Game Day: Thanksgiving Plus 10

 

A lot of you experienced your Thanksgiving Day nine days ago.

Mine is today.

When you live long enough to see your brother, then father, then mother, pass on  all in a period of four years and realize that there is no place to go on Thanksgiving anymore, the feeling of loneliness can be overwhelming on that day.

That’s why I am thankful for my Temple football family and today’s championship game, no matter what the result, will be the best Thanksgiving Day ever.

I’ve always been at least a small part of the Temple football family and decided to step up to the plate a little over 10 years ago and give it a voice on the internet when the program was threatened by a short-sighted President. Over those years, it was a dirt poor family, then worked its way up to the middle class and now is on the verge of riches—all because of good, old-fashioned American hard work and upward mobility.

If the Owls win today (noon, ABC), they will have done it by beating a worthy foe and the trophy will be well-earned.

Temple would not have it any other way.

fifteen

The Temple football story is a great story because the Owls have been pushing that rock uphill in a BCS environment that is set up to reward the rich P5 schools and keep the G5 schools in “their place.” That’s why you see the same schools in the Top 25 just about every year.

If the Owls win today, they will finish the regular season in the Top 25 and might or might not be headed to the Cotton Bowl. Either way, a win will almost assuredly put them in a sweet bowl and assure another wonderful Thanksgiving with this beautiful family of friends, fans, players and coaches. Hoisting that trophy will be something no other Temple team can boast about.

There are a couple of things pointing to this victory. The Owls were just as impressive against SMU and East Carolina as Navy was and Tulane and UConn, while very competitive with Navy, were outclassed by Temple. The Memphis result was at Memphis, while Navy had Memphis in Annapolis. The distractions about possibly losing their head coach, which existed in the week before last year’s game, do not exist this year.

Most of the tea leaves are coming up Temple. That could all change in the first quarter, though, if the Owls line up in a 4-3 defense, but learning from mistakes should be part of any process.

It all comes down to whether the Owls can handle the road environment and, from what I hear, this will be as much of a home game from a crowd standpoint for Temple as it will be for Navy.

It should be a great trip for Owl fans and, if they bring the noise, a better ride home for a family that deserves a feast.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow: Game Analysis

 

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18 thoughts on “Game Day: Thanksgiving Plus 10

  1. Hey brother…I was admitted to Temple 25 years ago. Then went to another college for undergrad that did not have football! Always been a Temple football fan and have checked in on your website now over the past 8-10 years! GO OWLS!!! Win that championship!!!

  2. Mike/ all Temple fans on the site- congratulations on winning the AAC and enjoy bowl season. Any idea where you’re headed?

    Joe P.

  3. I am very proud of this team and the coaching staff. They figured out how to defend the triple option!!! Great improvement from the beginning of the season. (That Army game….might make the difference in bowl selection).

  4. stunning victory.., tears of joy

    • Hey its KJ, the Temple troll/fan who picked Navy too beat us 41-33. Which of course means we were a locked to win. I never met a so called Temple fan who picks us too lose every Big Game. Tears of Joy my butt. So please KJ, pick us too lose the Bowl game. You’re r reverse Good Luck charm. #templetuff

  5. Mike, it was great to see you and have a short chat with you in the Tent before the game. You already had confidence before the game. I loved it when you told me #25 Armstead was in good shape and ready to play. Boy his last touch down run of 20+ yards in the 4th was icing on the cake.
    Temple is damn good. Coach’s Rhule, Snow and the rest did a bang up job.
    We were seated up top in the same section with the wild and passionate fans of Temple , it was a great experience and we stayed to the very end.
    Go tell it on the Mountain !!!!
    I wish Coach Rhule the very best no matter what, he gave us the unthinkable of just a few years ago..Ernie

  6. I think the #1 thing I love about Matt Rhule and these players is that when they make a big play on defense, they get up and back into the huddle. When they get 6, they flip the ball to the ref and get back on the sideline. When in the rare case they deviate from that, Rhule makes it known that it was not appreciated. Old school without being a hard-ass blowhard. Love it.

  7. Today’s win surpasses last year’s PSU win because in the 40plus years I’ve followed the Owls it was always two steps forward one step back. Not this team or coaching staff though. They played a one and done game for seven straight weeks and won every game in convincing fashion. Kudos to Coach Snow who stopped one of the better offenses in the country and to the players who surpassed expectations. In the last two years the owls have won more games than they did from 1991 to 2000 (19 wins). No wonder the B of T wanted to kill the program. It would have been a mercy killing. The Owls are no longer laughingstocks and for that we all should be grateful.

    • In one way I look at last year’s PSU win and today’s is they built on each other with regards to Temple football perception in D1 football. The PSU win was important for the local perception, today moved it up a notch to be more national.

  8. Congrats too Coach Rhule and his staff. This team has improved so much from being 3-3. Congrats to Phil Walker, Jahad Thomas, Dion Dawkins, Avery Williams, and the rest of the seniors. Earlier this season, folks were saying we were doomed too be behind Houston for years. Well we are the class of the AAC. and with Russo and the young guys, the future is still bright. #templetuff

  9. Trust the process! Congratulations to the players and thank you cc
    coach Rhule, you made believers out of a lot of doubters many who frequent this site.

    • On the other hand, as someone who knows coach Rhule better than most on this board, he does listen to ideas from wherever he gets them and, if he feels they are viable, he will adopt them. That’s also a tribute to the man. You have to admit we did not use a fullback (we now do), we used to run five wides (we now don’t), we used to not use play action (we now do) and, even as late as the start of this season, we did not use a nose guard over the center on the triple option (we now do). All of these ideas were articulated well on this forum before we adopted them. They are not original ideas, but now they are Temple ideas. To me, that’s a tribute to our CEO that he’s not stubborn and that makes him a great CEO.
      _ George D.

      • People on this site, unlike Pravda, aren’t sycophants and some of them know football. Had the coaches been more flexible the first two seasons, the owls would have won six to eight more wins. That’s water under the bridge and it’s great they saw the light.

  10. Man, what it would have meant to have beaten Penn State. The talking heads mentioned this AAC title is good for Penn State’s resume, but overlooked what the margin of victory was despite all the penalty yards on the Owls.

    For the Navy game, I saw a lot of 4-man line. Somehow it worked this time. Perhaps stunts and LB’s filling gaps or simple quickness off the ball to disrupt blocking patterns and filling run lanes for cutbacks and counters.

    • Correct Larry, they sometimes stayed in their base defense but they switched it up considerably and used by my count 7-8 combinations which confused Navy especially when the back up qb came in. Phil Snow did a great job of disguising the various looks. In addition, the kids were just flat out ready to play, they were aggressive, stayed in their gaps and read their keys except Alwan on one play where he blitzed out of control and the QB made the long run because of it. Alwan was fantastic the rest of the day, he was all over the place. The key to stopping the triple option is stuffing the fullback and keeping the option team in 2nd and 3rd and long. Temple’s D line did won the line of scrimmage and shut down the fullback up the gut who was not a factor at all.

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