This year I made the unlikely decision to buy a season-ticket package for Temple football. I have no ties to Temple. I’m not a major follower of college football. This year, however, they have a home game against Penn State. The individual ticket prices for the Penn State game are roughly double the cost of tickets to the Owls’ other games. (See, it's not just pro sports teams that try to gouge fans when they can.) I got a discount by purchasing the full season plan. I figured that it would be a good opportunity to see a big-time college football team in person, or that I could sell the tickets and, um, perhaps make a slight profit. 💡 This means that I was at Saturday afternoon’s game at Lincoln Financial Field against the Miami (OH) Redhawks.

Temple had a two-game winning streak going in. They hadn’t won three in a row since 1990. That was the last time this seemingly godforsaken program had a winning record. They were essentially tossed out of the Big East because their program was so deficient and ticket sales were so abysmal. They’re now in their first season as a full member of the Mid-American Conference and while they don’t have an on-campus stadium, being in one of the newer and finer NFL facilities isn’t a bad substitute.

The Owls lost starting quarterback Adam DiMichele to a broken left leg in the second quarter, but took a 21-7 lead into the 4th quarter. And then it got weird.

This year I made the unlikely decision to buy a season-ticket package for Temple football. I have no ties to Temple. I’m not a major follower of college football. This year, however, they have a home game against Penn State. The individual ticket prices for the Penn State game are roughly double the cost of tickets to the Owls’ other games. (See, it's not just pro sports teams that try to gouge fans when they can.) I got a discount by purchasing the full season plan. I figured that it would be a good opportunity to see a big-time college football team in person, or that I could sell the tickets and, um, perhaps make a slight profit. 💡 This means that I was at Saturday afternoon’s game at Lincoln Financial Field against the Miami (OH) Redhawks.

Temple had a two-game winning streak going in. They hadn’t won three in a row since 1990. That was the last time this seemingly godforsaken program had a winning record. They were essentially tossed out of the Big East because their program was so deficient and ticket sales were so abysmal. They’re now in their first season as a full member of the Mid-American Conference and while they don’t have an on-campus stadium, being in one of the newer and finer NFL facilities isn’t a bad substitute.

The Owls lost starting quarterback Adam DiMichele to a broken left leg in the second quarter, but took a 21-7 lead into the 4th quarter. And then it got weird.

Perhaps because their kicker missed a 31-yard field goal attempt in the first half, Miami went for the first down on 4th and two from the Temple four, and were stopped. The Owls drove 87 yards for a field goal and led 24-7 with 8 minutes left. After an exchange of turnovers the Redhawks drove again, and found themselves with 4th and goal at the Temple three, and a fourth-down pass fell incomplete. It seemed like the game was well in hand.

Temple went three-and-out and averted complete disaster on a high snap when Jeff Wathne somehow got off a 21-yard punt with his left foot. But Miami started at the Temple 31 and, with the help of three Temple penalties in the span of four plays, scored to get within 24-14 with 1:21 left.

Miami recovered an onside kick and moved to the Temple 16-yard line with fourteen seconds left. On third down they lined up for a field goal. Temple used all three of their timeouts. I've heard of icing the kicker but three timeouts in a row with a ten-point lead? Eventually, the kick glanced off the left upright and through with nine seconds left to make the score 24-17. The Redhawks recovered another onside kick but it was wiped out by a penalty. So, naturally, they recovered it again. Three onside kicks recovered (though one didn’t count) in less than a minute and a half! But only four seconds were left and a Hail Mary pass was intercepted to finally end the game.

Temple finds itself at 3-5 overall and 3-2 in the MAC East. Two teams are at 3-1 and two others are at 2-1. The Owls have four games left. Besides the aforementioned Penn State game they have 3 conference games which they have to consider to be winnable at this point. With the MAC having agreements to send teams to the GMAC, International and Motor City Bowl games, a 6-6 record would make the Temple Owls — one of the most downtrodden programs imaginable over the last fifteen-plus years — bowl eligible. Bowl eligible! Is nothing sacred? — Joe Guckin

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