Game Plan: No Wild Winging Against Buffalo


Hopefully, Nitro being named a game captain means he will be an every-down fullback which is just what the Temple offense needs right now.

Although both Villanova and Buffalo wear different shades of Blue and White, there is no doubt about one thing.

Buffalo is a better version of Villanova. Just because Buffalo is better than Nova, there is no reason for Temple to panic (3:30 p.m., Lincoln Financial Field, no over-the-air TV) against its former MAC rivals.


Fortunately, transitive property has been proven faulty on many occasions and matchups are more relevant than any other factor in college football.

In that area, Temple would seem to have the advantage.

The game will simply come down to this: Temple exploiting the one weakness Buffalo has demonstrated not only this year but over the past 13 games: Run defense. Against a very bad FCS team, Delaware State, the Bulls yielded 199 yards rushing. Villanova might be the Alabama of FCS football (although that is yet to be proven), but Delaware State is probably closer to the New Mexico State version of FCS football and the fact it could gain that many yards against a FBS team is alarming. Of the 127 FBS teams, Buffalo is ranked No. 95 against the run. Last year, the Bulls were even worse—ranked No. 96th (195.3 ypg) against the run in a 12-game season. This is probably not the game OC Dave Patenaude should have Frankie Nutile winging it all over the lot nor the kind of game he throws a couple of passes after getting first-and-goal at the 1 (like the Army game a year ago).

So if the Owls commit to the run behind a proven AAC championship tailback (Ryquell Armstead, 916 yards, 15 touchdowns in 2016)  following a fullback like they did in back-to-back 10-win seasons, they can accomplish two very important things:

  • Controlling the clock and the game, chewing up big chunks of yards and scoring touchdowns on the ground;
  • Keeping the ball away from the two NFL prospects on the Bulls, quarterback Tyree Jackson and wide receiver Anthony Johnson.

Jackson a very accurate 6-foot-7 passer and can see over a Temple pass rush that is already down one starting defensive end (Dana Levine, out 4-6 weeks with an injury). Levine’s subs got pushed around by the Villanova starting offensive line while the only heavy lifting at the defensive end position was being done by Quincy Roche at the other end. Too bad the Owls couldn’t recruit a guy who was named the No. 12-ranked DE in the United States when he got out of high school three years ago.

What’s that?

This will not be the easiest
game of the season, but
it will certainly be the
easiest game plan
of the remaining dozen or
so games left on the schedule.
In about 24 hours, we will
have a good idea if the highly
paid professionals running
the Temple program are able
to figure out what anyone
with a minimum football IQ can


They did?

Oh yeah, Karamo Dioubate is getting limited snaps in the interior of the line while walk-ons back up the other end. It would seem to be a simple move to slot Dioubate in his more comfortable position so as to help Roche create additional pressure.

A lot of things that appear logical to the casual observer about this Temple team were illogical the first week of the season.

Maybe naming fullback Rob Ritrovato one of the four game captains is a sign that the Owls are getting back to the Temple TUFF brand of running game Owl fans know and love. Maybe it’s just window dressing like calling Nick Sharga “the best fullback in the country” one year ago and limiting him only to five downs or less in the actual games.

This will not be the easiest game of the season, but it will certainly be the easiest game plan of the remaining dozen or so games left on the schedule. In about 24 hours, we will have a good idea if the highly paid professionals running the Temple program are able to figure out what anyone with a minimum football IQ can.

Sunday: Game Analysis

19 thoughts on “Game Plan: No Wild Winging Against Buffalo

  1. If they come out in the Patenaude set, I am requesting that John Belli storm the field, cause some mayhem and put a stop to it…..for the good of the program.
    Save us John!

  2. Mike, promise us, if the brain trust there persists with their current course in this game, (despite your indisputable logic), you will minimize that theme in future entries and focus on the players having good seasons for their NFL draft recitals.

    Your dismay is rational, but your agenda is Don Quixote-like given the Chip Kelly thinking for offensive game planning. Your on point analysis only makes it worse seeing how the players eligibility is being squandered and the future of the program hangs in the balance in terms of fan support.

    Interesting that the players sought by SEC programs during their recruitment days are sitting despite a coach with SEC roots. Wonder if those kids have had any second thoughts?

    • We hammered on these themes for the first two years of the Matt Rhule regime until Matt finally came around to our way (really, Al Golden’s way) of thinking and we were rewarded with consecutive double-digit-win seasons. If belaboring a point brings us two more double-digit win seasons, it’s worth the repetitiveness.

      • Here’s the problem Mike, some guys are so tied to their concepts and beliefs that their egos and arrogance won’t let them see that it is not working. They don’t know the adage “when you find yourself in a hole….stop digging”. I lived through it in the Berndt era….’bama had been up here to scout our Spring game 5 months before our opener. During our opener we (o line) told the coordinator that they were slanting to our plays and knew where we were going every time….’bama players told us on the field and laughed at us. Our coaches refused to believe that the ‘bama coaches had figured them out. There was no way they could be outsmarted by a coaching staff that won the National Championship a season later.

  3. the OC is a big issue, a bigger issue ir the play of our OL.., clue, when you have freshman playing at tackle, what does that tell you?

    • I think it’s the OC. Like Brian said about Bama, Villanova was slanting away from the blocking schemes. It’s up to the coaches to improvise and adjust. Afterward, Geoff Collins said “they had a neat defensive scheme.” OC were the same kids last year who blocked fine in the bowl game against a much better team than Nova. Don’t doubt that the Nova coaches were at least at our spring game and taking notes. Do doubt that our coaches were at their spring game. Our coaches are clueless in a lot of important areas and adjusting in game is just one of them.

  4. This is a must win for Collins and crew. We’ve blanked the Bulls in our last 2 meetings. Anything less than a dominating win and it’ll be about piece of evidence that we’re moving in the wrong direction as a program.

  5. Although the coaches are different it’s TU football deja vu all over again. We’re witnessing 20114 and 2015 again. We’re doomed in college football hell. When we get to heaven all we’ll have to say is that we were TU football fans. We’ll be admitted at once because the gate keeper will recognize that we’ve suffered enough. Might have to wait for Kansas fans to go ahead of us but that’s about it. LOL.

  6. Hey Gang, having the Friday night beer and wondering….if things go South tomorrow offensively….does Collins have the guts to fire the OC immediately to give the reins to Dimichele or Foley to try and save the season or does he die with him? Your thoughts please…

    • My answer is that if he hasn’t fired him now he won’t. Golden had the guts to fire his OC. Bruce fired his OC. Matt Rhule demoted his OC to WR coach and hired Glenn Thomas to implement the pro-style Power I. This guy wants to get to another bowl and take this entire staff to Georgia Tech (or some similar southern school) with him. I think he feels 7-6 is good enough. To me, firing the guy gets him to 10 (if ADM is the guy, who I think is ready) but he seems overly loyal to the fellow carpetbaggers over the Temple guy.

      • So the Foley announcement/title and the ADM title/position were just to keep the old Temple faithful thinking he had a contingency plan ready and was firing a shot across Patenaude’s bow. You’ve said it before and it is becoming quite evident especially if this offense flounders again….but then if he doesn’t get enough wins he’ll be stuck because TU doesn’t fire and he will not have proven enough….a true balancing act and quite devious.

  7. I’m done. I can’t take it anymore. Neither can the rest of the ticket holders in our group. Ten season tickets will go to zero over a three year period. 6 wins and a minor bowl appearance won’t change it.

    • I was not at the game but have been waiting to see people chime in who were…..I was expecting to see this type of reaction and rightfully so. They have earned the disgust and the apathy. So much great work has been done up until now to gain respect, as John said…..there is proof that it can be successful. They just don’t want to do it, I guess…..dont blame you at all Easyowl.

  8. Can you say 2-10?

    How in the world can you go from being Conference Champs to Conference dweller in just two years?

  9. 2-10? Who do you see the 2 wins coming against?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s