One of the themes on social media a year ago when someone looked down the schedule to a more compelling game was to concentrate on the next one.
The players even took that approach with the subtitle season slogan “What’s Next?” and that might have been a large part of the reason Temple tied a school record of 10 wins a year ago. That, and playing two more games than the 1979 team.
Before the UCF game, which was oh for the season, I mentioned to Tyler Matakevich that the great thing about him and his teammates this year was that I had confidence they were taking UCF just as seriously as Notre Dame. “Absolutely,” Tyler said, “that’s all we think about is what’s next and not what’s after that.”
What’s next is Army and hopefully these kids take the same approach that those kids did.
A good indication that they are is that the coaches are because Matt Rhule made a side trip to Air Force Academy last month to pick the braintrust there on how to stop the triple option. USAFA runs a more polished version of Army’s triple option. Temple was embarrassed against Navy’s version two years ago and did not seem to have an effective counter. A Temple defense that finished No. 4 in the country in points allowed gave up 31 to Navy that day and the loss—coupled with a 16-13 loss to Memphis—probably cost the Owls a bowl bid.
Not only is Temple making an investment in research and development, but the Owls also dedicated at least a half-hour to defending the Army triple option in spring practice. The Army game is well-placed from the Owls’ standpoint because they don’t have to cram triple option preparedness into a short work week.
The Owls are anywhere from 16.5 -22-point favorites on opening night, but they are approaching this like it’s a pick-em and that’s the best sign of all.
Monday: 5 Things We’d Like To See By Opening Day
Wednesday: Immediate Help Is On The Way
Friday: Temple Football Forever Goes On One-Week Summer Hiatus