When Temple moved out of the Big East and into the MAC, some may have worried that Temple football was in danger of coming to an end. Not this guy. Temple Football Forever survived his program's time on the Bottom Ten is here to talk about Penn State's clash with the Owls to the east.
Vegas has the Nittany Lions as 28.5 point favorites. A friend asked me if I thought that seemed low. My response was simply that Temple really isn't a 1-2 team, but the public will treat them like one. Can you help validate my comment?
Actually, some of the Vegas sites I've read really like Temple in this one. There's a big-time handicapper who goes by the name Doc who was all over the Owls in the first two games and made major coin, then backed off in the Buffalo game. He's kicking himself now. Still, the validation to your statement is the "general public" thinks this is the same old Temple and it would take more than a 1-2 record to change that perception. The general public sets the lines.
I know Temple has already suffered one league loss, but do you think they have a shot at earning a berrth in the MAC Championship Game this season? And if not, what are the missing pieces?
The Buffalo loss was a killer. I still think Temple is better than Buffalo and I think both of those teams are as good as any team in the West, maybe better. Even if Buffalo has a hiccup along the way and Temple runs the MAC table, Buffalo wins the East based on head-to-head.
The missing pieces are a running game and a pash rush. The bad news is the offensive line has been awful the first three games. The good news is that the running backs are good and the defensive line (with the same guys) generated a fierce pass rush all season last year. Some of the banged-up defensive guys will be back by the MAC games, so that's a plus. I don't think the Owls will generate much of a pass rush at Penn State.
Adam DiMichele, Temple's starting quarterback, was once a Penn State commit. Penn State did not release him from his scholarship when he decided he wanted to focus on baseball. Do you think this embitters him at all? If so, do you think that should make us as PSU fans worried?
No. He's over it. "Coming to Temple was the best thing that ever happened to me," DiMichele said. He really believes that. What a terrific leader, a tough kid with a universe of moxie and an athlete who was Pennsylvania player of the year in both basketball and football and a major league draft choice in baseball. He reminds me a lot of myself. ......Yeah, right.
No team has worked harder to shut themselves out quite like Temple did in last year's contest. The 31-0 score made it seem like a dominating performance, but as you know it was anything but. With a more experienced offense and solid coaching, do you think Temple will be able to get into the 20's against a Penn State defense that hasn't allowed anyone over 14? What makes this Temple offense better than that of Oregon State and Syracuse?
Temple left 21-24 points on the field last year. The Crudup catch for a touchdown (I still don't think it was a hold and I've watched the replay six times) and interceptions in the flat by Omar McDonough-Hales and Alex Joseph that were right between their numbers and dropped and a bad shank by the field goal kicker on the first drive. Both INTs had six written all over them. Penn State fans can counter with Morrelli's goal-line fumble but that was a FORCED error, a vicious hit by Terrence Knighton. What makes me think Temple can score in the 20s? Adam DiMichele. He's 10x better than Vaughn Charlton and has shown, unlike Charlton, an ability to finish drives with points.
While the Kremlin has remained totally mum on the situation, Golden appears to be on the very short list of Paterno replacements. What do the Temple faithful think about (1) Golden's willingness to leave Temple, and (2) Golden's ability to get it done at the next level?
Yes and yes. He's got one eye out the door, as evidenced by his dalliance with UCLA. And he can get the job done. All we'd like for him to do is give us one winning season first. At least one. That's not too much to ask.
Thanks to TFF, and make sure to check in over there for a different perspective on this weekend's events.