Throwback Thursday: Fighting Fire With Fire

Things We Have That Army Doesn’t: Swag, Juice, Money Down, #The Standard; … Things Army Has That We Don’t: Five Wins


If the Owls follow the 2012 blueprint of run-heavy on Saturday, they could be doing this post-game at West Point.

Very few civilians living in California today would say this, but the professional firefighters know the best way to fight fire is with fire.

It’s called a backfire and has often stopped wildfires faster than gobs of water have.

Temple fans know all about the backfire Steve Addazio set to stop Army’s wildfire triple option in 2012.

Montel Harris, Nate Combs

My all-time favorite Temple post-game photo, then Army captain (now Ft. Hood Texas Major) Nate Combs congratulating Montel Harris for his 351-yard, seven-touchdown, game.

His name was Montel Harris.

Harris at the time was splitting duties with Matty Brown but when the Bug (of Bernie and the Bug fame) went down with an injury after scoring a pair of first-quarter rushing touchdowns, Harris had to carry the load and what a load he carried.

When it was all over, Harris set a Temple single-game record with 351 rushing yards and scored seven—that’s right, seven—touchdowns.

Quarterback Clinton “Juice” Granger was largely a game manager that afternoon in West Point, throwing only five passes in a 63-32 win over Army.

The pass-happy coaches
at Temple now might do
well learning from that
experience as they have
two really good tailbacks
(three, if you count
Isaiah Wright and they
apparently are not aware
of the fact that Wright
was a good tailback
for Matt Rhule)

The pass-happy coaches at Temple now might do well learning from that experience as they have two really good tailbacks (three, if you count Isaiah Wright and they apparently are not aware of the fact that Wright was a good tailback for Matt Rhule) and probably the best blocking fullback in Temple history, Nick Sharga.

Last week, in a 28-27 win over Eastern Michigan, Army rushed for 417 yards as a team and held the ball for over 37 minutes despite not completing a single pass. They threw as many passes last week as the Owls did in that 63-32 win. Five.

If the Owls repeat history, throw only five passes, and gain 417 yards on the ground, you’ve got to like their chances again on Saturday. Hell, a now fully healthy Ryquell Armstead even might be able to run for 351 but, if Hood, Armstead and Wright combine for 417, that will probably be more than enough. Run the ball, eat the clock, throw the rare pass to keep them off balance and the Owls might just do what Army did a week ago in controlling 37 of the game’s 60 minutes. That would keep the triple option off the field for at least that much time. That’s fighting fire with fire.

They might even go the full Monty (Harris?) and fight fire with fire by starting another game manager quarterback who goes by the nickname of Juice and run those tailbacks behind Nick Sharga left, right and up the middle all day. At least that’s the type of game plan devised by some remnants of a national championship coaching staff at Florida coming off a bowl win in their first season at Temple. In 2011, that staff took a team with less talent than this team has now and won nine games.

With this staff, though, don’t hold your breath.

Saturday: Stacking The Box.


19 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Fighting Fire With Fire

  1. Unfortunately, with our coaching, I don’t think they would agree with your suggestion, and more importantly, the OC would not know how to scheme such a scenario. I think this is a lost season. The Coach would rather hug the players after a loss, that I put squarely on him, then take proactive steps to right the ship.

    • It took two years for him to follow our four major suggestions: 1) Fullback; 2) play-action; 3) dump spread; 4) Go run-heavy. That got Rhule $7 million per. Hopefully, Collins listens to just one or two suggestions.

  2. But even then, Satterfield didn’t go with your ideas on defensing their options and the season started off poorly. Seems like these coordinators read your posts, then to spite you, do the opposite.

    For offense, start telling him to break out the single wing. Maybe he’ll go to the wing-T to show you what he knows.

  3. Hey Mike,
    Shelley Poole or Sharga? Too bad the film’s were different back then….would love to see some of those old games. I’m sure Temple, in all of their wisdom, didn’t save much of that stuff.

  4. This should be a winnable game. Defensively for Temple, Army gained 417 yards but scored only 4 TDs against Eastern, Mich., so bend but don’t break, commit few penalties and eat the clock are essential to have a chance. Oh yeah, and score inside the 10. No more “close but no cigar.” Go Owls.

  5. They have scored only 15 tds all season ALL SEASON! On Saturday, Army will win easily because they are disciplined, their players play tougher, our coaches are the worst, and I think that TU players are completely disillusioned because they have realized that the coaches are clueless and if there is a wrong way to do things, that’s the way the coaches are going to do it. Couple that with no tds on defense, no ball hawking, no significant special teams play but for field goals, which the coaches can’t screw up, and very few defensive turnovers or blocked kicks, which were signatures of TU football, the destruction of all of the excitement and pride in TU football built up over the last two is almost complete. Owls really have a good chance of losing every one of their remaining games. I thought Cinncy would be a cinch to beat but after last Saturday’s debacle, I think that game could be a loss as well. We will know on TU’s first defensive series if the Owls have a chance to win by the way they line up. If there aren’t linemen in both A gaps, it will just provide more evidence that the coaches are boobs and that it’s going to be a very long day for the Owls.

    • Agree with your assessment John, watching this team lately is like watching paint dry, especially for home games. I have club level season tickets and I can say this year is one of the few times I find myself lingering inside more throughout the game. I mean aside from half time I was in my seat for the entire game 3 years ago during that downpour against ECU. I wouldn’t be surprised if Patenfraude calls 50+ passes again.
      But we have to remember, be patient, it’s a rebuilding year, Collns deserves at least 3 years (new one on FB today) 🤡

  6. sadly I agree.., we HAD an identity and created a brand for TUFB. all things you mentioned are gone, there is no excitement.., we need a Delano Green or Matt Brown returning kicks..,

    1. put the “touchdown waiting to happen” kid back there for the rest of the year (MR had the wisdom to put Jahad back there when he was healthy)
    2. establish and stop the run.., pretty basic stuff this team hasn’t handled well.., sometimes you have to pass on 1st down to establish the run.., are we committed to running the football?
    3. Russo at QB, sit Marchi AND the OC
    4. Get Ventell Bryant back into the flow, he averaged 16 yards a catch last year, this year it’s 9 yds
    5. block a punt and score on defense
    6. get the penalties down to 5 and < 50 yds per game, sit the undisciplined for a minimum of a quarter

    We could win all remaining games if we just did those six things…,

    Stat to remember for Saturday, Army is averaging 378 rushing yards per game, 2nd in the nation. and we play the number 1 rated rushing team the following week

    Temple is averaging 102 rushing yards per game, 120th out of 129 rated teams…, hence the importance of #2 above

    • why did Army beat EMU? EMU doesn’t run the football well, they are the 126th rated rushing team, and they threw a pick, Army had zero turnovers..

      Temple has more talent than Army…, Army is better coached, their players are all in, they have an identity and play to their strengths…,

      like John, I don’t believe the players have faith in the coaching staff

      Army wins 28-13

      • I think this is the tipping point….if they start off slow, the team is lost! No hugs or hashtags will bring them back either….these players want to go hard and win. They are rudderless and they feel it….can’t keep fighting when you don’t know what you’re fighting for.

  7. One thing I miss on this blog is our host’s analysis of other games and predictions, especially AAC games. But I understand the omission because weightier topics require discussion during this frustrating and disappointing season.

    • All you need to know is that the conference is composed of two good teams, USF and UCF. The rest are average and worse. Navy lost to a so-so Memphis team that is currently down 14 to a less than average Houston team that got blown out by Tulsa last week. This conference isn’t P-8 this season, never mind P-6.

  8. Don’t you just feel like grabbing the coaches and shaking them until they wake up? We could win all remaining games kj, just like we should have won 2 of the ones we lost and be 5-2. The coaches need to get their heads out of their asses. We need to hear that popping sound! (But i’m still hopeful anyway – can’t help it!).

    • yep.., doing all six is overly optimistic.., how about three of the six? Three things can be done right now:
      1. make Wright the PR and KR guy
      2. get the ball to Ventell Bryant
      3. Cut out the stupid penalties

      the most important of the remaining three is establishing and stopping the run.., It is damn near impossible to win when you can’t run AND stop the run in the same game.., Army and Navy will prove this point..

      two left.., tell Foley to block a punt just like he used to do.., and ask Collins, “so, can you please explain the Mayhem concept again?”

      inserting Russo and benching the OC is a Kraft action.., Collins is just too nice of a guy.., at least MR didn’t fear being disliked

  9. Army needs this win badly to be in consideration to replace UMass in the MAC. I’ll take the Owls, the points, and buy the next round.

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