By any objective measure, Temple salvaged its football season Saturday with a convincing 35-14 win at Maryland. Just don't expect coach Geoff Collins or the players to admit it.
"We just want to go 1-0 every week and don't worry about that," Collins said Tuesday during a media conference.
The fact that Temple went 0-1 in each of its previous two weeks with losses to Villanova and Buffalo made Saturday's game that much more important.
If the Owls began 0-3 before facing the likes of Boston College, defending American Athletic Conference champion Central Florida and some other talented AAC teams such as South Florida, Navy, Houston, and Cincinnati, it would have been a major uphill battle. Those teams are 15-2.
The Temple coaches and players are programmed for this one-game-at-a-time mentality, as are most teams, so the answers weren't much different this week after a win than the previous two following a loss.
"I guess it kind of gets the monkey off our back to get the first win," sophomore center Matt Hennessy said. "But other than that, the way we came in following the Villanova game, the way we came in following the Buffalo game, the way we came in this past Sunday after the Maryland game hasn't really changed. You change one or two things in those first two games and we win those games, so no matter what, we will come in a day after or two days after and try to fix things."
Temple has a short week. The Owls host Tulsa (1-2) on Thursday night in the AAC opener for both teams.
The Owls talked about the difficulty of preparing during a short week. Imagine how Tulsa feels, having played Saturday night and now traveling to Philadelphia.
"It is extremely difficult," Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said during the AAC media call.
Tulsa lost at home, 29-20, to Arkansas State on Saturday.
"It is about getting your kids back, coming off a tough, physical game, trying to get their legs under them," said Montgomery, whose team's other loss was by 28-21 at Texas.
There is one other factor that Temple definitely doesn't pay attention to: The Owls are 6.5-point favorites after being 14.5-point underdogs to Maryland. Temple is 0-2 as a favorite and 1-0 as an underdog.