We will catch up more with head coach Bob Diaco during today’s Temple wrap-up call this afternoon. He did take a couple questions this morning during the AAC teleconference.
Intro on Temple: “Surrendered 16 uncontested points, we aren’t going to beat St. Mary’s High School with that and that’s about it.”
On where the team is currently: “The team’s improving in so many areas, but are continuing to be plagued by game changing, bad luck moments and the losing is detrimental to what we are trying to change with the culture here. We need to stomp out any deceleration with attitude and culture, which becomes harder and harder as you continue to lose. When you concede, 16 points, it’s hard. We drive down 8.5 minutes at will, throw a pick, the game is still different. The guy returns the ball 95 yards for a touchdown, it’s been week after week after week. Every time the ball seems to bounce, it’s bouncing in a way that is completely against our way.”
How to fix the culture: “You just be honest, show them love, respect and care and focus on getting better each day and that’s all you can do.”
UConn (1-3, 0-1 AAC) returns to action this afternoon at The Rent to take on Temple (2-1, 0-0).
Chandler Whitmer looks to return the offense to the form seen against Boise State, following a dramatic decrease in productivity that saw him attempt only nine (9) passes a week ago.
The two minute drill, however, was effective down the stretch, as the Huskies marched 75 yards in four plays to narrow the deficit to 17-14, late in the fourth.
Whitmer stressed that the offense could benefit from changing up the tempo during Tuesday’s media availability.
“I think that’s something that we can do is change the tempo,” Whitmer said. “We can go slow or fast, but really I was prouder of the way we fought with the game on the line. WE needed something on offense and we took it into our hands to make plays for an opportunity to win at the end. That was good to see, I don’t know if it depends on going fast or slow, I know that we are capable of doing both.”
Getting the ball to play makers Geremy Davis and Deshon Foxx will be a priority.
Going against a stout defense in Temple, will be a test. The Owls lead the nation in takeaways with fourteen (14), after having only three (3) a year ago. They also only allow 12.7 points per game.
The UConn defense will also have a test. Temple comes in averaging 40.0 points a game on offense.
Expect another close game, if history is any indication.
2013: UConn 28-21
2012: Temple 17-14 OT
2010: Temple 30-16
2008: UConn 12-9 OT
2007: UConn 22-17
PREDICTION: UConn 21 Temple 17by
UConn returns home tomorrow to face Temple, who is becoming more and more of a rival for the Huskies. A rivalry really can’t exist if you don’t play one another and the Huskies haven’t played who many think is their true rival, Boston College, since the 2004 loss in Chestnut Hill.
Rutgers has moved on to greener pastures in the Big Ten and Syracuse has been in the ACC for multiple years now, same for Pitt.
That leaves UCONN in a very precarious situation, without a true rival on the schedule, year after year.
For now and until the big boys at UCONN are able to move out of the AAC, Temple will have to do and it’s not as bad as some may think. These two have some history.
How about the 2007 battle at Rentschler Field?
Close, dramatic losses cause emotion and that was indeed the case after UCONN’s 22-17 win that year. Temple came back in 2008, ready to fight, launching a UCONN/Temple II campaign, coining the matchup as ‘Justice.’ Billboards were seen throughout Philadelphia marketing the rematch, a game that UCONN won 12-9 in overtime at The Lync, which sparked chants of ‘There’s your justice’ from the UCONN faithful that travelled to the City of Brotherly Love.
The teams took 2009 off, meeting again in 2010, the year UCONN made a run to the Fiesta Bowl. Temple was ready, winning 30-16 despite 196 yards on the ground from running back Jordan Todman. 2011 saw another break in the series, before Temple came to Rentschler and beat the Huskies 17-14 in overtime.
Last season, Temple looked to make it three straight and it looked early on like they would. UCONN, however, overcame a 21-0 halftime deficit to rally for a 28-21 win, their first of the season.
Tomorrow’s game is expected to be another battle. Temple has seemed to turn the corner in their hopes to becoming a reputable program. Averaging 40 points per game and giving up just under 13 on defense, as well as leading the nation in takeaways with 14, a solid Temple can only do good things for college football in the northeast.
For UCONN fans who have been with this program since day one, no matter how good the Owls are, a win over Temple, is still a must.by