Owls: Be All You Can Be


Background shows great fan support for a then 3-5 Temple team.

A minority but certainly vocal opinion on social media this season from some Temple fans can simply be broken down into this one sentence:

“We’re not Alabama or LSU and we’re going to have seasons like this and we’re not going to go to a bowl every year.”

There are a couple of flaws in that logic.

One, few championship teams in the short history of the Group of Five returned as much talent as the 2017 Temple Owls. The best fullback in the country (who is seldom used this year) and the best running back on an AAC championship team (not used enough this season) and the best group of receivers in the history of Temple (only lately used) are among that group. Even more returned on the defensive side of the ball.

Two, “we’re” not playing the same schools Alabama or LSU are.

Why can’t “we” be the same type of program as Navy, which has been to 13 bowls in the last 14 years? Why can’t “we” be at least as good as Ohio (not Ohio State, mind you) and be bowl-eligible in the last eight years?

The answer is no reason at all.

When someone asks you what “Temple TUFF” means, show them this …

The jury is still out on Geoff Collins but, if he cleans up the mess of the first nine games over the final three, there will be hope for his future here. Ryquell Armstead had 151 yards against an Army team that shut out Air Force and getting him more involved would be a good place to start. Certainly, getting him involved to close out a 34-13 game is a must that this coaching staff demonstrated it does not understand on Thursday.


Lost only on Southern Miss. Lock of the week (Wyoming) not only covered but won outright.

Navy, despite the loss to Temple last week, represents being the kind of program that produces the kinds results Owl fans should expect. Bowl every year, playing for a championship every few years. Consistently, Ken Niumatalolo gets the most out of his talent and there is no reason Temple fans cannot demand the same standard. Ohio is the same way under Frank Solich.

If the Owls cannot win at least two of three, this season will be deemed an abysmal failure ruined by a coaching staff not competent enough to leave well enough alone and take the principles that created back-to-back 10-win seasons and, err, run with them.  Instead, they are all over the place on their offensive philosophy. One week, Armstead gets 151 against Army and, the next, they refuse to use him to close out a 34-13 lead.

Defensively, the Owls were all they can be for the first three quarters against Navy, then lapsed into the bad habits that caused them to be 3-5 coming into that game. It’s hard  to believe that three defensive backs who looked so terrific under a different coaching staff a year ago have lost the ability to cover the pass under this coaching staff. To be all it can be, maybe this defensive coaching staff—specifically head coach Collins—needs to take a look at the pass defense concepts taught by Phil Snow and apply that fix over these next three games. Clearly, “Mayhem” has not allowed the Owls to defend the pass in the fourth quarter of the last two games.

If the Owls be all they can be, they can win the two of three required to make a bowl game with honor.

That’s all the fans ever wanted to begin with.

Thursday: Cincinnati Throwback


19 thoughts on “Owls: Be All You Can Be

  1. What gives with Running back #5 R Armstead ? Why is his production so down and out from the previously expected big year of 2017 ? I heard some of ‘his family’ say he was not injured and their view was line wasn’t blocking for him.
    Then I see #24 D Hood getting some ok runs from the same line.
    Is play calling or O Line ability at fault here ?

    • Play-calling. The “so-called hurt” running back got 151 against an Army team that shut out Air Force, yet he’s MIA against Navy. He was just as “hurt” against Army as he was Navy. (In fact, before the Navy game he said he felt better than ever.) EDIT: MIA on the series with the 34-13 lead since someone is taking these quick comments as seriously as the post above.

      • where is Jager Gardner? Has he been redshirted? Or just thrown to the side like so many other players on this team

  2. Mike, not much to disagree with and nice to see that you got a rise out of 2 of the most vocal members of that group over on FB, David J. and Chris S. keep up the good work. 😁

    • Ryquell was “hurt” enough to gain 151 against Army and before the Navy game said he felt better than he has all this year. I won’t reply to Chris, though. Let someone else do that.

      • I love how he always “wants to put money” on it. I don’t understand this whole acceptance, almost seems like an expectation, that this team shouldn’t at least be bowl eligible most years if there is any hope of moving up. Part of the reason Rutgers got into the B10 was after his first 3 years building his program he had Rutgers in bowl game 6 out of the next 7 years, Flood then followed up getting the team into bowl games in his first 3 years after Schiano left. This whole idea with that group of a couple of good years then new coach and we start all over just doesn’t cut it

  3. .. and that’s the primary reason why Temple should not be starting over again with coordinators who have to learn on the job.

  4. I believe Gardner was injured and out for the season.

    Mike really rattled the Not Alabama “inmates” on FB. 🤣. After the last round of the “Marchi Friends and Family” posts and the PSU trolls I’m taking a break from posting there

  5. Some good points, but on defense we lost our starting three linebackers and starting defensive ends including probably the finest DE in college football last year. This has resulted in a pass rush that did not measure up to what we had last year, and losing Reddick, well, that was huge. We also lost our best cornerback. The defense is in a rebuilding mode. On offense, we lost our best blocker on the OL and our starting QB and running back. We also lost our best blocking TE. We have a lot of very young and talented players, and they are in a learning and development mode. At QB, it was a mistake to put in Marchi as the starter. From what I heard, he threw some bad decision passes and interceptions in Spring Practice and summer camp. I liked Nutile from the start, and in the last two games, he has shown far more ability and smarts that Logan. Logan lost the UConn game with two disastrous interceptions on passes he should never have thrown. He zeroes in on his primary receiver and tends to throw it to him, covered or not. Against Army, our normally dependable kicker missed two chip shots when the first miss would have sealed the deal, and the second kept our hopes alive. The coaches missed the boat on watching the clock and calling time out on the long one we made that did not count. That was awful. Let’s hope we win either all three left or at least two of them. Rabbi Dick White


    • We did not lose both starting DEs. Jacob Martin started four games last year, so he’s a starter. Sharif FInch started 10 games in 2015, so he can be considered a starter as well. As far as linebackers, since we didn’t play Sharga much at fullback, we could have moved him over to defense to mitigate the loss of starters there and we did not. As far as cornerback, Mike Jones was supposed to replace Nate Hairston but Mike hasn’t been the same player since he was wrongly called for interference on an interception that might have won the Houston game. He’s been walking on eggshells ever since, afraid that a similar call would lose another game for Temple instead of using his God-given talent. Nutile was another huge coaching error. He should have been in from the jump. All of this is coaching mistakes and not a lack of talent.

      • Also, the field goal kicker can never be a scapegoat…..unless it is missed xtra points. If he is in there to get 3, it’s because your offense couldn’t get 6. Kickers are always blamed for not getting half of what your offense couldn’t get. Go score touchdowns and you don’t need field goals. If it’s late in the game and you need a field goal to save your ass….then you should have scored touchdowns earlier. Field goals should always be gravy on top of the meal….not the main course.

      • totally agree about Boomer. For all that kid has done for us for two years, he should not be blamed for the Army loss. Never should be in a position where a triple-option team can throw the ball 70 yards down the field with a minute and just two time outs. Can’t allow a quarterback to sit back there and do a pirouette three times in order to find a receiver. Like I read somewhere (here?), the best pass defense is a sack. Mayhem should have been dialed up on that last drive but I think Collins lost the phone number. That game could keep us out of a bowl and it ticks me off.

  6. So with 6 AAC teams ahead of Temple (altho Navy isn’t quite bowl eligible yet), does that mean even if the Owls get 6 wins they could be left out, again? Temple better beat Cincy – but it could be a tough game. Tho exasperating, this season has become exciting here at the end. Go get’em Owls!

  7. Watching Toledo and Ohio. Can TU ever get a coach like Solich who has been unfairly fired from a big school and is happy to have success at a G-5 school? It seems that TU eschews hiring such guys. I believe that had TU hired Bradley from Penn State, the team would have had success sooner and it would have been long-lasting. I know that he was coming from PSU but he was never mentioned as someone who knew what was going on.

    • Also watching it. Dorrian Brown goes for 69 yards and Ohio leads. Solich has the perfect offensive philosophy for the Temple talent in place. Establish the run, get the safeties cheating to stop the run, pop a big play either with the back getting to the second level or play-action. Collins and Patenaude are forcing square pegs into round holes and that never works.

    • Obviously think the issue with Bradley was anyone from that regime was considered “toxic”. To your point, given the current time frame would that have still been an issue. On the plus side knows the recruiting area, has some HC experience, albeit for a short time frame but I think he was acting more as a quasi HC towards the end of Paterno’s “reign” and most importantly given the stage of his career probably content to stick around once he got established.

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