Memphis’ Jake Elliott is the best kicker on college football.
There will be a couple of things on the television in every sports bar in America on Thursday night.
One will be an NFL game involving Cardinals and 49er; the other will be Temple football. Since the NFL game will not be on until 8:25, Temple football will be the only thing on TV in every sports bar in America between for an hour and a half. In that time, the Owls have a chance to make their game compelling television.
When it comes to Temple University and national branding, Thursday’s game at Memphis (7 p.m., ESPN) will be a chance to show the product to a wider audience than it has been since the Notre Dame game on Halloween Night last year.
In essence, the whole world will be watching and this will be a bigger audience than the last two Penn State games and a chance for Temple to walk away a winner, and not the gallant loser it was seen to be against the Fighting Irish a year ago this month.
So this is a very unique chance for the kids and the coaches to show what they are made of tomorrow night. Will the nation see the sloppy Owl team that committed 120 yards in penalties at Penn State or will they see the crisp Owl team that raced out to a 34-12 lead at Cincinnati a year ago? Will the nation see a defense that was aligned improperly against Army in the opener or one filling the gaps and making life miserable for Memphis quarterback Ryan Ferguson?
Largely, that’s up to both the Temple kids and the coaches. Let’s put it this way: Probably more people will be watching Temple football tomorrow than watched the Vice-Presidential debate on Tuesday night or at least they should because football is more entertaining than politics.
The Owls have not played their best game yet, but Thursday night will be a good time to start. They seem to be vulnerable to runs up the middle on defense, but that can be shored up by shifting backup offensive guard Brian Carter (6-1, 303) to his old familiar spot, which was as a starting defensive tackle before he was forced to move over to the other side of the ball. Fullback Nick Sharga, a tremendous run-stopper, would also probably be better-suited to play linebacker from here on out because, frankly, he’s more needed there.
Hopefully, the coaches are using their heads for more than a hat rack.
There is not a whole lot of belief in the Owls among the general public because the line jumped from Memphis favored by 6.5 to Memphis favored by 10.5. Maybe the line is telling the nation something.
Or maybe the Owls should take things into their own hands and tell the line something that cannot be printed. A statement for Temple football on a night the whole world is watching is the perfect prescription to get national respect again.
Friday: Game Analysis