The Three Things


In order to improve Temple football, Geoff Collins will be talking about three things and they won’t be the Temperors (who we readily admit are people, not things).

When Collins recovers from both a well-deserved birthday and New Year’s Eve celebration (both on the same day), he will get to work on his next project as head coach of Temple University’s football team. That is,  to sit down with each of the 105 scholarship players in the program and ask them what the three things they most like about the program and the three things that can most be improved.

As a service to any players who feel potentially stumped by this exercise, we offer a Cliff Notes’ cheat sheet.


The 3 Most Likeable Things

1) Emphasis On Defense

Very much like Navy with the triple option, Temple has carved out a unique identity as a program. The Owls win by playing great defense, an emphasis on special teams and running the football. Defense does indeed win championships and Temple really is the only team that played defense in the AAC on a consistent basis. The Owls have finished in the top 10 in defenses four of the last six years and, in a league that has high-scoring teams but few that play defense, that identity sets them apart from the rest. That’s an identity that should be embraced with newfound Mayhem.


2) Offense Plays Off Run

Helping out the defense was an emphasis on the running game, which controlled the clock and kept the defense fresh. Off the running game, the Owls were able to make explosive plays in the passing game by faking the ball into the belly of one their two 918-yard rushers (Ryquell Armstead, Jahad Thomas), bringing the linebackers and safeties up to the line of scrimmage and tossing the ball over the outstretched arms of those same defenders. It is a winning formula. The Owls should keep it.

3) Use Of The Fullback

Temple is one of the very few teams in the country that utilizes the fullback in the running game. While Nick Sharga is here, the Owls should use him leading the tailback on toss sweeps behind their best lineman to suppress the will of the opposition. In a 46-30 win over USF, Sharga led the way for Armstead to gain 200 yards and his blocking was so fierce he had the USF defensive backs running away from him to avoid contact in the second half. Reward him with a carry or two or three a game. He can knock over defenders just as well with the ball in his hands as without.

Three Improvements

1) Coaching Stability

This has to be the first thing on the minds of the kids, the bleeding of coaches out the door of the E-O what seems every couple of years now. While actions are more important than words, words are important now. Instead of saying things like “I love South Philly macaroni” or “I would sign a 15-year contract here if Bill would let me” try to be the one coach who sets himself apart from the rest. One way to do it is to say something like “I believe in the sanctity of contracts and I will be here for as long as my contract says” or to tell recruits “I will definitely be here when you graduate.” Then make those words your bond. Certainly beats saying “I deal in the here and now.”


2)  Cherry and White Game

For years, the Cherry and White game has been played in the cramped confines of the practice facility. Now that the brand new soccer complex is available four blocks away, it should be moved there. The place seats significantly more people than the Edberg Olson complex and people will not have to be straining for a view of the game. USF plays spring football games at its soccer facility and Temple should do the same.


Hopefully, the Owls will wear the distinctive Cherry T .

3) Don’t Tempt Karma

There should be a uniform code on uniforms because that’s what the word means. Not the ones the Owls wear most of the time (Cherry helmets with the ‘][‘ with white or cherry tops), but the ones that bring nothing but bad luck. The Owls won seven-straight games wearing the distinctive Cherry helmets with the White ‘][‘ but then, for some reason, decided to wear white helmets in a 34-26 loss to Wake Forest. They wore black helmets in their previous loss, at Memphis. Whatever is done with the uniforms, ditch the White and Black helmets and go Cherry. We are the Cherry and White, not the White and Cherry or the Black and Cherry. The school is blessed with the best dominant color in all of sports. Let’s accentuate it and keep the helmet brand the same or at least keep the color of the helmets the same and spell out TEMPLE on the side.

Tuesday: The Staff

14 thoughts on “The Three Things

  1. “Emphasis on special teams?” Our kickoff coverage was subpar for years. The disastrous final kickoff at the bowl sealed our fate. I will never understand why we didn’t try an on side kick after our last score.

    • For the most part over the past two years, our field goal kicking and punting was spot on and we the nation in blocked kicks for two of the last three years. This is the first year of the Matt Rhule Era I could remember recurrent problems in the kick coverage game Rhule could not be blamed for the Wake Forest return.

      • I was not blaming Rhule, he was not there. I was wondering why the coaches who were there, and knew of our poor record of kickoff coverage did not try an onside kick.

  2. I prefer to see a “specialist” handle kickoffs and punts. Champ was winded in the bowl game, lost focus, and made a boo boo,. Isaiah is Mr. W. Right when it comes to returning kickoffs, punts, and kick sixes. I love that guy, but I don’t care too much for the wildcat. Even so, Isaiah picked up yardage as a wildcat runner.

  3. U missed a major point Mike and that is recruiting. Collins has too maintain the level of recruiting that Rhule had. Thats the key too maintaining the recent success. Rhule recruiting is what bought this recent success on. Collins has too do what Rhule did and thats find the 2 star recruit and turn them into beasts. Tyler Matakevich, PJ Walker, Ventell Bryant, Dion Dawkins, Robbie Anderson, etc all 2 star recruits. If Collins can recruit as good as Rhule then we will be okay going forward.

  4. The kids who r already here care very little about recruiting

  5. I hate to be this guy, but;

    “I believe in the sanctity of contracts and I will be here for as long as my contract says” or to tell recruits “I will definitely be here when you graduate.” Then make those words your bond. Certainly beats saying “I deal in the here and now.”

    is just unrealistic in 2017 DI-A Football.

    • I know someone on the Board of Trustees and this DID come up in the interview. The BOT is VERY pissed that it gave Rhule a million dollar raise for essentially one year of coaching and got assurances from Collins that he would stay through the contract. Don’t know how it was written into the contract, but was told it included a buyout so high that any school coming after him would think twice about giving Temple, say, $7-10 MIL for his services.

      • That’s an interesting perspective. Hard for me to believe after being burned by these coaches so many times that Temple doesn’t bring this stuff up in an interview and that the administration says, “Bleep it, we know you are going to screw us; just give us a good couple of years.” To me, there were at least 2 or three guys (Wilder being one, Golden another) just as capable of doing the same kind of job Collins will and Temple had the hammer here, not Collins. This would have been the perfect opportunity for Temple to dictate significant protections for Temple in the contract. Shocked beyond belief that did not happen last year when they gave Rhule the big raise, but he was in a much better bargaining position.

      • Baylor or Oregon would have paid that for Rhule. That’s tip money.

      • Then Temple should probably up the buyout to $30 million

      • Then who would take that job Mike? Being realistic doesn’t mean less care or enthusiasm for the program……

        On one hand, we’re saying that we want a lifer coach who has dreamed of a G5 job in a non-college football friendly location with a tepid at best support from its BOT.

        On the other hand, you clearly hated the idea (rightfully so) of a guy like Ed Foley getting the job, despite the fact that he’s only type of candidate that would stick around and stay forever.

        In this landscape of DI football, you just can’t have it both ways. It sucks, but it is something I think we all have to accept.

        I hope that in 4 years we’re having the same talk because that means Geoff Collins continued this success and took the program to the next level.

  6. Re: Uniforms and helmets….cherry hats, cherry jerseys at home, white pants all the time. No need to change. There’s another team with similar colors who never changes their look. Think they play next Monday. And that look is a good look.

    Thinking of coaches leaving and previous comments by many that AAC schools are stepping stones….that has to extend up into the ACC with Pitt. Other year the coach heads home to Wiscy, and now their OC is in Baton Rouge.

    Meanwhile, the Cotton Bowl is on as I pound the keyboard. Tough first 15:00 for WMU. Have to think the Owls’ D would have given a better showing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s