USF game: Playing for respect

Steve Addazio talks the new E-O with TFF partner

Approaching 10 years later, Temple fans have to read the same things being said about the program that were said back then:
“Temple is bringing the conference down. Temple is poop. Temple shouldn’t be here.”
A quick survey of Big East message boards and that’s the predominant reaction. Quick was all my stomach could take. That RU board is one example. The rest of the Big East pretty much feels the same way.
Perception is reality throughout the Big East.
It’s not my reality, though.

As this photo aptly demonstrates, the great majority of fans
at last year’s TU-PSU game were wearing Cherry. Hopefully,
the Owls get a big and loud crowd for Homecoming.

I still think this is a Temple team that has under-performed to date and will get better as the season progresses.
The Owls need to get that old Temple swagger back, the one that allowed the team to win 16 of its last 20 games at Lincoln Financial Field.
Swarming on defense, picking off balls in the air instead of allowing the receiver to catch it and tackle him 20 yards downfield, is a good place to start. It would help if the Owls pass rushers, led by John Youboty and Sean Daniels, get to the quarterback and put him down instead of being a split-second too late like they were at Penn State. I hope they take a look at Adrian Robinson’s spin move and sprinter’s speed dash to the QB for pointers on how it’s done.
I think the offense will be OK now that Steve Addazio and Ryan Day have had three games to determine how best to move the ball. The Owls have weapons all over the place in quarterback Chris Coyer, RBs Montel Harris and Matty Brown and 6-6 WR Deon Miller and speedsters Jalen Fitzpatrick, Romond Deloatch and Khalif Herbin. Deloatch, Herbin and Sam Benjamin, all true freshmen, have been running with the first team this week. It’s just a matter of getting them the ball in space where they can do their thing. Pounding the ball up the middle is not this team’s thing. It may be Penn State’s, but it’s not Temple’s.
I still think that the schedule isn’t as demanding as some people make it out to be.
So, when Temple plays South Florida on Saturday (noon, LFF), the Owls will be playing for respect.
Lose, and we have to listen to that poop talk for one more week.
Win, and some eyebrows get raised (although I wouldn’t be surprised if the result of the win is for the rest of the conference to hammer USF).
Win that winnable game and a winnable game against UConn next week and more than eyebrows get raised.
Listen, it’s not going to be easy. USF won at a very good Nevada team, yet it lost to a mediocre Ball State team. The Bulls are an enigma.
If the Owls play well, they can beat anybody on their schedule. If they play poorly, they can also lose to anybody.
The Owls ripped off four-straight wins to end the season last year.
Ripping off four straight here would change a lot of perceptions about Temple once and for all.
Now is the time to do it.


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