Trap Game My Butt

championshipseason

                                                                              This book could be written about only one Temple team and it is this one if it is able to avoid traps.

There are very few things that cause me to shake my head on social media these days—heck, we’ve all just come out on the other side of a bizarre Presidential election process–but one of them was the title of this post on OwlsDaily.com the other day:

“Tulane Strikes Me As A Trap Game.”

Huh?

First off, there are two games left in the regular season and there could be nothing bigger on the line for the Temple Owls than the task right in front of them. This is only a “trap game” if they build the trap and then fall into it.

Trap game my butt.

While there is confidence coming out of New Orleans, the Owls themselves should dictate the tone and tempo of this game. A poster named “Waverider” wrote this on the Tulane message board: “I think we can win this game. Temple runs a pro-style, I formation offense. That works well for our defense.” Another, named, “Gawave5” predicted a 24-21 Tulane win, writing: “Finally, I predict the defense will give us two turnovers in Temple territory and we convert these for 14 points.”

None of those forecasts map out what this game means to the Temple players and the school in general.

Arguably, there is more on the line here than the Penn State game (either this year or last) or the Notre Dame game last year. There is not a FBS-level league championship trophy in the Edberg-Olson Hall trophy case and the trophy they got last year for finishing in second place will be about as memorable as the one the Baltimore Colts’ 1966 team got for winning the NFL’s second-place game, called the “Playoff Bowl.” The vanquished team was the then 9-5 Philadelphia Eagles. If the Owls win on Saturday, they get to play a AAC East championship game at home the next week and, if they win that one, they get to play the overall AAC championship game on Dec. 3.

Maybe even at home, if things break right, but certainly before a lot more of their own fans than they had supporting them last year in the same game. This season is all lined up for the Owls to run the table. It’s up to them to do it.

So they have THREE championship games coming up in the next three weeks and there is no reason or excuse whatsoever for a letdown. Temple head coach Matt Rhule indicated as much earlier this week when he said the team knows that “every game is a playoff game” and that’s the approach everyone inside the E-O seems to be taking now. It is the right one. It is the only one.

To be truly memorable in this day and age of leagues, it has to be a championship season. The play “That Championship Season” written by Jason Miller in 1972, did not win the Pulitzer Prize in drama (1973) for nothing. The theme centered on the bond men on that team had 20 years after cutting down the nets as a championship basketball team.

Win on Saturday and the subsequent two Saturdays and the young men who run on the football field for Temple now will walk together forever in a way really no other Temple team can say.

With those kinds of stakes, the word trap should never pass through anyone’s lips or random keyboard.

Picks this week: UConn upsetting BC (getting 7), Northwestern covering the 2 at Minnesota, Duke upsetting at Pitt (covering the 8), West Virginia covering the 3 over visiting Oklahoma, Wyoming covering the 9.5 against vistiing San Diego State, and Old Dominion laying the 8.5 at Florida Atlantic. Also like Tulsa covering the small 1.5 at UCF.

Sunday: Game Analysis

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26 thoughts on “Trap Game My Butt

  1. If this happens and I hope it will get ready for another round of will Coach Rhule leave or won’t he. Next season is going to be rough(ND, Houston, Navy, Tulsa, and SFU on the road along with Army), Couple that with the loss of several key seniors and Rhule may conclude that there is no better time for him to go. Hope it doesn’t happen but don’t be surprised if the rumors of his impending departure start earlier than last season.

    • Rather have that then 2-10 seasons. Just wish Matt would dismiss the rumors as soon as they flare up. When Wayne Hardin was at Temple, the Dallas Cowboys came for him and Tom Landry wanted coach to be offensive coordinator. Wayne said, “I’d rather be head coach at Temple than No. 2 anywhere else.” When Bruce Arians was at Temple, Virginia Tech came after him and wanted him to be head coach there. Remember, VT is Bruce’s alma mater. Bruce told them thanks but no thanks, saying: “I can’t leave my Temple kids.” Would rather have similar statements from Matt than last year’s “when someone wants to talk to you, you have to listen.” To me, that distracted the team the week before Houston. Might not have beaten Houston anyway, but that little dalliance certainly did not help.

    • It’s great to have a coach others would like to have it suggests we have something good here. I think Rhule had done a fantastic job . His recruiting has been solid if not good with Armstead, Wright and Bryant on the offensive side along with both kickers and the punter. He’s done a nice job replacing the defensive pieces that are in the NFL. I hope he stays, but he will have to do what he thinks is best for his career and his family. This team even with their early struggles appears to be better than last year’s team. Way more balanced and deep. Owls are 18-7 in last two years, wow! They still have work to do but Temple football is on the college foitball map.

  2. After not getting Bruce, VT “settled” on their No. 2 choice, a guy named Frank Beamer.

  3. Playing for the conference championship two years in a row is significant.., losing two years in a row would be even more significant….,

    this will be a huge challenge.., we have not played well in big away games.., we need to pour everything we have into beating Navy.., open every page of the playbook..,

    • players and coaches focus on going 1-0 every week, they do not enjoy the luxury of looking ahead. I can, I’m a fan. And would be forever upset if we don’t play in the conference championship game two years in a row.

      We should expect to beat bottom, less than average teams.

  4. There you go again, looking ahead to Navy – that’s what helps create “trap” games. Temple needs to concentrate on Tulane, a team that runs a triple option (something Temple hasn’t done well against) and they have a number of close loses to good teams. I don’t think Temple will overlook Tulane but they need to concentrate hard and limit the mistakes. Go Owls.

    • Not a true triple option, closer to Penn State’s “read option.” To do that well, you need a great running back and a running threat at QB. Tulane has a good running back, not a good running threat at QB. Penn State excels in that type of attack because both McSorely and Barkley can really hurt you.

  5. If Franklin had the team with 120 yards in penalties on 9/17, I would say Matt Rhule. Franklin also hasn’t lost to anyone he should not have lost to (Pitt beat Clemson, so he gets a pass there). Franklin has done a better job IMHO. I thought Temple would be this good. I did not think PSU would be this good.

    • case could also be made for Narduzzi, Pitt beat PSU and Clemson…, evaluation criteria should include beating teams you shouldn’t; and not losing to teams you shouldn’t…., think MR could come out on top if Temple beats Navy and wins a bowl game.., if not, he probably winds up third behind Narduzzi and Franklin

      the argument for MR of doing more w/less begs the question.., if you are such a good recruiter than why do you have so much less?

  6. Thank You PHL17 for providing TV coverage of today’s game.
    I think it is possible they get 20,000 TV’s tuned to the game.
    It still seems true Temple doesn’t get lots of live people in the seats but they do get OK TV ratings. I hope a bigger conference gives that some thought someday. In the mean time I am happy with our AAC. Too bad it’s a mostly longer distance conference. Hope I get to go to Navy’s stadium in early December, and that’ss something I would like for Temple to copy in an updated version of the stadium. This afternoon I will take time to see at least some of the game on TV PHL17 ; and thanks again to the station.

  7. Green Wave wearing blue. What the heck.

  8. Need to get Ryquell in the game because Jahad is getting stuffed everytime. Ryquell ran for over 100 yards last game and had 2 weeks rest. He can’t possibly still be hurt.

  9. Tulane has no pass defense and the Owls are still trying to run. It is mind boggling. Play action will work 9 out of 10 times.

    • they are playing a six man front and nine in the box.., we need to throw them out of that defense

      • Temple’s Achilles’ Heel is game-planning. When you have a poor pass defense (err, Tulane) you do not force feed the “process” (err, running) on them. When you have a poor passing team (Army), you play 8 in the box and dare them to throw. Fortunately, that bit us in the ass only about 50 percent of the time this season. That’s the only reason why we had a modest 10-0 lead at halftime. That said, I will sign for 31-squat any day of the week. #bodyblows

  10. Penalty bug is back.

  11. Temple doing what they supposed to do! Kicking butt!

  12. Temple future is so bright! That kid Wright is gonna be a beast!

  13. well here we are again, an opportunity to play and win the conference championship, win a bowl game, and finish in the Top 25.

    same as last year, we have an NCAA top 10 defense and an average at best offense. don’t think so? look at the stats..,

    Thomas is a better OC than Satterfield…., but teams have learned how to stop the Temple run.., can we win by throwing the football?

    • p.j. looked pretty accurate today. do not understand why they don’t move him around the pocket to create more space, though. The pass to Wright was a thing of beauty.

    • Temples offense is averaging 32 points per game so I wouldn’t call it average at best. Temple runs the ball and milks the clock, minimizes plays and time of possession for opponents which keeps the defense fresh. I have been pleasantly surprised at the development of the oline, wrs and development of Ryquel as a power back with explosion. I like this offense as constructed and game planning. They play like a fighter who beats up on an opponent until the opponent can’t defend himself. Our identity is smash mouth football.

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