Case For the Defense

The best two-minute description of the 5-2 defense on the internet.

If Geoff Collins follows up on some of the terrific things he says, he will hit the ground running as a great head coach at Temple University.

That’s a concern only because Matt Rhule’s first couple of years were an attempt to hit the ground running, but the footing was somewhat muddy. In many cases, Rhule made the job harder by soiling those waters.


What a USC 5-2 would look like at Temple, with Sharif Finch at left end, Karamo Diuobate at left tackle, Freddy Booth-Lloyd at nose guard, Michael Dogbe (or Greg Webb) at right tackle and single-digit Jacob Martin at right end.

The one comment that stood out positively during Collins’ first press conference—and one he has repeated several times since—was that Collins’ system would be tailored around the specific talents of the players he had in the room and not try to force feed a system on an ill-fitting set of players.

Two years into Rhule’s tenure, he had an Epiphany that led him to a program-changing decision—ditching the multiple wide-receiver sets and going to a fullback and play-action offense—and that became as much of the unique Temple identity as the triple option is to Navy.  The reason he gave was that he had a “NFL fullback” and wanted to utilize that asset.

Now Collins has reached the crossroads between words and action.

Collins has an overabundance of high-end talent on the defensive line and a dearth of similar-type talent across a line-backing corps. If Collins is serious about building a system around the talent at hand, the Owls will go to a 5-2-4 defensive alignment—two ends, two tackles and a nose guard, two linebackers and four defensive backs.

The 5-2 is not used much in college football anymore, but where it has it has been successful. Last year, USC ran the 5-2 and had the most sacks in the PAC-12 conference.

If you believe, as I do, the key to stopping these good pass offenses today is to put the quarterback on his backside, the 5-2 defense is probably the best way to do that without exposing the back line of your defense with a steady diet of blitzes.

Anything that creates Mayhem is a good thing and with the talent of the Temple pass rushers and interior defensive linemen in the system now, that’s probably the best way for this team to go.

If Collins works to put that kind of defense in place this spring, he will hit the ground running. Unlike Rhule, he will not have to run in a quagmire.

Monday: Tea Leaves

Wednesday: Rookie Of The Year


4 thoughts on “Case For the Defense

  1. Wayne Hardin’s defense. With a Joe Klecko at the nose and a Vince Hoch coaching it, using it was a no-brainer.

  2. Hey, what the hell is going on with coaches at TU ? I can see 1 leaving but two / 2 / too ? That’s very strange and worrisome. Isn’t it ?
    What’s up here, are they being moved out or moving up, else just just to get outta Dodge City ?

    • Doesn’t look good. However, the fact that they are going to P-5 schools lessens any concern. I would think that there are a lot of coaches in G-5 that would take a job in the P-5. (More pay-more prestige) Had they made lateral transfers or ones to a team in a lesser conference I would be concerned.

      • The wide receivers’ coach not only went to a G5 school but a fellow AAC school (East Carolina). I guess Collins told him we were going to throw the ball more than Army did.

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