Impact of Villanova Loss


The crowd won’t be this bad but it won’t be good on Saturday.

If it seems extra roomy in the stands on Saturday, it won’t be by accident.

Nothing chases away the fragile mostly soft-core Temple fan base faster than a home-opening loss and there’s nothing worse than losing to a hated rival by playing a brand of football Temple fans hate even more.

Geoff Collins’ coaching staff made their beds with a terrible game plan that eschewed the fullback and the running game in favor of a scatterbrained offensive approach that lacked any semblance of an identity. The bed is topped by a mattress of an even more traditional rival for Temple football than Villanova, Rutgers and Penn State put together:



At least the weather should be OK.

Now they will have to sleep in it for the rest of the season.

Beating Penn State to open the 2015 season opened the gates for the largest single season of attendance in Temple history. One of the next home games, against Tulane, drew over 35,000 fans.

None of them were from Tulane.

Perhaps that was the largest single gathering of Temple fans in history other than the 55,000 who made the trip up the turnpike to see the Owls thrash California at Giants’ Stadium in 1979.

After a loss to Delaware,
Bruce Arians fired his
offensive coordinator and
called for a full-contact
6  a.m. Sunday practice
(less than 24 hours after
the game) on the cement
turf at Geasey Field.
The Owls got the message
and played well the
rest of that season.
Did you see Collins
do anything similar
this week? I didn’t think so

In 2016, losing at home in the opener against Army, the Owls struggled at the gate the rest of the year even though they were champions of a very good league. The fans suspected the team was going to be good that year but, after laying an egg in the home opener, the belief system never materialized. Army wasn’t even a hated foe so the disgust this time could be more impactful at the turnstiles.  There is plenty of hate against a school playing at a supposed lower level of football that intentionally sabotaged every advancement Temple athletics tried to make over the past 20 years. Still, the Army game had 35,004 mostly Temple fans who left muttering “same old Temple” and “I won’t be back” and, the next game, the Owls were lucky to have an announced 22,233 (which looked more like 10K).

Expect a similar non-turnout on Saturday (3:30) for Buffalo.

To lose is one thing, but to lose the way Temple did is another. Matt Rhule said it best after capturing the AAC title.

“For the first two years I was at Temple, I was talked into the spread and we didn’t win until I went with my gut which was Power I and run the football.  That’s what we did under Al (Golden). That’s what makes Temple TUFF. How do we differentiate ourselves? How do we make ourselves hard to prepare for? Put two backs on the field. Put two tight ends on the field. This is what your roots are. These kids have made themselves really tough. And that’s the only way Temple will ever win–by being a really, really tough football team and establishing that identity.”

Temple fans expect no less than that kind of football and they are getting a kind of Coastal Carolina soft from the current coaches they don’t like it one bit. It is time for the current CEO to put his foot down like the former CEO did and return to the Temple TUFF brand so perfectly described by Rhule above. If not, he’s lost the program already.

No doubt about it, losing to any FCS team is an embarrassment but TEMPLE … Temple … losing to Villanova is worse. Villanova has 30 less scholarship football players, pays its head coach 10 percent of what Temple does and has a practice facility worth $1.7 million (Temple built its practice facility for $10 million in 2001 and added a $7 million annex in 2010). How is it possible that Temple could have all of these advantages and lose to a school that lost to Elon and Rhode Island last year? Temple fans have to be asking just what are they paying for. Damn good questions with few answers. Shouldn’t Temple have been able to recruit the kinds of athletes who could just pound the rock down Villanova’s throats?


So attendance will be the first visible impact of this debacle.

“The season has been permanently tainted by the loss to Villanova,” one of our esteemed posters wrote. “They could go 11-1 and it would still be ruined by that loss.”

Truer words were never penned. If by some miracle, the Owls win the AAC and qualify for a NY6 bowl, do you see any NY6 bowl taking a team that lost to Villanova over the champs of the Mountain West or even the MAC?

I certainly don’t.

Another poster, a guy named John Whiteside, wrote this one Facebook: “After the disgrace last week, ask me to follow you next year. Best of luck saving this season. A disgusted alumni.”

Pretty much that sums up the feeling of a large portion of the Temple fan base and I don’t blame them one bit.

The next negative effect might be recruiting where several recruits have to be asking if this is the coaching staff they want to take them to the next level. A third could be the belief system among the current players, who have way more talent than Villanova but were coached into a loss.

You can love the kids to death and implement all the swag and money downs you want, but it is all a downright mockery if you can’t win on Saturdays. Forget the hash tags about filling the Linc, which seems downright silly in light of the Villanova loss that effectively emptied the Linc for the remainder of the season. Right now, some of these kids have to be wondering if a John Chaney-type 5 a.m. practice where the coach yells at them for two hours would be something they need more than swag. After a loss to Delaware, Bruce Arians fired his offensive coordinator and called for a full-contact 6  a.m. Sunday practice (less than 24 hours after the game) on the cement turf at Geasey Field. The Owls got the message and played well the rest of that season.

Did you see Collins do anything similar this week? I didn’t think so.

This thing has already gone pretty far south with one loss. Add a loss to Buffalo and the whole season can implode in a hurry. Everybody better buckle up the chin straps, forget the hashtags, swag and money downs and just play (and, more importantly, coach) fundamentally sound Temple Owl football.

Friday: Buffalo Preview

Sunday: Game Analysis


19 thoughts on “Impact of Villanova Loss

  1. Come on, let’s give them a break…the headsets didnt work! Explain though how talent alone couldnt beat Nova. Or why the coaching of that game resembled the first half of last year. Or what the headsets had to do with Frank having no zip on the ball. We have heard enough talk and excuses from this team. Just win!

    • I wrote before the game I thought 16-13 last season was an embarrassment and hoped it motivated the Temple players and coaches to get that bad taste out of their mouths. Instead of washing it out with Listerine, they picked Sewer Water. The headsets story was a funny one, though. What would that have prevented? More handoffs to Ryquell 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage without a fullback to block for him? They should have been able to string two cans and a ball of yarn and still beaten this team by 50 points with the talent they have.

      • Remember that Coach Rhule took over a year to decide that he had the wrong offense for this team. It then took until the start of the third year for him to implement the new Temple tough offense. I have seen no evidence that Coach Collins is as insightful as Coach Rhule. I think this season is lost. Unless Coach Collins changes the OC and offense philosophy before next season, I see little chance of improvement in the future.

      • I thought Rhule and Collins were friends. I wonder how many times Rhule thought to pick up the phone and say, “Geoff, a piece of advice. Run the ball behind an every-down fullback, then use whatever success you have in the running game to open up the passing game. I didn’t win until I stopped listening to Satterfield and went with my gut. You should probably do the same with Patenaude.” He probably said, “Fuck it. I want those Temple people to miss me in case I have to go back.” That thought would be violating his faith, but at least he didn’t say it out loud.

      • The person you should really be going at Mike is the guy that hired these bombs somebody should be putting pressure on this athletic director I already gave my season tickets away

      • I wrote after rhule quit Kraft should have hired al golden; if he did, we would be working on our 4th straight 10 win season

  2. I’m an alum and season ticket holder who witnessed the debacle against Villanova last Saturday. I am not looking forward then play South Florida, etc later this season. Without an effective running game and a zone defense with more holes than Swiss Cheese, I am wondering when Collins will change his strategy.

    • Yeah, I thought our linebackers were supposed to be a strength but they were out of position the entire game and that’s probably more on our Kennesaw Mountain Landis State DC than it is on these poor kids. Let’s face it. We went from a defensive coordinator who was DC for both Arizona State and UCLA to a DC who was a linebackers’ coach … linebackers’ coach … for Kennesaw State. Does Collins not have better coaching connections? Even Daz was able to hire the Florida Gator co-DC to be sole DC for Temple. Don’t even get me started on the OC, who is about as anti-typical of Temple football as you can get. The Temple kids deserve no less than the best coaches.

      • Not that i don’t disagree with your analysis, but weren’t u one of the people who initially complained about Phil Snow’s hiring?

      • I was against his hiring initially because a much more qualified candidate (Nick Rapone) was available at the time and interested in the job. Chuck Heater also was better qualified than this current guy and I would take even Mark D’Onofrio over him. All Power 5 guys an 1 FCS DC of the year and we get a Kennesaw State guy. Poor hiring on Collins’ part.

  3. Look at it this way: Lose to Buffalo and you are facing Maryland, a team that beat Texas in consecutive years, and a BC team that beat a UMass team Temple struggled with last year by 55-21 last week. Team is staring at an 0-4 start with serious self-doubt among the players about the guys who are coaching them or even about how good they themselves are as players going into the AAC season. As John Chaney said, winning is an attitude but losing can be just as contagious.

  4. Is Chip Kelly available ?
    Did UCLA can him after the loss to Cincinnati ?
    He would turn that offense around .

    He’s as bad as Willie Taggert at Florida State with these lame excuses. Try Patenaude and our clueless defensive coordinator caused us to lose and I might believe him. Yea, no headphones were the cause of 46 yards rushing and Nova’s 405 yards in total offense. I’m quickly losing any respect for this guy because he’s delusional. Had you attended the season ticket holder party, you would have thought that this team was going to vie for the national championship. Now they’re headed for the worst team in the AAC. Like Leo Durocher said, “Nice guys finish last.” and Collins fits that definition.

    • The cluelessness of Pravda (and, sadly, Marc Narducci) is apparent in this press conference. Not once do any of the seven Pravda reporters there or Marc ever ask the two most important questions: 1) Why has Temple gotten away from using the fullback the last two years? 2) Karamo Dioubate was an All-American defensive end in high school (rated as the No. 5 DE in his class by one site) and why are you playing him on the inside and out of position? Ugh. Drives me nuts.

      • Hello Mike Villanova plays up at Lehigh Saturday last year Lehigh 35 Villanova 38 what does that tell you about the temple scoring offense

    • They can’t even man up and admit they weren’t ready to play….its clearly evident to all who witnessed it. Not ready to play in every aspect….if you can’t admit it, you can’t fix it.

  6. Chip Kelley also eschews the power running game. Would be Paternaude on steroids. So many 3-and-outs, the defense would be spent by the 3rd Q.

  7. So sorry but I have to be realistic. This team may not win a game this season. I watched Temple today and I watched USF beat GT. Temple is in BIG trouble. I am praying for Temple but I know that this is going to be a wicked situation. I will limit my commentary so I do not get banned.

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