Game Day: What, Me Worry?


On a worry scale of 1-10 with one being not worried and 10 being eight eaten fingernails, the UCF at Temple game has to rank at about as closest to one as any other Temple game in recent memory. The 5-0 Owls are on a serious roll and the 0-6 Knights are in free fall, playing in Philadelphia before a hostile crowd of 30,000 on a cold night.


You know all about how Florida teams do in cold weather. We don’t know the actual record, but it took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about 40 years to win a game in under 50-degree weather. The temperature at kickoff tonight should be 47 degrees, which reminds me to remind you to wear gloves. It was only eight or so years ago a tailgater named Lazygoat saw me wearing gloves on the first cold day of the season and begged for them.

Like a lot of Owl fans at the first cold home game of every season, he did not come prepared. He forgot, which would have made him a great AP Top 25 voter.  Since I did not have an extra pair, he spent the rest of the day blowing into his fingers. So let that be a warning.

A little nippy, but nothing Temple TUFF can't handle.

A little nippy, but nothing Temple TUFF can’t handle.

Another warning that the Owls would be wise to heed is to put this game away early because, if there was a lesson to be learned at UMass, it was allowing a team back into a game after going up 14-0 just serves to embolden them and give them some hope to get that first win. I’m sure the 12-1 UCF team that came into Philadelphia in 2013 did not lose any sleep the night before beating Temple. Nor did the 1998 Virginia Tech team (that finished 8-2 but lost, 28-24, to then 0-6 Temple).

George O’Leary, being the smart coach he is, really has only one option and that is to rip a few pages out of UMass head coach Mark Whipple’s book and load up the box to stop the run. At that point, the Owls can do one of two things—abandon the run (not recommended) or go two tight ends and a fullback and put more helmets on their helmets and knock them back off the ball (recommended). Then pick spots for play-action passes to Robby Anderson and Co.

If P.J. Walker has to throw 48 passes again instead of a more manageable 20-30, it could be a long night. That’s not Temple football. Temple football is running the ball, hitting play-action passes, playing tough defense and great special teams.

So, like 1998, upsets can happen and that knowledge should be enough to keep it from happening. That, and adhering to the principles of #LeaveNoDoubt, which means to play every game like it is a championship one.


Tomorrow Afternoon: Complete Game Analysis

Monday: Photo Essay


12 thoughts on “Game Day: What, Me Worry?

  1. I’m concerned about every game and while I’d like to believe there’s the occasional lay up on the schedule I’ve followed the Owls for too long. I agree on the Owls need to run the ball but I think it’s also important to activate Anderson, who I feel has only shown flashes of his former self.

    The Owls also would do themselves a huge favor by getting an early lead and getting the starters off the field so they can get rested for Thursday, but first they need to focus on this game and leave no doubt.

    • Also, I think we’re playing with fire by having Robby return punts. From what I’ve seen, he’s not SOOO good at it that Nate L. Smith–who has shown tremendous moves in the open field on his INTs–cannot handle it. There’s a reason why Bruce Arians took Paul Palmer off punt returns after his sophomore season and a reason Al Golden took BP off kickoff returns as a freshman. They were both bellcows from scrimmage. So is Robby.

  2. well now, how about the AAC? Memphis beating a SEC 14th ranked team is HUGE. As predicted they gave Ol Miss all they could handle and more., Memphis should leapfrog Houston in the Top 25.., don’t believe they’ll be room for Temple in the Top 25 should they beat a winless UCF team..,

    The AAC has a winning record against the ACC and has beaten two good teams from the Big Ten and SEC…, time for the AAC Comissioner to start blowing the horn

    would be nice to have two ranked teams in the first AAC championship game

  3. The UCF QB is not good. Their original QB was injured earlier this season.

    If UCF had a real QB, this game would have been a big “L.”

    • Don’t know if I fully agree with the last part of your comment, I think our defense has shown that it will keep the team pretty much in every game and not let the opposition get too big of a lead. I think UCF needed a lot more than a real QB tonight. They were in the game because of a pick 6 and 2 muffed punts

    • That was the starting QB for CFU. He came back from injury last week. While it appeared top be a nail biter, I never felt that the Owls were going to lose. Their defense couldn’t stop the Owls and their offense was worse. The Owls stopped themselves and, hopefully, they got all of the mistakes out of their system before the most important game of the season.

      • John I agree, temple would have crushed this team if not for key penalties and turnovers. These miscues made it appear closer than it really was. Temple had twenty first downs to their 10. We had 340 plus total yards to their 134. I am a little worried about punt returns though. I would put Christopher back for any punt that is going to land from the 20 on in. He has good hands and did a nice job last year. Im willing to trade yards for security. The d was outstanding once again and the team showed resiliency fighting back from killer mistakes. Nice noisy crowd too.

  4. #24 in the Coaches Poll!!!

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