Temple head coach Matt Rhule. (Matthew O’Haren/USA Today Sports)
“It won’t help us if we lose next week. It’s like when we beat Maryland [two years ago], and we were feeling really good. Then Toledo came in here and put it on us. So that is the truest test of where I think we are, how we play next week” Temple Owls Head Coach Matt Ruhle.
This assumedly will be the mantra of this week’s practice as the Temple Owls begin a 3 game road trip w/ their American Athletic Conference opener against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Cincinnati easily won their opening game against FCS Alabama A&M 52-10 as their QB, Gunner Kiel, who began his career @ Notre Dame, racked up 636 yds.
Temples defenders who had such a seemingly easy time against Penn State last week, will get a real test of just how good they are as they go against 7 returning WR’s, 6 of them Seniors, who helped the Bearcats to the conference title last year amassing 3,254 yds and 31 TDs. They also have a potent running attack in Tion Green, Hosey Williams and Mike Boone.
“How do you get them to be ready? We will be ready,” Rhule said of preparing for Cincinnati. “That I’m not worried about, but is ready good enough? This is a really good team. This is a really dynamic offense.”
Going back to 2002 the Owls have been outscored, 50-36, in three meetings with Cincy. Temple also enters Saturday on a five-game losing skid against Cincinnati. The last time the Owls beat the Bearcats was Oct. 5, 1985.
Last season the stout Temple defense held Cincy to 14 points and still lost as the offense only scored two FG’s.
“We played pretty well last year, but we didn’t play good enough, LB” Tyler Matakevich said. “We still lost. We’ve been watching film, seeing what we did wrong, seeing how they schemed us, and looked at all the games last year. Preparing the best we possibly can.”
As of this writing Temple is a 6.5 to 7 point underdog – just about the same as they were against PSU – and that is probably just the way they like it to keep from being overconfident after last week’s emotional upset
As Temple QB P. J. Walker put it “It’s a process and you got to believe in the process. Believe in everything that we’ve been doing since I’ve been here and that’s something I’m learning still. Learning to believe everything that Coach Rhule is telling us. It’s working. We won a big game. Believe in each other, believe in your teammates and believe in the coaches.”
We will see on Saturday night @ 8:00 if they believe enough to make some noise in the AAC and the NCAA overall this season.
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