With the possible exception of Willie Taggart’s Florida State football team, it’s hard to come up with a convincing argument that Temple is not the worst-coached team in college football after two games.
No matter how hard
you work Sundays
you are judged what
you do on Saturdays
and this Temple coaching
staff is a complete and
utter failure on the
most important day
of the week
We’ll go with Temple only because Taggart coached his way into two Power 5 jobs and he’s proven himself as a head coach in other places.
There is no offer on the horizon for Geoff Collins’ staff this year and maybe not for several.
Not only did the Owls lose to a FCS crosstown rival, Villanova, they had to beat in order to retain any football street cred in Philadelphia, Collins and his staff botched a simple game plan that was handed to them on a silver platter.
Playing a Buffalo team that gave up 199 yards to FCS Delaware State and was ranked No. 95 in the nation in rushing defense this year (and No. 96 last year), the Owls refused to go with the one offense—tailback behind a fullback—that would have kept the ball away from the two NFL players the Bulls had, Tyree Jackson and Anthony Johnson.
Playing a Buffalo team
that gave up 199 yards
on the ground
to FCS Delaware State
and was ranked No. 95
in the nation in rushing
defense this year
(and No. 96 last year),
the Owls refused to go
with the one offense—tailback
behind a fullback—that would
have kept the ball away
from the two NFL
players the Bulls had
Collins and offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude had just two jobs—score points and run the ball effectively enough to have six-, seven- and eight-minute drives and chew up the clock.
The Owls scored enough to win but they did not provide their defense with the requisite help needed by keeping the ball away from the Buffalo offense.
Temple had consecutive 10-win seasons by playing an every-down fullback but, on Saturday, did not have fullback Rob Ritrovato on the field to lead the way for Ryquell Armstead even once. With Ritrovato—an outstanding blocker in his own right—Armstead would have had essentially another offensive lineman in front of him and probably a lot more than the 107 yards he had on the ground. More importantly, had Armstead been able to put 200 yards on the board, Jackson and Johnson would have had far fewer possessions and Temple would have been able to come away with a much-needed win. Ritrovato was on the field to gain a short-yardage first down on a running play, but Wayne Hardin (Henry Hynoski, Kevin Grady and Mark Bright), Bruce Arians (Shelley Poole), Al Golden (Wyatt Benson) and Matt Rhule (Nick Sharga) would have been able to tell Collins a fullback can and should play a more vital role.
They either don’t care to use a fullback or don’t know how. Either way, it’s a bad look and not a Temple one.
Collins and Patenaude seem oblivious to that simple concept given an ill-conceived game plan that stopped the clock far too many times on incomplete passes and gave Buffalo far too many needless possessions.
Coaching is all about tailoring your schemes to the strengths of your players and attacking the weaknesses of your opponent. Temple’s coaches have failed miserably in those two most important areas in consecutive weeks. No matter how hard you work Sundays through Fridays, you are judged what you do on Saturdays and this Temple coaching staff is a complete and utter failure on the most important day of the week.
Unless something drastic changes, Temple is looking at a maybe two-win season coming off 27 wins in the past three years after losing two games in which it was a solid favorite. In one game, the Owls watched Villanova do the same damn things it did last year and showed zero adjustments. In another, the Owls stubbornly refused (or did not know how) to use a fullback leading a tailback to chew up clock and keep the ball away from a dangerous offense.
That’s about as bad a job as can be possibly done.
In fact, we’ve scoured the 127 FBS teams and haven’t found a worse coaching job after two games. The scary thing is that nobody will do a damn thing about it. That might not be Temple TUFF, but that’s tough for Temple players and fans who deserve better.
At least Taggart won his nightmare game last night. Temple fans have lived through a pair of nightmares and there’s a lot more tossing and turning ahead.
Tuesday: Fizzy Checks In With Buffalo Thoughts
Thursday: How Did We Go From AAC Champs To AAC Chumps in 2 years?
Saturday: Maryland Preview
Sunday: Game Analysis