The Irony of Temple-BC

Interesting that Daz takes credit for a practice facility that was largely built 10 years before he got here (16-minute timestamp).

Irony is one of the most misused words in the English language, but Saturday’s noon showdown in Chestnut Hill, Mass. between Temple and Boston College is dripping in this definition of it:

“a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.”

In this case, the irony is not that the Owls will be facing a guy in Steve Addazio, who not only left Temple (after pledging eternal loyalty) for two years. That’s a coincidence, not ironic.

It will be simply this:


You want facts? Patenaude’s offense for Temple (out of 127 teams): Passing=89th; Rushing=105; Team=112; Obviously, what he is doing is not working


Boston College is running the same offense Temple should be running now, while Temple is fumbling and stumbling through the same offense Matt Rhule struggled with in his first two years before abandoning it for one that personified the core principles of Temple TUFF established by Wayne Hardin and Bruce Arians and followed through by Al Golden.

By “deliberately contrary to what one would expect” we’re talking about the offense Daz ran here his second year, which broken down into basics was: run, run, throw (sack), punt. During his first year at Temple, Scot Loeffler was in charge of the offense and it was based on the concepts that the Owls always won by: Establish the run behind two tight ends and a fullback, force the safeties and linebackers up to the line of scrimmage where they would be susceptible to play-action passes. Loeffler went onto Virginia Tech after his first year here and Daz went back to the habits he formed at Florida. Now that Loeffler is in charge, Daz has made him “head coach of the offense” and that’s why the BC offense is succeeding where Temple’s is failing.

In Boston, it is run the ball behind an elite tailback (A.J. Dillon) and use play action to make explosive downfield plays in the passing game. Know any other team that has an elite tailback with explosive downfield receivers? If it doesn’t piss you off that Ventell Bryant and Isaiah Wright aren’t getting any separation, it should. It is not the fault of the kids, either; same players got routinely wide open under Matt Rhule’s play-action-oriented scheme. Those guys can do so much damage in a pro set but Patenaude wants nothing to do with it. In any other job, that would be considered malfeasance.

We saw a glimpse of that offense for Temple in Maryland, when the Owls were disciplined enough to stay focused in an H-back blocking look for their own elite tailback, Ryquell Armstead, whose success in the run game set up some nice play-action looks in the passing game for unbeaten quarterback Anthony Russo. Success in the run game allowed Russo to fake an out beautifully to Bryant (who sold it with a great leap) and that drew two Maryland defensive backs to Bryant, allowing tight end Kenny Yeboah to run free.

Yeboah and Chris Myarick not only blocked well but caught key passes to keep the sticks moving. Temple really had not used its tight ends effectively in the Dave Patenaude Error until that afternoon.


If it doesn’t piss you off that Ventell Bryant and Isaiah Wright aren’t getting any separation, it should. It is not the fault of the kids, either; same receivers got routinely wide open under Matt Rhule’s play-action-oriented scheme


Last week, against Tulsa, the Owls lapsed into the same unfocused look they showed in losses to Buffalo and Villanova. It was not a good look.

This is the same kind of crisis Rhule had after his second year at the helm. His talent dictated run/play action but his offensive coordinator at the time, Marcus Satterfield, was stubborn about running the spread look. Rhule had the cojones to demote Satterfield to wide receiver coach and hire a guy from the Atlanta Falcons, Glenn Thomas, who implemented a more pro-style look that coincided with the Temple TUFF brand.

So far, it looks like Temple head coach Geoff Collins is satisfied with handing the keys of his offense over to a drunk driver rather than someone with vision and sharp reflexes. Maybe that will change. Maybe it will be Saturday. We saw this movie before, though. All last year and three of the four games this year.

It’s like Waiting for Godot.

The essence of great coaching is to get the most out of the talent you have, not the talent you want. Establish the run behind a great tailback in Ryquell Armstead following a great blocking fullback in Rob Ritrovato and immensely talented receivers like Bryant,  Wright and Branden Mack can get the kind of separation they need to cause serious damage.

Boston College runs the exact same offense Temple should be running with its personnel. That’s irony. The Temple challenge on this Saturday will rest in being smart enough to fight BC’s fire with some of the same fire of its own.

Friday: BC Preview

21 thoughts on “The Irony of Temple-BC

  1. 112th in offense……i don’t believe that is even close to above the line. Get lost, fraud!

    • That’s the key point right there. Coaches are fast to hold the PLAYERS to an above-the-line standard but Collins will not hold any of his COACHES to an above-the-line standard. Nothing worse in life than a hypocrite. There’s plenty of offensive talent on this team that Temple should be in the top 25 of both rushing and passing and overall. Patenaude is far, far below the line.

  2. Collins has to know he’s now essentially auditioning for his next job. Win 10 games (9 season and one bowl) at TU and you’re one of the next hot properties in the AAC coaching ranks. Alternatively, 5 wins and 7 losses this year, the program and his future job prospects start going downhill. So how does he continue to put so much at stake with a scheme that’s yielded the 112th ranking?

    He could’ve been 4-0 going into this BC game. Win the BC game, and probably a dozen P5 AD’s start looking at him for the rest of this year. And 4 or 5 regular season wins after that plus a bowl win and he’s probably getting a few P5 job offers.

    Oh well, Coach, it’s your career.

    • The thing that gave Rhule a $1.5 million pay raise at Temple was demoting Satterfield to wide receiver coach and installing a pro set with Glenn Thomas. It also led to a championship (and a $5 million pay raise) the next year. Easyowl is right. Patenaude might be a friend but if your friend is harming your career and by extension your family, you get rid of the friend.

      • Apollo: That’s exactly the point, CC has to see his career is being adversely affected by the OC. All of us that follow this blog, lament the lost opportunities early in this year. CC might someday be looking at the $million lost opportunity this entire year represented. And he doesn’t need to fire Patenaude, just assess what’s actually worked so far and then tell him to do it. That’s been the theme of all the commentators to this site “do what the !&@? works, and not what an assistant coach likes”.

  3. And Collins announces that Nutile is almost 100%. Does that mean the guy who won 2 games is on the bench again and the guy who lost 2 games is on the field again? Collins and Patenaud are turning into a circus sideshow.

    • Demoting a 2-0 guy for the guy that got you to 0-2 (and ruined your home attendance for the rest of the year with a loss to Nova) is the definition of insanity. That they are even thinking of this speaks volumes as to the competence of this staff. Temple fans deserve better.

  4. Maybe Collins plans to use the Maryland offense against BC, but just used the stupid offense against Tulsa, to throw BC of track. Maybe he is actually a genius and will easily defeat BC. Not!

  5. VB dropped a couple against Tulsa. Ironically you need a little guy like Tommy McDonald with huge heart to make the big plays in the middle.

  6. One thing in the Owls’ favor is that their stud D end Zach Allen may not be playing. He pulled his hamstring in the Purdue game and rolled around as if he had been shot. As everyone here knows I don’t have much faith in the coaching ability of this staff. They make too many mistakes on matters that are obvious to any football aficionado. If the Owls win this game, I will reassess but only a little because of the atrocious Nova and Buffalo losses. Had the Owls not lost those games and beat BC, they’d assuredly be in the top 20.

  7. Maybe a campaign to fill the email inbox of the AD with complaints about the mismanagement of the football program on the field?

  8. can TU stop the run against BC? Easy win for BC if their stub RB runs for over 100 yards…, the Temple offense is offensive..,

    Vegas is taking BC and giving the points….,

  9. 2018 should be a game to remember. Flutie vs Palmer what year was that? I snuck down on the field (FF). Good times.

    • It had to be 1983 or 1984. In 83 Flutie pulled it out at the end. That was Paul’s freshman year.

      • Mike is so right about what a complete douchebag the guy who runs is (Pravda). Read the comments at the end of the Fizzy post. The guy freaking loves Patenaude. More blind than Stevie Wonder.

      • Tim Riordan’s last year 1983. TU lost on a missed FG in the rain. Great game,Tuff Loss. It was PP first game. I recall his family sitting near me after I got booted back into the seats.

  10. Hey mike
    With all the scheduling with ACC opponents this season and seasons to come, do think these games are an audition for Temple to join the ACC? I would happy if they played Pitt every year.

    • Take it for what it’s worth but I was told by a BOT member at the 2013 … that’s way back Cherry and White game that the ACC told Temple if Temple built a stadium it would find a way to add Temple in the next go-round. To me, it’s worth nothing because I don’t think there will be a next go-round. The stadium would have been a signal to the ACC that Temple was all-in for football and willing to spend hundreds of millions to prove it. They want the market to get Boston-Philly-DC down the coast.

      • Temple botched the building of the stadium by thinking that it could get it done by playing by the rules. Have to believe that no one who had a hand in getting the Liacouras Center built was still part of the administration because if there was, they would have reminded the current administration of how that deal finally got done. To get the new stadium built they had to first go the area council-person and the union leaders and pay them off just like they did with John Street, who essentially extorted 5 mil from Temple. They then had to pay off any community group opposed to the stadium. Third, they did not anticipate it becoming a racial issue, which it has become and will permanently prevent the stadium from ever being built. Universities today immediately capitulate when minorities make complaints. Finally, the networks overpaid for sports when the current contracts were signed and TV viewership is declining. It will be a surprise if the new contracts are as lucrative as the current ones. There will be no expansion without a guarantee that doing so will not cost current members a drop in revenue and/or any new member will, in fact, enhance revenue. Frankly, TU is currently too much of a risk given the current mediocrity of its football and basketball programs and the fickleness of its fans. Hell, even Rutgers and Kansas average more than the inflated attendance numbers for TU football games.

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