A pretty good recap of how James Madison exploited SB for 38 points.
They say bad news comes in threes, and so it was on Friday for the Temple University football team.
The first bit of bad news was in the form of a story on CSN.com that the stadium is a non-starter, at least from City Council’s point of view. The second showed up on Philly.com, quoting an AP source saying that Temple is now out of Big 12 consideration. A few hours later, the worst news came in the form of an ill-prepared and poorly-coached Owls’ team losing to team that posted a 2-10 record the year before. A 10-win team with plenty of starters back lost to a two-win team with only 14 players back from its two-deep depth chart. There is no way to sugarcoat or minimize how bad that looks, feels or is.
“We had 21 points
on the board before
we even started.
We probably would
never have discovered
that, had we not
graded all the film.”
_ Wayne Hardin
on how film study
won the 1979 GSB
This is not where we should be, but this is where we are. Maybe they are not related developments, but certainly all coming on Sept. 2, 2016, a day that will live in Temple football infamy.
Temple fell into recent bad Temple habits of “worrying about what we do, not what the other guys do” and “just concentrating on what we do best and the process will take care of itself.”
The entire Owl coaching staff needs to go into a room and listen to guys like Wayne Hardin and Bill Belichick tell them war stories of how they picked up this tendency and that tendency of an opponent and how they delighted about exploiting said tendencies.
Then, for their homework assignment, take three game films from last year’s Stony Brook schedule—William and Mary, Maine and James Madison—and determine just what the William and Mary and Maine defenses did well and what the James Madison offense did well, have every assistant and head coach contribute and apply those same principles to Saturday’s game plan. William and Mary shut out the Sea Wolves, 21-0, on Sept. 15, and Maine held them to 10 points a month later. In between, James Madison scored 38 points in a 38-20 win.
Then, for their
take three game films
from last year’s
determine just what
and Maine defenses
did well and what
the James Madison
offense did well
It’s probably no coincidence that Belichick followed Hardin around as a 7-year-old son of a Navy assistant coach. The current Temple coaches need to listen to this story about the Garden State Bowl and how the Owls had it won before the California coaches knew what hit them.
“Cal wanted to exchange films of every game,” Hardin said in a 2009 Inquirer story. “Usually you just take the first one, one in the middle and the last one. So I said, ‘Find out which coaches on their staff want them?’ Turned out, it was the defensive coaches. OK. We spent night after night after night, digging and digging and digging. We came up with one or two things we had to do.
“We found out that if we pulled our guards up the middle, we’d end up with one of them going down the field untouched into the secondary. So did the back. Get the hell out of the way. There was no one to block. We had 21 points on the board before we even started. We probably would never have discovered that, had we not graded all the film. …
“On offense, their quarterback [Rich Campbell] was taught, which we knew, to read when he didn’t see anything [to] throw blindly into the flat to the fullback. I mean, game after game. The fullback was catching the ball and making big yards. So we developed a two-man [pass] rush, which we wouldn’t have done. We’d have one guy come up to meet the fullback, whichever way he went, 5 yards deep in the backfield. And eight guys would drop into coverage. So there’s nothing to read, except a lot of jerseys.
“Those are the type of things that can happen. That’s how upsets are made. People study.”
Does anyone really think the Temple brain trust did enough study of Army? Were the A gaps left uncovered? (Err, yes. That’s where the fullback got his yards.) Did the Owls even try to make Army throw the ball to beat them by loading the box with eight? Nothing on the field indicated it. (Duke beat Army, 44-3, last year by loading the box with eight and daring the Cadets to throw.) The Temple linebackers were 4 or 5 yards off the ball. You play Penn State that way, not Army. In fact, nothing on the field the past three years indicates Temple does enough film study of any opponent.
Stony Brook might be a good one to start with.
Mix in a little Tribe defensive scheme with a dose of successful Madison plays and away we go. It’s all right if part of the process involves doing what you do well, but the ingredients for winning include a little of this and a little of that and if that’s not part of your process, you’ve got to get a new process. There’s a lot of chess and checkmating in football to be done these days, just like those days.
Otherwise, the bad news of last week could get a whole lot worse.
There would be no dishonor in Phil Snow stealing part or all of this game plan.
Wednesday: Unintended Consequences