The Temple Wildcats are coming off a dominating 58-14 performance against A&M Consolidated in the opening round of the 2014 5A playoffs.  Hear Jamie Garrett's pregame coaches interview with Temple Head Coach Mike Spradlin.

Photo credit Joe Olivares of

Awaiting Temple in the 2nd round of the playoffs is a very tough Houston Stratford team that's riding an 8-game winning streak after starting the season with three consecutive losses.

Stratford presents a unique challenge for a Temple defense that's been dominant for much of the season under 1st-year Defensive Coordinator Scott Stewart.  After giving up 49 points against Austin Westlake in a game filled with controversial penalties going against the Wildcats, the defense has been solid.

In last week's win the Temple defense played to a draw against the entire Consolidated team by posting two defensive scores while only allowing one offensive TD per half against the team picked to win the state title in the preseason and who'd won their previous two games by a combined score of 130-14.

Photo credit Joe Olivares of

Ty McCorkle continues to dominate from his linebacker position, and Temple's two-deep rotation on the defensive side of the ball keeps fresh legs in the game throughout the game without much of a dropoff from the first-team.  Sophomores, including Ashton Logan and Taquon Graham offer a glimpse into the bright future of this Wildcats defense as starters on a swarming defense.

Tonight's game presents a challenge the Wildcat defense hasn't seen this year.  Stratford is a bigger team that loves to run the ball.  Temple racked up over 500 yards rushing last week, but these two running teams couldn't be further apart in their method to the madness.

Photo credit Joe Olivares of

Temple spreads the offense out and allows Jeff Carr and Marques Hatcher plenty of room to make big plays.  Stratford lines up in power formations and just tries to manhandle you the length of the field.  Unlike Carr & Hatcher's method of dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge, Stratford's backs will line up and run directly at you.

Facing an offense you haven't seen all year presents a challenge, and you throw in the size Stratford has up front on both sides of the ball makes for an even bigger challenge.  All that being said, I still feel Temple is playing their best football of the season.  For the next few weeks, Temple's in a position to win & move on, provided ego or injury doesn't play a factor.

Hear the game Friday night with the pregame at 7pm and the kickoff at 7:30.  The game airs on K 101-7 & simulcast on NewsRadio 1400 KTEM.  The game is available online at, and on the free Radio Pup app for tablets and smartphones.

Listen to Friday night's pregame coaches interview below before it airs tonight after 7pm.