Temple-SMU Preview: Next Man Up

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.

Sub Maryland for Buffalo and Navy for UMass and this is the league the Owls should be in ... unfortunately, greed has trumped common sense.

Sub Maryland for Buffalo and Navy for UMass and WVA for Army and this is the league the Owls should be in … unfortunately, greed has trumped common sense.

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.

Temple did not update the

Temple did not update the “official” depth chart in these game notes for SMU, but you can cross Kyle Friend and Kip Patton off that list and probably one or two others.


18 thoughts on “Temple-SMU Preview: Next Man Up

  1. I think Temple handles SMU comfortably, however, I think PJ needs to do more than he has been asked in the past this season. He showed real poise against ND. SMU’s offensive line has given up 33 sacks, look for the defense to register another 5-6 on them tonight.

    • I agree, good assessment. especially the d-line. Look for d-line guys to make an impact who haven’t before, like FBL, Dogbe, Martin (who had a sack against PSU). Those guys are real good but the guys playing in front of them are better.

  2. Time to resurrect the plays that worked for PJ and Robbie two years ago with one caveat. Once the Owls get the lead, it’s time to pound the ball because the one thing SMU does well is pass the ball. By successfully running the ball the Owls will shorten the game and keep the ball from the Ponies.

    • you should be the OC … I’m serious. You make too much sense. Although, I will say this: Satterfield/Rhule/Thomas (whoever is calling the plays) is 1,000 percent better this year than last and that’s because of emphasis on the run game to set up the passing, and not going the ass-backwards way they had tried the last 2 seasons.

      • To John’s point: YES! 100% agree, or as Rhule calls it true “Temple Football”.

        To Mike’s point: I’m surprised it was so backwards for so long, and yet it only took one off season for things to completely change (and look at the result!). Feels like just yesterday I was screaming in the stands to stop RUN RUN PASS PUNT’ing every possession.

    • You, I, and I and others were screaming for the team to use the offense they are running now two years ago and we all were laughed at by the MRAs who said that it would be ludicrous for the coaches to listen to what’s posted in the blog. Where are those fools now that we were 100 percent right. In a weird sort of way had the coaches listened to us, the team likely would have had six-eight more wins and Rhule would be that much more a hot coaching commodity. Also, had the team properly used Chris Coyer and the tight end in this offense they surely would have won more games. What a waste of talent that was.

      • yes, I remember many times someone (we won’t say who) posted, “If Matt Rhule listens to this blog on how to run an offense, I want him fired” (or words to that effect). Amazingly, he did everything word-for-word what we were screaming for this time last year (run game, heavy use of fullback, 2 tes, play-action passing) and none of those people who advocated for him to keep the 5 wides and keep doing “the process” are advocating a firing.

  3. McGowan started 10 games last season until he got injured, so I think he’s already seen significant playing time in his career. He also started 3 games in 2013.

  4. not sure what happened to the D but finally the Temple O took advantage of what the defense was giving and opened the playbook

  5. Just glad the team found a way to win and I guess it was the offenses turn to pull one out. Didn’t relish the idea of going into the next 2 games off of a loss.

  6. Big win for the owls. I don’t care how they won. I was screaming for PJ to go down at the 5. They could have taken 3 knees and won the game.

    It worked out better, I guess because a 60-40 looks much better than 45-40 to the voters. How amazing is it to be able to make a statement like that? When was the last time Temple was in a position to win and impress voters! What a ride this season has been!

  7. it hurts my heart but i’m rooting for PSU to beat Northwestern.., Temple could be in the BCS Top 20 if both FSU and Northwestern lose…, Clemson should beat FSU, and PSU can beat Northwestern.., OMG what a special year.., this team is beyond categorization…, we have a great defense but explosive passing teams like Cincy, UMASS, SMU, and Memphis can hurt us., our offense is too predictable but can play with anyone in the country when PJ is on.., our special teams make big plays and give up big plays…., the constant has been Rhule’s ability to out-coach the opposing sideline something I thought would never happen…, TU on New Year’s day…, wow!!!!

    • Penn State has no bearing on temple playing on New Year’s Day and the playoff ranking means nothing since temple won’t be considered for a spot. All temple needs to do and it’s a big challenge, is to be AAC league champs by winning their division and then beating either Memohis, Houston or Navy in the championship game. Let’s not put too much stock in how poorly the d played in this game, it was a bad opponent, on a short week after a tough emotional game against Notre Dane. Team needs to get healthy this week.

  8. I’d like to know if the folks that vote for the top 25 even watch the games. How could Houston jump nine spots after they played a game they should have lost. But for Cincy self-destructing. (numerous bad penalties, interceptions, and a fumble on Houston’s five) Houston would have lost by double digits. The whole thing is a joke.

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