In a comment to my Temple prediction, 2theLion noted that I was off-base in impugning Temple’s offense. Her comment was valid, because I had asserted that the Owls “…[have not] had much luck scoring points on offense lately…” As 2theLion pointed out, they have indeed scored 75 points in the past three games. However, a closer look reveals that the number of points scored by the Owls is misleading.
So, I’ll break down Temple’s schedule thus far, letting you know at what point in the game they scored their first points and what the opposition’s lead was at that time. My implication is that on most occasions when Temple scored it was essentially “garbage time” after their opponents had jumped out to big leads.
Buffalo: the game was deadlocked at 0-0 before the Bulls scored a field goal at 7:38 in the fourth quarter. Temple came back to tie with 1:44 left. Then Buffalo scored a TD in overtime. Final score: 3–9
Louisville: The Cardinals scored 62 unanswered points and they’re still waiting for an answer. Final score: 0–62
Minnesota: Identical situation to Louisville. Final score: 0–62
Western Michigan: The Broncos jumped out to a 17 point lead before Temple scored its first points at 10:53 in the third quarter. Final score: 7–41
Vanderbilt: The Commodores established a 24–0 lead. Temple scored a touchdown on a long run at the end of the first half. Final score: 14–43
Kent State: The Owls scored first. Final score: 17–28
Clemson: Temple drew first blood with a field goal at 13:03 of the first period. Then, they weren’t heard from again until the Tigers had put 63 points on the board, scoring a touchdown at 12:20 of the final stanza. Final score: 9–63
Northern Illinois: The Huskies scored 40 unanswered points before Temple scored with 3:51 left in the third period. Final score: 21–43
Bowling Green: The Falcons jumped out to a 7–0 lead, but the mighty Owls tied them at 7:36 of the first quarter and went on to victory. Final score: 28–14 (Temple’s only win!)
Central Michigan: The Chippewas had already built a 28–0 advantage before Temple scored with six seconds remaining in the first half. Final score: 26–42
And so, I reassert my claim that Penn State will whip the Owls 45–7. (Based on Temple’s habit of going for two in hopeless situations, perhaps that should be 45–6. Close enough!) My hope is that our coaching brain trust turns Morelli and his receivers loose with the vertical game. Shitcan the short, ostensibly safe sideline passes and go for broke. If any game is to be in control at all times, this one is. Air it out in the first half, go up by four or five touchdowns, and then let’s get a good look at Daryll Clark.