A week after the football team took its first lead of the season, the Owls again drove up the field on their opening drive against Clemson and booted a field goal for a 3-0 advantage.
This lead didn’t last nearly as long. The Tigers put 63 points on the scoreboard
before the Owls answered with a fourth-quarter touchdown, handing Temple its 19th consecutive defeat, 63-9, Thursday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
The loss moved Temple’s losing streak into ninth place all-time in Division I-A.
Freshman quarterback Vaughn Charlton took every snap for the first time in his college career, completing 13 of 25 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. Senior tailback Tim Brown rushed for 121 yards on 22 carries. Freshman wide receiver Steve Maneri hauled in the Owls’ lone touchdown.
Though played in North Carolina, the game was counted as a home game for the Owls, as were the 30,246 fans who attended.
Clemson agreed to drop its 2007 game against Temple if the Owls agreed to play Thursday’s game at the neutral site. It gave Temple an open date next season, allowing it to bring Penn State to Lincoln Financial Field.
The Owls travel to DeKalb, Ill., to face Northern Illinois Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be aired on Comcast SportsNet.
OWLS HELP OUT A TIGET
The Owls donated $1,500 to the Fahmarr McElrathbey trust fund Thursday. The fund benefits Clemson’s Ray Ray McElrathbey, who gained custody of his 11-year old brother, Fahmarr from his mother, a drug-addict.
Owls coach Al Golden said he brought Ray Ray’s story to the attention of his players, who agreed to sacrifice their meal money for the trip. Each coach also made a donation.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Golden said yesterday morning. “I’ve gotten over 100 e-mails myself. … We’re going to take some time today to share those with the players.”
GOLDEN’S NIGHT OWLS
As if playing two games in a five-day span wasn’t physically challenging enough, football Golden continues to ask more from his team.
Golden told local media last week that his players would be in class upon arriving in Philadelphia at 4 a.m. following the Owls loss to Clemson. Even for their classes that began at 8:40 a.m.?
“We [wanted] our kids to be at their 8:40 classes Friday morning,” Golden said. “That’s going to be our policy” following a night game during the week.
The Owls are coming off an exhausting week during which they stomached two defeats
– Thursday’s loss to Clemson and a 28-17 fall to Kent State Oct. 7.
Golden said he knows when his players have had enough, spreading out their off days from practice. But on the same token, he wants continuity and that comes from the mental and physical discipline required to play two games in five days.
“We had [Oct. 8] on our schedule that we were going to practice but I just didn’t think we could do it,” Golden said. “…but they look spirited in practice.”
WITH THE NATION WATCHING
Thursday’s loss to Clemson marked the only time this season the Owls were telecast on national television, with their trip to Charlotte televised on ESPNU.
But it’s not the first time the Owls have played in the national spotlight.They were trounced 62-0 in back-to-back weekends by then-No. 12 Louisville, of the Big East Conference, and Minnesota, of the Big Ten Conference.
Against teams from major conferences, the Owls have not responded favorably. But Golden said it’s been reassuring that his younger players earn this kind of experience, especially with 11 true freshmen starters.
“The big thing is they’re going into an environment again against an opponent [Clemson] that they have to respond to,” Golden said prior to the Owls’ loss to Clemson. “And I told them that’s the tradition of the Mid-American Conference schools. Bowling Green didn’t pack it in against Ohio State” in both teams’ season openers.
Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said the Owls’ performance against his Tigers would reveal a lot about the primarily young Owls.
“I see a lot of young people. I see a lot of freshmen playing. With freshmen usually comes enthusiasm,” Bowden said of Temple. “…[Golden is] eventually going to have himself a good team.”
John Kopp and Christopher A. Vito can be reached at TempleNewsSports@Gmail.com.