Where’s The Mayhem?


I can’t believe how much coach looks like Dan Klecko in this photo.

Like many Temple fans who attended that rainy Cherry and White Day, a particular T-Shirt caught my eye among the many they were peddling along merchant row.

It was white with Cherry lettering and the words simply said: “Temple Football: Mayhem is Coming.” I thought the $33 price tag was a little steep for a cotton T-shirt, but I plucked down the big bucks nonetheless because this was something different in usual Temple athletic fashion wear.

Wore the shirt all summer to the gym and a few people asked me about it. I said, “Mayhem is getting into the backfield, creating fumbles and interceptions and scoring on defense. This is what the new coach is supposed to bring to Temple.”

So far, so bad.



No Mayhem, except in the coaching box.

Not that many fumbles nor interceptions from the vanilla defensive packages the defense runs nor blitzes designed to create both. After the Notre Dame game, new head coach Geoff Collins said that the embarrassing total of 49 points were on what he called “misfits” and that 90 percent of the 422 yards rushing against the Owls came on 17 plays. That begs a couple of questions. One, isn’t the nine months of practice before the Notre Dame game enough time for cleaning up any potential “misfits” and, two, seventeen plays are a lot of plays. Just the fact that the Irish gouge you for big plays does not mitigate responsibility for allowing them.

The Owls have one tackle, Greg Webb, who started against Navy and was an immovable object (against an option offense that scored 76 on SMU the week before) who seems to have fallen out of favor with this staff. The Owls showed more defensive Mayhem against Navy in that one game last year than they have displayed in two this season. The Owls have another four-star tackle, Karamo Dioubate, who the day he committed to the Owls took a phone call in Buffalo Wild Wings (Roosevelt Blvd, Northeast Philly) from none other than Nick Saban trying to get him to flip his commitment to Alabama. KD said thanks but no thanks. KD wasn’t “above the line” so he did play not at all on Saturday. KD showed flashes of that talent as a true freshman last  year and looked to be primed to break into stardom by the aforementioned Cherry and White Game. KD is not hurt nor is Webb. Let’s get these two difference-makers into the UMass game.

It would seem to me if you are going to for Mayhem without blitzing it would behoove the Owls to have players on the field who are capable of creating it on their own. To me, Villanova was more appalling than even the Notre Dame embarrassment because the Owls’ defensive secondary which shined under the “Snowstorm Defense” was cut to pieces being led by a coordinator in Taver Johnson, who did not have championship level defenses in his past. Just what has Taver Johnson done to merit him being hired as DC at Temple? I’ve looked at his bio up and down and sideways and have not seen it. At least, with Chuck Heater, Temple hired a guy who was a National Championship defensive coordinator. Let that last sentence soak in for awhile.  With Phil Snow, he was a great DC with Arizona State and UCLA in the 1980s. With Johnson, his most impressive credential is that he is Geoff Collins’ friend. No national championships, no history as a great DC anywhere previously.

Ultimately, as the CEO of this Temple football operation, Collins is responsible.

There seems to be a subset line of thought that  “it’s only one game, give the guy a chance” excuses coming out after Notre Dame followed by “it’s only two games, give the guy a chance” coming out of Villanova. Let’s get this straight: No one is calling for Collins to be fired. Anyone who knows Temple knows this guy has a job at Temple for life, unless he wins eight games and then he lets Ed Foley coach the bowl game. Let’s not kid ourselves here. If the guy who “wanted to sign a 10-year contract” is out after year four, nobody makes it to five years at Temple with a modicum of success. By “give the guy a chance” I mean dissect if what he is telling you is bull or part of an overall plan. Give the guy a chance?

The problem with that logic is one game quickly becomes two games and, before you know it, eight games become 12 games. Hopefully, those same people are not saying “it’s only been a year” and still waiting to the kind of Mayhem Collins promised he would bring. How about it getting here by Friday? You’ll know it’s here with at least two fumbles recovered and one interception to the house. Anything less (and this is a very low standard) is a Ponzi Scheme designed to sell $33 T-Shirts.

Wake me up when Mayhem arrives. Until then, that nice $33 cotton T-shirt will remain in the closet collecting the same mothballs as the Mayhem we have been promised.

Thursday: UMass Preview


37 thoughts on “Where’s The Mayhem?

  1. MR won a conference championship by being Temple Tough.., we beat Navy at the line of scrimmage, hit them in the mouth early, and cruised to victory…,

    after two games, can anyone figure out our identity? are we Temple Tough or are we a finesse team? Marchi is not a spread QB, so are we trying to put a square peg in a round hole?

    this team does not have an identity.., no mayhem, no power, no points, no explosive plays, no finesse, no smash mouth .., just plain old vanilla ball.., who are we?

    all I know is after two games we are not very good…,

    • Go back to Temple TUFF, pound the rock if the defense doesn’t line up 8 in the box like Nova did or, if they do, hit them over the top for big plays to our wrs. Take what the defense gives you; nova gave us plenty and we kept banging our heads against a wall.

  2. Mike, I wonder if Webb and KD are falling into the “category” that seems to become a common mantra for new coaches coming into a program, “need to get my players”. Not saying all, or even a majority of new coaches but seeing enough that use this as a reason for well regarded players recruited by the prior regime not getting on the field and also as a “justification” for a poor first season. Not saying that it isn’t important for a coach to have his own recruits but when you are taking over a program that had back to back 10 win seasons, 2 appearances in the conference championship game, etc. I would think there would be enough talent on the roster for you to work with successfully until you get more of your own recruiting classes on board.

    • One of the things that made me so excited about Collins’ first press conference was that he said it was the coach’s responsibility to tailor schemes on both sides of the ball according to the talents of his players. On offense, the talents of these players are run and play action. Against ND, Nick Sharga got a first down and 3d and 2 and Patenaude takes Sharga out and sends in four wides. Things went rapidly downhill after that. Patenaude is trying to have it both ways, hanging on to the system that worked last year and still implementing the Coastal Carolina bullshit. Let’s just run the system we had last year and keep Sharga in the game all the time.

  3. The position taken by many of the Pravda folks (yes they’re back) that the coaches are new and deserve a break is laughable. If you are a D-1 coach it means that you hold one of the most exclusive jobs on the planet given that there’s less than 1000 of them. That means that you don’t get a honeymoon period and have to be going full speed on day one. As was the case with Rhule’s first two years when fans can ascertain what’s wrong and it turns out to be correct, it means you are not performing as a D-1 coach. Saturday’s OC performance wasn’t worthy of a grammar school coach never mind a D-1 coordinator who has the wealth of talent TU has. How do you start David Hood over Amstead and not play Jager Gardner at all? How do you not have a deep ball passing scheme in place when there are five guys who can go long? I don’t care that kids may not be above the line in practice. The kids who aren’t being played already have done it when the lights come on and should be playing until they show in a game that they can’t. If things don’t change fast we’re back to the hell days of TU football.

    • Without that field goal, this week would have been brutal. We were that close to the Eve of Destruction. Even Daz did what he had to do against Villanova. Up, 13-0, you step on their throat and make it 20-0. We played not to lose, very much like Golden played in his first Nova game (a loss).

    • Even Addazio managed to take a team full of Al Golden recruits to a bowl game, and win, in his 1st season .

    • Collins claims Armstead was banged up in the ND game, which is why he didn’t start.

      • collins claims ventell had a hamstring injury the first game. Then we see a Rhule era #1 turn to #19……

  4. also, there’s too much talent to dick around with on this team that has nowhere near played to their potential due to coaching deficiencies. The Collins’ quote about “misfits” after ND is laughable. You have nine months to discuss and run through any “misfit” problem. Take care of that beforehand. No excuses. In practice, do they watch the ball or listen to the cadence? Seems like they listen to the cadence. Offside penalties are inexcusable. The Collins’ quote about “Villanova being a really good team” is even funnier. Villanova blows. Any team that gets lit up for 35 points by Lehigh is not a “really good team” and for us to not get a single touchdown pass against that porous defense is a huge red flag and an indication that a quarterback change is necessary because we have GREAT talent at WR, the best group I’ve ever seen at Temple.

    • The players job is to execute.
      The Current Players: Check

      The coaches job is to put the players in a position to be successful:
      The Current Coaches: “Misfits”

      Not being able to WELL out coach Nova is hard to swallow.

    • yes, the OC and DC are in way over their heads….; however, we do not have the players to replace the four most productive players from last year..,

      Thomas scored 13 TDs and Walker threw 22 TD passes last.., hard to fathom where those 35 TDs will come from this year.., we don’t have a QB that can throw 22 TD passes; and, Gardner and Hood won’t score 13 TDs between them….,

      Reddick and Praise had 32 TFLs and 17 sacks.., the entire defense won’t obtain those numbers…,

      the OC and DC do not possess the genius to overcome the loss of production from those four players..,

      5-7, no bowl game, new coordinators next year

      • KJ, wouldn’t be surprised if your predictions hold up. Sounds about right, and at least new coords (if this continues) would show good leadership on Collins end.

      • KJ, if things play out like you state, wouldn’t surprise me either. Not advocating coaching changes but given the offensive performance against Nova the OC has me concerned. This was the level of team he’s been coaching against for the past 5 years which even given the players that had to be replaced from last year’s team he should still have better talent at his disposal overall than he had at Coastal Carolina

  5. What I find most troubling with Patenaude is the comment he made in this article that was posted on the Temple fan FB page:

    “They really ganged up against the run, and I’m really disappointed in how we ran the ball, but the short passing had to kind of replace some of that stuff,” Patenaude said. “They were all packed in the box and tried to overload us in the run, and when they do that, you have to have some answers.”


    Ok so when is he going to have his answers and seems like he is throwing the players under the bus. I’m seeing a real red flag with this guy. I’ll give the Pravda folks (geez, didn’t take them long to start the excuses) that Collins is going to have a learning curve, don’t care how long you’ve been a coordinator even in a conference like the SEC, being the CEO is a different environment but for the OC he’s doing the same job!! Plus you can’t even use the excuse that he is at a higher level of play, Saturday he was coaching an offense against an FCS school, which he has been doing for how many years with FBS players. So with are better players across the board than he had at CC, he can only come with a game plan that gets 16 points.

    I’m to cheap to subscribe to the party line over at Pravada but will they at some point say the “cupboard was left bare” for Collins…LOL

    Sorry couldn’t get the link to copy as a hyperlink

    • He better get on the phone with his successor at Coastal Carolina because they beat UMass by 10 points. If we don’t do the same or more, we’ve hired the wrong Coastal Carolina guy. (Armstead is not an East/West runner; any Temple fan can tell you he’s a North/South guy; why they design plays for him to go outside is a mystery to me. Not sure we even have an East/West guy until Raynor gets off crutches.)

  6. “Let’s not kid ourselves here. If the guy who “wanted to sign a 10-year contract” is out after year four, nobody makes it to five years at Temple with a modicum of success.”

    This, so much this. After the ND game I commented about buckling your seat belts. I’m going to stick with that comment for the foreseeable future. UMass should, SHOULD, be a blowout based on the players talent, however, I’m been nervous from the onset.

  7. And then there were 3 or 4 defensive offsides which allowed Nova to keep the ball and move downfield. Inexcusable – was it the coaching or the players? Ironically Mike, we did better running outside than up the middle. Both games, nothing north/south. Somethings very wrong with that considering our talented running backs. And considering the build up to “mayhem” and the talent on O, this is just ridiculous. It’s on the coaches.

    • As stated via numerous news outlets… Ryquell Armstead is banged up and all of our other backs suck.

      • Amstead played this past Saturday. Also Gardner proved he can play and Ventell can play running back as can the kid from Imhotep. fact is that the OC has them running east west instead of north south.

      • Replying to John Belli… not that i’m defending this staff in anyway but the “kid from Imhotep”, Tyliek Raynor, has been in a boot since the end of camp, and I think u meant Isaiah Wright can play RB… which I also want to see more of.

  8. What is your take on P-nude’s comment on how we “Haven’t seen the true Logan Marchi yet” ???

    • “has a bad ankle coming out of camp, he is more agile, doing more things, running around and making plays,” Patenaude said as the Owls prepared to host Massachusetts (0-3) on Friday at Lincoln Financial Field. “You haven’t seen the true Logan Marchi because a big piece of his game is running around and making plays, “

      • OK, then let Russo play until Marchi’s ankle is 100 percent.

      • how many teams in the AAC would start Marchi?

        College football has become pretty simple: get superior play from the QB position and stop the run.

        the winning percentage is off the charts when you do those two things better than your opponent..,

      • So my issue with the TU coaches, is why play Marchi with a gimpy ankle , and risk having him re injury the ankle, when you have 3 other talented backup QBs. Play Centenio or RUsso

  9. @kj1o1941 I would say 3 teams would at the very least start Marchi… the bottom dwellers of Uconn, ECU, and Tulane. On the other hand, even local RU would start him considering their poor QB play.

    If true, I do want to see the “true Logan Marchi” sooner than later. I’m giving him the next 2 games to show his potential. If he doesn’t by the end of the USF game, then 1) it’s too late for our division standings 2) the staff sucks.

  10. When I saw “mayhem”, I thought they meant blitzing, slanting, shooting gaps, etc. All the things that cause mayhem for blocking schemes and offenses. Talk about over promising and under delivering. Mike, you might have a fraud case on your hands after paying for that shirt!

    • Brian, I think what we have now is a perfect confluence of a great DC at Florida who hired a linebackers coach at Purdue who couldn’t stop anybody in any previous stint as a defensive coach. Collins also coaches the fullbacks. The fullback(s) can coach themselves. Make Johnson the fullback coach and Collins should put himself as interim DC until the leaks can all be plugged up. Then, he can get both Chuck Heater’s and Nick Rapone’s phone numbers from me for next season. Hell, at this rate, Phil Snow might become available, too. He certainly has a much more intimate knowledge of this talent than Taver Johnson has.

      • Mike, what about Mike Pettine. Only coached college as a grad asst. then high school and NFL. Don’t know if he is coaching anywhere since his stint as Cleveland HC, but was a good D- coordinator with the Jets and have to think he still has good connections with the high schools in the area

      • Great names mentioned, right now that defense is catching blockers. They don’t know what to do, it’s a shame with some of the horses they have.

  11. UMass will be the test to see if the staff can make neccessary adjustments. Temple should (and they better) win. Some programs are already canning their coordinators. Collins needs to get tough and play some mayhem within the staff. Run the ball better, protect against the pass better, return punts better – or should that be MUCH better? Go Owls, just win the damn game and adjust!

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