Matt Rhule talks about the bye week.
When the Temple Owls raced out to a 7-0 record a year ago with a win over Penn State and at Cincinnati, a lot of people were surprised.
Not as surprised, though, as what the team has done since the poor choice of black helmets and uniforms at Memphis.
The Owls have been more than just dapper in their choice of wardrobe since. Just think of this four-game winning streak this way:
Temple 26, UCF 25—Since the Owls vanquished the Knights in their own stadium, the Knights have beaten Tulane, 37-6, and went up to UConn and won. They also had a big lead at Houston before falling by a touchdown. This might be the game that wins it for the Owls because, according to a computer projection BEFORE the 70-yard drive, the Owls were given just a two percent chance of winning that game. That was a miracle in the Orlando swamplands for sure.
Temple 46, USF 30 –The only game USF played since getting thumped by the Owls was an impressive one, leading 45-21 over visiting Navy in the second quarter before holding on for a backdoor cover. The Bulls were never really in jeopardy of losing that game as Navy scored on the last play of the game. Much will be learned about the Bulls on Saturday, when they travel to Memphis.
Temple 34, Cincinnati 13—The Owls totally dominated after taking a 17-13 lead at the half. Cincy’s only game was a 20-3 loss to visiting BYU at home, breaking a 30-game non-conference winning streak. Yet, at times, Cincinnati was impressive this year, including a 38-20 win at Purdue and a 31-19 win over East Carolina.
Temple 21, UConn 0—Look, everyone knows UConn is having a down year but this is a team that beat Cincinnati, 20-9, beat a Power 5 team (Virginia) and lost a competitive game at Navy, 28-24. In reality, Temple should have beaten this team, anywhere from 35-0 to 42-0 had they continued to attack the soft middle of the Huskies’ pass defense, the weakest part of an overall pass defense that was ranked No. 118 in the nation. Instead, the Owls inexplicably tried a couple of passes in the corner of the end zone that were picked off.
What does this all mean?
The Owls beat some teams that have talent on them and beat a team badly, which has a lot of talent on it, in perhaps their biggest game of the season.
The Owls need to clean some things up (see the last sentence of our UConn synopsis), but they are playing their best ball at the right time and a better time than now with the final two games against two of the weaker teams on their schedule.
If they end this season with the same seven-game winning streak they started last season, they will be hoisting the overall AAC trophy. There is nothing to suggest that they cannot do it.
Friday: We Are All Fans Of Someone This Weekend