Focus And Finish

Nobody tosses the throwback to the tight end better than P.J. Walker.

For anyone who has ever played the frustrating game of golf, the 2016 football season at Temple  comes down to this:

Completely butchering the first hole, acing the second and getting a penalty for an incorrect scorecard on the third and, after that, the balls have been hit pretty much long and straight.

After botching the Army game plan and getting more penalty yards in a single game than most Temple fans remember, the Owls have been very good and have set themselves up for a nice finish if they can do no less in next four weeks than they have the last two.

Right now, the Owls’ season can be summed up as four one-foot putts. For the everyday hacker, the one-foot putt is a little different with nothing but a beer on the line than a one-foot putt in a tournament with $250,000 riding on it.

In other words, it’s 90 percent mental.

There’s a lot riding on these last four and the Owls’ short game is going to have to be on point, but if they approach the final four weeks the way they did the last two, they should be able to get the job done.

There are a lot of things I do not understand, but this concept of a “letdown” in college football certainly is at the top of the head-scratcher list. I know it exists, otherwise you cannot adequately explain the Army opener or even SMU’s win over Houston on Saturday night, but it should not exist in the game of college football. You work your butt off 353 days of the year to show your skills for 12 days or nights, there is no excuse for a letdown. Major league baseball players, with 162 regular-season games, have excuses. So do NBA and NHL players.

College football players, no. For this Temple football team, in the next four games, as much rides on the line as the UCF and the USF games did. If the Owls can visualize the finish line, they should be also be able to treat every play between now and then as if it is their last.

There is still a viable path for Temple to host the AAC title game and that’s what winning the final four games could mean. Plenty of work to do, but the hardest work is behind them and now most of it involves their mental approach.

Focus and finish should be their motto.

Tomorrow: Fizz Checks In With His USF Thoughts

Wednesday: The Fan Experience

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9 thoughts on “Focus And Finish

  1. I just hope Friday night’s ground game success doesn’t lull the coaching staff into thinking ground at the expense of the passing game. Too many weapons in the receiver group and QB can make things happen with his arm and legs when in a rolling pocket. Loved the throw back to the TE. In short, I hope they stay confident and creative in the offensive game planning.

    • I don’t remember ever seeing a wide receiver group as deep as this one is at Temple. Remember, Daz being so upset he couldn’t find anyone who could catch a pass in spring practice? All of these guys can catch and it looks like Byrant is creating a little separation from the rest of the pack. The only guy who had a problem with drops is Yancy, but he’s tough as nails. Unfortunately, two deflections off his hands led to touchdowns (one in the Army game and one in the Memphis game). He’s seen his time on the field fall off and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  2. Looking at Navy’s and Memphis’s remaining conference schedules, it looks doubtful that Navy will lose twice and Memphis will run the table. I hope that SFU and Tulsa beat Navy which would mean, if the Owls run the table, the Championship Game will be at the Linc.

    • A championship game anywhere would be great but if it’s not at the Linc then Annapolis would be my next choice. It’s only two hours away, a beautiful facility that will appear full on national television and it’s at the home of a revered institution.

      On a side note if people were to bet which team would return to the conference title game at the beginning of the season I’m guessing most would have gone with Houston. We’re not there yet but I like our road better than Houstons.

    • Switch out USF for TU and the complaints by SFU’s fans would fit those voiced by TU fans. The fact is that both schools are large urban universities with a huge commuter base that lack an on-campus stadium and that have to fight the pro teams for fans.

  3. The big three is still attainable, conference championship, bowl win, and Top 25 finish…, truly amazing

  4. It’s Friday evening and USF is cleaning up the Middies. That higher rating may disappear and make the championship game in Phila happen.

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