Coastal Carolina Soft

Bye week has arrived for Temple football and, frankly, it could not have come at a better time.

An intervention is needed and someone needs to slap both Dave Patenaude and Geoff Collins upside the head. Not enough to hurt them or put them into the hospital, mind you, but just enough to slap them out of this soft Coastal Carolina poison they have fed as the antidote to Temple TUFF.

It’s one thing to lose,
but it’s quite another
to lose by tearing
apart what has been
the very fabric of
this program for the
last decade. This is
not on the kids, it’s
on the coaches.
It’s been on the
coaches all season

They need to get Patenaude and Collins into the conference room at the Edberg-Olson Complex. Maybe Matt Rhule and Al Golden can explain what Temple TUFF means to them in terms that only a fellow football coach understands. In the back of the room, Ed Foley and Adam DiMichele need to be nodding their heads in agreement.

Saturday’s excruatingly painful 31-28 loss at Army—easily the most painful of many painful losses I can remember in over 40 years as a Temple fan—wasn’t decided on Boomer’s two missed field goals nor the unexplainable final drive as much it was much with 3:16 left in the third when Isaiah Wright was tripped up on the Army 1.

The former Temple coaches who built this thing and do not want to see it collapse like a house of, err, straw, cannot explain to Patenaude and Collins what Temple football is as much as what is is not. This is the message that Rhule, Golden, Foley and DiMichele should deliver to Collins and Patenaude.


That other stuff, running Frank Nutile out of a shotgun on first-and-goal, is not Temple TUFF. That’s Coastal Carolina Soft.

Run Ryquell Armstead three times, four if you have to, behind Nick Sharga and get the seven right there and the game is over. Hell, my money is that Armstead and Sharga get the job done the first time, not the second or third–just like the two did here a year ago against Cincinnati. That time, Sharga pushed Armstead into the end zone. He does even better lead blocking. That’s Temple TUFF. I’m not sure these coaches understand that. As Harry Donahue might say, check that. I AM sure they don’t.

Temple got no points out of that possession when it should have gotten an easy seven. Get those seven points and the Owls are sitting on a  14-point lead, not a seven-point one and the Owls didn’t have to worry about any other sins that they committed. Playing a prevent defense against a team that is just not comfortable with throwing the football makes that team comfortable. Putting the quarterback on his ass, especially with his team having no timeouts, is the best pass defense that has ever been devised by man. If you can’t get there with four, send five. If you can’t get there with five, send six.

Just get there.

That’s Temple TUFF, too.

It’s one thing to lose, but it’s quite another to lose by tearing apart what has been the very fabric of this program for the last decade. This is not on the kids, it’s on the coaches. It’s been on the coaches all season.

Whatever happens in the remainder of the season, an intervention is needed now.

Tuesday: 5 Quick Patches


32 thoughts on “Coastal Carolina Soft

  1. I completely agree. Army had absolutely no answer for Armstead today. He could have had a Montel Harris type game if they had given him the ball more. 1st and goal should have been Armstead 4 straight times if necessary. Why does Patenaude insist on getting cute in these short yardage situations? He did the same last week. Stop trying to look like a genius with these exotic play calls and just run the damn ball down their throat.
    Also, why does this team hardly ever blitz this year? They get almost no pressure with their front 4. Army’s passing offense is high school level. On the last drive, send the blitz and force the QB to make a mistake. The lack of turnovers generated by this defense correlates directly with the lack of pressure on the QB.
    I hate to say it, but at this point I almost hope they lose out to guarantee that Patenaude and Johnson both get canned. We aren’t going to a bowl game now anyway. I just don’t see a successful future with those 2 on the staff. Worst case scenario is that the Owls play well in the last few games and Collins gives the old, “Well they came on at the end, let’s see what they can do next season” routine. This team had 7-8 win talent, even with a new coaching staff. (Provided they were competent) At this point I’m just hoping we don’t start losing recruits. Trad Beatty is supposed to enroll early, I’ll breathe a big sigh of relief when he is seen on campus in January.

    • Just saw that Jayde Pierre reopened his commitment after the UConn debacle.

      • Will be interesting to see who commits during the early signing period in December. If Collins is as good a recruiter as alleged, we should get an indication then, plus can make up for coaching short comings.
        As for the coordinators, most certainly agree with Patenaude, clearly in over his head at this level. As for Johnson, defense seemed to be getting better but don’t know about him either given that prevent he went to on the last Army drive. What can you say about a defensive coordinator that let’ Army beat you through the air

      • I don’t know that the prevent defense on the last Army drive is on the DC or on Coach Collins.

    • Take the time to listen to the Patenaude post game interview…no fire in the belly…he’s out of his league and he knows it.

  2. Mike: I am a long time Temple football guy; this lose yesterday may be the worst. Someone needs to be held accountable for not calling a time out when kicking the 52 yard field goal. I first thought Army had iced the kicker, I could not believe it was a delay of game call. Since the field was made it is all the more painful. That was the game, a totally self inflicted wound. All the Army heroics (kudos to them) would have meant nothing. A ten point lead at that time would have been enough. It has been a really strange year wtih the penalties againt Houston, the horrible UCONN loss, and now this. Temple has given three games away. There is no margin of error at this level for coaching errors and horrible play selection. Not getting points on the drive you mention was brutal. It is a shame Jennings fell down almost in the end zone. Not sure what our corner was thinkig on that last Army touchdown, at least interefer, don’t let him catch he ball. I am heart sick.

    • A good DC on that time out tells all of the DBs to interfere on that play. We don’t have a good DC.

      • I thought that the definition of Minister of Mayhem was hard aggressive take no prisoners football. Instead it is fake money for third down and a prevent defense…Kraft sold us a bill of goods when there were experience Head Coaches from winning programs that wanted to move up to another level. This is killing our recruiting…the Temple program that prevailed over the last two years has lost its identity.

  3. How does a Defense allow an Army team averaging 17.9 passing yds per game (WORST IN THE NATION) to drive down the field by passing and score to tie the game? That may have been the worst 91 seconds in Temple Football history. Despite the ‘”Nightmare at West Point”, there are still many covering Temple Sports on Twitter that are defending Collins saying the team is no good, not that his coaching and staff are the problem. Give him another year or two before labeling him a bad coach??? Not me. Collins sucks!

    • In a perfect world, Dr. Kraft gets on the phone with Al Golden today and tells him to get the binder ready and the staff ready at the close of the season. With Temple already invested $2 million per for five years in this mistake, the imperfect solution is for Kraft to call Collins into the office and demand he hire two new coordinators. Chuck Heater would do a helluva job here and he’s at Marshall. Temple can pay him a lot more than Marshall. For OC, we need to hire a play-action, run-oriented, guy and there are many more of those out there than there are guys like Heater. Temple is as much a run-play-action identity program as the academies are triple-option programs. No more spread guys.

      • Mike, at this point I am starting to agree with you “perfect world” scenario, just not seeing this oach “learning”, while I thought some made too much of Rhule’s “learning curve” period at least you could see improvement in areas of his coaching over the first 2 years. Plus he wasn’t starting out with as much talent as Collins inherited. Beginning to think he is another competent coordinator whose coaching and recruiting reputation was partly a benefit of being at Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Florida as much as his abilities. Given that what do you think are the odds of the following:

        1. “Perfect World” solution, admit a bad hire eat the contract and bring in a proven HC before the program back slides too far. The Bobby Wallace era almost ended TU football and I think a 5 year losing stretch under Collins while not killing the program would make it basically irrelevant in the next round of conference realignment. Basically TU football would be in whatever form the also ran G5 takes.

        2. Collins revamps the staff in the off season, brings in competent, experienced FBS coordinators, is as good of a recruiter as his reputation and this year becomes a one year hiccup and Temple stays consistently 1 of the top 4 teams in the AAC

        3. He basically becomes a longer term Addazio 2.0, in that he recruits well enough to keep Temple a middle of the road AAC team, putting together a record like the Daz at BC, 6 and 7 win seasons with a losing record every couple of year or so. I use Addazio in my comparison because the too seem very similar, coordinators from big time programs, a lot of talk and hype, etc.

        4. Collins is a complete bust, TU can’t eat any of his contract and the team has 5 down years with another big rebuilding task facing his successor.

    • How the hell do you let a non passing Army QB reverse out and pirouette on that drive….are you freaking kidding me? Not that they should have been in that situation….but my God….how is there no mayhem descending on that ridiculous set up?

      • Brian, I was screaming the same thing. The D-end was not setting the edge and keeping it. No outside leverage at all. The whole thing sickened me and ruined what was one of the most beautiful days, weather-wise, you could imagine.

  4. This was another horrible, heartbreaking, “why the &$@! does this always seem to happen to us?” loss, that we longstanding TUFB fans have suffered over the years. Having said that, I came away somewhat encouraged with what I saw yesterday. First, there was finally the movement from the stubbornness regarding the QB position and making the change. Second, a 500 total yard offense for the day that should have been enough to win this game. That was the best offense of the year as I see it despite the lost scoring opportunities noted in the article and comments above. It seemed to be a little more of TU type offensive football. Please note the word little in that statement. (I know my football acumen is in the bottom quartile of commenters on this site. And many of you are on the verge of your heads exploding with that comment. Still, the offense looked much more defined and confident than I’ve seen all year.) In short, I think Coach Collins is waking up again this morning “knowing” there were coaching decisions that he would probably re-do against not only Army but I am guessing from the beginning of the year. This should have been a 7 or 8 win season. Collins is coming back next year. His learning curve has been steep without the benefit of experienced Coordinators to help him as a first year HC at this level. I expect to see more “drift” this season to what many of you have suggested in the past. And if they can beat Navy because improved game planning and play calling, they’ll beat Cincinnati and Tulsa. These players are too good to give up on.

  5. I’m with you Easyowl. I saw improvement. The D did a good job shutting Army’s run game down but ironicly lost from a poor pass defense, when our D backfield was supposed to be so good and their pass O was supposed to be so bad. But missed field goal opportunities alone lost this one as well as that 1st and goal debacle. And again, unnessary penalties at key times hurt big time. It was just unbelievable we lost this one. All I can say is that Temple really could be 6-2 right now, looking at an 8-4 (or better season). But again, Temple for much of the game did a job on Army – just not quite enough to win. My only hope is that 3 losses so far have been very competitive and with certain tweeks could turn into wins the rest of the way. Yes, it was coaching but some was on the players too. Seems like we’re back to those “bad luck” seasons.

    • “Wins the rest of the way”??????

      #18 UCF is ranked #1 in the nation with 47.3 points per game (tied with Ohio State) and is a little under the radar with #17 USF getting all of the attention. Temple will be a big home underdog against them and can’t see this coaching staff stopping or beating the Knights. AAC Game of the Year will be USF at UCF. Additionally, this coaching staff has not shown the ability or potential to even win 3 out of 4 to become bowl eligible, let alone winning out.

  6. This is what I said last Thursday:

    “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”:

    • Although the game started with it looking like itwould be an Army runaway, the Owls gained the upper hand and the rest of what I said occurred. I have never been as sickened and dishearted about Owls football as I am now after the last two games because this team has talent, unlike most of the previous Owl squads.and because the coaches are the most incompetent I’ve seen in the last 43 years, How Marchi was chosen as the starter is mind-boggling given how efficient, accurate, and composed Nutile played. Not once did he throw into double coverage, never mind triple coverage like Marchi does numerous times a game. It is not my intention to disparage Marchi but rather the coaches for having such a poor ability to judge talent.

      Ihere were two bright spots. One was the use of last years’ offense to some degree and the fact that they played Sharga on defense, something which many on this site have been saying they should do for six weeks. And yet despite Sharga’s excellent play, he wasn’t playing the last couple of series. Bonehead coaching and dummy Patenaude reverted to his pathetic offense from the 2-yard line.

      I Leave with this. If Collins does not replace both coordinators and a couple of other position coaches, I suggest that we start a boycott by sending emails to Kraft’s office threatening to stop buying season tickets unless Collins fires that pair of incompetents. I have never seen a prevent defense run like they did it yesterday and just saying Patenaude’s name needs no further explication.

  7. The TUFB program sucks this year and will for many years to come. We have lost the last two recruiting years and counting.., next year’s class may be worse…, blame is too widespread.., once again we will go to rock bottom before any hope of getting better…,

    What would you do if you were the president of the BOT?
    a. nothing, and let Kraft and company continue to melt
    b. order Kraft to make changes in the coaching staff
    c. fire Collins and find a better head coach
    d. drop all plans for a new stadium
    e. discount the positive impact of college game-day an an aberration
    f. drop the program for costs exceeding the potential benefits

    my bet is the BOT will do a, d and e.

    this is so sad…, I’m out for the rest of this year

    • I would go with b and d. Need to be changes on this coaching staff and the first step should be coordinators and some position coaches. They only have one year deals so cost effective and a chance to give immediate impact. A rookie HC and an OC in over his head and not ready for prime time took 2 years to work the last time. Throw in a rookie DC who came from a team that isn’t exactly a B10 powerhouse, why are we surprised at the results this year. How recruiting goes should be a good indication whether or not c needs to be thought about within the next 1 to 2 years. As for the stadium I can see the pros and cons but it’s not going to happen anytime soon in this city, it has been talked about at least since the 90s and the university is no closer to an OCS then it was 20 years ago. Plus with the budget that has been discussed I can’t see anything more than a glorified high school stadium being built.

  8. I would pick C if you can get Golden. He knows how to win here. That said, Temple does not act like a “normal” school (or even a UConn) when it comes to big-time college sports. They will probably let Collins finish out five sub-mediocre years and fire him. Hopefully, they will make as good a call on a coach as Ohio did when it hired Frank Solich 15 years ago. My guess is that five years down the road if Kraft is still here he will try to prove what a genius he is by grabbing some coordinator no one ever heard anything about.

  9. Well it all comes down to this: Navy. Our last true opportunity to get to a bowl game and win 7 games.

    Afyer this awful collapse, i have a weird feeling that we’ll be just fine. Either that or im nauseous.

    On a serious note we had a decent game plan, just couldn’t convert in the red zone. I. Honestly feel like we can squeck by Navy with a W.

    • Correction: Navy is our last opportunity to get a bowl game, period. With UCF on the schedule, you can forget about the seven-win part.

    • Unfortunately, Navy has vengeance on their mind. They got their butts kicked last year by this team and they have been licking their chops for this one, believe me.
      Our coaches weren’t here for that and it doesn’t hold the same importance as it does for Navy’s coaches and team.

  10. If UGA trounces Florida Saturday, maybe McElwane will beg him to return and make it worth his while.

  11. Stan, I misphrased the “wins the rest of the way.” I meant there are 3 more games Temple “could” win but, you’re right, not UCF. Okay? They’ve had 3 close losses already they could have won, which I’m trying to look at as a positive and hopefully they can tweek things enough to win another couple. The way they played Army they have a chance against Navy, Cincy and Tulsa. That’s all I’m saying. But we’ll see. If they lose the rest the programs in trouble.

  12. JD, really liked your overall thoughts. About the stadium tho, I’ve been to several MAC stadiums (living in ohio) which Temple could emulate and they’re actually much better than a glorified HS stadium – quite nice actually, with room for expansion. But your other stadium thoughts are right on.

    • Jon, have only seen those stadiums on tv when we were in the MAC, but I believe Akron’a stadium was relatively and looked like a nice venue, same with NIU who was doing a refurbish I believe. While I don’t believe the OCS is a cure all as some believe, after all Temple has a great basketball facility and look at the attendance there, I think the biggest issues are city politics and cost in this part of the country. Plus, aside from “issues” regarding Lurie Temple does have some advantages it didn’t have at the Vet, such as their own locker room and much better scheduling control.
      As for the coaching staff an interesting ESPN report on Norte Dame moving up in the polls and one of the things Kelly did in the off season, fired half his staff. As the reporter stated, “Kelly realized he had to do something”. I think the problem here is while Collins may realize he needs to do something, he weighs that against figuring he just needs to get Temple back to winning the next couple of years and then he’s out of here.

  13. Holy ShitBowley Batman, this coaching staff may well have put the rusty dagger thru the heart of any real TUFB Hopes to be a recognized asset for another better league let alone AAC standing. I feel it is possible we may never come back to good for at least 6 – 8 years and that would require superior minds at the coaching helm plus being able to recruit solid talent based on a dream and not reality.
    ‘Pay no attention to that bad Temple Team behind that Green Curtain’.
    We have been buying season tixx for 20+ years now.

  14. It took Rhule just two years to go from the cellar to winning at the highest level in Temple history.

    It’s taken Collins & Company two months to bring a talented team back close to the cellar. The guy doesn’t even have what it takes to be a Div 3 head FB coach . Get him out of there .

    • I agree. Get him outta here. Cut the losses. His schtick (money downs, swag, the standard) looks ridiculous when the team is 3-5.

  15. Hopefully the new coaching staff will recruit well, because they’ll have December to “hit the trusty trail.” Let’s start a Christmas wish list.

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