|Bruce Arians was the youngest
coach in college football
when he called a “jailbreak”
blitz that resulted in four straight
Temple sacks of Scott Erney
to end the 1988 game in favor of TU
|The headline and lede in story written by now talk-show host Mike Missanelli.
Rivalries are a beautiful thing.
I’m old enough to know when Temple and Delaware were rivals.
One of my fondest days was spent in Newark, Del., when Temple beat Delaware 31-8 in front of a still-record and still-stunned crowd of 23,619.
An even fonder day was Temple’s 45-0 win in Newark on another beautiful Saturday. The hot dogs in that post-game tailgate tasted like filet mignon. Delaware went on to win the national Division II championship (which became D1AA which became FCS).
Temple even got grief from the local media for scheduling Delaware.
“I believe in scheduling Delaware…and then beating the crap out of them,” was the way Wayne Hardin was quoted in response.
|Bruce Arians responds to a text
message congratulatng him on
beating the Green Bay Packers.
BA is still a big Owl fan.
I loved it.
Can you imagine any coach in today’s “politically correct” world saying something like that?
Then Temple dropped its rivalry with Delaware and picked up one with Rutgers.
Penn State is supposed to be a rival, but to be one, you’ve got to prove that you can beat one.
Temple’s proven that against Rutgers numerous times, and the proximity of the schools combined with an animosity factor qualifies this as a real rivalry.
You’ve got to have a little animosity to stir the rivalry pot, and in Rutgers, there’s some of that.
Since Delaware, Rutgers has always been Temple’s biggest rival.
The rivalry was only further fueled by Rutgers’ involvement in kicking out Temple from the Big East. Despite Temple winning four straight games from the Scarlet Knights, Rutgers led the charge to kick out Temple for “non-competitiveness.”
“I’ve never lost to f-ing Rutgers, and I’m not going to end my career losing to f-ing Rutgers.” Temple center Donny Klein, halftime of the 2002 game.
So there’s some animosity there.
I have some fond memories, too, of some Rutgers-Temple games.
I’m sure Rutgers fans have similar memories as well of games that didn’t turn out as well for Temple, but that’s what rivalries are all about.
When Bruce Arians was Temple coach in 1988 and Dick Anderson was his opposite number at Rutgers, Anderson had a quarterback named Scott Erney who was killing Temple on the final drive of the game with Temple holding a 35-30 lead over an RU team that beat Penn State.
(Arians is now the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, but he has never forgotten TU, to which he remains fiercely loyal.)
Erney, running a two-minute drill against Nick Rapone’s prevent defense, drove RU to the Temple 20 in the game’s final minute and appeared to be leading his team to the winning touchdown.
|Map and towns by N.J. Schmitty.
Arians then called a timeout, got in Rapone’s face, and ordered a jailbreak blitz on the next four plays. “Jailbreak” in those days was the Temple defensive call for eight men rushing, three back in coverage.
“We go jailbreak because we feel you can’t block us all,” Arians said. “My philosophy, as a former quarterback, is the best pass defense is putting the QB on his ass.”
Four straight Temple sacks, with a defensive lineman named Swift Burch ending the game on top of Erney at midfield. Temple won, 35-30.
“If I was going to go down, it wasn’t going to be against a prevent,” Arians said, holding the game ball. “I was going to go down with my guns blazing.”
With the backdrop of BE explusion, In 2002, at Rutgers in the rain, the Owls trailed at halftime, 14-3.
The Owls, by then, had won three straight over Rutgers, and a senior center named Donny Klein got up at halftime and pounded his helmet on the floor and started an F-bomb tirade. By that year, Temple got kicked out of the Big East and knew Rutgers would be staying in instead.
|TU and RU were both 3-1 going into this game.
“I’ve never lost to f-ing Rutgers, and I’m not going to end my career losing to f-ing Rutgers,” Klein said, ending a 10-minute rant that included about 100 f-bombs.
Led by Klein’s incredible blocking, a back named Tanardo Sharps rolled up 215 yards on 43 carries, and Temple won, 20-17, on Cap Poklemba’s last-second field goal.
The Temple team then ran over to the Big East logo and danced on it, singing the school’s fight song in a monsoon.
That’s what I would call animosity.
That’s what I would call a rivalry.
Temple really hasn’t had one of those in long time.
It has now and it’s back. I hope these Owls can find a Big East logo and dance on it while singing “T for Temple U” oh, about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Maybe even Poklemba, who now leads the student cheers as a welcomed “old head”, will join in and give dance lessons.