The Case For The Defense


Karamo Dioubate (72) who had a hand in the last title, could have two hands in this one.

The other day I sent a message to a politican columnist I know that said simply this:

“Keep calling balls and strikes as you see them.”

I don’t always agree with her—actually, very rarely do—but I respect the way she approaches her craft and the logic of the arguments she makes.

In this day and age of polarization, it makes sense to hear  both sides rather than look for ones that ratified a pre-existing view.

Later in that message, I mentioned to her that the pitch cast on the Phillies games does a much better job at calling balls and strikes than the humans behind the plate do. That’s because the computer—setting the batter’s box the way it should be (belt to knees)—doesn’t make mistakes.

That brings us to the case Temple quarterback Frank Nutile made at media day.

“We’re loaded,” he said.

His head coach, Geoff Collins, was more cautiously optimistic in that kind of setting but said after the bowl game that he was going to have a “ridiculous” team in 2018.

I interpreted that as ridiculous as in the good kind because of the number of key returning players the Owls have in 2018.

Those are humans, though, and humans, like the umpires, can make mistakes in those types of evaluations.

Setting up the equivalent of the “pitch cast” box to take an objective view is the fact that the Owls have three immovable tackles in the middle of the field in Michael Dogbe, Dan Archibong and Freddy Booth-Lloyd and options at both ends in Quincy Roche and either Nickolas Madourie and Karamo Dioubate. Madourie is a junior college transfer who had 17.5 sacks at that level and Dioubate, who has been in the interior in his first two college seasons but was a high school All-American at defensive end, which got him recruited by schools like Penn State and Alabama. If Madourie’s jump to major college football doesn’t translate, Dioubate should be able to handle the other end position. Hell, Dioubate is more of a defensive end than he is a tackle and the Owls might want to utilize his talents where he can create more Mayhem. Just a thought.

The Owls have really good linebackers and defensive backs.

Put them all together and this should be a much more impressive defense that held eight-win Florida International to just three points.

Nutile has played against that defense every day in the offseason and it might be one of the reasons he used the word “loaded” or Collins used the word “ridiculous.”

Those are subjective words, but there is a lot objective data backing it up. The ultimate arbiter will be the record, not the humans who call the balls and strikes.

Play ball.

Wednesday: That’s Special

Friday: Silver Linings


5 thoughts on “The Case For The Defense

  1. Last year, thru yea ‘ol rumor mill of folks associated with TU FB and not this site, I heard the kids were very happy with the new higher level of coaches on the G Collins staff. They were ‘saying’ these new coaches were even better than the prev group of coaches for Matt Rhule .
    The comments I heard were going into Game 1 where Mr Patenude guy was not pressured In real games.

    I wonder what the underground reporting of the kids will be this year. I hope it is improvement again.

  2. I’ll believe it when i see it. Last season, the defense was supposed to be top ten in the country. I knew that wasn’t true after seeing the scrimmage at Penn where, they were torched several times by each of the qbs. The D did get better as did the coaches as the season progressed. There should be a followup column following the third game. If they keep Buffalo and Nova to ten points or less and Maryland to 2 tds, I’;; believe the D is good. .

    • Good point. I am wondering if Collins did a careful inventory of the film (or filum, as Bobby Wallace used to say) and decided to replace Johnson with Thacker because he was not pleased with the personnel groupings. If so, also wonder if Thacker also realizes that Dioubate is a dominating DE rather than backup DT. If so, with Roche (who had a Temple frosh record of 7 sacks) and Dioubate give Temple a nice pair of bookends on the outside with FBL and Dogbe in the middle. That way, Temple can play the 4-3 with Jones, Bradley and William K. (who had such a good bowl game) as LBs.

  3. Loaded and ridiculous, I can relate to that.

  4. Let’s assume they are as good as many here and on the team believe. What they have to realize is others don’t think that (3rd place pre-season poll) and play with a chip on their shoulder all season, including Villanova, ECU, UConn and Buffalo, not just UCF, USF, BC, Maryland, Navy, Houston, etc.

    Good players, a focused team, and the right attitude are a tough combination to beat. Throw in enlightened coaching and you have something lethal.

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