COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Steve Addazio of the Temple Owls celebrates after the Owls scored against the Maryland Terrapins during the second quarter at Byrd Stadium on September 24, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. The dude sure can fist-pump with the best of them. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
So, at the time of this being published, we're probably several hours deep into the initial release of the Freeh Report. While such news renders segments like these as trivial, we at BSD firmly believe in the concept of 'the show must go on.' Plus, you're likely looking for a pleasant distraction to take your mind off the report for just a few minutes.
Temple is the subject of today's ITBUUS, and our guest blogger probably needs very little introduction. I'm talking of course, about Mike Gibson, writer/editor at Temple Football Forever. How much is Temple's fan base still reeling after last year's near-upset of Penn State? Who will make up for the loss of Bernard Pierce? What words does he use to describe certain famous Philadelphian/Temple alums? These answers and more, if you'll read on...
It really seemed like last year would finally be Temple's year with regards to ending their long losing skid against PSU. Alas, Rob Bolden trolled everybody by looking like John Elway on PSU's final offensive drive of the game, completing a critical 4th down pass to keep the chains moving, which ultimately led to the game-winning TD for PSU. How gut-wrenching does this game remain for Temple fans ten months later?
Extremely gut-wrenching. Mike Gerardi was not a great, but serviceable quarterback who was pulled with a 10-7 lead at halftime in favor of Chester Stewart, who is/was just not good for any of his five years at Temple (it seemed like five years, at least). Gerardi was following the game plan and throwing the ball away to avoid interceptions in the first half. When he came back in, it seemed like he was fearful of losing his job and threw the ball into two tight windows, causing the INTs that lost the game. Before the game last year, BSD asked me how Temple could win. I told them if Chester Stewart plays any amount of time, Temple loses. If he doesn't play, Temple wins. Sadly, I turned out to be right.
When I interviewed you last Summer, you were singing the praises of Steve Addazio and his staff while to some extent, appearing to pooh-pooh Al Golden. What is your stance on both coaches today?
Same. Golden: Great recruiter, poor gameday coach. Addazio: Great recruiter, great gameday coach, and even a better motivator. Golden, despite having five No. 1 MAC recruiting classes, was 0-14 against winning MAC teams, I rest my case. Golden was what Temple needed then, a program-builder. Addazio is what Temple needs now.
Stud tailback Bernard Pierce is gone, but Matt Brown is back and former Boston College running superstar Montel Harris joins the roster and will be immediately eligible to play. Should we expect a run-heavy attack from Temple offensively? Name one other position besides running back that has Temple fans optimistic and another that's a cause for concern.
The offense will be a more diversified spread. The quarterback position also went from an area of concern to a big plus. Chris Coyer, who left an Ohio State offer on the table before signing at Temple, is finally in star mode, as he's unbeaten as a starter at Temple and was the New Mexico Bowl MVP. Coyer was forced into action when Stewart was being Stewart at Ohio. In about three quarters of play, his first as an Owl, Coyer tossed three perfectly thrown TD passes and added 184 yards rushing. An area of concern is the offensive line, where the Owls have to replace four starters. There is good talent, though, in the backup positions and Addazio is an offensive line guru. Sean Boyle, the 2009 starter at center, returns after shoulder problems. Alex Jackson, the 2010 starter at TE, also returns after the same injury.
How elated is the Temple fan base about being welcomed back to the Big East? Does it feel more sincere than the previous marriage?
Elated, but it doesn't feel sincere. The Big East does not know what is about to hit them. Maybe UConn, the 2010 Big East champ who Temple beat by two touchdowns that year, does but certainly the other teams don't. Honestly, do you think any of the current Big East teams were capable of giving Penn State the kind of game Temple gave PSU last year? I don't.
I realize you're the rare breed of Temple fan who prefers football to hoops, but surely, you must be excited about the Owls tumbling night and night out with some college basketball's big boys in the Big East?
It will certainly fill up the 10,500-seat Liacouras Center which was packed for only Xavier, Duquesne (oddly enough), and a few other times last year.
Al Golden - Recruiter
Bill Cosby - Slipping
Bob Saget - Unfunny
Will Smith - Funny
Danny DeVito - Ugly
Sylvester Stallone - Smart
Frank Stallone - Parasite [Tim's Note: I was hoping against hope for You Guessed It...]
And last but not least…Give us your prediction on how the 2012 Edition of PSU-Temple plays out.
Tight game, but I think Coyer and Chuck Heater's (Temple's defensive coordinator) defense makes the difference this year. Temple, 17-7.
Ever the optimist, isn't he? While we'll all just have to wait until September 22nd to find out whether Mike's prediction will come to fruition, you can check out his ramblings in the meantime, about all things Temple football at Temple Football Forever. Also, you can follow Mike on Twitter @papreps. As usual, we thank Mike for sharing with us his insight on all things Temple football related and wish the Owls the best of luck in all their non-PSU games.