Temple Owls: Bowl Bound

Unfortunately, there are still some Temple football fans around rooted in the mindset of the 1990s.
That is, Temple football is not Alabama and that we as the unwashed Temple fans should be able to accept any scrapes of food that come our way because we are starving for success.
That all changed, though, when Al Golden came to town roughly a decade ago.
Those of us who have followed the program know that Temple has turned the corner and that bowl games should be the norm, not the exception.
So, as in vitamins, consider what happened yesterday to be the adult minimum yearly requirement: A bowl game with expectations of a brighter future.
I don’t know about the brighter future part–new coach Geoff Collins says that next year is going to be, umm, to use his word “ridiculous”–but we’ve achieved our minimum yearly requirement of a bowl game and I guess a lot of us should be thankful for that.

I will say one thing: This season will be a success if Temple, not Wake Forest or Toledo, is hoisting a bowl trophy no matter who the opponent.

The fact that it should have been better cannot be changed now. Beat UConn and Army, as the Owls should have, and the Owls would have finished 8-4 and gone to a similar bowl that they will go to now so it’s a wash.
As far as the 43-22 win over Tulsa goes, the Owls made Nick Sharga disappear again and that’s sad because he’s not only the best fullback in the country but one of the four best fullbacks I’ve ever seen in my 40 years of watching Temple football (right up there with Henry Hynoski, Mark Bright and Shelley Poole) and maybe, with Poole, the best blocking fullback I’ve ever seen at Temple.
If there’s a God, there will be a game plan featuring Ryquell Amstread following Sharga through the hole against the bowl opponent and a similar role for Rob Ritrovato next year. The Owls have a Heathen OC, Dave Patenaude, though, and he seems intent on doing things his way.
That way worked against Tulsa. It did not work against Villanova, UConn or a myriad other games.
Collins delivered the minimum his first year, which fit the definition of ridiculous in one way in that you are not supposed to go from double-digit-win seasons to a six-win one.
Seven wins would be better and the Owls have a chance to do that in a couple of weeks.

That would be exceeding the minimum by one.

Thursday: Fizzy Wraps Up The Season

Saturday: Bowl Scenarios

Monday: Bowl Reality

Wednesday: Ridiculousness 




31 thoughts on “Temple Owls: Bowl Bound

  1. As long as we beat our opponent, which looks to be either FIU, FAU, or App State so far… we will have a successful 1st year with GC.

  2. I know a win is a win, but I cant understand for the life of me the complete lack of attention to detail. With a big lead in the 4th quarter, Nutile is snapping the ball with 15 seconds left on the play clock. The idiot OC is throwing the ball on 2nd down at the goal line. It drives me crazy! Run out the damn clock! How come no reporter has ever brought this clock situation up to the OC? I woukd love to here his explanation!

    The officiating in this game was also dreadful, but they got the win. Now go win the bowl game and end the season with a winning record.

  3. congrats to the seniors, they deserve another game……,

    any bowl win would bring hardware to E-O Hall.., been saying this all year, have Wright return all punts and KRs..,

    took quite awhile, the OL is pushing people around, zone blocking and power runs help.., as we all can see, throwing the ball down the field is infinitely better than throwing the two yard out from the far hash…,

    my greatest fear is what a bowl victory would bring, another year for both coordinators..,

    my vote is the Hawaii Bowl 🙂

  4. I completely missed the game yesterday, but did two more players get ejected for targeting? What gives with this and why hasn’t it been corrected?

    • Couldn’t see the second call well on reply, on the first while it did fit the definition when watching the reply it came on a play where Tulsa was flagged for false start which the refs totally botched in stopping the play, and the call for targeting wasn’t made on the field but well after the play from the booth. I would say the officiating of this game was atrocious even by the usual inept AAC officiating performance

  5. We will enjoy this last game as a nice win.
    IF this possible Bowl Game is in a drivable range, we will consider going again.
    One time we flew out to New Mexico for a 3 day visit to see the game vs Wyoming when coach Daz took us to victory while with the MAC.
    That type of trip requires extra $$$ and Time available.
    Let’s see what happens here, how about NYC for a game ?

  6. I really don’t understand this OC regarding Sharga. You have the best fullback in the country just foaming at the mouth to go pancake someone and on the first drive he runs that goofy option into the boundary with Nutile…..why? He’s not an option QB and he’s the only guy that can complete passes this year. Yet you run him into the boundary and let him take a hit on the first series.

  7. I’ll repeat comment I made on previous post. Coach Collins has to be looking at all P5 HC job openings. He’s essentially auditioning for one of those jobs in the future based on his TU accomplishments. This team should have had 8 wins. Even with a bowl win, this was not a year that gets CC any visibility in the P5 world.

    Coach Collins: If you read this blog, take note of what’s posted. There are a lot of well intended albeit brutally honest comments here. If you have a team that should win 8 games, you HPhave to coach it up to a 10 win season. You can’t afford to let it be coached down to 6 wins. And look to get some highly and even not so highly rated kids from this area, and play them. Some high achieving hidden gems flourished at TU (Pierce, Wilkerson, Reddick). Doing so is key to coaching “up” at TU. Please don’t let a coordinator let his agenda/preferences undermine what it takes to win at TU.

  8. Compared to the talent we had on the team, 6-6 is underwhelming. Compared to the lack of coaching talent, 6-6 is much better than I had expected even a few short weeks ago.

    Any bowl is nice and a win adds a nice little notch to the season, and MOST importantly it gives the seniors one last time to play. Happy wherever it is whoever it’s against.

    Go Owls!

  9. Patenaude has to go because he’s shown he has no clue how to run a D-1 offense. Bad clock management, running a spread with pro type players, non-use of Russo, and simply bad play calling mandates that he be terminated or demoted. Lack of play action hurt not only Nutile who throws a great long ball but also this class of receivers who may be TU’s best. Instead of letting these guys go long, Patenaude had them mainly running crossing patterns. And as I’ve said previously, the waste of Sharga is a criminal offense. Merely putting him in requires attention from the defense. Faking the ball to the back with him in would leave a receiver wide open 95 percent of the time.
    On defense, the d-backs too often looked confused and were out of position. Coaching needs a big upgrade in that area. Next season, Owls will have two games to get up to speed, (Nova, Buffalo) before going to Maryland and BC. If they are not 2-2 after those four games, no bowl next season.

    • John, think your 2-2 is more realistic for the 4 games then what some think on FB. In fact I don’t think Buffalo is a sure thing given the performance of this staff against what were “peer” level teams this year. Right now if the team could go 3-1 out of conference and 5-3 conference (beat the same teams as this year + UCONN) I would consider that a very good year and give me some real confidence in Collins

    • Just the fact that Sharga has been relegated to “lead guitar” instead of lead blocker is an absolutely fireable offense….agree 100%! That kid deserves better!

  10. Where to start…….congrats for the seniors especially. This season should have been better – 9 wins (Houston, Army, UConn all definitely winnable) IMO. But a bowl game is sure better than nothing. But, what’s with all the penalties, holding which brought back SEVERAL long gains (of course maybe some wouldn’t have gone long without the holding?), 3 blocked kicks? (what’s with that?), their running back had 255 yards – some run D, huh?, not using Sharga and Retravito (altho the O was humming pretty good have to admit), too many personal fouls, etc. All of which goes back to coaching to a large degree. There’s still a lot to improve on, but, again, at least they made some kind of a season of it and broke the program record for consecutive bowl eligibility seasons. And when you think about it, this was 4 times better than Rhule’s first season – 3 times more wins and the 4th is going bowling. We can only hope Collins can improve at the pace Rhule did going forward. Probably 8-9 wins next year and Collins will be gone and the administration will have another chance to finally get it right or screw it up again. It’s good that we can now expect to not have down years I suppose, something we never dreamed of a decade ago. But, I totally agree bowling every year should be the norm. But I’m glad I don’t bet money because I honestly thought we would lose yesterday. So, there’s a good dose of satisfaction folks, even with the disappointments. Go Owls – win the bowl game and end with a winning record. That would be sweet, a losing record will be a bummer. This bowl game is where Collins can truly start to make this a consistently winning program.

  11. On a side note, looks like temple basketball is going to have another mediocre season… sure do miss the days of John Cheyney

  12. Not quite convinced this team will go bowling. There are more eligible teams than open bowl slots. If it comes down to quality wins, than Temple is screwed. Our bestquality win is again Navy ,,

    • AAC has 7 primary bowl ties, even if the conference champ somehow doesn’t get an NY6 bowl bid every team in the conference that is bowl eligible is going bowling this year. One of the advantages of being in the AAC versus the MAC

  13. Hope and pray that Collins gets the Mississippi State job. Would get Pat Kraft off the hook for making a really bad hire.

    I was a Dunphy defender til yesterday. he simply doesn’t have it anymore. Kids don’t play with intensity and have no clue how to finish games. 11-0 run was pathetic. Dunphy has to go especially since the team has gotten worse with arguably some of the best facilities in college BBall. if he doesn’t win four of the next five he should be fired.

    • John, bad hire? Not according to the coaching staff love fest going on over on the FB page!!!! I agree with you, haven’t seen anything from this staff that has shown me they will do much better than they’ve shown this year, especially with the holes that will need to be filled next season. For example, Temple ranked near the top of the conference in sacks and tackles for loss which a large number, especially sacks, were accounted for by seniors. Some much for the young team, rebuilding year narrative. Let’s see how the bowl game goes and the early recruiting signing period. Win the bowl game, signs of a good recruiting class and I’ll go with the learning curve this year, just still not sold yet

      • Get Golden in here and he beats the teams he’s supposed to beat, although probably would not have the highs Rhule had. Temple really needs to settle in the 8-10 win area and I don’t see Collins as that guy. Plus, I think a second run of Golden gives you more stability than this endless cycle of rolling the dice on coordinators. Golden now realizes that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the 10th and Diamond fence.

    • I’m with you John. His teams don’t play defense . And his NCAA tournament record is piss poor. The schedule is a tougher this year , and I don’t expect the basketball to make the tournament. Especially when they have to play Cincy, Wichita State (2x) in addition to Nova, Wisconsin, St. Joes.

  14. Mike, agree with Golden more likely the team would have won against Army and UCONN with the Navy game being a toss up. I think with a Golden 2.0 regime you would have gotten a consistent 7-9 win team with an occasional 10 win season but a level of stability and recruiting that would keep Temple in the top half of the AAC. Don’t know if he would produce back to back 10 win season. Now could he give us a “ridiculous” team!!! Still hope Collins turns out to be a good hire but when that happens we start this all over again.

    • Golden auditioned for every job opportunity that opened up, he was looking to leave the day he showed up and he’s finished here leaving on a sour note. He was a good recruiter but a lousy game day coach. I am not impressed with Collins’ game day coaching an his coordinators don’t impress me either while the jury is still out on recruiting. Bottom line, to be successful at either the college or pro level you need a top flight QB. Marchi and Nutile are not the guys and if Russo can’t beat these two guys out he is not the guy. I haven’t seen Centeio but he appears to fit the style of play preferred by Collins. Look at the success of UCF and USF which shows how a good QB hides a teams blemishes. Even PJ while not as talented as those two guys, did a great job here. If Collins can find the right guy to pull the trigger, he can be successful. If he doesn’t, we are looking at a mediocre program.

  15. Mike, glad to see you tempered your opinion of Golden – “probably would not have the highs Rhule had.” Al is mediocre game day coach but probably would win the ones he’s supposed to at least. But sounds like you’ve given up on expecting the administration from making the best coaching hire choices, for good reason based on past experience. 2 million per year could get him back for the long run tho.

    I kind of think tho that maybe Collins can improve. The bowl game and next season will show if that’s true or not. I do think Sharga took the biggest hit of all and hope it doesn’t ruin his NFL chances. Seems like Collins was getting the young guys more experience and maybe it will pay off.

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