Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting ready for Temple: some Tuesday notes

Another Tuesday luncheon in the books. I'm a little queasy right now. Fish two weeks in a row might have been a bad choice. But I'm fighting through...

  • Temple has become a sort of de facto rivalry, at least for the fans. There was the "no catch" on the double-reverse call in 2007, where officials ruled Temple's receiver out of the end zone on what would have been the winning TD. And who could forget UConn's overtime win played in what was left of Hurricane Hannah in Philadelphia two years ago. Temple's marketing team certainly had some fun with the games a few years back, but coach Al Golden isn't quite feeling it. "None of those games matter. Maybe they're story lines or sound bytes for you guys," Golden said. "But we're a different team; they're a different team then they were at the end of last year. We've never won a bowl game. We've never gone into South Bend and beat them. We've never beaten someone from the SEC, or had those kinds of wins. None of the games prior will have any impact on this game, and our kids understand that."

  • Edsall said the Huskies played with a good sense of urgency last week, which for some baffling reason wasn't quite there for the opener at Michigan. He expects it to be there once again for Temple. "We're not a good enough football team to just show up and play," Edsall said. "You see James Madison beating Virginia Tech, (North Dakota State) beating Kansas and (South Dakota) beating Minnesota. If you don't give respect to your opponent every week, all you're doing is setting yourself up to be unsuccessful."

  • Bernard Pierce, who had an outstanding freshman season with 1,361 yards and 16 touchdowns, is off to a slow start. The blocking hasn't been up to standards, Golden said, and Pierce suffered a hand injury last week that limited him to 10 carries.

  • The wide receivers as a group have been inconsistent, but Dwayne Difton is getting better. "He's showed more the last couple of weeks, and we won't hesitate to use him more," Edsall said. Part of that comes from Difton maturing as a person. "It's not fair to put some of the hype on these kids as they come out of high school," Edsall said. "The way some kids are catered to in high school, they're allowed to get away with certain things. You come to a program like this, you wont' be catered to."

  • Villanova would be a great fit into the Big East, Edsall said, if the school decides it can handle the financial commitments to make the upgrade. It's tough for schools in cities with an NFL franchise. "Take a look in Boston, BC," Edsall said. "I coached at BC, and we were fifth on the hit parade because of all the pro sports there. The NFL is so popular, it's hard to find an NFL city where the college team is outdoing the pro team." Still, you have to wonder if Temple might be an option if Villanova turns down it's standing invitation.

  • Lawrence Wilson has been able to avoid injuries during his time at UConn, and that's likely due more to him being lucky, Edsall said.

  • Expect Cody Endres and Erik Kuraczea to come off their indefinite suspensions next week. Edsall was asked to comment on their situation, and whether they would be back this week. He said he no, but would have a comment next week.

  • Scott Lutrus is still listed as the starting "Husky" linebacker, but there won't be any update on his situation until Thursday. "We haven't practiced this week," Edsall said. "On Thursday, I'll know more."

  • Gary Wilburn is out as punt returner. Nick Williams and Leon Kinnard are now 1-2 on the depth chart. Wilburn's fumble was coupled with some other mistakes, which sparked the change.

  • Al Golden has had success recruiting in Connecticut, and the state has played a role in helping him turn a dismal Temple program around over the last five years. James Nixon of New Haven and Elisha and Elijah Joseph of Hartford are on the roster this season. Golden is perplexed as to why Connecticut isn't more of a recruiting hotbed. "It's odd to me," Golden said. "I don't know why other coaches don't recruit there more. You get a lot of kids out of New Hampshire, Maine, UMass and other CAA schools that are good enough to get to the NFL, and I think a lot of these guys are in that mix. They might not be Notre Dame recruits, but certainly Randy's winning with a lot of these kids and we're winning with the kids we've gotten out of there."

  • Speaking of local connections at Temple, consider 27-year old special teams coordinator Sean Desai of Shelton. Talk about someone with drive and ambition, check out his resume from the Temple media guide. Desai didn't play football in college. But, somehow, he managed to serve as Shelton High's freshman football wide receivers coach and defensive coordinator while getting degrees in philosophy and political science from Boston University. And he graduated in only three years. He stayed on assisting with Shelton's freshmen while getting his master's from Columbia in 2005. Then, it was on to Temple where he was a graduate extern for academics in his spare time while he finished up a doctorate in educational administration. When Dr. Desai completed his studies in 2008, he became a graduate assistant for defense on the coaching staff in 2009 before a promotion to special teams coordinator this fall. Oh yeah, he's also an adjunct professor who teaches graduate and doctorate level courses in educational administration. I'm beginning to feel a tad inferior...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home