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OHIO 31, Temple 23: Al Golden Is Varsity Quality

Sports screengrabbing is hard with Yugoslavian technical equipment.
Sports screengrabbing is hard with Yugoslavian technical equipment.

Final - 11.16.2010 1 2 3 4 Total
Ohio Bobcats 7 10 0 14 31
Temple Owls 0 10 0 13 23

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They have an old saying in Athens, Ohio: "WOOOOOOOOOOOO" and then there's a middle finger. Childish, yes. But so is coaching a Bowl Subpartition football team while wearing a varsity jacket on the sidelines. Al Golden, cut from the tie-laden Paterno textile, became the awkwardly yet subtly macho businessman in a wet t-shirt contest when the rains bucketed over Philadelphia, so for the second half of the game he brought out this cherry beauty and oh my god I haven't even talked about the actual football game yet. Stupid heartbreakin' up-and-coming coach

[does sharp 180-degree turn in thought]

These one-touchdown games are hard to decipiher. Basically OHIO was eight points better than Temple, sure. But when the score was 31-10, it was becoming reminiscent of Owls football from a decade ago. But there was a moment when it was a more manageable 24-10: a second down conversion was, out of nowhere, reviewed by the officials, and then respotted a yard shy of the down marker. Third down: incomplete pass. Fourth down: stuffed at the line. The game ended there. Everything else was a grabbing, stripping at straws. Glad they made the score look close, though. I'm sure gamblers love that stuff.

So when you think about this game, think of so many variables bouncing around like superballs in a vacuum, and enough of them going OHIO's way. Especially, think about the fist that was thrown at Courtside. It was thrown at such a spot on the Cartesian plane of Boo Jackson's face such that he was questionable, then doubtful, then a game-time decision, and finally a game manager. That was just 78 yards passing, 16 yards rushing, a passing touchdown, and a pick. Phil Bates coulda done that. But Vince Davidson did the scoring, and the defense kept the Owls' resurgent offensive sensation to 10 points in 35 minutes.

Sure, point at Bernard Pierce's injury and end the discussion, conveniently omitting that Matt Brown ran for over 200 yards and four touchdowns against Army. Instead, he had just 72 yards against the Bobcats, and even though 400+ yards go down in the box score, the Bobbin' Cats defense was what poured down on Temple. Also there was falling water.

And I'm going to deduce that maybe the weather dispersed the Owls crowd. A lot of people went for their cars when it was 31-10, but heavens to Luke Getsy, they almost tied this one up, had a few more unseen elements gone correctly. Maybe if Temple had a third timeout, they'd have had the ball with 40 seconds left. Maybe if that final onside kick in the final minute was actually, y'know, an onside kick, and not a fake-kick-it-to-where-only-Bobcats-dwell. Maybe maybe maybe. But it's rain, folks. It's not hydrochloric acid. It gave Al Golden a hunky makeover. It prevents dead skin. It's not gonna kill you to watch a game to the bitter end. Heck, ya paid for it.

So Temple's out of the MAC East race. It looks good for OHIO; all they need is a win over Kent State, and should the Flashes somehow smack the smile off their face, Miami still needs to beat Temple and Akron. Otherwise, it's NIU and OHIOU. I like it.