To call what goes on early in the week at the E-O a news conference is really a misnomer, but that should be OK because, when the biggest news coming out of Tuesday’s Matt Rhule presser was that U.S. Senator Corey Booker and Drew Katz spoke to the team, that’s a sign that all is good in the Temple Owls’ football world.
Usually, the “news” coming out of these things is someone is hurt, but that did not happen on Tuesday. News conferences are like football officials. If you do not notice them, it’s good news. Even the “big” Temple news of the day–that Notre Dame is sold out–came long after the press conference was over.
Still, one of the many positive traits of Temple head coach Matt Rhule is that he brings a lot of enthusiasm to these things. Other than the obligatory praise for Central Florida, no small feat for an 0-6 team, here were some highlights:
Noticing The Wave:
Rhule noticed that the crowd did the wave “in the third quarter.” Kind of interesting that he knew what quarter the wave was done. He also gave a shout out to the students, who have done a spectacular job supporting the team.
On Ryquell Armstead’s two touchdowns:
“We got to see the big-play ability of Ryquell,” he said. (I thought that was interesting because it implied that Ryquell has been a consistent big-play guy in practice all along.)
On the defense:
“We’re a top 25 defense in nine categories,” Rhule said. “The defense is playing good football.” In the most important category, scoring defense, the team is ranked No. 13 in the country. Last year, it finished No. 4, but DC Phil Snow took responsibility for allowing 14 fourth-quarter points against Cincinnati by “playing too conservatively” and doesn’t expect the Owls to give up that many points in future games.
On the offense:
Rhule said the offense is (literally) 100 percent improved on third-down conversions. “We’re converting 44 percent on third down; last year we were 22 percent,” he said. (We looked it up. It was 23.8, but why quibble over 1.8 percent?)
On TE Kip Patton:
“Kip always knew he had a lot in terms of dynamic ability. Teaching him football; you know, he’s a basketball player. It was his decision. He made the decision to be a football player. You can just see the beginning of what he’s able to do.”
Tomorrow: A Special Milestone