Well, that’s all folks. The end of another disappointing Temple football season, and for the Owls another 4-7 record.
Was it a step forward or a step backwards? Coming into the season, this was a team with a lot of promise, a team that had a chance for its first bowl since 1979.
But a 4-7 overall record and a 2-5 record in the Big East will not qualify for a bowl bid. It only equals last season’s record of 4-7. Temple did improve its conference record by one game.
So is that a start? One more win in the conference that in the beginning of the season wanted to kick Temple out. Temple’s contract was extended and they are in the conference until the 2004 season. That happened right after a blow-out win the first game of the season. After that the season was a struggle.
This season started with a 45-26 drumming of a bad Navy team with senior quarterback Devin Scott at the helm. But the team was quickly brought back to earth when they were manhandled by Toledo 33-7, the final game Scott would start this season.
The one big story out of this season was Coach Bobby Wallace’s decision to go with freshman quarterback Mike McGann the third game of the year and pretty much the rest of the season.
The St. Joe’s Prep star at times looked great but mostly went through growing pains. He started seven of the eight games he played, and threw for 934 yards on 87-of-190 passing. He had three touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Nothing special, but this kid is talented and his growth and learning is something to watch next year.
Once the conference schedule started, going up against great defenses made the threat of running back Tanardo Sharps non-existent. Fresh off a 1,000-yard season, Sharps missed the first two games with a groin injury and was limited to 771 yards on 150 attempts and only one touchdown.
Granted, Sharps had 51 less carries than last year, the team was facing eight-men fronts all the time, and the offensive line was a revolving door with injuries.
The defense did a stellar job for this team again led by Seniors Raheem Brock, Chonn Lacey, who played some offense and special teams, and junior Dan Klecko who lead the team with 62 total tackles and 6.5 sacks.
With a season that started with such high hopes to end with the same record is disappointing, but this team did fight back and ended with two straight wins, and did win two conference games.
Tune in next year to see which direction the Temple football program is headed.