First Test of #LeaveNoDoubt is UMASS

The complete game vs. Cincy. It’s OK for the fans to look back and look ahead. Really.

One of the amusing things about being 2-0 at this point of the season is to read the reaction of Temple fans who keep responding to other Temple fans’ dreams of an unbeaten season or even 7-0 by Notre Dame by saying, “Let’s take one game at a time.”

Like Temple fans thinking ahead is going to have an impact on the team looking ahead.

As they used to say about 100 years ago, Poppycock.

These are heady times to be a Temple player and fan but the first true test of #LeaveNoDoubt is the game at the University of Massachusetts (3 p.m., ESPN3) on Saturday. The whole point of #LeaveNoDoubt is games just like this one. While #LeaveNoDoubt applied a little to the games against Penn State and Cincinnati, it applies a lot to games like the ones this week and the next few gamedays after that. Great things are ahead for the Owls and they are right there for the taking. If the Owls play as hard or harder against UMass, there is a Top 25  ranking waiting for them when they come home … a real one, not one like this:

This from the Washington Post.

This from the Washington Post.

Kenny Harper’s whole point that he wanted to drive home to the team was to leave no doubt because of games just like this one. If the Owls take care of business in games like UMass, Charlotte and Tulane, they will not be sitting home and wondering what could have been like they were at the end of last season. The faux polls are nice recognition of what the team has done in the first two games, but wins over UMass, Charlotte and Tulane mean a steady rise up the real polls and that’s what’s important.

This ranking is from the Oklahoman.

This ranking is from the Oklahoman.

The players and coaches have to take one game at a time, but the fans can take five games at a time. Imagine the Owls coming into the Notre Dame game with a 7-0 record against an Irish team with a 6-0 record. A strong case can be made that it will be tougher for the Irish to keep their end that bargain than the Owls.

For the Owls to do their part, they will have to show that #LeaveNoDoubt  is more than a slogan. This Saturday is the first real test of that.

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18 thoughts on “First Test of #LeaveNoDoubt is UMASS

  1. Good article Mike. The sign of a good team is the ability to easily win the games that you’re supposed to win. Hopefully, Temple will do that over the next 3 weeks. The game that I am most worried about is East Carolina. East Carolina has not forgotten what we did to them last year and will be looking to beat us in order for them to have a quality win and increase their chances at making a bowl. I expect a tough, tough game from them. Also, Tulane will not be an easy game. We struggled beating them last season and I expect they will look to steal some thunder by beating us at home during home coming. Overall, I hope our Owls will not believe the hype surrounding the team. Keep playing hard and take nothing for granted.

    • Cincy is way better than ECU, which lost two starters on their offensive line and their best rb to being expelled, plus major graduation losses (qb and wr) and their backup qb, a highly recruited kid, just left school. Plus, Towson–a 4-8 FCS team of a year ago–hung with them, 28-20. If we can survive the Nippert ambush, we can survive ECU.

  2. Have you given any props to Rhule yet? Or you still want him fired?

    • I never wanted him fired. Find me the post where it says I want him fired. It does not exist.

      • U never said u wanted him fired but u sure did say that he should have never been hired! #samedifference

      • IDK about Rhule but many of us were pretty harsh on Snow awhile back. I don’t know if we said fired but we certainly were saying he was past his prime. I fully acknowledge that I was wrong on that account.

      • quite a BIG difference. I wanted a guy who was a winner as a HC hired and I thought Todd Bowles would have been the better choice at the time. To think that “Matt” would have been the only good choice for Temple is really over the top.

      • Yeah, because Todd Bowles had an extensive winning resume of 2-1 as interim HC of the Miami Dolphins

  3. … and the last time Temple hired a guy who was Head coach in the NFL was when? He would have done a great job here, just as Matt is doing now. Al Golden and Wayne Hardin proved you do not have to be named Matt Rhule to do a great job at Temple.

    • Jumping in on this one. First, the fact that Todd didn’t get the Temple job and a few months later was named head coach of an NFL football team where only 32 spots exist in the world says a lot. Yes, Bowles would have been a good pick.

      Second, the success we are seeing Temple have this year is due to a lot of change on the coaching/game time side of the ball compared to Rhules first two years (and players playing very well I might add). Take a look at our first half of game points compared to second half game points over the past two years to see cold hard reality.

      This blog has been saying for a while we win if we don’t go 5 wide, clock manage better, and do halftime adjustments we would win and that’s what’s been happening. Also, this blog has given a lot of credit to Rhule for being a “recruiting” coach. You cannot in any way shape or form say there hasn’t been a huge overhaul in the areas we had concern from the past two season and are now addressed.

    • In your own words at the time Temple was looking to replace Addazio: “Successful candidates will have had WINNING seasons (note plural) as a HEAD coach at an FBS school.” That was not Todd Bowles at that time. Just goes to show again, you wanted anyone NOT named Matt Rhule as Temple’s coach.

      • Being in the NFL negated both things. I thought then, as I do now, that Todd would have been able to recruit the 4* and 5* (still haven’t gotten a 5* since Kevin Harvey) kid. “Coach, why should I come to Temple?” Todd: “Because, being an NFL head coach, I know what it takes for you to impress an NFL head coach. Because, as a Temple player myself, I can show you how I got from Temple to the NFL.” Pretty powerful message. I think he could have done for football at Temple what John Chaney did for basketball. We will never know. I hope Matt Rhule now becomes the next JC. Hope is the key word.

  4. Tractorr have to agree with you on Snow, looking at the defense his first year and his track record at his last 3 college DC stops before coming to Temple I felt that way as well. Have to give him credit for getting this defense to the point where it is now

  5. As good as the D has been (or is really only that there has been improvement from a horrid first year?), Cincy’s comeback in the 4th quarter still leaves doubts about winning close games against very good teams (Notre Dame). Still don’t understand how so many receivers were wide open with 8 guys back to defend the pass. That’s got to get fixed. Other than that, Temple looks very good. Without actually saying it Mike, I assume you mean that Temple needs to stomp teams like UMass, not just win, to enter through the top 25 gates.
    Go Owls.

    • yes, something like what PSU did last year (48-7) … don”t think they’ll get a shutout because the UMass qb is so good, but maybe the aac refs will call a phantom hold (like the big 10 refs did in 2007 on alex derenthal) to negate a td pass

  6. Mike, what do you mean by real polls?

    “The faux polls are nice recognition of what the team has done in the first two games, but wins over UMass, Charlotte and Tulane mean a steady rise up the real polls and that’s what’s important”

    Im waiting to see them in the AP top25. I know the polls are subjective. I figure they are in the ballpark

    • real polls = ap top 25 and the usa today poll released on monday… they are 26th in the ap and were not in the usa weekly poll until it was “readjusted” on 9/14. the “readjusted” poll doesn’t get anywhere near the pub the normal one does. Beat Umass 35-14 or worse and they will be in both “real” ones as opposed to the ones that we’ve seen so far from the washington post and the oklahoman.

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