NCAA

Military Bowl Preview: 5 things to know about No. 24 Temple

Military Bowl Preview: 5 things to know about No. 24 Temple

The No. 24 Temple Owls (10-3) play the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-6) in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 3:30 p.m. in Annapolis, Maryland on ESPN. But ahead of the ninth annual bowl game, here are a few things to know about Temple football. 

1. Temple is on a hot streak

The Owls enter the Military Bowl riding a seven-game win streak with their last loss on Oct. 6 at Memphis. What’s more, their most recent win was in the American Athletic Conference championship game when they upset then-No. 19 Navy, 34-10, for their first conference championship since winning the 1967 Middle Atlantic Conference title.

2. Historic season

At 10-3, Temple has a chance to earn its first 11-win season in program history. The Owls actually almost closed with a record breaking season last year — twice — but they ended with two consecutive losses in the AAC championship and the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl against Toledo and finished 10-4.

3. Last-minute coaching change

While Matt Rhule led the Owls to their second consecutive 10-win season, he accepted the head coach job at Baylor earlier this month, leaving program veteran Ed Foley as the interim head coach. Foley has been the assistant head coach/tight ends coach for four years and has spent a total of nine seasons with the school. Temple also wasted no time after Rhule’s departure and quickly hired Florida’s defensive coordinator Geoff Collins as the new head coach.

4. Once a century

Temple and Wake Forest have played each other only one time, and that was nearly 90 years ago. But the Owls came away with a 36-0 shutout over the Demon Deacons on November 1, 1930.

5. DE-FENSE!

Temple’s defense is one of the team’s strongest assets, ranking third nationally to just Alabama and Michigan and averaging 275.9 yards per game allowed. Led by defensive lineman Haason Reddick — who racked up 21.5 tackles for a loss of 91 yards this season — the Owls’ red zone defense is also sixth best in the country and their scoring defense is seventh, averaging 17.2 points per game.

BONUS: Notable Temple alumni include Bob Saget, Jesse Williams, Tamron Hall and both Hall and Oates.

Click here to get your tickets to the 2016 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on Tuesday, December 27th.

MORE MILITARY BOWL: 5 things to know about Wake Forest

Patrick Mahomes celebrates Mac McClung picking his alma mater Texas Tech

Patrick Mahomes celebrates Mac McClung picking his alma mater Texas Tech

Wednesday was a good day for Red Raider fans when Mac McClung announced his transfer commitment to Texas Tech

Even former alum and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes - who also was openly recruiting the star on Twitter - was excited about the big get. 

He was joined by fellow Texas Tech alum Jarrett Culver in sharing his excitement of getting the 6-foot-2 guard. Culver's style and skill set are very similar to McClung's. Under head coach Chris Beard, he helped transform the combo guard into a first-round NBA prospect.

Other professional athletes including Trae Young gave McClung their congratulations. 

As a late entry into the transfer portal, McClung was one of the biggest available players this offseason. While he is required to sit a season due to NCAA transfer rules, there is some buzz that he may get a waiver to compete next season in Lubbock. 

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Ever Wonder: How Midnight Madness got its start at the University of Maryland

Ever Wonder: How Midnight Madness got its start at the University of Maryland

For most college basketball programs across the country, Midnight Madness has become a major tradition. The late-night spectacle filled with basketball and showmanship signifies the start of a new season. 

But, how did Midnight Madness come to be? It turns out its humble beginnings took place at the University of Maryland.

In 1971, legendary head coach Lefty Driesell had been at the helm of the Terps basketball squad for two seasons. Helping the program reach a new prestige in his first couple of years, Driesell wanted to take Maryland to the next level and show the rest of college basketball they were legit contenders.

His idea: have his team be the first ones to practice on the season by participating in an event at midnight on the earliest possible date. This way, in Driesell's eyes, the Terps would the first team on the court at the beginning and the last one on it at the end when they held the National Championship trophy.

“This was Lefty’s way of saying, ‘Hey world, Maryland is here now. We got a great team and I’m going to be the first team in America to practice,'" Tom McMillen, who was a member of the 1971 team, said.

Besides sending a message to other programs, Driesell also used Midnight Madness as a way to drum up school spirit. If Maryland was going to become one of the top schools in the nation and a respected team, they needed fans to get involved and stay committed.

“Getting the campus to rally behind the basketball team," Tony Massenburg, who played under Driesell in 1985, said. “You don’t need a reason to get a bunch of college students to stay up until midnight."

The first Midnight Madness took place on October 15, 1971, at 12:03 a.m. Unlike a majority of the nights in modern times, the Maryland team wasn't in a gym, but rather out at Byrd Stadium running a mile. Still, the event got the attention of locals and a national audience. 

“It really set off a firestorm across the country," McMillen said.

In the third installment of Midnight Madness, Driesell had Maryland participate in a scrimmage open to the public, more in line with what is seen across the country now. It was that event that turned Midnight Madness into the popular spectacle it is today.

“The third year we ended up having a scrimmage. That’s really what launched midnight madness," McMillen said.

What began as Driesell's idea has transformed into a common night shared among campuses across the country. Every year Midnight Madness gets bigger, with scrimmages only being part of the action. Wild introductions, skits and more theatrics have turned the first practice of the season into much more than that.

Maryland still participates and even paid homage to the original Midnight Madness in 2018. In honor of the program's 100th season and Driesell's introduction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Midnight Mile made its return. 

While the night continues to grow in size, the original meaning still holds true. Driesell held Midnight Madness as a way to showcase Maryland and prove it was the best place to be. Coaches across the country are doing the same, trying to show that their campus is the place to be.

“What it’s become is a recruiting tool," Massenburg said. "It’s the means to sort of showcase your program.”

What began in College Park has turned into one of college basketball's best traditions. Despite Driesell being the creator, the start of Midnight Madness is sometimes relatively unknown by the public. If the head coach had known how big it would become back in 1971, that may have been different. 

“I tell Lefty my only regret is that you didn’t copyright Midnight Madness because it was a very valuable asset and literally just an idea he came up with just to be first," McMillen said. 

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