The Connecticut game this coming Saturday will show how much the Temple football team has progressed over recent years. In 2007 and 2008 these two programs met in two highly contested games. Uconn came out on top on both occasions. They defeated Temple at home in 2007 (22-17) and beat Temple at the Linc in 2008 (12-9 ot). If Temple fans recall, the 2007 game was very controversial. I still think Bruce Francis caught that ball!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG8Foe1-HoE (HE CAUGHT THE BALL!!!)
In 2008, Temple lost another heartbreaker in a monsoon downpour. I still remember attending the game, and spending most of the overtime watching the combatants on a tv screen in the stadium lobby. Charlie, if you’re reading this, oh my god, we got drenched. I think I got pneumonia that week.
Another thing before I get started. Why does Villanova get an invite to join the Big East? We get kicked out, and entering might be our Mayor’s Cup Rivals. Does Nova even have a home stadium?
Now that I’ve gotten the Bruce Francis controversy and Nova off my chest, let’s get to this game. This will test Temple mentally and physically. From a mental aspect, can we finally overcome those two crushing losses with a win on Saturday?
It’s only been two games into the NCAA campaign, but I’m starting to see a trend. Many of the freshman running back studs from last season, are struggling early on this year. Pitt’s Dion Lewis and Va Tech’s Ryan Williams have done virtually nothing. Temple’s Bernard Pierce hasn’t done much either, but it’s still tough to gage. Defenses are stacking the box with 8+ defenders, and I still question if Pierce is actually healthy. Matt Brown has seen the bulk of the carries thus far.
The Temple running game will have another tough defense to matriculate through. If you thought the Central Michigan linebackers were good, Uconn’s are even better. They have two potential 1st-Team All-Big East linebackers in OLB Lawrence Wilson and MLB Scott Lutrus. Wilson was a 1stTeam Big East linebacker last season after leading the conference in tackles with 140. Lutrus is a solid tackler as well. Anchoring the defensive line is former linebacker Greg Lloyd.
Offensively, Connecticut boasts a ball-control style of play. They like to take the air out of the ball with Jordan Todman who rushed for 1,118 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore. The offensive line returns 4 starters including 1stTeam All Big East guard Zach Hurd. At least for Temple’s sake, Donald Brown is in the NFL, but Todman is not a bad option either.
When you look at the passing attacks, this may be the key for a potential Temple victory. Connecticut is still struggling a bit in the secondary after the tragic death of Jasper Howard. Chester Stewart throws a solid deep ball. I’d like to see the Owls take a couple shots vertically down the field.
Connecticut has a solid quarterback in Zach Frazer. The dilemma is, he has no one to throw the ball to.
PREDICTION- 17-16 TU
Connecticut is a weird team. They keep most of their games close because of their conservative style. They don’t turn the ball over. My gut feeling on this one is that Temple gets the late touchdown to win it. The fact that I’m predicting a Chester Stewart led touchdown drive makes me feel like an idiot. It’s time for this program to take the next step before we get creamed by Penn State next weekend.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!