A long time ago a former Temple football father started a music craze with these three simple words:
Shake, rattle and roll.
Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” is widely credited with getting the rock and roll genre started in the 1950s and his son, Scott Haley, was an outstanding tight end for the Owls when the Owls used to throw to tight ends way back in the football stone age of the 1980s.
Now at least a derivative of those three words have entered the Temple football dictionary again as Matt Rhule mentioned his team appeared “shaken” in practice this week. A report in the Philadelphia Daily News about this press conference (above) noted Rhule used the word “fast” three times but his use of shaken has got me rattled and rolled.
Under Al Golden, even when Temple was playing very good BCS-level teams (Uconn, Navy and UCLA come to mind immediately), the Owls always played with a “Temple TUFF” swagger. Golden even noted that coming off the field at halftime in the UCLA game before a national TV audience: “We always play Temple tough,” Golden said, adding, “that’s spelled T-U-F-F.”
Shaken never entered the Temple football vocabulary back then.
It has now. Sure, the Houston and UCF teams the Owls played the last couple of weeks were very good but they were no better than Uconn, Navy and UCLA back then and back then Temple was playing with MAC-level recruits.
Got to wonder if at least a little part of the shakes has to do with a loss of confidence in the leadership above the captain’s level and reaching to the very top of the program. At least Golden had the good sense to use his breakaway 5-5, 150-pound back from New Jersey, Matty Brown, as a change-of-pace running back and not a slot receiver. At least Golden had the good sense to know if he found a tailback with Jahad Thomas’ elusiveness and explosiveness, he would use him like he used Bernard Pierce, behind a great blocking fullback, to maximize his skills and not as a decoy in a spread offense. Golden never had a five-star tight end recruit transfer in from Florida but my guess is that he would have down something radical like THROWN HIM THE BALL. Just a hunch. Then again Golden never hired an offensive coordinator from Tennessee-Chattanooga. Probably because Golden never had any friends from Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Rhule’s right about one thing: The Owls appear shaken. What he could be wrong about are the reasons for the shakes.