5 Unanswered Questions


The thing about coaching changes is that bumps in the road are going to be an expected part of the process.

No one—at least the people I talk to—expected to hit this many major potholes on the way to what was largely an under-performing season in 2017. Plenty of starters and key contributors returned from the AAC championship team and Matt Rhule did not leave the cupboard bare for first-year coach Geoff Collins. Talent-wise, this was a team that should not have lost to UConn and Army. You may say that is crying over spilled milk but leaving that milk there without cleaning  it up could make next season more sour tasting that it should.

Part of the process is asking hard questions and answering them honestly.  So far, no member of the Temple football media (to our knowledge) has asked any of these five questions of  Collins and getting these answers by Cherry and White Day would be nice:


5) What happened to the fullback position at Temple?

Matt Rhule said he had an Epiphany after his second season that the way to create explosive plays in the passing game was not by spreading the field with receivers but by establishing the run behind a blocking fullback and then using play action to get receivers open. That plan worked for two 10-win seasons and Collins seemed on board with it as late as the season-ticket holder party in August. What happened? Will Nitro be used as a fullback this year or is the fullback position done at Temple? (And don’t say the fullback isn’t used in college football anymore. Just because other teams don’t use the triple option, that doesn’t mean that Navy will stop using it. The fullback fits the Temple TUFF football philosophy as the triple-option is to Navy. Run the ball, play great defense and special teams and hit explosive plays in the play-action game is what got Temple consecutive double-digit win seasons)

4) What happened to Jared Folks?

How does a guy start in the AAC championship game for a great team one year and become a non-factor for a mediocre team the next? Inquiring minds need to know.


3) How could it have taken them seven games to figure one quarterback was better than the other?

Despite saying for nine months leading up to the opener that all four quarterbacks were “equal” Collins rolled out an under-performing quarterback for seven games before an injury allowed Frank Nutile to play. Fans immediately saw that he was the far superior quarterback in the Army game. How could a highly paid coaching staff miss that?

2) What did Collins mean by his “square peg, round hole” comment?

Before the bowl game, Collins said that the offense didn’t come around because “I think we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole on offense.” What were they trying to do that was wrong and what fixes did they apply to make it work?


1) How could they have screwed up the kicking situation?

All over college football, you could see kickers on Power 5 teams miss chip-shot field goals but Temple had two kickers, Austin Jones, and Aaron Boumerhi, who were elite. That was an asset they should have extended by playing the healthy one and redshirting the other.  Instead the Owls tried to use two kickers from the jump. The Owls could have used Boomer for the extra year. Now Jones is gone and odds are the next one probably won’t be as good as Brandon McManus, Jones or Boomer. Great kickers are hard to find as Rhule found out in his first  year on the job.

Wednesday: The Coaching Shuffle

Friday: Killing Two Birds With One Stone

Monday: Strange Hashtags

13 thoughts on “5 Unanswered Questions

  1. The whole Jared Folks situation was odd as he was healthy the whole season, at least in appearance.

    I also agree that Boom Boom should’ve red-shirted and let Austin Jones play.

  2. Mike, I’ll add another 2/3 from one subject: what is and when will we see “mayhem”? Followed by: will we know what it is when we see it? #stillwaiting

  3. Hey guys, Phil Mushnick of the NY Post today demeaned the football program and the University in an article about Robbie Anderson by stating that it had gone to the dark side regarding athletics. I pointed out to him that he was absolutely wrong because Anderson was expelled, it does not suffer fools well, and the school has a very high athletic graduation rates. Please email him and tell him how wrong he is. When I did he brought up the fight three years ago involving the two linemen as evidence that the program was out of control even though those charges did not end in a guilty verdict.


    • John, it’s the Post…. I wouldn’t worry about it. Anyone reading it in order to be informed is not someone you’d want to, or would be able to, have a solid conversation with.

    • …not quite a ‘decommitment’, though that’s how both sides portrayed it publicly to help the kid out. He was ‘committed’ to Rutgers but almost actively looking for a PSU offer (they were likely feeding the kid a line of BS because his younger brother is a fairly big prospect for ‘19 though everyone could see PSU was just stringing the kid along) and he lost his spot to a DE from Maryland. This happened like a month and a half ago. We got burned last year by the Corey Bolds situation with PSU on NSD and weren’t about give a chance for a sequel. This kid will likely remain solid to you but if for some reason the Nits show any interest or even somehow offer (like a 1% chance of that happening) he’ll likely be gone in less than a second. Baylor (another school with reported interest) has a full class. A lot of his other offers are long-gone this late in the game. I doubt he would want to go to Tulane for football over you guys. I remember seeing an article on how he and his brother have been dreaming of playing together at PSU but it doesn’t look like that will be the case.

      …believe me, I know this looks like ‘sour grapes’, I’m sure some will think that, and it’s not like I’m some master authority of everything, but this is probably much closer to being accurate than ‘sour grapes’.

      Joe P.

      • I would like to believe this story; however, the fact that you’re saying he lost his spot to a kid from Maryland seems inaccurate in how is played out.

        The MD kid you’re referring to is Jamree Kromah, who RU attempted to flip (and did so succesfully) from Conference USA foe Old Dominion.

        From what i heard, RU wanted Travon and asked him to sign during the early NSD, Travon said “no” and they told him bye and started a search for another DE and thus flipped Kromah. Here is Kromah’s profile on 247 Sports:

      • I’ve seen Joe post on this site for years and I have never seen him admit to a kid who picked Temple over Rutgers without adding qualifiers (“not a committable offer, not really an offer because we got another kid we wanted over him”) … if this guy just once … once … said, “you guys kicked our ass on that kid. we wanted him bad but he liked Philly and the city” then I would give him creditability. As of now, he’s got none. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

  4. Numero, right about the kid. The ‘sources’ on the King situation I saw/ heard though are very close to it. I don’t think King wanted to sign early (because he was holding out hope for the PSU offer) and your perspective also fits in. We heard for months ‘he’s solid to Rutgers; the only thing that would change that would be a PSU offer.’ Mid-late November rumor had it PSU was poking around and the staff probably asked him about early signing, he balked, and Rutgers said, ‘ok, best of luck to you then’ right around the first week of December IIRC. After that happened all of a sudden the narrative turned to ‘hey, how can Rutgers do that? He really wanted to be there’, to which numerous RU people called bullfeathers.

    King is a good prospect and I would have liked to see him at Rutgers but quite frankly I don’t think he was an elite enough prospect to justify the PSU waiting game. He had legit offers from BC and NC State though they were time-sensitive and LONG GONE by October/November. Kromah is raw though with potential; he was actually getting offered by Maryland (at least rumor had it) because they had a Plan A kid fall through and he was very close to OV’ing there but chose to take the bird in hand. Both King and Kromah are going to need a few years to develop; I don’t see either as immediate contributors. King is light and both need college-level S&C before seeing the field on D.

    Joe P.

    • Also, RU had been touch with Kromah since the end of his junior season though he wasn’t necessarily first in line. He basically was 2nd in line for that slot and when King balked, that was it. Believe me, I don’t think I’m stupid enough to think that PSU sits there and sweats Rutgers at this point, but if they got all their top guys locked in, I’ve heard they would use a last offer just to mess with a local conference opponent (almost exactly what they did with Corey Bolds last year; I doubt he ever actually plays there). Once Rutgers wentbin another direction I bet any actual shot of PSU offering were cut in half of whatever they were.

      Joe P.

  5. Actually you’re wrong George; you beat us out straight-up for Banks and I said that but for whatever reason that comment got cut. As for this situation, the beautiful thing about living in this country is you are free to think what you want. I honestly don’t care if you believe me or not. I brought it up as a point of discussion (and respect Mime’s passion).

    Joe P.

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