In a couple of days, a Month of Mayhem will start at the Edberg-Olson Football Complex with the beginning of Spring Practice culminating on Cherry and White Day, April 22.
If successful, fans crammed into that tiny space on that day—when there is a much bigger one available four blocks south—will not notice the difference.
That’s because Mayhem was already pretty much a part of the Temple Defense DNA over the last few years.
Simply put, the “Mayhem” stat new head coach Geoff Collins admires and bases his defensive concept on counts the percentage of plays on defense that end in a sack, fumble, tackle for loss or interception and those are the kind of stats Collins gears his defensive scheme to achieve. His players then started calling him the “Minister of Mayhem” and the nickname stuck.
If Collins is the “Minister of Mayhem” then he probably already met the “Kings of Mayhem” and they are our own Temple Owls. Going into the Wake Forest debacle, Temple’s DL was No. 1 in the nation in “Havoc Rate” which is a team’s total tackles for loss, passes defensed, and forced fumbles.
In this month of drinking Shamrock Shakes, Collins’ own shakeup should look more like a tweak.
So while Temple was nation’s No. 1 disrupting defense, at least in the 2016 regular season, can it be better? Sure, if Collins and new coordinator Taver Johnson tweak things a little to accentuate the strengths of the Owls—a defensive line that includes proven players like Sharif Finch, Jacob Martin, Michael Dogbe, Greg Ward, Freddy Booth-Lloyd , Karamo Dioubate, among others—and masks areas that could be weaker, like the linebackers. Essentially, Temple has a solid group of linemen and defensive backs and will have to replace three starters at linebacker, Jared Alwan, Avery Williams and Stephaun Marshall.
To do this, if Collins plays a 5-2 he will have to replace only two linebacker starters and have a proven player up front to create this havoc we all seek.
Just a little tweak, but an important one to keep a good thing going because the Owls have been all about Mayhem for at least the last couple of years.
Monday: Opening Day