Pennsylvania Mirror.
I was floored when he first called.
“Hold on, Mr. Paterno,” I said.
“Mike, it’s Joe,” Paterno said.
“OK, here’s Terry.”
On one of the calls, I mentioned to him that I wrote him a letter as a kid about the resumption of the Temple series and thanked him for his handwritten response.
He said he remembered. He might have just said that, but I chose to think he really did remember.
Love the guy, but always wanted to beat him just once to get back for the drunk comment.

Sandusky’s Temple connection

You may question Daz’s loyalty to Chester Stewart as costing the team a MAC title, but you can never question his character as a human being and that’s a lot more important.

 Just  when I’m feeling depressed after losing a pair of winnable college football games, a shot of perspective comes down to jolt me back to reality.

At least I’m not living in (Un) Happy Valley today.
Man, you think losing football games is tough, how about having that cloud hang over your program and town?
We won’t get into the sordid details (there’s enough of that information out there), but suffice it to say: There But For the Grace of God Go We.
Or, in this case, Joe Paterno.
Up until Saturday, Paterno had been considered God by some in then Happy Valley.
Even though he’s been exonerated by the law, I think his legacy has been knocked down a few pegs over the last 48 hours.

I have to thank Joe Paterno today, though, on behalf of the entire Temple community.
Paterno talked Sandusky out of taking the Temple job. Sandusky had an offer on the table from Charlie Theokas, who was then Temple’s AD.
Instead of getting Jerry Sandusky back on Dec. 20, 1988, Temple got Jerry Berndt.
I’d never thought I’d say this, either, but Thank God for Jerry Berndt. (Hey, Berndt did take talent Bruce Arians recruited and gave us our last win over a Big 10 team, 23-18, at Wisconsin, in 1990.)
Penn State can have that Sandusky headache and heartache.
Temple can look forward to a three- (or four-) game winning streak, starting in a couple of days.
Suddenly, I’m not so depressed anymore and, ironically enough, it is thanks to Joe Paterno’s bad-mouthing Temple.

Owls get to the top of Mt. Nittany … and slip

PHILADELPHIA _ The Temple football team climbed to the top of the Mountain, peaked over the top to see The Promised Land for a second and slipped back down with two minutes left on Saturday.
For all but the final two minutes of the game, Temple, without much help from its offense, led Penn State.
Then Penn State scored a 14-10 win.
To me, that lack of offensive help is the most disappointing thing.
A team that has Bernard Pierce, Mike Gerardi, Joey Jones, Evan Rodriguez, Rod Streater, Matty Brown, Alex Jackson and Deon Miller should not be struggling to put points on the board, no matter who the opponent.
A team that has a 6-5, 320-pound offensive line, should be able to get a push from time to time and protect the quarterback with regularity, no matter who the opponent.

A team that has Bernard Pierce, Mike Gerardi, Joey Jones, Evan Rodriguez, Rod Streater, Matty Brown, Alex Jackson and Deon Miller should not be struggling to put points on the board, no matter who the opponent

Head coach Steve Addazio is not clairvoyant, but when asked before the game what was the key, he said: “We can’t turn the ball over and we have to get the game into the fourth quarter.”

“Temple didn’t play Temple football today. We got beat in the end and put the ball on the ground.”
_ Steve Addazio

A simple request and the Owls got the game into the fourth quarter, but they did what Daz said they could not afford to do _ turn the ball over.
I thought the Owls got away from establishing Bernard Pierce, who had only four carries in the second half. I don’t care if they were stacking the box, you’ve got to feed him the rock and hope he busts through the line just once. My guess is that the PIAA state 100-meter dash champion might not have been caught.
When you have an NFL running back, like Pierce, you’ve got to feed him the rock and get him into a rhythm.
I’ve always said Pierce was a “rhythm” back, meaning he’d go with carries of 1, 1, 2, 3, 2 an then break a 68-yarder. That’s how he got 179 yards and three touchdowns in the 30-16 win over Fiesta Bowl-bound UConn.
Temple got away from Pierce too soon, but that’s my humble opinion. I’ve watched the kid for three years now and I know how he can best be effective.
Whatever, it was a heartbreaking day.
I had hoped to live to see the day when Temple beat Penn State.
I thought today was going to be that day.
It will happen, though.
As a great man once said, “I might not get to the Mountaintop with you but we will get to the Promised Land.”
Hopefully, I will get there with you.
Notes: Aside to KYW radio’s Tom Maloney: When the station sends you to cover the game, don’t tell me what I already know. I was stuck in traffic for three hours and all you told me was Temple scored on the first drive and Penn State scored in the final minute to win. Err, I knew that. Get off your fat, lazy, ass and go into the interview room and me some sound from Steve Addazio and Joe Paterno. Just a thought. Three hours in traffic and listening to the same AP story was getting a little old. … I thought the crowd was 50/50 but the noise was 80/20, Temple. … Great job by the defense, especially Kee-Ayre Griffin and Adrian Robinson and the interior front wall of Levi Brown and Kadeem Custis. I have a feeling this group is going to pitch a few shutouts in the MAC. … A team with two quarterbacks really has none. I hope Daz looks at what happened in the first three games and not on the practice field and settles on one guy.

PSU: Temple’s biggest game ever

The field is ready and the nation will be watching the Owls on Saturday.

Let’s face it.
No matter what happens this year, Penn State is probably going to go to some nice, warm-weather, bowl game.

“We had over 30,000 some Temple fans for our game against Villanova, including 10,000 students. I don’t know how many Temple fans we will have Saturday, but it certainly won’t be any less than that.’
_ Steve Addazio

The best Temple can hope for, even if it jumps over the two or three teams ranked ahead of it (Toledo, Northern Illinois and maybe Ohio) and wins the MAC is Detroit.
Or Boise.
Or, in the best-case scenario, Mobile, Ala.
That’s life in the MAC these days.
On Saturday, Temple plays Penn State in the national (not regional) game on ESPN.
The Owls will be playing in their own hometown in front of roughly a split crowd (which is an improvement on all other Penn State games of my lifetime, with the exception of the 1975 game at Franklin Field).
“We had over 30-thousand some Temple fans for our game against Villanova, including 10,000 students,” Temple head coach Steve Addazio said. “I don’t know how many Temple fans we will have Saturday, but it certainly won’t be any less than that.”
Temple won’t be in a better bowl game this season unless it beats Penn State, Maryland and Toledo in a row and then finishes the season by running the table.
The bowl game in Washington D.C. in a half-empty and freezing RFK was nice, but it is not this.
A win over a 6-5 Cal team in the Garden State Bowl was nice, but it was not this.
Seventy-thousand people and a national TV audience is a chance for this program to make its mark nationally.
Maybe its only chance.
This time, a win is well within the realm of reality.
Temple beat UConn by two touchdowns last year and UConn found itself in the Fiesta Bowl.
Two years ago, without a quarterback, Temple handed a 10-2 Navy team a 28-24 loss on the road. That Navy team beat Missouri, 35-14, in its bowl game.
So it’s not as if this program hasn’t done some impressive things in the last two years.
Temple won eight games last year and nine games the year before and just about every Temple fan will tell you that this team is better than those two teams.
This is a chance for the Owls to show it on the biggest stage and in front of the most people who will ever watch them play.
A lot of kids play football their whole lives and never get a chance like this. These Owls are only a few hours away from getting their shot.

Temple vs. PSU: Already a Buzz

There’s a buzz about Temple vs. Penn State this year that I don’t ever remember in my Temple vs. Penn State lifetime and that’s half of Joe Paterno’s years.
I really feel the stars are perfectly aligned for a Temple win over Penn State this time.
I’ve never felt this strongly before.

Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson.

We’ll go into those details later in the week but suffice it to say that Temple has a healthy NFL first-round draft pick and a stone-cold stud carrying the ball (Penn State doesn’t), Temple has a defensive coordinator who was 12-0 as a DC on a BCS bowl team (Penn State doesn’t), Temple has a relatively youthful head coach who is a master motivator (and Penn State doesn’t) and Temple has an offensive coordinator who developed Tom Brady and Tim Tebow (and Penn State doesn’t).
Apparently, the Buzz extends to people named Buzz.
Not just any Buzz, mind you, the most famous person in the world named Buzz, Pulitizer Prize winning author Buzz Bissinger who correctly predicts a Temple victory over Penn State here. You’ve got to figure someone who writes about football with that kind of insight and lives in Pennsylvania knows a little about the state  of the two programs at this time.
Temple also has a massive offensive line that averages 6-5, 320 (and PSU doesn’t) and a Big 33 MVP (Adrian Robinson) and Penn State does not.
What will Temple have on Saturday that Penn State doesn’t have?
A win that day, 24-20.
The stars are perfectly aligned.

Why AG turned down East Carolina (and Cincy and Tenn.) …

I don’t mention coach Fran Dunphy on here because I’m not much of a hoops fan, but I admire the man a lot.
The thing I admire most about him is that he already is a Hall of Fame coach in my mind but he doesn’t drag Temple needlessly through speculation every time a big-time opening comes up.
Fran Dunphy is a Philly guy through and through and even if he wins the national championship with the Owls, he will likely remain the Temple head coach.
Temple will be his last head coaching job.
There is much to admire about that.
You can throw a Brinks’ truck worth of money at him and he will likely wave the Brinks’ truck by so he can get to his Suburu parked in the Liacouras Center lot.
Philly and family mean that much to him.Temple fans are comforted by that and they don’t take it for granted.
They trust Fran Dunphy. They have plenty of reasons to do so.
I must admit that I get uneasy with this yearly speculation that comes up surrounding Temple’s other high-profile coach, Al Golden.
Word comes tonight from multiple reliable sources that Al Golden has withdrawn his name for consideration for the East Carolina head football coaching job, reportedly telling Terry Holland to politely take his job and shove it.
Politely, of course. (Rick Stockstill will likely get that job now.)
It’s all part of The Plan.
I have to trust Al today because the one thing he said when he took the Temple job was that he had a plan to turn Temple’s football fortunes around and that it wouldn’t take long for Temple fans to discern that plan.
You’ve got to give the guy credit. He had a plan and it didn’t take any of us long to realize that it would work.
He is an East Coast recruiter without peer who has high schools from Boston to Washington, D.C. locked up. He can walk into any one of them today and be welcomed with open arms.
He would have to change his whole recruiting footprint if he went outside that corridor. Cincinnati, Tennessee and East Carolina are far outside that footprint.
His alma mater, Penn State, is not.

I have a feeling he’s got a similar plan for his own career.

My guess is that he’s had his eyes on the Penn State job all along.
Think about it.
What better way to get the attention of the people he wants to nudge than to have Temple … TEMPLE … beat Penn State in State College next year?
Golden told selected boosters at the bowl party that the Owls were “loaded” next year.
Loaded, with emphasis on loaded with talent.
Penn State people may not realize it, but Temple was a quarterback away from being in the game until the end with the Nittany Lions this season. I’m not talking about a Colt McCoy here. I’m talking about an Adam DiMichele, a guy who is capable of making 20 to 30 positive plays on his own.
Temple might have that guy next year.
With one swift Temple over Penn State blow, he would unsettle the Penn State fan base and hasten the departure of the legendary Joe Paterno and sell himself as his successor in the same day.
He would not get that chance at Cincy or at Tennessee or at East Carolina.
ESPN.com reported him as the leading candidate at Cincy before he withdrew his name from consideration for that job. My guess is that Golden, not Cincy, made that decision.
Same with Tennessee.
Do you really, honestly, think Louisiana Tech’s Derek Dooley is a better coach than Al Golden? The same Dooley who had a losing record in the past three years?
I didn’t think you did.
If Al Golden wanted that job, he probably could have gotten it.
He didn’t want Cincy.
He didn’t want Tennessee.
He didn’t want East Carolina.
He wants Temple.
It’s all part of The Plan.
Hopefully, The Plan evolves into Al Golden seeing Temple the way Fran Dunphy sees Temple but that’s up to Al to decide.
With no attractive jobs left, he’ll have another year to think about it.
What the Temple administration does behind the scenes and what he Owls do on the field will determine the future now.

Al Golden’s ‘secret’ plan to beat Penn State

… First ‘official’ practice starts Aug. 6 …

By Mike Gibson
I don’t know who started this Al Golden Twitter thing, but my guess was it wasn’t Al’s idea in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong.
Nobody keeps up with current internet and texting trends like Golden, still one of the youngest head coaches in the NCAA.
Today, I applaud Al’s “tweet” because it references former Owl football coach Spencer Prescott and mentions that all of our thoughts and prayers are with him.
Indeed, they are.
We’ve chronicled the Spencer Prescott story here in the past. Page down to get a link to Don Hunt’s piece.

Some Al Golden recent tweets:

July 20, 7:56 p.m.: “Our kids are working really hard in summer school and our freshman are getting used to classes…”

July 16, 7:15 p.m.” “Team is really working hard in preparation for the 2009 season!!”

I’m guessing, though, that “tweeting” wasn’t Al Golden’s idea because I’ve been reading some of his other tweets lately and they are not exactly scintillating.

Here are just a couple:
July 20, 7:56 p.m.: “Our kids are working really hard in summer school and our freshman are getting used to classes…”
July 16, 7:15 p.m. “Team is really working hard in preparation for the 2009 season!!”
If Al really wanted to make news with twitter, he’d liven some of these up.
It’ll be good fodder for the fans to read in the upcoming weeks.
Some Al Golden tweets we’d like to (but will never) see:
Aug. 5, 7:16 p.m.: “Practice is going well. We’re putting two offenses in. One for Villanova and one for Penn State. The Nittany Lions will never know what hit them.”
Aug. 6, 7:25 p.m.: “It’s getting dark early. Had a “pro-set” day with Charlton running it in preparation for Villanova. Tomorrow we go to our Penn State offense.”
Aug. 7, 7:32 p.m.: “We’ve got Chester Stewart and Chris Coyer running the old Texas wishbone for Penn State. It’s early, but coach Rhule has Ahkeem Smith in as fullback and Joey Jones and Kee-Ayre as the halfbacks.”
Aug. 8, 7:45 p.m.: “I’m leaving the defense up to coach D’Onofrio as usual. He’s doing a great job. I don’t think Villanova will be able to block us.”
Aug. 9, 8:10 p.m: “My God, this offense we have in for PSU is looking spectacular. PSU will go for the QB and Chester will pitch to Joey or Kee-Ayre and they’ll be gone. Plus, they have to watch Ahkeem on the belly series. I can’t wait until we shock the world on Sept. 19.”
Aug. 10, 8:01 p.m.: “Yeah, I know we have a game on Sept. 3. We planning for both PSU and Nova, but we’re thinking just Nova, believe me.”
Aug. 11, 7:32 p.m.: “Back to the triple option today and it’s scary. I know we needed three weeks to get ready for Navy. Joe will need more than that when we pull this secret weapon out of the E-O hanger.”
Aug. 12, 8:12 p.m.: “I’m so glad our practices are closed. I don’t think Joe gets twitter, either. Thank God.”

The best sports season ticket buy in Philly is just one click away:

Big 10 explores idea of adding Temple

As it turns out, that story that appeared in Newsday on Monday about Temple joining the Big 10 is more than mere speculation.

Exploratory talks have started last week between Big 10 commissioner James E. Delaney and Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw, according to sources.
“It’s a little premature,” Delaney said on Tuesday, neither confirming nor denying the talks, “but we’re at least intrigued by Temple.”

Delaney said that the Temple positives outweigh its negatives.

“Look, Temple is in the fourth largest media market, Philadelphia, and its football stadium already is larger than Northwestern’s and Indiana’s by a good bit,” he said. “It has a state-of-the-art basketball arena that more than fits our requirements and, academically, the school fits our profile group.

“The school is on the upswing in football. Four wins two years ago. Five wins last year. There’s a solid business model there now to keep that momentum going forward.

“This wouldn’t be like adding, say, Wake Forest, with only 4,000 students. This is a school that has 33,000 full-time students. This is a Pennsylvania state institution on par with Pitt and Penn State in many respects.”

Bradshaw wouldn’t comment, but has gone on record in the past by saying “we won’t get involved in an arm’s race” when it comes to bidding on coaches.
That could change, one high-level supporter said, once Temple is admitted to the Big 10.

“It’s safe to say that getting Penn State in here every other year will be terrific for both Temple and Penn State,” he said. “That alone would raise Temple’s average attendance profile significantly. Temple could afford to keep guys like Al Golden, if his bottom-line warrants it.

“Then you have the other issue. Getting teams like Ohio State and Michigan in here will be a big plus to the athletic department bottom line. Our attendance could go from a 20,000 average to 40-45,000 with no problem, especially if Al Golden can raise our level of competitiveness in football, which I think he can.”

The money coming in from Lincoln Financial Field attendance and Big 10 television more than make any extra investment the university makes on the short term sure to be covered on the back end.

The most important thing is that the profile of the school goes through the roof nationally. This is a self-sustaining thing, really a license to print money. In this economy, our Board of Trustees must be aggressive in pursuing this.

“It’s an exciting time for Temple,” the athletic supporter said. “You have 260,000 living alumni just dying to have a big-time college experience every Saturday. You get those kind of numbers of people energized behind the school and it has a domino effect. Attendance increases, revenue increases, things like donations and endownments increase. The most important thing is that the profile of the school goes through the roof nationally. This is a self-sustaining thing, really a license to print money. In this economy, our Board of Trustees must be aggressive in pursuing this.

“That said, it’ll work only if Al Golden can deliver the goods. By that, I mean, an eight-, nine-, or 10-win season this year in the MAC. Anything short of that and I don’t think the other 11 Big 10 presidents will pull the trigger.

“They’re willing to wait on us but not for long. I say we have until the end of the year and no more.”

The man struck a cautionary note, though.

“I don’t like the fact that this story is coming out on April Fool’s Day,” he said. “Is this an April Fool’s joke?”

Yes, the man was told.

It is.

Happy April’s Fool’s Day everybody.

Why the MAC hates Temple

By Mike Gibson
I’m always wary of people I don’t know patting me on the back.
It’s those people who I always meet with an askanse eye, checking to see if there’s a knife in the other hand.
I learned this lesson as it relates to Temple football early in the season, as early as late August.

Dan LeFevour
in front of a billboard
of himself

After a few visits to the MAC bulletin board, a healthy number of posters wished Temple good luck against Army and, by the way, come back with a win.
Nobody mentioned that Army was a bad team in any of those 37 posts.
Yet, after Temple beat Army, 35-7, a roughly equal number of posts all carried this troubling theme:
“Good win against Army but, let’s face it, that’s the worst Army team we’ve seen in years.”
Because it lost to Temple, 35-7?
Obviously, that was the unsaid message.
Nobody is saying that any more because it really carries no weight, not after what Army did to Tulane (44-13) in New Orleans this past weekend.
Let’s face it: The rest of the MAC, with notable exceptions such as Karl Smith of PhillyBurbs.com, hates Temple.
Or at least a good sizeable portion of the MAC fanbase dislikes the Owls.
They mitigate anything good the Owls have done by saying “yeah, but.” After Army, it was “yeah but” and after Miami it was “yeah but.”
I respect a guy like Joe Paterno of Penn State a lot more. Not only does he slam the Big East refs for costing the Owls two games against UConn, he says his team’s 45-3 win would have been “a lot closer” had “the DiMichele kid not been knocked out so early. I feel sorry for Temple.”
You know Joe means what he says.
There are two guys running MAC websites who have NEVER picked the Owls in a game against another MAC team, yet the Owls have won two MAC games on the road and more at home in the last three years.
“Temple should have beat
UConn. It completed a pass
on the first play of overtime
that took the ball down to the 1
and it was called back on a hold,
which was a bad, bad, bad call.”
_Penn State coach Joe Paterno
on his statewide radio show

It’s not logic. It’s hate. Or an intense dislike.
The motive is simple.
Nobody wants a ex-BCS team kicked out of a BCS conference coming in and dominating a league known for some pretty good football.
Nobody wants a team carrying a bad “brand name” like Temple carrying the conference’s championship trophy around Ford Field come December. It doesn’t matter that the Temple they are thinking about is the “same old Temple” and not the group of Grade A recruits hauled in by Al Golden the past three seasons.
That’s why I’m wary about this week’s game at Central Michigan.

Let’s hope for a clean,
well-played, game decided
by the kids on the field
and not the adults
wearing prison outfits

Not only do the Owls have to deal with the league’s best healthy quarterback, Dan LeFevour, they have to deal with refs who have that built-in mindset.
It was manifested last year in a home game against Northern Illinois when one side judge called 10 of the 11 penalties, almost all bogus, against the Owls in a 16-15 win.
It was manifested against visiting Western Michigan a couple of weeks ago when the MAC supervisor of officials apologized to Temple for calling a sideline interference call on the Owls’ coaches after Temple got a crucial third-down stop and was able to force WMU to punt in the fourth quarter.
The guy who called the sideline interference call? Same guy as in the NIU game. He should be fired or at least investigated.
Good officiating means never having to say you’re sorry. It’s gotten so ridiculous at times this year that every time Temple makes a big play or scores a touchdown, I expect to see a flag.
This kid LeFevour is really good. Central Michigan purchased a billboard (pictured) of him and put it in the middle of the Detroit stadium complex. He’s a load to worry about on his own, playing for a good team. I don’t want to worry about him AND the officials, yet two days before the game that’s just what I’m worrying about.
Let’s hope for a clean, well-played, game decided by the kids on the field and not the adults wearing prison outfits.

What they’re saying about the Owls:
… “They out-physicaled us up front. It’s really the first time we’ve come out of a game feeling like we didn’t control the line of scrimmage. Even Nebraska, we kind of thought was a wash.” _ Western Michigan coach Bill Cubitt talking about Temple…

… “I was told by a lot of people before the game that Temple is really good but, man, this team has all kinds of weapons.” _ Ohio News Network sports director Andy Raskin during the telecast of Temple vs. Miami on ESPN360.com…

…”What my Owls have done this year–and I will call them ‘my Owls’ because I’ve been on this team since the beginning–is sensational considering they lost their starting quarterback. … Maybe people are starting to realize that this is one of the top defenses in the country.” _ Vegas handicapper Robert Ferringo…

…”They have high-caliber athletes all over the place. That’s the hardest-hitting team we’ve played all year. I’ve never been this beat up after a game.” _ Western Michigan offensive guard Phil Swanson…

…”It was just two great teams. Both Temple and us have made great strides and I don’t think there are two better teams in our league than us and them.” _ Buffalo tight end Jesse Rack, after a Hail Mary pass beat Temple, 30-28, at the buzzer…