TU Offense and Geoff Collins: Sockless


Someone needs to show this film to Geoff Collins

The routine practice here is not to post about a game until a full day has passed so as not to let emotion get in the way of calm and rational thinking.

It usually works.

Not this time.


It’s one thing to put up ugly numbers against USF; it’s quite another to fail against a team that lost to Rhode Island and Elon … that’s right, Elon… last season

No matter how many hours pass, nothing will change what we witnessed on Saturday, an Epic Coaching Fail that will rank with some of the worst days of The Unholy Trinity of Temple head coaches (Jerry Berndt, Ron Dickerson and Bobby Wallace). Don’t blame offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude or defensive Andrew Thacker, either.

This one falls squarely at the sockless feet of Geoff Collins, who is the CEO of this football operation and the buck clearly stops on his desk. He certainly either does not know how to utilize the talents of his best tailback or simply refuses to do so. Rob Ritrovato can pick up where Nick Sharga left off and lead the way for a successful running game, which will be the key to opening everything else up.

Collins hired Patenaude to run an offense ill-suited to the personnel recruited by Matt Rhule, the previous coach. Rhule said that the Owls did not experience the kind of success he envisioned until he went with his instincts, which were power I with a fullback to clear the way for a running back, bring the safeties and linebackers up to the line of scrimmage, and use play-action fakes to pass over their heads. In that kind of offense, Temple wide receivers were so open that quarterback P.J. Walker often had a hard time choosing which one would be on the receiving ends of his passes. In this offense, nobody fears the run and, as a consequence, nobody gets open in the passing lanes.

Clearly, Patenaude stubbornly wants to force this square peg into a round hole and it’s not working nor probably ever will.

This is what we said in our preview two weeks ago:


Yesterday, guess how many opportunities Ryquell Armstead—a downhill back recruited to run behind a fullback—got to run the ball behind a fullback?


As in none.

Instead, Armstead got limited chances in an empty backfield and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Someone—maybe Ed Foley, maybe Adam DiMichele—who understands the meaning of Temple TUFF and how it applies to offensive football, should take the film at the top of this post into Collins’ office this week.

Defensively, this is what we wrote about the Villanova game plan on Aug. 8, meaning roughly that the Owls had one full month (really, nine full months) to get ready for this:

“Villanova is going to throw to the tight end—a lot—and going to try to throw crossing underneath patterns to backs coming out of the backfield” _ TFF, Aug. 8

What did Villanova do?

Throw the ball to the tight end a lot and also gained the majority of its 405 yards total offense on crossing patterns to the running backs.

Then there is the matter of defensive ends or lack of them. That stuck out like a sore thumb when the “above the line” depth chart was released a few days ago. It’s not that the Owls lack defensive ends, it’s just that they have two really good ones—Dan Archibong and Karamo Dioubate—playing on the interior of the line where they are already set with tackles Michael Dogbe and Freddy Booth-Lloyd.


Nitro, Temple Nation Turns its lonely eyes to you (but as an every-down fullback, not as a tailback).

The Owls got pressure from only one end, Quincy Roche, when they could have both Roche and Dioubate meeting at the quarterback on a regular basis. So to get to the quarterback, they had to blitz, which resulted in a game-winning touchdown on 4th and 9.

When you don’t have to blitz, you can move your other defensive resources elsewhere and stop some of that crossing pattern bleeding. Plenty of questions, very few answers, on that backbreaking play. The first is what idiot  forced a lefty quarterback to run to his left–and most comfortable–side, when the rush could have been set up to flush him to his right make the more difficult throw across his body? Could that have been none other than The Minister of Mayhem?

If that all of those errors weren’t grievous enough, Collins proved that he was very bad at math.

With Temple up, 17-13, with 6:52 left and a 4th and 2, he went for a field goal that was missed. Forget the fact that it was missed. Remember that, up four, a field goal does you absolutely no good because a Villanova touchdown wins the game either way because it sends a deflated Temple into overtime in a game the Owls knew they frittered away. Conversely, a Temple touchdown there probably wins the game. A FG missed or made does zero good. Simple math. People in the stands were saying that before the kick. If Joe Blow knows it, a guy who is paid $2 million per year to make those decisions should know it, too.

Steve Addazio

“At least I beat Nova 42-7 and 41-10”

Collins needs to get better in a whole lot of areas but going back to Temple TUFF power football with a fullback and a tailback would be a good place to start. If Patenaude doesn’t like it, he can go back to Coastal Carolina. We hear they like that brand of football there.

Rhule did not have success here until he had that kind of an Epiphany. Collins won’t until he does the same.

Monday: Fizzy’s Corner

Wednesday: Ancillary Impact of the Villanova Loss

Friday: Buffalo Preview

Sunday: Game Analysis


36 thoughts on “TU Offense and Geoff Collins: Sockless

  1. Outhit, outscored, out-schemed, out played, out-hustled, and out-coached and guess what-TU football is back in the football outhouse. With all his talk about lines I think Collins is doing “lines” the way he coached yesterday. I watched the game again on ESPN 3 and it was even worse on second viewing. His misuse of timeouts, failure to adapt, and his reliance on Patenaude were glaring errors.

    TU did nothing to take advantage of its superior athletes, it did nothing to free runners or receivers, and on D they did not read their keys and were fooled tens of times on misdirection plays. You would have thought that after they were burned five times on a play where either a back or tight-end flared out of the backfield away from the play action, someone would have covered the play. They never did. To Nova coaches’ credit, when a play failed because of a mental lapse like a dropped pass or missed block rather than because of TU’s defensive effort, they immediately called it again and it invariably worked. Unbelievable.

    The trouble with Patenaude and Collins is that they believe that a successful coach is one who is known by the sophistication of the plays he calls and the schemes he runs rather than whether the plays work and the game is won. They better learn that running off tackle with a lead back, while simple, is a really good play especially when you have the guys to run it. Frankly, I’d trade our coaching staff for Nova’s in a heartbeat. At least their game plan had a salient purpose and took advantage of their strengths and TU’s weaknesses. As I said yesterday, the season is fatally tainted because of this loss.

    And by the way, just to bring the mood down even more, TU may not win a game in September. Buffalo has better athletes than Nova and a coach at least as good as Nova’s. Tulsa is better and both BC and Maryland proved that they are loaded with big time athletes. Daz, unlike Collins, showed what you have to do when you play UMass. As far as the rest of the season goes, Cincy beat UCLA at UCLA and UCF and USF are as good or better than last season. The only team worse is Navy. TU may win only 3 games. It’s going to be a long season. I would go eat breakfast but still haven’t gotten my appetite back after that abomination yesterday.

    • Amen….out-everything is right….i did not see anything positive. Take those stupid freaking gimmicks….Collins cash, money downs, etc. and shove ’em. Coach football, give your players the best chance to win.

    • Last night was the first dinner I missed in five years. I just didn’t feel like eating. Then I tried to sleep. I couldn’t and was tossing and turning all night. I guess I shouldn’t care so much but I do. I’m leaning that Collins had the same sleepless night but after reading Patenaude throw the kids under the bus again and take zero responsibility for his flawed offensive scheme, I think he probably slept like a baby. John, truer words were never spoken or written than this: ” As I said yesterday, the season is fatally tainted because of this loss.” You are right, they could go 11-1 and this season would be tainted by a loss to those assholes. If Collins doesn’t fire or demote Patenaude this week (and hand the reins of the offense over to DiMichele or Foley), he’s is sending a clear message to Temple fans and players that he cares more about friendship than he does about Temple football.

  2. Mike, don’t disagree with you at all with regards to the type of offense that should be run but don’t see that happening at least until another handful of dreadful defeats like yesterday. That being said, maybe this staff should just cut the above the line crap, lay out who they feel is the best fit for there scheme and sink or swim with that line up. Looking at Patenaude’s offenses at Coastal Carolina, the OB was usually one of the top 3 rushers on the team and neither Nutile or Russo strike me as that type of QB. Not criticizing either player rather they both seem better suited for a pro set. So either this staff needs to start coaching a style that better fits what has worked here and what seems better suited to the players who are starting on offense or come out an say a QB like Centeio is a better fit for the scheme and that is who will run the offense. Again, not trying to start a QB controversy but rather getting tired of this square peg in a round hole approach of these coaches.
    As for the “Minister of Mayhem”, maybe last season is the best we’re going to et from him record wise. Towards the end of yesterday’s game I said to the folks in my section tht between last year and that game I’m getting the feeling that I’m watching years 3 and 4 of Addazio if he stayed at Temple. Looking at the Daz’s 5 years so far at BC 7-6 4 years with a 3-9 year thrown in, at this point I can see Collins not getting much above that level. Only problem with that is going 7-6 in a P5 conference is a better situation than the same record in the AAC, dollar wise.

    • Great coaches tailor their scheme to fit the players they have, not the players they want to have. They have players to pound the Rock (behind, ironically, the Rock). They will need more than Toddy Touchdown to run that other crap Patenaude wants to run. On top of that, why tailor your entire offensive scheme to your third-best quarterback?

      • Mike, think the operative words you used are great coaches, not sure if Collins has the makings of a good coach. My fear is what we saw last year may be his ceiling, 6-7 wins a year.
        Was playing more devils advocate with going with the 3rd string QB rather than pushing for that. Right now this staff seems to be in the situation of not fitting their scheme to best utilize the talent that is on the rooster and continually trying a less than optimal style of play to maximize performance

  3. Cracks me up that Collins says we lost to a good team. You didn’t lose to a good team… You lost to an FCS program on your home turf that you had 9 months to prepare for… Temple should have won this game on talent alone… With a O line that probably averaged 25-30 lbs more then Nova D line, common sense tells you to ground and pound all game and wear out the Defense… Why is it that avergae Joe’s like us know that but the guy getting paid 2 million doesn’t.

    • 46 rushing yards against Nova. Lol….T U should be able to line up in the I and run power left and right all day long to the tune of 300+ on the ground and several TD’s vs Nova. Back to the spread….back to losing. “We lost to a good team”….laughable quote.

    • That “good team” lost to Rhode Island and Elon last year. Does Pat Kraft have Curt Cignetti on speed dial?

  4. I did not see FBL or MD on the field until the 2nd quarter. Was it a league imposed disqualification or coaches decision? Fun game to watch: Nova looked great while the Owls laid an egg and then got run over by Bolt Bus.

    • My “other alma mater” (Archbishop Ryan) beat Frankford, 41-0, on Friday. To me, that’s a fun game to watch. Good guys 41, Bad Guys Squat. That’s what a good Temple coach would have done against Villanova. Say what you will about Daz, but he made playing Villanova “fun” with 42-7 and 41-10 wins. To me, that was a fiasco and a debacle and about as far from a fun game to watch as humanly possible.

  5. Think it’s unanimous that the Offense was horrible. However, Defense was not good either. Anyone look at all the yardage ‘Mayhem’ gave up to Villanova? And that 4th and 9 TD pass…UGH!! 😵😱😭

    • Was going to purchase a “Mayhem Is Here” T-shirt if the Owls were up 20 points at halftime. So glad I gave myself that mandate. Saved $33 bucks. Mayhem is officially Fake News. I haven’t seen it in two years (except at the bowl game and that was after knocking FIU’s great quarterback out early).

  6. A couple of things .

    First, I’m really concerned about Buffalo next week,. As I said before, Buffalo has a great dual threat NFL caliber QB and is loaded with great receivers . We couldn’t even stop or put pressure on Bednarczyk, who is a pure pocket passer.

    Second, based on that dreadful game, Kraft needs to put an immediate stop to all of TUFB social media and marketing gimmicks , i.e. $$ down signs, football clinic trips to Japan etc.. and focus on coaching and recruiting. . I know these trips, the social media crap is suppose to build the TU Football brand. However you’re deteriorating the brand by losing games to FCS teams. Build the TU football brand first by playing Temple Tuff football and winning. The higher level players will follow.
    Last. You know the coaching was awful, when both a HOF player like Paul Palmer and Harry Donoghue, blast Collins decision to waste a time out, after Nova scores a go ahead TD in the 4th quarter.

    • Collins said Villanova’s player ran out of bounds and the clock should have stopped. I was on my way out and watched the play on the concourse and could not understand why the clock kept running. Collins was right but this game should have never come down to that. Buffalo is much better than Villanova and I fear the Temple kids’ confidence in their coaches has been shattered. Saturday could get ugly. If there are more than 15,000 fans in the stands, I will be surprised. Opening home losses (especially brutal ones like this to a hated city rival) dramatically drop the belief factor with Temple fans for the rest of the season.

      • Nova guy did run out of bounds. Nevertheless, the coaches should have noticed that the clock restarted and that time was running. It seemed to me that Nova knew exactly what TU was going to do at that point of the game. No UCF miracle this time. Also, Nutile was aiming the ball. His throwing motion was not smooth and he really had no zip on the ball. And why no deep shots. Thought the receivers had speed to burn.

      • You know Hardin used to get the second quarterback a few series every game just in case the No. 1 guy went down (he even did this with a Maxwell Award winner as his first-string quarterback). It’s high time to get Russo in there and have these guys push each other to get better for the team’s sake. Create the same kind of competition at that position that exists at every other position on the field (except placekicker).

  7. Does anyone know what Collins was referring to during his press conference when he alluded to the loss of someone close to the program?

    • I don’t know the name of the person but that person I understand that person was one of the three people holding up the money down signs. I hope that person is OK. A couple of years ago, I think one of the coaches took ill on the sidelines and turned it to be OK so I hope that’s the case here.

      • What are we going to do if the other two money down guys come up ill? Will we ever win another game without money downs?

  8. Mike, my “belief system” has not changed even thru the highs the last few years – Temple, IMO, teeters on the edge, making bad decisions and allowing the coaches to be mediocre or less. What else can we expect? i agree, forget all the hype bs and force the HC to make changes that are clearly necessary. I hate to say it but when Collins goes, Nova’s HC would be a good hire for TU. His team was precise all day long and are therefore a good team – the one thing I agree with Collins about. The thing Collins fails to understand is that HIS team was not ready, and that’s his fault. TU isn’t going 11-1 after this and this season could be a disaster and if so Collins should be fired. Period. I was so excited leading up to the season opener and in 3 hours I almost don’t give a shit now. At every turn TUs administration fails when it comes to trying to win.

  9. I say its time that we bombard Collins’ email with a call to fire that fraud Patenaude. He truly is an “offensive” coordinator because he offended every TU player and fan with his offense and play calling yesterday. If anyone knows what it is please let us know.

    • I don’t but I had a lot of hope that naming Foley “assistant head coach, offense” would serve as a counterpoint in coaching meetings for Patenaude’s crazy. Evidently, that title was just window dressing because Foley clearly is not in charge of the offense.

      • There in lies the problem….all talk, platitudes, cliches, gimmicks, politicking….whatever you want to call it….just don’t confuse it with coaching and sound decision making.

  10. If Nutile can’t learn to throw to receivers to an area that the ball is catchable, like their hands, and not their feet, he needs to sit. Wayne would have sat him after the first half. I see a guy that is like the substitute teacher in Collins. I don’t think the team takes him serious or buys into a lot of give BA. Quite honestly with so many gimmicks and fads I’m embarrassed. If an old fart like me feels like this, the prayers sure as hell are not buying it either. All the management ideas aside, dealing with young men, you need to show who’s in charge. Leave meathead football players to their own stuff, what happens? They do meathead stupid shit. Fear works. It’s time the sherif steps up. Stops with this buddy, buddy Mr. Nice guy shit and laws down the law and start kicking some ass and taking names. Otherwise forget about it

  11. What are the excuses this year? Last year he rode the “young team, small senior class” crap into the ground. Cant say that this year. The offense reminds me of Chip Kelly trying to run DeMarco Murray out of the pistol and all these stupid spread schemes. Didnt work for DeMarco and wont work for our backs. The most frustrating thing is that they went back to their old ways and showed the same stubbornness and stupidity as they did the first half of last year. I could go on and on…whats up with the lollipops Frank was throwing yesterday…where was the defense and mayhem…etc. Collins and all the dudes he brought in are a joke. Great marketer but man has he come off like a schlub. All talk, no walk. Anyone wanna take bets on how the press conference starts this week? Im going with “Tough loss, but alotta respect for these kids who fought the entire 60 minutes. They played tough, they played physical but we just didnt get it done. Frankie Juice played well overall and the defense did some nice things. PS – my guy Dave P is my guy so be nice. Questions?”

  12. On the bright side, PJ Walker also had a less than stellar stats, his second season as the starting QB.

    On a side note, does any one know yhe Financial status of the football program ? Does it make any $$ , or at least break even ?

    • Based on yesterday the status is trending downward….sharply!

    • TUFB is in grave danger, they only way out is to win…,

      hard to fathom a winning record this year..,

      I live in Hawaii now and went to the UH Navy game.., the UH offense is prolific.I don’t see Temple putting up those kind of points, and I don’t see Temple stopping Navy, i.e., so put another L in the column..,

      I would be shocked and pleasantly surprised if this team wins 5 games.., our OC is an albatross.., time for Collins to fess up and admit to a mistake.., reminds me of Taggart and USF.., he didn’t enjoy success until he fired both coordinators, it takes a real man to swallow his pride and pull out the hammer

      loyalty first to TUFB

      • A while back (maybe the 16/17 offseason) I was in a discussion here either Mike or another poster said something like- ‘we’re a championship program now, 8-10 wins a year will be the new norm’ and ‘Collins is a home-run hire’. I said something like, ‘no, you’re an improved program that won a conference championship and a lot of people had faith on your coach (Rhule), not necessarily Temple. Like any non-blue blood (and maybe not so much that anymore either) you will eventually stumble/fall; how you respond to adversity will really define what kind of program you are’ and ‘you have no idea how Collins will be as a HC’. It reminded me of how Rutgers fans got after the 2006 season when everyone expected it to be the norm, not realizing what it took to sustain that type of success.

        Nova is a solid 1-AA squad with a very good QB and great coaching, but I honestly figured your size/ depth on the lines would give you a double-digit win. Collins seems married to your OC the same way Golden was to D’Onofrio as DC; I always thought that if Collins didn’t work out at Temple that would be his undoing (was never impressed with Padentaude at Costal Carolina).

        Joe P.

  13. The good news is we don’t have to worry about another school targeting Collins after a successful season and him screwing us by leaving as Rhule did. The bad news is we don’t have to worry about another school targeting Collins after a successful season and him screwing us by leaving as Rhule did.

    • These carpetbagger head coaches every few years are a real problem. Temple needs to get a Temple guy or someone who understands Temple. If that, as Mike suggested, means having Elon coach Curt Cignetti (a former Temple assistant) on speed dial, so be it. I thought Collins would be a good hire if he raided Florida for some top assistants like Daz did with Heater, Loeffler and current Ohio State head coach Ryan Day. Instead, his top assistants are from Coastal Carolina and Kennesaw (Mountain Landis?) State. Incredibly underwhelming and those 2 are obviously in over their heads. Nova, on the other hand, kept a Philly-based staff that outsmarted Collins. Something to be said for that kind of continuity.

      • I have said that they need someone who has played and coached at some top places and doesn’t need to prove anything…..someone who can settle in, knows TU and doesn’t need it for a stepping stone. Why not Todd Mcnair? Shit, give me 500K and I’ll out coach these clowns….that is not a joke either.

  14. Does anyone want to buy a pair of season tickets?? (Cheap!!!) I’m debating whether to sell them to get some of my money back for such a piss poor product, or mail them back to the Temple Athletic Department with a note for Collins to shove them up his ass sideways.

    This team was not even close to being prepared to play a game. The players didn’t look fired up in the least, and the coaching staff got completely out-coached. Collins has struck me as a phony since his opening press conference, nothing but a snake oil salesman. Give this guy a checkered coat and put him on a used car lot. We keep getting promised Temple Tuff, and all I’m seeing on the field is Temple Fluff.

    I sit down pretty low, right behind the Temple bench. What really bothers me is that after getting manhandled in the first quarter, I didn’t see one single assistant coach, “team leader”, or “Temple Tuff single digit player” over on the sideline trying to rally the troops. You know, huddling up the offense or defense and yelling to fire everyone up. Nova came out like it was a playoff game, and Temple looked like it was the preseason scrimmage at Franklin Field. Play with “energy and juice”, isn’t that what Collins always preaches??? I saw NO energy or juice out of any single player on that field on Saturday. The coaching staff did not have these guys ready to play at all.

    This coaching staff is completely bush league. I hate to say the season is over after 1 game, but it sure as hell feels like it. I’ve only missed 1 home game in the last 10 seasons (had to attend a relative’s wedding), but I really don’t know if I can bring myself to attend the Buffalo game on Saturday. I’ve got better things to do with my time than watch a clueless coaching staff lose games to teams with lesser talent.

    • I hear you, bro. I missed one home game in the last 10 years (the win over then No. 21 ECU in the rain) simply because I could not find a substitute at the place I was working at the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had only 15K against Buffalo. We would have had 30K if we won. We’re going to lose all of those wonderful first-year students who came out for a great win over a hated rival and went home disappointed, not to mention the alums who realize this is the last time we play the bastards and will never forgive Collins for not realizing the importance of this game was not just to beat them, but hammer them by 30+ points. Amazing that Elon and Rhode Island can get the job done against this squad in less than a year and swag, mayhem, juice, money downs can’t.

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