This is the last chance for the Owls (4-7, 2-4) to show what they are made of.
The Temple football team’s season will come to an end this Saturday at the Vet against the Boston College Eagles (6-4, 1-4).
For 22 seniors this will be the last game of their college careers and they are hoping to accomplish a feat that has not happen since the 1990; a five-win season.
The last time that happened was when the Owls finished 7-4 under head coach Jerry Berndt.
After that season the Owl teams from 1991-97 won only 11 games, most of those games were under Ron Dickerson.
Bobby Wallace took over in 1998 and went 2-9 his first two years.
The last two seasons the Owls have finished with much improved 4-7 records.
Wallace’s eight wins in two seasons matches the win total Dickerson had his whole Temple coaching career (8-47).
Wallace credits the improvement to the seniors playing their last game on Saturday.
“They brought us to a program that is so close to being bowl eligible. We have to finish that off this week,” Wallace said.
“They’ve done a great job and they’ve done it through a lot of adversity. I don’t need to recap all of that. They are a very special group.”
The celebrations on the field before the game for the seniors and their families will be bittersweet if the Owls can not get the job done on the field.
For Boston College needs this win to avoid loosing their fifth Big East game.
Since the Big East was created in 1991, no team that has lost five conference games have made a bowl game.
Boston College defeated Syracuse 41-20 last week for their first Big East win this season, which allowed them to reach the six win total to make them bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive year, a school record.
The Eagles have had to deal with injuries all year, especially on defense.
They are 4-0 outside the conference including a 14-7 shocker at South Bend that might have cost Notre Dame a National Championship appearance.
With their remaining games against Temple and lowly Rutgers they have their eye on a bowl game.
“We’re going to have to play as well as we can to win the football game,” said Boston College head coach Tom O’Brien.
“That’s our goal this week, to put two together. We’re tired of winning one and then losing one.”
If trends are anything, O’Brien might do just that, as the home team has won the last six contests between the Owls and the Eagles.
O’Brien has a career mark of 3-2 against the Owls and all the wins were at Alumni Stadium. His BC coaching debut was a 28-21 loss at Veterans Stadium to Temple in 1997.
The Owls are coming off a come-from-behind 20-17 win over Rutgers, where Big East Special Teams Player of the Week Cap Poklemba booted a 22-yard field goal with 39 seconds remaining to give Temple its fourth straight win over the Scarlet Knights.
The Owls were led offensively in the game by Big East Co-Offensive Player of the Week Tanardo Sharps, who had his fourth career 100-yard rushing game against Rutgers, and the 15th for his career.
Sharps carried the ball a Big East and school record 48 times for 215 yards.
Senior cornerback Terrance Leftwich completed the tri-fecta for the Owls as he captured Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Week with his six tackles (five solo) performance against Rutgers.
Leftwich also intercepted a pass, broke up three others, and recovered a fumble that led to a Poklemba field goal.
All the accolades for the seniors will be much deserved if they can pull out a win and do something a Temple team has not done for a while: finish close to that .500 mark.
Matt Sitkoff can be reached at Phil14367@aol.com.