Sometimes it’s hard to taste the fruit when the mouth has a sour taste in it, so consider today’s 38-0 win over Stony Brook The Listerine Bowl.
Stony Brook is not that bad, and Temple is probably not as bad as it showed against Army. Still, the loss a week ago left a bad taste in the mouths of Temple fans and, on my way out, I heard a surprising number of fans say they will never come back again. For those who did come back, that sour taste now has been rinsed for awhile.
For the others, the 12,000 or so who did not return this week but were there last week, they cannot be blamed.
That’s the price of not being prepared for a triple-option team when you had nine months to prepare for one. That game is over now and there is no way to get either it back or a good portion of the 34,005 fans who attended the Army game. Earlier this week, in a post I titled “Unintended Consequences” I wrote the Owls would be lucky to draw 22,000 for Stony Brook. Make it 22,256, which was the official attendance. In a 70K stadium, 22,256 looks small and it was.
Maybe if the Owls beat Penn State and take a very good record into USF, we will see 34,005 again but I doubt it—at least this year. As the editor of Pravda likes to say, it is what it is.
Saturday, we learned a lot of things, but mostly we got the bad taste out of our mouths. Here are a few of the things:
- Logan Marchi, not Frank Nutile, is the backup quarterback. Marchi was the first quarterback in after Phillip Walker left the game.
- Redshirts were burned all over the place, including Benny Walls, who got an interception, Karamo Dioubate, who put good pressure on the quarterback, and Isaiah Wright, who looks like he possesses the “it” factor as an offensive threat. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. If your recruiting is good enough to get players who can play right away, that’s the idea.
- Walker says Jahad Thomas will be back for the Penn State game. That is the best news of all because, as good as Ryquell Armstead is, he is not capable of stopping in the middle of the field at full throttle and doing a 360-degree spin to get away from defenders. Thomas is, and he did that in two games last year (UCF and UConn). Thomas is a game-breaking talent and he will be needed against Penn State.
- Stony Brook beat a North Dakota team that won at FBS Wyoming last year. North Dakota gave Bowling Green all it could handle yesterday and Bowling Green is usually pretty good. Beating a team like Stony Brook, 38-0, should be a confidence-builder but, for the Owls to re-establish their brand, they must win at Penn State next week.
It won’t be easy, but it is doable—unless James Franklin comes out in a triple option.
Monday: Penn State Week