Halftime Coming At Right Time

The rugby scrum at the 2:43 time stamp is what Temple TUFF is all about.

Maybe halftime adjustments is just another meaningless phrase, but the stark numbers told a different story on Saturday when Temple took control in what turned out to be  34-13 win over Cincinnati.

ourlad

Ourlads’ Guide has Kiel rated No. 3 QB.

Not only did the Owls shut out the Bearcats in the second half, 17-0, they held someone who will probably be drafted by the NFL, Gunner Kiel, to 0-2 passing in the second half and his offense to no first downs and minus-1 total yards.

Halftime has been a good break to Temple in this three-game winning streak. They were down, 25-14, at half against UCF and won, 26-25, and they built on a modest halftime lead in beating USF. Now this and a lot of the improvement can be traced to the defense.

The words to the alma mater are elsewhere in this post.

As good as Temple’s defense was the two prior years, it had never been THAT good against an offense like Cincy’s. In our mind before the season started, we thought that this defense would be faster across the board than the last two defenses were and that has only been shown the last three weeks.

Maybe Phil Snow has something going right now because the Owls are deep in edge pass rushers (Praise Martin-Oguike, Romond Deloatch, Jacob Martin and Haason Reddick) and have been getting significant inside push from veterans like Averee Robinson, Freddy Booth-Lloyd and Michael Dogbe. Sean Chandler is back in the secondary and that helped, too.alma

It did not look like the Owls did anything other than keep grinding in the second half and, as they extended their lead, they were able to ramp up the pressure.

This was the same Kiel threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns (no interceptions) in a 31-19 win over East Carolina last week, so what the Owls’ defense did cannot be minimized. Considering that the offense scored 46 and 34 points in the last two weeks over good teams, the inescapable conclusion is that both sides of the ball are peaking at the right time.

Mix in the fact, not fiction, that given that win over ECU and the fact that ECU plastered UConn, 41-3, on Saturday, the Owls probably already took care of the best of the Final Four teams on their regular season schedule. One game at a time, but Temple’s speed advantage across the board on both sides of the ball figures give the molasses slow Huskies fits on Friday night.

A viable now path exists to host the AAC title game at LFF. Owls need to win out (now only three games) and Navy needs to lose to Notre Dame, but win the rest. In that scenario, Temple finishes with the same overall and conference record as Navy and probably will be ranked higher than Navy due to finishing with six-straight wins, including one over a team that scored 52 on the Midshipmen. Temple should take care of its part of the bargain.

The notion that it is “unreasonable” to expect the Owls to run the regular-season table has been debunked by the same numbers that suggest halftime has been a good 15 minutes for Temple.

Monday: What Have We Done?

Wednesday: The Conference Reacts

Friday: UConn Game Preview

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15 thoughts on “Halftime Coming At Right Time

  1. Mike – in the AAC West, both Navy and Tulsa control their own destiny (both have 1 AAC loss) and they play on 11/12 in Annapolis. If either team wins out, the team that does so will win the AAC West title.

    Incidentally, I think Temple would play at Tulsa if both teams won out because Tulsa would have a better overall record than the Owls (10-2 vs 9-3). That would be the worst-case scenario; at least if the Owls play Navy on the road in the AAC title game, Temple fans could easily make the 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive southwest to Annapolis.

  2. If Navy loses to Notre Dame and wins out in the American and we win out, we would have a better overall record than Navy (9-3 vs. 8-3) at the time of the American Conference game. Navy does not play it’s 12th game until after the conference championship.

    • yes, meant in the loss column Owls would have the same record. Two Army games could throw a monkey wrench into this whole process, one at the beginning of the season and one at the end.

  3. Where to start, the maturation of this team and the coaching staff has been phenomenal. Almost all phases of the game minus kickoff coverage, gets better each week. The QB has settled down and he made some beautiful throws yesterday.The oline and the fb have been mashing people and the two headed monster in the backfield is wearing teams out. What the d did yesterday was astounding., Cincy did not get a first down in the 2nd half. A major difference is that this team has dept in many areas. In the backfield, in the secondary at lb along the defensive front and the freshmen kicker has picked up where Jones left off. Speaks to improved recruiting and addition of speed.

    • Nobody is happier for Phillip Walker than I am and I have always been a big fan of his for reasons I have outlined numerous times on this blog. Now he is 24-18 as a starting quarterback at Temple. No other QB can even come close to touching that record and that’s the most important quarterback stat by far. 2-5 in 13, 6-6 in 14, 10-4 in 15 and 6-3 in 16 and that includes a 2-6 record while being forced to wear those awful black unis and helmets. 🙂 Take those games away and he’s 22-12.

      • stunning…, it is more about what we can do than what we have done.., late November each year there are only 14 teams that have the opportunity to win their conference championship, win a bowl game and finish in the Top 25, the Triple Crown of College Football.., truly amazing

  4. Great overall game by the coaches and players as the owls do indeed seem to be peaking at the right time. We’ve gotten past the most difficult part of an admittedly weak schedule but need to ensure we don’t trip up in the homestretch. A few observations:

    1 – football is indeed a tale of two halves. During MR and Phil Snow’s first couple of seasons we were frequently on the wrong end of the equation in the second half. I am very glad to see that equation has flipped itself. Well done.
    2 – Temple has demonstrated significant improvements in the speed, and depth areas. We get to see more talent through the course of the game in the trenches and especially in the skill positions. This is critical for building a program rather than having the occasional good season.
    3 – Kicking the football and blocking kicks remains a team strength while covering kicks continues to give me agita.
    4 – PJW plays well when he plays within himself. This seems to work best with lots of running and play action, but when asking him to throw the ball thirty plus times invites trouble. He also needs to realize he’s not Q Flowers and dump the ball instead of getting sacked for big losses by 300 lb linemen.
    5 – the running game is STRONG, FAST and deep.

    Great game Owls! Keep going.

  5. The rugby scrum may have been the longest three yard play in football history, TU got a break there because his forward momentum was definitely stopped.

  6. Here’s hoping SFU loses to Memphis this week.

  7. kj, do you mean that putting some Temple paint on the field isn’t included in that outrageous rental fee? Dispicable!
    Overall PJ did a fine job but there were a couple times he lost big yards trying to outrun rushers and got nailed yards behind the line of scrimmage. It appears the O-line is giving him much more time to throw when he does drop back – the extra time helps him a lot with his accuracy. NO INTERCEPTIONS! YEA!
    Temple really is a second half team, in both season and game success. Those losses to PSU and Memphis because of a ridiculous number of penalties and other mistakes are hurting what could have been a remarkable season. Army was just a bad game – the other two are couldas as in coulda been 8-1 and everything that woulda come with that – top 25, etc.
    It is what it is. Go Owls. Win the next 3 and the conference and damn it, pick a good bowl (and win).

  8. John B, agree with you on the scrum that should have been whistled dead but allowed a TU TD. But I still remember a similar play that went against Temple last year or a couple years ago when there was a big pile after it was clear that a TU lineman fell on the ball but the officials allowed the scrum to continue instead of pulling players away and whistling it dead. The result was the other team got the ball. So to me, this is payback. For once, this time, Temple benefitted instead of getting screwed.

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