Throwback Thursday: TU beats No. 4-ranked Pitt

… Breaking News: Hawaii players are posting on their Facebook pages this morning that the game with Temple is a “done deal” and they will probably be playing the Owls on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 … a day that will live in infamy (maybe) … …

Program covers have come a long way since this Sept. 25, 1976 Temple vs. Pitt game.

Temple plays Pitt a week after a loss to Rutgers its head coach called “an embarrassment.”
October, 2012?
September, 1984.
The difference then was that Pitt at the time was three weeks removed from a No. 4 preseason ranking in the country.
Temple beat Pitt, 13-12, on a field goal by a kicker named Jim Cooper.
Temple will have a kicker named Jim Cooper next year, but more on that later.
The win in 1984 gave Temple a 2-1 record on the way to a winning season under 32-year-old head coach Bruce Arians.

Story in the Allentown Morning Call the week after Temple beat Pitt.

“We were embarrassed at Rutgers, didn’t play to our ability at all,” Arians said. “We oughta be 3-0 and we know it.”
The Owls played the No. 10-toughest schedule in  the country then and its wins over East Carolina (17-0) and Pitt were sandwiched around a one-point loss to Rutgers.

Bruce Arians made a habit out of beating nationally-ranked Pitt teams.

Pitt was coming off an 8-3-1 year and maybe that influenced its inflated preseason ranking in Sports Illustrated. The Temple loss was one of four straight for Pitt (BYU, Oklahoma, Temple, West Virginia) and the Panthers never met their expectations.
At the time, it was the first win for Temple over Pitt in 39 years but Arians made sure it would not be the last.
The next week, Temple was to play Florida State and Arians fully expected to win that game, too.
“Florida State is a great opponent and it is a game we can win,” Arians said. “There’s no doubt about it. We can take the field anytime, anywhere and we have a chance to win.”

Temple’s last win over Pitt came 14 years ago.

This week, Temple renews its long-standing “rivalry” with Pitt. It’s just a one-year deal since Pitt moves to the ACC next year, but when the teams meet on Saturday it will bring back fond memories of Cooper and Arians for a lot of Temple fans. Arians beat Pitt three out of his five years as Temple’s head coach.
Later, he became well-known (and sometimes vilified) in that town as the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Still, Arians is mostly fondly remembered in Philadelphia by Temple people as an energetic young coach who did the best he could with the tools he was given.
Beating Pitt in a year it was ranked No. 4 in the preseason AP poll certainly helped foster a positive impression of Arians, who is still helping Temple football today.
Arians figuratively begat then kicker Cooper who literally begat another Cooper by the same name, Jim Cooper, Jr.
Next year, Cooper Jr. will take over the kicking duties for Steve Addazio.
If he beats Pitt, 13-12, like his dad did, it will have to be in a bowl game.
I’m sure dad and son would sign for that now but first both, being long-time Owl fans like the rest of us, just want to win the next one.

Tomorrow: Fast Forward Friday


7 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: TU beats No. 4-ranked Pitt

  1. for the last five years, and for the next five years in big time college football, teams with the better QB win games. plain and simple – you win if you can recruit a winner behind the center. winners don't lose games like CS and CC have doneAl Golden recruited Coyer, and DAZ brings us two guys with equal or less talent…, very frustrating for fans. Every team in our new league has gotten better performance from the QB position.

  2. Not as down on Coyer as you are.He's way down on the list of Temple's problems behind:1) Apathetic fan base2) Daz's run-first play-calling;3) Daz's stubborn refusal to roll out the pocket to give CC time to throw;4) Pass receivers who can't catch5) OL that can't block6) DL that can't rush the passer;7) DBs that constantly get beat on jump ballsIf Coyer is No. 8, it's because I can't think of anything to put at No. 8You can win with Chris Coyer. You can't win with 2 through 7.

  3. The owls aren't an elite program that has a fountain of talent that allows them to reload every year. They are a team transitioning to BCS schedule with MAC talent. They had significant losses to graduation and early entry to the nfl last year and were forced to rely on younger unseasoned players. Honestly, mike I thought you were way too optimistic in the off-season regarding their ability to replace the talent they lost. I agree CC is better than his numbers would indicate as he's playing behind an offensive line that can look like a sieve at times. However, he's not doing himself favors by missing open receivers and putting the ball on the carpet. I think given the schedule and the talent gap the owls should be very happy if they win six games this year. In all honesty they stole the game against uconn and essentially won against usf on a blocked kick. They were two plays away from not having a win against a BCS school. Considering how bad things could be I think the owls should be happy with their record. I also think Daz should learn from the futility on offense and show some creativity. The owls aren't going to win many more games on talent and will need some ingenuity to generate three more wins. Honestly, I'd be surprised of the owls won this week but then again they've surprised me several times already this season. Go owls!

  4. I don't think I was overly optimistic about the Owls. I think they've underachieved.When you consider that all five of their past recruiting classes were ranked above Ohio's and Ohio won at Penn State …When you consider that multiple MAC teams this year beat Big 10 teams and not one Big East team has beaten a Big 10 team …When you consider that Daz's refusal to pass the ball in the first half led to a 26-3 deficit to Maryland …When you consider that Temple's only passing oriented drive at UConn resulted in a touchdown and that was dusted off the playbook BECAUSE the Owls had 2 minutes left …Even Daz said "I think we were on the verge of opening this thing up" (meaning blowing out UConn).Ugh.It's been a frustrating season because I think a more balanced offensive philosophy would have resulted in more, not less, wins.I don't think we stole the UConn game at all.

  5. great points Dayowl87…, the Al Golden and Rhule offensive scheme underachieved, and why they stuck w/CS..who knows, but big point is they brought in major NFL talent at all positions except at QB…is DAZ and crew just as guilty? in an interview the kid at QB for WVU said he picked them over his hometown florida schools because WVU needed him, the fla schools only wanted him….we need a QB! Oh boy, we NEED a Wayne Hardin now

  6. We need a Wayne Hardin, that's for sure.If you watch all the big-time conferences, every team has a balance between the run and pass.Nobody wins with JUST the run or JUST the pass anymore.We're 75 percent run.That's predictable. You can't win in modern football that way.Maybe in Woody Hayes' day, but not today.Got to pass (first down) when they think you'll run and got to run when they think you'll pass.If Wayne Hardin was coaching this team, even with this talent, it would have beaten Maryland by 25 points and would have had a lot more than a 10-point lead on RU at halftime.

  7. Spot on, DayOwl. TU still has not proven it can beat a conference foe with a winning record, nor has it proven it can beat anybody in the Top 80 without Bernard Pierce rushing for 100+ yards. Progress? Yes. Reason to believe we are an Orange Bowl team? Um….

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