I could not find one Temple tailgate anywhere. It was not until I saw the Temple players get off their bus that I was sure I had come to the right place. The Temple players exited the bus without one cheer from any fan and made their way into the stadium.
I had wondered in the past why the Big East had chosen to get rid of an ever improving Owl team when Rutgers was much worse. Now, it was becoming clear, and would only become more obvious as the afternoon progressed.
Inside the stadium was even less impressive. Mountaineer fans clearly outnumbered the Owl faithful and the cheer that the Owls received when they ran onto the field resembled the noise at a youth soccer contest. This Temple team has improved every year, yet nobody seems to care.
The powers that be in the Big East Conference are making the right decision in parting with the Owls. The football atmosphere in Philadelphia simply is not what the Big East needs to be associated with.
As for the game itself, what a difference a year makes. Last year's Temple contest was, without a doubt, the most disappointing game in a long time for Mountaineer fans. The gold and blue, or maybe I should call them the white and white with the uniforms they were wearing, made it clear from the start that they would not let such a disappointment happen again.
The Mountaineer offense jumped on the Owls early and the defense was as stingy as Ebenezer Scrooge, barely giving up any yardage at all in the opening half. By the end of the first quarter, it was evident that WVU would come away with the victory. The only thing in question was the final score. It was important for the Mountaineers to put up this type of effort and erase any lingering memories from last season's devastating loss.
The convincing win in Philadelphia sets up a key Big East showdown this weekend in Morgantown. Boston College comes to town fresh off a major upset of undefeated Notre Dame. The Mountaineers must continue to take full advantage of their rushing game which currently leads the nation.
The Eagles have been extremely tough against the pass but have shown some cracks against the run, giving up 176 yards per game on the ground. Avon Cobourne and crew must establish the run early and put the Eagle defense on their heels.
A win on Saturday could only improve WVU's bowl situation and legitimize their standing in the Big East. It is important that we pack Mountaineer Field this weekend not only to show an ESPN audience just what we have here in Morgantown, but also to show our appreciation to Cobourne and the other Mountaineer seniors who will run onto Mountaineer Field for the final time on Saturday.
The contest against Miami made it evident just how important the crowd can be, and this Saturday's crowd should be just as large and noisy. If anyone leave the stadium with their voice, they have not done their job. Let's Go Mountaineers!