Here’s the good news coming out of Notre Dame’s 49-16 win over Temple on Saturday.
Geoff Collins is not going anywhere.
You can talk about SWAG all
you want and play the guitar
in practice, bring the kids
from the band and play drums
on the E-O field, but you clock
in for three hours every Saturday
and your job performance is determined
on that day only. You can talk about
how hard you work and how tough you
are and how much Mayhem you’ll bring,
but the scoreboard on Saturday
is the final arbiter.
Here’s the bad news.
Temple might not want him nor would it matter if they don’t.
Ask anyone who follows Temple football or basketball. They can get just enough scratch together to hire a coach, but they certainly do not have the money to eat these big contracts. So expect Cheesesteaks with the coach for a lot of Fridays going forward.
I did not expect Temple to win this game against Notre Dame, but I certainly expected the Owls to give a better effort, especially on defense. In my preseason prediction, I had the Owls losing this game, 17-13, not 49-16.
My reasoning was this team has a lot of good defensive linemen and an excellent secondary. I thought those were more than enough to offset a group of athletic, but inexperienced linebackers.
Here are five other things we learned:
This Looks Like Steve Addazio 2.0 (so far)
Collins, like Daz, a coordinator from Florida, has done a lot of very Daz-like things so far and one was burning Aaron Boumerhi’s redshirt on the opening kickoff. Again, anyone following Temple football knows the Owls had a very good kicker, Brandon McManus, followed by a very bad kicker in Jim Cooper Jr. Getting another Aaron Boumerhi or Austin Jones is not a slam dunk and it would have been nice to have Boomer for the 2020 season. That is out the window. Also have to wonder on the hire of Taver Johnson as defensive coordinator. These players are too good to give up 49 points and 422 yards rushing to anyone. Johnson has never been a DC at the FBS level. Would have liked for him to have a track record somewhere else first. At least, Daz was smart enough to hire Chuck Heater and make him “head coach of the defense.” Temple had back-to-back shutouts under Heater in 2011. It hasn’t accomplished that since. If this bleeding continues, Collins should have Heater on speed dial. If not, give up his job as coach of the fullbacks and become head coach and DC.
Marchi, Marchi, Marchi
I thought he did OK but what happened to this talk about all four quarterbacks playing? Did he do “OK enough” to not see another quarterback? No. They must not be enamored with Frankie Juice, either, to leave Logan in the game for four quarters. I think Marchi deserves the start against Villanova, but it’s the quarterback’s job to put points on the board in bunches so any series without points against that squad should mean the other guys get a chance and fast. Anthony Russo is not a great practice quarterback, ala Vaughn Charlton, but he’s certainly a proven big-game quarterback in his high school past and he’s closer to Adam DiMichele in ability than Charlton. The other three guys are not. He deserves a chance to play in a real game if the Owls struggle to move the ball again.
Do the talking on the field
Any chance the Owls had of Notre Dame taking them lightly went out the window when two of those rookies, who shall remain nameless here, basically said the Owls were going to “kick Notre Dame’s ass.” That works only if you back it up. Collins should zip all pie holes going forward.
What Could Have Been
Temple dropped two sure interceptions for touchdowns and, on the Mike Jones’ interception return, he EASILY could have scored had he waited for Sean Chandler to block the remaining fat and slow Notre Dame offensive lineman. Instead, he took a route to the sideline. All he had to do was cut it inside, where Chandler was setting up to block, and he would have had six. Also, Jacob Martin was held on one of Notre Dame’s touchdowns and the AAC refs did not catch it. Closer, but the way this defense was playing, it would have made the score window dressing. Say, 49-34, instead of 49-16.
Below The Line
You can talk about SWAG all you want and play the guitar in practice, bring the kids from the band and play drums on the E-O field, but you clock in for three hours every Saturday and your job performance is determined on that day only. You can talk about how hard you work and how tough you are and how much Mayhem you’ll bring, but the scoreboard on Saturday is the final arbiter. The offense scoring 16 points was not unexpected (we had them scoring 13 in a 17-13 loss). The defense failed to meet even minimum expectations and, for that, both Collins and Johnson fall below the line this week. Here’s the bottom line with this below the line grade. With a much worse group of players, Matt Rhule and Phil Snow went into Notre Dame and gave up just 28 points in a 2-10 year. Good coaches get the most out of their talent and Rhule and Snow did that day, but Collins and Johnson did not on this one.
Unfortunately, on this depth chart, there is no one above them. Right now, just a big blank space above a Cherry and White line.
Monday: A Former Temple Player’s Take on The Game
Tuesday: Above The Line
Thursday: Throwback Thursday