Nobody tosses the throwback to the tight end better than P.J. Walker.
For anyone who has ever played the frustrating game of golf, the 2016 football season at Temple comes down to this:
Completely butchering the first hole, acing the second and getting a penalty for an incorrect scorecard on the third and, after that, the balls have been hit pretty much long and straight.
After botching the Army game plan and getting more penalty yards in a single game than most Temple fans remember, the Owls have been very good and have set themselves up for a nice finish if they can do no less in next four weeks than they have the last two.
Right now, the Owls’ season can be summed up as four one-foot putts. For the everyday hacker, the one-foot putt is a little different with nothing but a beer on the line than a one-foot putt in a tournament with $250,000 riding on it.
In other words, it’s 90 percent mental.
There’s a lot riding on these last four and the Owls’ short game is going to have to be on point, but if they approach the final four weeks the way they did the last two, they should be able to get the job done.
There are a lot of things I do not understand, but this concept of a “letdown” in college football certainly is at the top of the head-scratcher list. I know it exists, otherwise you cannot adequately explain the Army opener or even SMU’s win over Houston on Saturday night, but it should not exist in the game of college football. You work your butt off 353 days of the year to show your skills for 12 days or nights, there is no excuse for a letdown. Major league baseball players, with 162 regular-season games, have excuses. So do NBA and NHL players.
College football players, no. For this Temple football team, in the next four games, as much rides on the line as the UCF and the USF games did. If the Owls can visualize the finish line, they should be also be able to treat every play between now and then as if it is their last.
There is still a viable path for Temple to host the AAC title game and that’s what winning the final four games could mean. Plenty of work to do, but the hardest work is behind them and now most of it involves their mental approach.
Focus and finish should be their motto.
Wednesday: The Fan Experience