Fortunately, there’s no person more loyal in the history of Temple athletics than football administrative assistant Nadia Harvin.
She’s a Temple treasure, just like Wayne Hardin, John Chaney and Skip Wilson were with a tenure spanning eight Temple head football coaches (which is about as many Popes as there were in the entire 20th century).
Still, you’d have to wonder what would have happened if Nadia would have moved on with Matt Rhule to the Power 5 and Dr. Pat Kraft hired Omarosa to replace her. A cell phone would have been cleverly placed in the conference room, probably attached to the lower end of the table. The tape of this morning’s coaches’ meeting would have been released and it might have gone something like this:
Geoff Collins: First of all, I’d like to thank you guys for showing up at 5 a.m. I’m not sure many of the people on the outside know that we are the hardest-working staff in the nation. Still, we’ve got to clean some things up if we are going to beat Boston College and I’d like to have some of your guys’ thoughts.
Ed Foley: Coach, I see one problem with the Tulsa game. It was great that we scored a pair of touchdowns on defense but that’s not sustainable going forward. We need the offense to step it up, maybe get Isaiah Wright more involved.
Collins: Dave (Patenaude), any thoughts?
Patenaude: None. I haven’t had my coffee. My mind is pretty much blank at this hour.
Collins: Adam (DiMichele)?
DiMichele: I thought we had a great scheme for the Maryland game with running the tight ends in motion and having Rock (Armstead) follow the block through the hole. That set up a lot of second and twos and allowed Anthony to play action and gave our receivers separation. For some reason, we got away from that against Tulsa and fell into the bad habits of an empty or single backfield that we had against (Villa)nova and Buffalo. None of our guys could get any separation against Tulsa because we didn’t establish the run nor use play-action.
Collins: Dave, I see that Nadia went out to Dunkin Donuts to get your coffee. What do you think about what Adam just said?
Patenaude: Even though it was successful against Maryland, I’m just not comfortable with that style of play. Who plays that way anyway?
DiMichele: We did that under Al (Golden) and Matt (Rhule) and, although I wasn’t around, I hear the (Wayne) Hardin and (Bruce) Arians’ guys did, too. Not only did we have the tight ends go in motion to block, but they also ran ahead of the fullback and they were knocking linebackers and safeties all over the place and our tailbacks had huge holes. It made my job as the quarterback a lot easier. When we established the run, all I had to do was fake it to the tailback and that would freeze the linebackers and the safeties right there for a split second and my guys were running so free through the secondary, I really didn’t know which one to pick out.
Patenaude: That’s not the way we did it at Coastal Carolina. We spread the field, had a single back or even an empty backfield, and threw the ball all over the lot. Nice, tight windows.
“The essence of
Temple TUFF is
to play great
defense and special
teams, but also have
mentality on offense and
we’ve lost that the past
couple of years. We’re
all over the place on
offense. We need to get
back to our roots”
Foley: Matt recruited most of these kids to run double tight ends and fullback. Hey, it worked against Maryland. Against Tulsa, we were making it harder on Anthony (Russo) than we needed to because the receivers were getting no separation. He put it on the money but every catch was a more difficult catch than it should have been. The essence of Temple TUFF is to play great defense and special teams, but also have a focused knock-them-off-the-ball mentality on offense and we’ve lost that the past couple of years. We’re all over the place on offense. We need to get back to our roots.
DiMichele: As a QB, I can tell you it’s a lot easier with play-action. Hell, against Navy, with the clock running out at the end of the half, I faked a knee and Bruce Francis was 50 yards behind the nearest defender. That was the easiest six points I ever had. Navy was so worried about us running the ball they had eight in the box.
Patenaude: But, Geoff, I’m not comfortable with the offense ADM is describing.
Collins: I’ve heard enough. We’re going back to the same game plan we had against Maryland. Run the H-backs in front of Rock, establish the run, and then hit some explosive plays in the play-action game. I want to see Nitro in there more than three plays a game to block for Rock, too.
Patenaude: I object. Who uses the fullback anymore?
Collins: As of Saturday, we do. If you don’t like it, I’m going from Capri pants to a Speedo.
Patenaude: That’s not a good visual. Please don’t do that, Geoff. I’ll do what you say.
Collins: I think we resolved a lot of issues this morning. Thanks, gentlemen.
Tuesday: Fizzy Closes The Book on Tulsa
Wednesday: The Irony of Temple-BC
Friday: BC Preview
Sunday: Game Analysis