Great Expectations


Getting another one of these in 2018 is the goal.

While the football game that will be played on Sunday will be on the minds of most people who live in the metro area, the football games being played on Saturday a few months from now are never far from the mind of Geoff Collins.

As they should.

He gave a brief glimpse into his thinking with this recent email to Temple season ticket-holders like me:


I like the optimism. I like the salutation more.

“Dear Mike,”

It was a nice touch, although the guy sitting next to me probably got a “Dear Joe” and the one next him a “Dear John” and so on.

Now if he added a few paragraphs afterward that said this I would have been blown away:

Dear Mike,

Great meeting you at the season ticket-holder party last year. I remembered you said to me, “Do me one favor. Never take Nick Sharga off the field.” I remembered my response was something like, “Don’t worry. I’m his fullback coach and we’re going to use him even more this year than they did last year.”

I should have followed your advice and my own. We certainly would have scored against Houston on first and goal from the 7 instead of punting from our own 36. We would have scored at Army on first and goal from the 1 instead of coming away with zero points.

I let Dave Patenaude influence me too much instead of relying on Temple TUFF in those situations.

This year, don’t worry. We’re putting the round holes in in the round pegs and the square holes in the square ones this year. Look for Nitro to be our full-time three-down fullback leading the way for Rock, David Hood and Jager Gardner. Then look for Frankie Juice to fake the ball into the bellies of those guys and, with the linebackers and safeties up at the line of scrimmage, throw it over their heads into the arms of Isaiah Wright and Ventell Bryant for explosive downfield plays in the passing game.

We finally figured this Temple TUFF thing out and I think you’ll be pleased with the results.



Friday: The One That Got Away




3 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. Loved the second version of the Collins’ letter, Mike. It’s like John Belli said, if these coaches followed the advice of this blog, they’d be better off. For the first two years of the Rhule regime, you railed about how they needed to go fullback and play action, drop the spread, run the ball and then pass off the fear of the run and then Rhule adopted exactly what you said his final two years. He probably owes you a cut of the $7 million. Good luck getting that. If Collins is smart, he will do the same. We shall see.

  2. There are some subtle signs that Coach Collins did learn some from the mistakes on offense and on the offensive play calling last season. During the season he came up with his crazy formations to try to get Coach Patenaude to do different things after banning him from the field and exiling him to the press box during games. After Nutile took over from Marchi when the latter was injured, Coach Collins stayed with Nutile the rest of the way. I would guess he told Marchi that he would not start again leading to March’s departure from the program. The coaching changes after the season suggest that Patenaude’s control over the offense has been diminished. The question remains how much Coach Collins is really willing to change the offense and take its direction away from Patenaude’s visions. Remember, Coach Rhule kept the same scheme for two years before making changes. Coach Collins seems ready to make some changes, we can only hope he learned enough.

  3. Thanks, guys. It’s heartening to know someone is reading and has been reading for years. Point by point I outlined what Rhule should have done after year two and point by point Rhule adopted everything I wrote, saying, “that’s who I am.” I didn’t care who he was but I cared what Temple football was. Run the ball. Tough. Knock the opponent on his ass in the running game and then get the linebackers and safeties inch up so close to the line of scrimmage that a simple fake to a running back leaves receivers so open a qb does not know which one to pick out. That is Temple TUFF. That is Temple football. To think it is anything else is foolish. Somebody wrote me today to enjoy the success. Sorry, 7-6 is not success (that’s the definition of mediocrity). Collins DID NOT get it during Year One. I hope and pray that Collins is getting the message after year one, not year two. If he does, we will all be better off.

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