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
International

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth pulls off epic photobomb

The selfie / photobomb has gone viral.

Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Television

Kacy Catanzaro credits mind over body in "American…

Kacy Catanzaro credits her victory to mental focus and upper body strength.

Movies

The 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer is…

Watch 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…