Two years ago, Temple beat 14th ranked Virginia Tech. Last year, Temple beat No. 25 Boston College.
In each of coach Bobby Wallace’s first two seasons at Temple, the Owls have done something magical and mystical; they’ve managed to overcome ranked opponents, making for big headlines the next day.
So far this year they have yet to do that.
The Owls’ first chance to three-peat history came against Virginia Tech, but they were unable to overcome the then-third-ranked Hokies. Their second chance to go up against ranked opposition comes this Saturday as Temple takes on Miami, ranked fourth by the Associated Press and fifth by ESPN/USA today.
“I told our players we need to do something special,” Wallace said. “We’ve done something special every year. Somewhere along the line that has to happen for this to be an improved football team.”
Temple defeated Rutgers 48-14 last Saturday and come into this game with high spirits. The Owls improved to 1-2 in the Big East and 4-3 overall.
“Miami is a great team,” junior quarterback Devin Scott said. “But we can play with Miami.
“We needed this win (over Rutgers) for respect (and) confidence-wise. It’s going to be good to bring that kind of confidence into the game with Miami.”
The Hurricanes blow into Veterans Stadium to take Temple on for Homecoming.
Miami has the second-ranked offense in the Big East, but the second worst defense in the conference.
Temple has the fifth-ranked offense but the third-ranked defense. The game may be closer than the odds makers think.
“We’ve got to do something special,” Wallace said. “We’re no longer a lowly Temple football team. We’re a competitive football team. It was very important we go out and show that, to impress upon everybody where we are. We’ve got to play a perfect game.”
Miami’s offense has started to revolve around quarterback Ken Dorsey and receiver Santana Moss. The Hurricanes also have a potent rushing attack, but it has been hampered by injury.
Dorsey completed 27-of-42 passes for 328 yards, a career high, in Miami’s 27-24 upset over top-ranked Florida State two weeks ago.
In that same game, Moss moved into fourth place all-time at Miami in career receptions at Miami with 117. The two are going to be a tough assignment for Temple and it’s defense.
“We’re going to go up against athletes like Virginia lined up against us for Miami,” Wallace said. “We’ve got to play a perfect game to win. We’re sitting in a good situation, this is a big game.”
Powering the Owls on offense, as he has all season, will be tailback Tanardo Sharps.
Sharps rushed for 168 yards last week against Rutgers but will face a stingier run defense against the ‘Canes. Miami is third in the Big East in run defense, while Rutgers is next-to-last.
The Homecoming game versus Miami kicks off at 12 noon on Saturday at Veterans Stadium.