The Owls will look to build on last week’s big win with a vengeance game against the Connecticut Huskies (2-4).
The band loudly played Temple’s fight song as the pumped players ran off the field.
The Temple Owls (2-4) had just beat the Syracuse Orangeman lifting a perennial monkey off their backs.
Now the Owls come from playing a team that wanted them out of the Big East, to the team that could theoretically take their spot.
Last season the Owls took this game as a message to the Big East winning handily 56-7.
Last season’s win was the back end of a two-game winning-streak, and the Owls are looking to repeat history and gain some momentum as they enter the heart of their conference schedule.
“We were very fortunate at the end of the game [versus Syracuse],” said fifth-year Temple coach Bobby Wallace.
“I didn’t feel like we were fortunate to win. I think we are playing the best football we’ve played in a long time here.”
Last week it was a missed extra point that allowed Temple to win, but it was also a 300-yard game out of quarterback Mike McGann, who was named Co-Big East offensive player of the week.
Senior running back Tanardo Sharps ran for his fourth 100-yard game this season, and also caught three passes for 91 yards, including the tying touchdown.
He is now the second all-time rusher for the Owls with 2,647 yards for his career. Sharps sits only behind Paul Palmer’s 4,895 yards.
“This win (against Syracuse) means a lot to me, this could be a key turning point in our season,” Sharps said.
“We have a game against Connecticut, a game we feel we should win.”
The big win for the Owls drew recognition from the Big East.
Other than McGann being named co-offensive player of the week, his backup Mike Frost was named Big East special teams player of the week.
Not for his arm, but for his leg. He averaged 34 yards on four pooch punts, consistently pinning Syracuse deep with bad field position.
Connecticut was idle last week, and had an extra week to recover after their 48-14 loss to top rank Miami.
This is the programs first season as a Division I-A Independent, and is poised to join the Big East in 2005.
Fourth-year coach Randy Edsall will lead them to the field on Homecoming day for the Huskies.
He will look to get tailback Terry Caulley going early.
Caulley missed the Miami game, but has had three straight 100-yard games this season.
He faces a tough Temple run defense that has only given up two 100-yard rushing games.
Their quarterback, sophomore Dan Orlovsky, was a high-school All-American and the Connecticut player of the year in 2000, and so far has been stable for UConn.
He has thrown for 1,150 yards with 6 TDs and 5 INTs this season.
However, after Saturday’s win, Temple is more ready than they’ve ever been to take on the Huskies.
“I told our players it was a big win over Syracuse,” coach Wallace complied, “but I hope it’s a win that will help our program and…hopefully it will be one that gives us confidence to go forward and have a successful season.”
So, around noon this Saturday, the Temple Owls will try to take another step in the right direction.
A win here puts them closer to .500, with a tough Big East schedule ahead.
Matt Sitkoff can be reached at Phil14367@aol.com.