Remember when Temple beat Penn State in the first week of the college football season and the focus was on the Nittany Lions losing? Well, the focus should have been on the Owls winning.
Why? Because they haven’t lost all season.
Temple is 5-0 for the first time 1974.
“I think our campus is excited (and) the students are excited,” Temple head coach Matt Rhule said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “We’re a big school. We have 38,000 students, so they’re excited about our success. Philadelphia is a sports town and they love a winner – so we’re winning. People are excited on the street, they’ve been coming to our games and supporting guys. Hopefully we can keep it up.”
Temple following its season-opening win against Penn State with close road wins at Cincinnati and UMass. The Owls have blown out their last two opponents – Charlotte and Tulane – by a combined score of 87-13.
“I think the message we try to get across to the whole team has been it’s about us,” Rhule said. “We have good players, I think we have good coaches and I think we have a good plan. (We) just (need) to concentrate on ourselves and play as well as we can play. We were a team that last year went 6-6. One week we’d be one team, and the next week we’d be completely different. We just told our guys, no matter who we’re playing – whether it’s Penn State or whoever – just focus on playing really good football and things will work out most of the time.”
Temple hosts UCF (0-6, 0-2) this Saturday and plays at East Carolina (3-3, 1-1) next Saturday before a monumental showdown with No. 14 Notre Dame (5-1) on Halloween.
“When that moments comes, that’ll be huge,” Rhule said. “I think it’ll be great for Philadelphia, great for our fans. I think for our kids, though, we try to teach them the importance of a conference. There’s no conference championship trophy anywhere in this building. We haven’t won one in the modern era. So playing UCF, playing East Carolina, those games mean a lot to us. We want to wear rings. We want to call ourselves champions. The only way to do that is when you beat teams in your own conference.”
That won’t be easy. Temple is one of three 5-0 teams in the AAC. The others are No. 24 Houston and Memphis.
“We just have to continue tying to be the best we can be week in and week out,” Rhule said. “The one thing about our league, we’re going out and playing so-called Power 5 teams. East Carolina beat Virginia Tech. South Florida beat Syracuse. There’s a lot for really good teams in the league. In this league, if you’re not ready to play week in and week out, you’re going to get beat, so we’re just trying to make sure we’re ready each week.”