What happened to the Temple football team we were promised?
You know, the team that was supposed to play competitive in almost every game this season. The team that was supposed to go to a bowl game? Not just an ordinary bowl game, said safety Jamal Wallace, but “a big-time bowl.”
Temple is 2-4 after Big East drubbings by Boston College and Syracuse. Temple has to win four games out of their next five to even be considered for a bowl.
Don’t look for that to happen.
Temple can beat Pittsburgh this weekend, maybe. They have a shot against West Virginia, possibly. And they’ll most likely beat Connecticut.
That’s three wins. That’s a 5-6 season and would be an improvement over last season. But this was supposed to be the year of the bowl, the year of the “big-time bowl,” as Wallace said.
What about the other two games, you ask. Does Temple have a chance in them? A chance to redeem themselves and give people a reason to believe the program is on the rise, as promised?
Another miracle at Blacksburg, against Virginia Tech, is highly doubtful. And Temple’s Nov. 3 game against Miami? Forget about it. The Hurricanes, ranked first in the nation, are cutting through opponents like an offensive lineman at a buffet. No piece of turkey or chicken is safe. Temple, so far, has been the turkeys this season.
Their defense has been solid but the offense has been nonexistent. Running back Tanardo Sharps is returning from a groin injury. But the excuse isn’t good enough. Sharps is a better runner than his 272 yards on 80 carries have shown.
Sharps is losing almost as many yards as he gains. He gained 28 against Syracuse last Saturday, but lost 10.
At quarterback, Temple has the freshman excuse. Mike McGann is only in his first season. Don’t blame him for being ineffective. He’s learning. Once he figures it all out he could be a really good quarterback.
But who is he going to throw to? Sean Dillard and Zahmir Abdul-Hakim Cobb are targets, but without a Temple rushing game, they’re lame ducks.
Temple will come prepared this week to a game they have a shot at winning. But then they play Miami, where they will face Miami’s explosive offense and the “you ain’t going anywhere” defense. It’s a Miami team that piles on the points like servings of food to get their BCS ranking higher for a hopeful trip to the Rose Bowl.
Against Temple, the buffet line is open.