Throwback Thursday: Temple vs. Tulane

Programs for this Saturday's game will probably go for higher than 25 cents.

Programs for this Saturday’s game will probably go for higher than 25 cents.

After Tulane came back from a two-touchdown deficit to beat Temple, 20-14, in the first Sugar Bowl, then Temple head coach Pop Warner said:

“We lost to a fine squad,” Warner said, “but our boys presented themselves well. Perhaps someday we will return.”

Like MacArthur said, “we have returned” even though it is 80 years later against the same opponent in the same town with either a lot or nothing on the line.


It’s not quite the Sugar Bowl, but it’s a few blocks away and will have all the limelight that comes with Saturday night nationally televised ESPN2 game. Even if the Owls are able to beat Tulane—and they have dropped from a 4.5 favorite to open to a 3-point favorite today—they are far from a lock to make a bowl game. The Owls have to hope 19-point favorite Oklahoma takes care of business against Oklahoma State in a rivalry game (3:30) earlier that afternoon and teams like Ohio, Middle Tennessee and UAB-Birmingham are passed over. It is not an ideal situation, especially when two analysts came on College Football Gameday making a pitch for UAB Birmingham being a great bowl story since it is dropping football.

Yulman Stadium ... site of the "Sugar Bowl" rematch.

Yulman Stadium … site of the “Sugar Bowl” rematch.

Temple, though, simply has to do something it has not done for weeks—take care of business. We’ve tried all season to give the Owls a roadmap to get things done but the Owls’ inexperienced coaching staff has been too stubborn in a belief of a flawed “process” to change. We don’t expect any change now, but still would like to the Owls attempt to establish the run behind a blocking fullback and a quick and talented tailback like Jahad Thomas, then throw off play-action. P.J. Walker has been struggling in the 3-4 wide sets and it only makes sense to provide him with some sort of max protect scheme so he can at least have time to fake to a running back and look down the field.

Common sense does not appear to be on the horizon, though, based on the process of the past few weeks. Tulane plays a nine-man front and would be susceptible to play-action, but to expect that now would be too much to ask. So get your popcorn ready and sit back expect to see 3-4 wide receivers attack a nine-man front and hope Temple’s defense can overcome that kind of convoluted gameplan.

As Terrell Owens might say, “It’s gonna be a show” but the entertainment value could be questionable.

Pop Warner would probably be turning over in his grave, perhaps muttering something about how he would have never hired an offensive coordinator from Tennessee-Chattanooga.


23 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Temple vs. Tulane

    • I think the biggest difference and I really don’t see this changing is that a large number of PSU students and alum solely define their entire collegiate experience through the football program. It is Penn State and without it you’ve basically spent 4 years in the middle of nowhere. No matter what the football program does at TU I doubt if you will ever develop that kind of attitude. Not even looking at athletics, the level of donations and endowment for a university the size of Temple is sub par.

      • true. Penn’s endowment is $6.9 billion; ours is $275 million. A couple of miles away, two different worlds and that’s ignoring the sports aspect altogether.

  1. Let me get this straight. Penn State, a school that averages over 100,000K a game and gets $15 million a year from the Big10 TV network, gets donations like this yet Temple, a school that struggles to put 20K in the seats and gets $1 mil in TV money, doesn’t. This is like a nuclear arms race between the old USSR and Kazakhstan.

    that’s why they can have a franklin as a hc and a stoops as a coordinator and we get scraps. I guess I shouldn’t wonder why I’m posting photos of six psu guys blocking 3 temple guys:

    • That’s why I don’t see this on campus stadium happening no matter how many time some “people in the know” post that it is a done deal. Not that I don’t understand the desire and reasons for wanting this to happen, a 30-35K stadium on campus is probably a better fit for where Temple football eventually ends up in the college football landscape. That being said, I really doubt that the university could get the donations needed from alumni to make this a reality, how many people who follow the team don;t even bother to join the Owl Club at $110 a year?

  2. let’s see. Our staff does things “their way” and rushes 3 against 6 blockers despite every other team that had success against PSU rushing 7-8 against Hackenberg. All we did was point that out BEFORE THE GAME but, nooooo, they’d rather lose and do things their way than copy a successful strategy another team employed. It’s going to be a long 3 years until this contract runs out, Temple fans, and, by then, it’ll probably be too late to hire another coach as the balls and the sleds will be packed away and sent back to Under Armour.

    • I’m going on the premise that the football program is sticking around, obviously given the long term finances you never know. That being said, I think the real question in 3 years is where does Temple football land in the overall scheme of things. I get the feeling there is at least one more round of conference shuffling and the best that TU can hope for is getting into the ACC in order for that conference to get a better presence in this media market, just don’t see the AAC being around for the long haul. So will Temple be in a position to squeeze in with the haves or will it be back to a MAC level with the remaining have nots. Aside from the lack of big time donations, which has always been an issue, it’s just going to be difficult to make up for the “black hole” that was TU football during the first go in the BE, before which Temple was on par with programs like Cincinnati and Rutgers.Right now I think there is the possibility that this regime takes us back to that level worst case scenario, best case more like the TU teams throughout most of the 80’s, 4 to 6 wins a season.

  3. John, if that is the case then next season is really the key for this program, need to see a “Memphis like” move up in the standings, even though MRAs to the contrary this team should be sitting at least at 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the AAC. Team needs to be established in the Top 4 teams in the conference over the next couple of seasons or it’s going to be out. A large media market can only get you so much from a P5 conference or who knows maybe the AAC establishes itself as the best of the rest so to speak.

  4. Mike, Thanks for all of your writings this year.

    It seems as if everyone has written off this season and is working on writing off the future of TU football as well.

    It sounds like people have a forgone conclusion that Temple, even with a win, won’t be going bowling this year. But doesn’t the American have 6 bowl tie-ins in 2014? (

    With only 5 teams now bowl eligible, Temple is the only AAC team with a chance to be the sixth.

    • In a monumental blunder that might cost us our bowl bid (heck, will), AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco sold the No. 6 tie-in to (of all places) the MAC. So now our 8-4 team did not get into a bowl because the MAC had too few tie-ins and our 6-6 team will not get into a bowl because the MAC has too many. The irony is incredible.

  5. Jerimia briscone 82 overall 4 start class of 2013 Qb…devante scott espn JC top 50 11th best WR in the class of 2013. 2 guys who have potential to play Sundays. Both essentially the rare Ncaa free agents bc of UAB shut down FOOTBALL. Im sure there a starting OL or two that could start here. Theres potentially 7 or 8 kids that have proven themselves on the field already that could SIGNIFICANTLY change the offense from. Ummmm garbage to something that resembles a working spread O. Any thoughts??? What are the chances we land anyone from UAB. rhule and temple have proven to be a hot bed for transfers in recent years. Hawaii wr kirkland, florida TE n 4 star recruit from arch. Wood, even a 4star athlete from psu newsome, and the running back n ACC rushing leader from BC. Thats a high quality list of incoming players. Onlyb1 worked out thus far. But depth experience and these kids arnt the normal unhapppy transfers who struggled in the class or felt they weren’t being given playing time like 95% of transfers. These are guys with stats coming of a descent team from conf. Usa that lost there team and all still want to play football. Call me crazy or say im reaching. But I really feel rhule will end up with at least one impact player from UAB.

    • Montel Harris was the only one who worked out and he was a true superstar at BC as well. I have my doubts about Kirkwood because he’s been on the field and really hasn’t separated himself from the other wide receivers. It took Robbie Anderson two games to show people he was a transformable-type player. If KK hasn’t shown that to us by now, I’m not sure it’s there. With this scheme, you can bring a lot of players in and still struggle on offense. I’d rather have their coordinator than their players (their top OL are seniors anyway).

      • I’ll wait until next season on Kirkwood. Remember it came as somewhat of a surprise that he was able to play this year when Hawaii gave the waiver. Let’s see what he does with a full off season workout and spring practice. I also think part of the problem is outside of Fitzpatrick are any of the other WRs given enough consistent playing time to develop that separation. To be honest it really has been a revolving door there: Shippen, Yancy, Christopher, DeLoatch, Bambary, Hairston, Herbin, did I forget anyone?

  6. Reading these comments every post are getting tiresome honestly. Rhule is not done as bad of a job as these comments would have a outsider looking in would believe. If the owls finish 6-6 like I forsee. That would be a 4 game improvement. Which is significant no matter how you look at it. And you guys keep conparing rhule to the best coaching jobs of his tenure. Memphis going from worst to first etc. Temples Defense is one of the most improved units in the nation and overall one of the best. In my opinion its a top 30 defense in the NATION. AFTER phil snow and rhule (hes the head coach so you have to give him credit for the D like you all do with all the blame on offense) and when I say top 30 I dobt mean misleading stats as in a mac team playing against weak oppents and being ranked statically top 30 im saying on film n on field there isnt 30 teams in all of college . Football ,sec big ten, pac 12 etc that are more stout then our unit!!!! Whos not to say our offense wont take that leap next year. Or even significantly improve or at least become a fundamentally sound unit with a 7pt per game avg upgrade??? Before you say well what have they shown US to speculate that. My counter would be what did that Defense Show is last season to think this turn around would happen. I read multiple pre-season reports today that have many people around college football high on matt rhule. Most of the pre season forcasts were a 5-7 to 6-6 record. Mission accomplished. I said before vandy that 6-6 would be a successful season in building what rhule is trying to build. Usa Todays report had a very impressive write uo on rhule even saying that next year temple leaps to 7-5 9-3 conf. Contenders. And I see us smack in the middle of that next year. I see a lose at ND and then 11 other games next seasons team 20 starters returned guys with red shirts ready to make impacts. Transfers with a off season to integrate them into the offense. I.e the 2 mid season transfers. With rhules abilty to recruit and the guys already inked some much needed depth. A impact player or 2 from JCs. Yes I was frustrated beyond words at PJ and the offense. But Rhule is a Good coach I have great faith in him. Scatterbrains should go IMO. BUT MIKE YOU DIDNT LIKE THE HIRE FROM DAY 1 and continue to blame rhule for every fumble snd pic PJ threw. Every shanked punt was rhules fault as well. We got a top 25 win this year!!!! Huge deal!! You gave matt no credit!!! If/when we win the next game and if we get picked to go bowling. I will be thrilled with a bowl win no matter the bowl and a 7-6 record. Temple will also be a pre season pick to finish top 4 in the AAC mark my words. Ill come back to this post in august!!! We have a huge game sat. Lets stop morning the loss of temple footballs program. And wake up and realize we can still do something in temple terms thats special win our 3rd ever bowl game. Thats still a very real possibility!!!! Fingers crossed we get selected. Fans and commentors on this site were the few die hard TU football fans. If this is how you speak offline about the program why would you expect others . To join the temple fan club. Its like I’m reading an anti temple site. Trolled by uconn n rutgers fans lol. Seriously lets think positive for this 12th game. Watch our boys handle biz, hope the O explodes….or even just gets of the runway. And watch the post season chips fall where the may. Were are owed a bowl game after the 8-4 robbery by the FOOTBALL karma gods!! So please just for the next article and post can we install some type of refreshing positive article/comments. Talk about number 8, phil snows most improved coordinator of the year (fake award) candidacy. Jalens speed and deep threat capabilities. Iodonis quiet yet stellar season. Anything but the skys falling, matt rhule is the ncaas rich cotite, and temple will be UAB in 2016, franklin field is the badlands talk. #TEMPLETUFF #templewillneveruseAfbFortheforseeablefuture and remember were in a,much better place and hands then temple . Off the bobby wallace, original Big East days. Were a PROGRAM now thanks to the AL Golden hire and ERA and yes matt rhule was a big part of the recent success of the program. We went from dropped by a conf. To independents losing what 72-0 to oregon state??? (I forget the team that independent year that demolished us) to the MAC to back to a bcs conf. That got left behind but is still a solid conf. (Personally I wish we were in conf. USA but that a whole nother debate) GO OWLS

    • not a 4-game improvement when they should have won 4-6 last year. no way anyone who ever coaches Temple should be able to lose to fordham and idaho. by saying 4-game improvement, you are giving him a pass on not doing the job he should have done last year with 16 starters returning from a 4-win team.

      • Agree totally with that Mike, to me improvement is not getting 2 wins from a team that should have had 5 wins last season to this year, maybe getting 6 wins when the team should be looking at going into the Tulane game with the possibility of a share of the AAC title.

        Dave, I think it’s more of a case of being realistic with the posts here. Sure the defense is improved but still managed to let Memphis walk down the field to win what I think was the key game of the last 3. The Tulsa game was one of the few tight games where it was critical for the defense to hold on until the end and that’s against a 2-10 team. As for 2016, Temple might be a pre-season pick for 4th in the AAC east division but I think those polls will have them ranked behind USF, ECU, Cincinnati, Memphis, Houston and Navy.

      • No matter how you look at it, except from that point of view lol its a 4 game improvement. SOME coach’s need time to implement there New philosophys are a radical change from the previous regine! I know all the “MRHS” continue to give no credit to Rhule at all. I find it absurd. I think things will be much better in 2015 for Temple AND the offense. Time will tell but I just feel your way to hard on this coach. And unfair. I mean the punt returner is his fault?? Did you ever think maybe nate cant return punts any better these coachs see whos who everyday. High school sucess carrys little weight at the next level, theres plenty of bust prospects or guys who play one position and switch positions in college. I understand everyones frustration with our offense. But we were saying the same thing under Daz as well. His 3yd and a cloud of dust offense was ranked amoung the worst in the nation as well. And the team last year was coming of a 4-8 season so even with a “better coach” in daz who looks very good up north at BC he could only maximize 4 wins out of that squad. So idk next year will be the deciding factor on what rhule really is. Just a good recruiter/below avg coach….or a Good coach 7 or 8 wins is the minimum I expect. I really feel we have a shot at 8_10 wins and some program defining Wins and media coverage. But hopefully your wrong bc I miss the winning seasons!!!

  7. the Colorado state situation is a great example for Temple. Colorado St. hired “that guy” to turn their program around, and suddenly they became relevant. so “that guy” leaves to take another job but look at what Colorado St is getting in return – a program on the rise and relevant. their next coach will be just as good if not better.

    does anyone in their right mind believe Rhule is “that guy” for Temple football? Impossible to image this team being relevant without a regime change.

    • KJ, I have my doubts but I believe that the 2015 season needs to be up or out for this staff. While I don;t disagree that it is certainly worth talking to some of their players given the UAB situation, some comments I’ve seen here and elsewhere that this could be the “salvation” for the offense. If either Ruff or McHale are not starting on the offensive line next season, if not a single red shirt WR is putting up big numbers next season, if between Thomas, Hood, Gilmore, healthy Zaire Williams and Jabo Lee (another transfer) or one of the freshman coming in, Cook or Gray, and yes I believe the RB and WR spots are positions where young players can make an impact right away, there is no feature back. Then yes I agree with you that this team won’t be relevant without a regime change. As I’ve posted before, then they become a perennial 6 or 7th place team in the conference making it to bowls like the Miami Beach bowl or Boaca Raton bowl against the Sun Belt or MAC. To me relevant is playing for the conference title, having a chance to get into the playoffs or at least qualifying for one of the AAC bowl tie-in that also feature a P5 school.

  8. Dave, I want this team to be a success as well bit so far going into the 4th quarter of tonight’s game quite honestly I’m watching 2 of the worst teams in the AAC. As for the punt returner, who it is yes that is certainly the coaches fault. With the consistent bad punt returns by Christopher and other players available who look that could actually run forward after catching it a good coach would look at alternatives.I do agree with your point that the 2015 season will real confirm if Rhule is only a good recruiter and a below average coach.

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