The Owls’ biggest opponent tonight will be a hangover from this.
The biggest moment in Temple football history is now over, but not the season, and the carrot at the end of this season is the possibility of an even bigger moment.
That moment will come tonight at SMU (8 p.m., ESPN2) for a handful of players who will be receiving significant playing time for the first time in their Temple careers. One of those players no doubt will be Brendan McGowan, who will be starting for the injured Kyle Friend at center. Another will be the speedy Ryquell Armstead and the equally elusive, if not as speedy, Jager Gardner who will be subbing for Jahad Thomas. Head coach Matt Rhule said Thomas will be available, but with tougher opponents coming up, it might be wise to give those injured ribs one more week of rest.
There could be more playing time for a number of backups, like corner Nate Hairston. Suffice it to say, before heading out to the local bar for a game watch or at home in front of the HDTV, have a program handy.
SMU has been gosh awful this season and is coming off a 40-31 loss to perhaps the another bad AAC team (Tulsa). The Mustangs also lost to East Carolina, 49-23. The Owls handled ECU by double-digits two weeks ago.
That should not translate to a 49-23 win or better for two reasons: One, the Owls just do not possess the explosive offense of an ECU and you’ve got to figure there’s a heartbreak hangover coming. Still, quarterback P.J. Walker is getting better every week and there is going to be one week where Robby Anderson breaks out and puts three touchdowns on the board.
I think it is this one. Owls, 34-10.
South Florida should be a little tougher in a week and Memphis even more so in two. The focus now should be on the next men up.