Lapsing Into Old Habits

Mike Schmidt may have said it best about sports in Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia is the only city in the country where you can experience the thrill of victory one night and the agony of reading about it in the paper the next day.”

Schmitty might have been onto something because, while Temple’s 31-17 win over Tulsa was a cosmetic success, the reality is that the Owls will have to be better in order to beat Boston College.


The good news is that they have been better and they have the game tape to prove it. Thrilling victory, but you’ve got to wonder if the Owls are lapsing into old habits, particularly on the offensive end. The Owls showed a lot of good habits a week ago at Maryland by putting the H-back in motion and having their elite tailback, Ryquell Armstead, follow the extra blocker through the hole. If you thought that would be a staple of the offense going forward, OC Dave Patenaude disabused fans of that notion by rarely showing that look against Tulsa.

If the Owls are going to beat another Power 5 team and challenge some of the better teams in the AAC, they might want to go back to what worked so beautifully a week ago. Armstead not only ripped off some big runs off those motion blocks, but the running game set up open lanes in the passing game.

Who knows why they lapsed back into the scatterbrained look they showed against Buffalo and Villanova but they need to shake those bad habits now. Quarterback Anthony Russo delivered a lot of balls on the money but it only seemed half of them were caught because the receivers were not getting the same kind of separation they did a week ago. That running game and that motion created the separation the Owls need to reincorporate that back into their game plan against the Fighting Steve Addazios in a week and a day.

To me, any win is a good win but some are better than others and last week was definitely better than this week and next week needs to be better than the last two. Hopefully, the Owls will take a hard look at the Maryland film and conclude that last week’s scheme is the way to go.

Otherwise, they risk needless agony when they could have endless thrills.

Saturday: This Week in College Football

Monday: What We’ve Learned


38 thoughts on “Lapsing Into Old Habits

  1. Big, strong, throws a nice deep ball outside the hashes, throws best on designed sprint outs outside of the pocket, struggles to throw in the middle of the field, still locking on to receivers and not looking off DB’s, all of that aside, you are correct that bottom line is overall need to be better in the passing game than 7 for 20 with two picks to beat BC.

    • If the receivers caught everything thrown between the numbers, he would have finished 19 for 20 with 3 tds and no picks; even the 2 ints were incredibly accurate throws that bounced off temple guy’s hands into Tulsa hands

      • He had multiple balls tipped within the Tackle box by Tulsa, they need to do a better job on route design to help open up the middle of the field for him. One of his first passes of the game was deflected and almost picked. Outside of the hashes the ball was placed well.

      • Were you watching even the same game? Kid delivered every damn ball on the money. Russo was not the problem. As Mike wrote, the scheme did not allow for the kind of wide-open passes Russo had like the one to Yeboah last week. Every pass was defended by Tulsa well and STILL Russo was able to thread the needle to his receivers, who let him down big time.

  2. How is this possible ? We seeTUFB wins with what looks like a great score and I was swearing bad words at the TV for the final 8 minutes, actually for much of the game.
    What were they Thinking ? 3 and out, 3 and out .
    Thanks only to DEFENSE, they won it.
    I’m sure we all heard the TV talking heads questioning the Temple Play calls, and they did so several times. Thy asked the OC, what were you thinking ?
    How can a win be so painful and gut wrenching ?
    Why can’t I be happy with this.
    Why did I toss and turn instead of sleep tight and no bedbugs bite ?

    • Patenaude needs to go. Guy either doesn’t understand nor care to understand the many benefits of a play-action passing attack. It’s not rocket science. Establish the run and fake to the tailback and Russo will have so many receivers running free he won’t know which one to pick out

      • Mike all good points but on top of what you just laid out, the last 5 minutes of the game just showed me how out of his element Patenaude is at this level. How do you have your offense snapping the ball with 15, 20 seconds left on the play clock while the game clock is running!! Should have been a lot less time on the clock after our last FG when Tulsa got the ball back. Defense at least seems to be establishing an identity of a bend but don’t break, big play unit. Still seem a little soft against the run but if that’s just outside the red zone and the D keeps generating turnovers not bad.
        And instead of that fair catch rule on kick offs, just eliminate kick offs and start at the 25!!

      • JD, great point about not running the game/play clock down late in the game with a 2 score lead. I noticed them snapping the ball early as well. The team lacks an offensive identity. Seems Patenaude just pulls stuff out of his ass. No consistency, I watch the game and say what are they trying to do?

    • Oh_well, your sentiments echo a number of comments I heard leaving the game, people saying “we won the game but it feels like a loss”

    • I cannot really put in to words how much I hate this offense…I find it hard to even watch it.

    • That’s the agony of being a TU fan. The fact is that inherent in being a TU fan is that pain has to be inflicted whether they win or or lose. It’s just a matter of degree.

      • After the Maryland game, I thought they wised up on offense. Last night was Patenaude’s way of saying he’d rather lose his way than win the way they did at Maryland. Nobody wins this way unless you get two defensive scores and that’s not going to happen every game.

  3. I’m a big critic of CC’s. I watch everything he does do confirm my bias that he has no idea what Temple Tuff is. It’s the little things like running clear across the field to meet the other coach at the top of the numbers rather than the 50 yard line like everyone else. It’s reaching out to Franklin for an interview for that blog and getting no word back. It’s having storm troopers jump up and down on the sideline on national television while having 4000 people in the stands. Dudes sharmon soft. Glad the players held their own meeting.

    • Flyinowl….thank you for saying this…i wanted to write these things but didn’t want to seem “nitpicky”. Wtf with the stormtrooper money sign crap? Embarrassing! Field a tough, hard nose football team that is put in a position to win and you wont need that crap. If I am on the field and 4 people in costume holding up price is right signs have to remind me that it is an important play……well, then I shouldn’t be out there. C’mon Coach!

      • Brian, while I feel the same way you do about the $$$ down signs and I guess the Star Wars thing was cooked up with the game being a national broadcast what I really wish someone would explain is what is with the Ben Franklin character that’s been on the sidelines for all 3 home games so far. I mean, you have a character on the TU sidelines who basically founded another university in the city and who at one point was the genesis for the U of Ps mascot. It would be kind of like Pitt having an Andrew Carnegie character on their sidelines during a game!!!

      • Over and over again they convert on 3rd and long…. so whats the point of having it if it means absolutely nothing? I wasn’t mad at Rhule at first, I’m starting to be. Left our ass with gimmick

      • Yeah, getting madder and madder with Rhule. He knew this guy. Can’t believe he thought this shtick would fit in with the already established Temple TUFF brand. Offensive coordinator is about as far from Temple as it would be for Ken Niumatalolo hiring a Marcus Satterfield to run the Navy triple option. Either Rhule screwed us or wanted to make himself look good for a possible return.

  4. When you win only because the D scores as much as the O you’ve got problems. Agree with everyones comments here. The O stunk it up in the last quarter – far too many 3-and-outs. But there were some bad plays by the players too. Dropped passes in particular and one time when the ball carrier ran right into the D-lineman instead of swinging around him, probably for a TD. And as good as the D did on big plays, Tulsa moved the ball up and down the field all game long. With a QB not making so many mistakes, they would have won. Indeed, the thrill of victory (sort of) with the agony of watching all the bumbling during the game. I guess since Tulsa did so good against Texas and we beat them gives some consolation. Geez.

  5. Some thoughts:

    Russo will get better, his throws are on target, he got no help from the receivers last night. He can move around in the pocket too which Nutile cannot. The offense has no identity even though the running game has picked up. Ventell Bryant has really regressed since his freshman year. He has all the talent in the world, big and fast but his hands look bad or he has lapses of concentration. Defensively, the ends continue to lose containment. This has cost them in several games already and they struggle getting off of the field on 3rd down. This is the biggest problem with the D. We have seen this consistently in 3 of the first 4 games. The run defense has also been poor. if they do not tighten up the run defense, Addazio and BC are going to ram it down their throats next Saturday. Not impressed with this coaching staff at all, very sloppy, inconsistent play on both sides of the ball.

  6. The 4th quarter showed the cluelessness of the offensive staff. Instead of taking time off the clock, they were snapping the ball with 15-20 seconds left on the play clock. Then, on the play right before the fake punt, they threw the ball with short yardage, which stopped the clock when the ball fell incomplete. On top of that, as Mike said, instead of running the ball using a lead blocker, they continued with the naked backfield BS. I really believed, having been conditioned to expect disaster, that had Tulsa gotten to within seven, TU would have lost. It was only because they made more mistakes than TU did that the Owls won. Finally, Russo deserved better from his receivers. His stats would have been spectacular had the receivers held on to the ball. His throw to the corner was a thing of beauty. He threw it just before the receiver broke to the outside and placed the ball right where it had to be. I still have a question. Why didn’t they target the tight-ends in the middle of the field when it had worked so well the week before and is Boomer the kicker now second team? Other kid is okay but fails to get any height on his kicks. Also, Foley is coaching the best out of anyone on the staff. Kick-off returns were big and the fake punt was a thing of beauty. Finally, I think that they can beat BC but will have to play better than they have all year and the coaches will have to step it up and stop trying to run the ball without a lead blocker. All the coaches need to do is watch the BC tapes on how to run the ball and use play action to learn how to run a TU Tuff offense.

    • the BC offense is the kind of offense Temple has run successfully in the past, and should be running now.

      Plenty of 2 TE sets.., if they stop the run then throw the ball Down the Field.., get the safeties back and run the ball down their throats…,

      Addazio may be the perfect butthole but he does have BC playing power football, which used to be the Temple brand

  7. The OC insists on a double-down on plays UNTIL it goes for him. He is a gambler and not an intelligent risk taker. People like him can be seen at an A/C casino, where they are loosing and try to double down until they make a big score to erase their loss.
    It is my Opinion this OC has the markings of a desperate gambler who will continue until he proves to the detractors that he called a good play.

    After that he may come around, but not before. He is stuck on desperation to be admired and approved-of and it ain’t gonna happen.

    • True, his offense doesn’t work here….but he’ll keep trying to make it work, no matter what. I think this offense is 3rd on the team in scoring, behind the defense and special teams…..could be wrong but not by much.

  8. TU will not get defensive scores every game. When it doesn’t it’s in big trouble if Patenfraud keeps calling the game the way he is.

  9. Is this the first Time TU won in black helmets?

    • yes. 19-7 in cherry tops and helmets over the last 27 games and losing records with any other combination (including all white)

      • Black helmets are horrible, especially with TEMPLE in script that no one can read. Also, do not like the black uniforms and hate the gray ‘pajamas’ . Owls should stick to Cherry and White combinations and if TEMPLE helmet is used, should be the ‘Palmer-era’ printed caps not script. The T on cherry or white helmet is fine. Thanks for the stats. I always thought the Owls played better in Cherry and White (now confirmed). 🍒

  10. In addition to the Storm Trooper sideline scene, we learned that Coach is a metrosexual, purchasing special golf shoes for the sideline, wearing crop pants and taking the time to choose the uniform combinations for each game. A true football CEO.

    • Figured as much…he seems like that type of guy…..probably has a pre-game stylist. Winning a football game is far down the list behind….showing he has cool things at practice (dj, guitar player), letting stormtroopers on the sideline, Collins cash, swag, his outfit, a shitty O coordinator, finding scapegoats, being a cheerleader, etc.

    • What did I say? This man cant spell tuff. Or in reality… Temple Tuff is just a hashtag to him..

    • I think they are called Capri pants. His wife is a fashion designer. I don’t care if he wears a speedo as long as he goes back to same running game with play action they showed against Maryland versus BC. That’s the only way to beat these big-time teams. Temple got lucky against Tulsa because of the two defensive scores but the return to the same kind of lousy offensive scheme … throwing fades and outs to well-covered receivers … isn’t helping the receivers get open like play-action would.

  11. If they play the same offense they did against Maryland (TEs running in motion as a fullback blocking for Armstead), they have a chance against a better BC team. I think BC is better than Maryland. Do I think BC is 35-14 better than Maryland? No way. So it comes down to Patenaude feeling comfortable with running H-back blocks in front of Rock. The departure from that against Tulsa told me all I need to know. BC, 35-14. Guy would rather lose playing the shitty Coastal Carolina way than win playing Temple TUFF.

  12. Therefore, Larry is Patenfraud

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