Not sure of the exact time, but the Temple football season ended somewhere in the second half in the third game of the season.
Sure, the schedule says there are still nine games to play in a 12-game season but anyone who knows anything about football and watched this team has seen enough.
This is around a five or six-win team now and I don’t see anyway around that. I hate to admit when I’m wrong, but my projection prior to the season of eight-to-10 wins for this team is way off. It’s all over but the shouting and a lot of that shouting will be done by Temple fans who have been used to double-digit win seasons.
The blame rests not with the kids but with the coaching staff.
The capper came when Temple called an option play on a 3d-and-21 down-and-distance situation in a 29-21 win over a UMass team the Owls should have smoked, 31-6. It does not matter what the play was, but the result was a 4-yard gain and a punt. It was playing not to lose and not playing to win and that is always a bad strategy. This team has played not to lose for the last two games instead of putting the foot on an inferior opponent’s throat.
The play call speaks to the tone deafness of this rookie coaching staff the silence has been deafening for three games now.
Sad, because the kids deserve better.
There are enough holdovers from a 10-4 championship season to have expected a much more successful season than what we are looking at now. In a nutshell, this is what we have seen so far.
- Against Notre Dame, the Owls were blown out, 49-16, against a team which finished 4-8 a year ago. Yeah, I know it’s Notre Dame but the last we checked this was the same 4-8 team that lost to Navy and Navy was the same team that got blown out by Temple in the AAC championship game. New head coach Geoff Collins blamed the 422 yards rushing on “misfits” but he did not mention that most of the misfits were the guys he hired as assistant coaches.
- Against Villanova, the Owls could score only 16 points on a team that got absolutely torched for 35 points by Lehigh. Let that sink in for a moment. Lehigh. Then Collins had the gonads to call Villanova “a really good team.” Sorry, Geoff, Villanova blows and so did your game plan against that “really good team.”
- Now we get to Massachusetts, a team that was beaten by Old Dominion, Hawaii and Coastal Carolina. Here’s the weird part. Temple hired last year’s offensive coordinator from Coastal Carolina and this year’s Coastal Carolina offensive coordinator–with Coastal Carolina talent–scored more points on UMass than last year’s Coastal Carolina coordinator with Temple talent. Maybe the Owls hired the wrong Coastal Carolina OC. He still hasn’t figured out that Isaiah Wright needs 20 touches a game, not the four he split between the last two games.
Something is very wrong with this picture and it has been that way for three games. One or two games might be an outlier, but this looks like the norm for the balance of the season.
Yes, it’s 2-1 but that’s the softest 2-1 in Temple history. Get me four more wins in the next nine games and I will be pleasantly surprised, but I do not see it getting any better going forward. It’s not the kids. It’s the coaches and I expected much better. The USF game could get very ugly fast unless major issues are addressed on both sides of the ball.
We have, oh, just four days to do that and nothing I’ve seen in the last four weeks gives me a whole lot of confidence that anything will be addressed at all.
Monday: A Blueprint
Wednesday: USF Preview