Temple has a four-game losing streak. On Tuesday, the Owls found out that their season will all but end in less than two weeks, as a possible 12th game at Hawaii fell through -- something that also costs them a chance at bowl eligibility.
And, to complicate matters, the Owls have a three-man quarterback battle brewing heading into Saturday's game at Army.
"I just think that the bottom line is I feel like we need a spark," coach Steve Addazio said. "I feel like I want to see some energy at that position right now, and I'm just a big believer that no one could ever feel that secure, per se. And I just think that we've got guys waiting in that position that want reps, I'm going to give them reps out here and let's see who has the best week of all and I'll go from there."
All three signal-callers are juniors, but Addazio isn't looking at this week's decision as one with future implications.
"One guy might play and if that's not happening, well, I'll pull him and put the next guy in," the second-year Owls coach said. "My goal right now is I want to see guys performing under the bright lights, because that's really where you measure things. It's hard to measure it in spring ball and preseason camp; it's all part of it, but at this point we've got guys, I need to see them with the bright lights on. I want to see who's got that 'it' factor, if you will."
The growing pains have showed recently for a young team in its first year in a new conference, as the Owls have just 13 seniors and have played 23 freshman.
This is the natural cycle of things, Addazio said, and with a surprising 2-0 Big East start giving way to reality of this past month, he is challenging his upperclassmen to make the most of their final days as college football players.
"We've got to play a great game on Saturday," Addazio said. "We need to do that, so here it is. It's your opportunity. What do you want to get done here? So it'll be interesting to see those dynamics play out."