5 Things TU Fans Need to Know Before Cherry and White Game

Hopefully, this great photo by Matt Falcone is a sign brighter days are ahead for the Temple Owls. Click on it to read five things you need to know prior to the spring game.

Hopefully, this great photo by Matt Falcone to see if that rainbow is a sign brighter days are ahead for the Temple Owls. Click on it to read five things you need to know prior to the spring game.

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Cherry and White Week Begins

Great job by Temple on the video. Still irked that the horsecollar against Tyler Matakevich in the Penn State game was never called.

If you cannot get pumped up for C&W by watching the above video, it might be wise to check for a pulse. From a personal standpoint, as a big fan of both the Owls and SEPTA regional rail, it will be great to make the one-mile walk to my regional rail station and get off at 10th and Diamond on Saturday morning.

You can never tell much from these games.

Years ago, a running back named Ventres Stevenson had a career day at C&W day. Years later, another back, Myron Myles, had 187 yards and three touchdowns at C&W day and ended his career at Millersville. Stevenson became a serviceable Owl but there were a lot of guys who had their best days in what is essentially a practice. Wearing the Orange jersey, Vaughn Charlton always looked good. Against a rush, not so much. Adam DiMichele always had a so-so C&W Day; when the lights came on, though, there was no one better in “real games” against a rush. … against a rush, and that includes Maxwell Award-winner quarterback Steve Joachim. Finding those kind of guys is like finding a golden nugget.

Still, the best you can hope for is a glimpse of what the talent can bring to the table when the lights go on. There won’t be 99,000 there, but this is my team (and presumably yours) and that should be all that matters.

Cherry and White Day All About Beating Penn State

While researching a story about Stan Hochman, I came across this story I wrote in 1986 for a chain of newspapers. Still chasing the dream almost 30 years later.

While researching a story about Stan Hochman, I came across this story I wrote in 1986 for a chain of newspapers. Still chasing the dream almost 30 years later. 

Having watched Cherry and White Day games at Temple Stadium (both when it was standing and after it was demolished), Lincoln Financial Field (once), Geasey Field (several times) and now at the E-O, the meaning this year as never been more clear.

Beat Penn State.

While ostensibly the reason for spring practice is to get ready for the season as a whole, the focus can be on this one game this time because it is the opening one.

That’s not to say the Owls can’t have a great season if they lose to Penn State, but they would be changing life-long perceptions by winning this game. Ever since sports talk radio began a generation ago, talk show hosts in Philadelphia laughingly dismissed the notion that Temple could ever beat Penn State.

Last year, a Penn State talker, Mike Missanelli, openly asked, “Is this the year Temple finally beats Penn State?” His producer, Jon Marks, a Temple grad said, “no, that’s never going to happen.” Missanelli said, “Yeah, I was just messing with you.”

That’s the kind of perception both Penn Staters and Philadelphians have about this game. It’s the kind of perception they always have had.

It will always be that way until Temple decides to put Christian Hackenberg on his ass as many times as it put three Vanderbilt quarterbacks on their ass a year ago.

It can happen, but until it does, the Owls will be still chasing that dream.

Who is Here and Who is Not?

Jihaad Pretlow will not be roaming he secondary for the Owls next season.

Jihaad Pretlow will not be roaming he secondary for the Owls next season.

Every spring practice season, only the most ardent of Temple fans frequently updated rosters on Owlsports.com trying to cross both fingers while holding a rabbit’s foot.

The goal, of course, is hoping that “nobody good” has left the team. I do not know about you, but I want the money for my rabbit’s foot back.

Jacob Quinn will be leading the way for a Delaware back this fall, not an Owl like Zaire Williams (23) in this 2013 game at SMU.

Jacob Quinn will be leading the way for a Delaware back this fall, not an Owl like Zaire Williams (23) in this 2013 game at SMU.

I didn’t need to open the roster to find out that the team’s best offensive lineman, Dion Dawkins, might be facing some legal problems after being involved in an off-campus fight. I’m always one for “innocent until proven guilty” and the day Jim Gardner led Action News that “a Temple football player had been involved in an alleged rape” I dashed off an email to Gardner asking that if the player got exonerated to please lead off Action News with that exoneration. He later was exonerated and Action News underplayed that development as much as it overplayed the player’s arrest.

Hopefully, Dawkins will have the same fate but another offensive line starter (at least in the final game at Tulane), Jacob Quinn, has decided to eschew his final year of eligibility and go home to Delaware to play for the Blue Hens. He will be eligible immediately. Buddy Brown, who came to the school as a highly recruited linebacker, “retired” from football.

Another guy not here, Jihaad Pretlow, one of the team’s best defensive backs transferred out of school.

All good guys and players, unfortunately. Someday  I’d like to open up the roster and see the only news is that the fifth string quarterback or the fourth-team offensive guard leave the team but that never seems to happen at Temple.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that 100 or so players do remain.

Unfortunately, college age kids being what they are, this kind of thing happens everywhere but it’s a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of thing with the Owls. An offensive line that already was a weakness became weakened in two areas and there are only so many good players to go around. The defensive backfield and linebacking corps lost some depth.

How this impacts Temple won’t be known this spring. Heck, it will not be known by Cherry and White Day. The Owls will have to wait until the Penn State game for that answer.