Temple football ready for next lesson vs. UCF

P.J. Walker Temple
Temple quarterback P.J. Walker will lead the Owls against Central Florida this weekend. Credit: Getty Images

You probably can’t throw the records out the window when 7-1 Central Florida, the No. 15 team in the nation and the lone unbeaten in the new AAC, takes on 1-8 Temple Saturday at the Linc (noon, ESPN3). But that won’t prevent Matt Rhule’s Owls, who’ve dropped two games where they led inside a minute, from trying to make it a tough day for the Knights.

After all, that’s been their pattern all season, which Rhule says has taught them plenty but has given them little to show for it.


“They’ve learned it in steps,” said Rhule, coming off an excruciating 23-20 loss at Rutgers, where his offense failed to put the game away on fourth and inches, then saw the Scarlet Knights convert the game winner on fourth and 10. “They learned early at Notre Dame they can compete against anybody.

“They learned you can’t take anyone lightly against Fordham. They learned you have to come out and play hard early and couldn’t be afraid of the battle against Louisville. Most recently they learned you have to play well to the end against SMU and then last game they learned you have to finish.

“I want them to understand you can do everything right and at the end of the day in the final moments you still have to do everything right.”

That’s assuming they’re still in the game at the end, of course. Central Florida has beaten Penn State, Louisville and Houston, while Temple has lost to the latter two, plus the Fighting Irish. No doubt, the Knights are heavy favorites. Led by dynamic quarterback Blake Bortles (68 percent completions, 15 touchdowns passing and two rushing) and running back Storm Johnson (719 yards rushing and nine TDs), with a defense that’s allowed just 18.6 points a game while forcing 20 turnovers, George O’Leary’s team appears to be loaded.

But Rhule insists Temple, which is scoring at a 30.5 clip since freshman P.J. Walker was installed at quarterback, is improving.

“The message to the kids is we’ve come a long way,” said Rhule, who’ll wind up his first season hosting Connecticut, before traveling to Memphis. “Now we need to learn to finish.

“This has been a fun team to coach. I know that might sound crazy looking at our record. It’s definitely been frustrating, but I see the growth … We’re trying to build this for the long haul; a program that competes for the highest level. As we move forward, things look bright for us.’’

Perhaps in the future. But probably not on Saturday.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.