Temple's Addazio urges local college football fans to get behind Owls

Posted: August 10, 2012

Temple has played a distant second fiddle in fan support in its own city for decades.

Even though Penn State is three hours away, the Nittany Lions have traditionally been Philadelphia's favorite team.

But as Temple coach Steve Addazio sees it, local college football fans no longer need to travel. With the Owls back in the Big East, there's big-time football on Broad Street.

"Come out and support the Temple Owls," Addazio said after Wednesday's preseason practice. "You got a major- college football program right here. We don't need to hear about other schools in Pennsylvania. We just need to talk about Temple right now.

"If you are a real Philadelphia person, get behind this football program, and let's make the Linc an electric atmosphere that we are all proud of."

Temple's average home attendance was 28,060 last season in 68,532-seat Lincoln Financial Field.

Penn State, on the other hand, had an average home attendance of 101,427, which ranked fourth nationally behind Michigan, Ohio State, and Alabama.

Time will tell if some of the local Nittany Lion fans switch allegiance to the Owls.

"It's a new Temple," Addazio said at the Big East media day last week about the Owls' coming off three straight winning campaigns. "It doesn't resemble anything where it was six, seven, or eight years ago."

Penn State, on the other hand, probably won't resemble the dominant program it had become.

Nine Nittany Lions have transferred without having to sit out a year after the NCAA hit the school with a $60 million fine, reduced scholarships, banned the Lions from postseason play for four years, and forced them to vacate all wins dating to 1998. The sanctions came in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse case.

Newsome to wideout? There were speculation from outside the program that Temple would switch Penn State quarterback transfer Kevin Newsome to another position to take advantage of his athletic ability.

Newsome is listed third on the depth chart at quarterback behind starter Chris Coyer and Juice Granger.

"No, no, no," Addazio said about moving Newsome, who has struggled while learning Temple's offense on the fly. "He's got to learn how to play quarterback. He's getting better every day.

"He will get there. A playbook just got slammed at him the other day. He's going to fight through it."

Addazio said the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder, who last played football in 2010, is making progress.

Newman sidelined. Starting right guard Jaimen Newman didn't practice Wednesday after injuring his right ankle earlier in the week.

The sophomore wore a boot on his right foot.

"It's nothing serious," he said. "I just rolled it. I'm coming back tomorrow."

Contact Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or kpompey@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock. Read his blog, "Owls Inq," at www.philly.com/OwlsInq


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