There’s no way Mick Jager could have been inspired to write “You can’t always get what you want” unless he would have stepped into the H.G. Wells’ Time Machine and watched Temple’s football game at Navy yesterday before going back to 1969.
If you are a Temple fan, you can’t always get what you want, but, at least yesterday, thanks mostly to the kids who tried all the time, they got what they needed.
That’s the bottom line but it’s not really all that mattered.
If this team is ever going to achieve the potential it both wants and needs, it is going to need fundamentally better coaching. We haven’t seen very much evidence of that in this 4-3 season. Seven and Oh talent, a 4-3 season because in part of what of the kind of head-scratching play-calling and personnel packages we witnessed on the first and penultimate drives of the game.
What I–and I suspect a great majority–of Temple fans wanted after the Owls got a first-and-goal at the 1 on the first drive of the game was to put a fullback in the game and pound Jager Gardner behind him for the easy six. Somehow, though, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude got his 147th brain cramp of the year and put two defensive players–Freddy Booth-Lloyd and Dan Archibong–in the game and that pushed the ball back another five yards due to an illegal procedure penalty on the second play of that series. The first play was an unnecessary quarterback sneak. The First and goal from the 1 is no time for a sneak or exotic personnel packages. Asking defensive players to rush into the game and hear a snap count they are unfamiliar with is a recipe for disaster.
Disaster went down like sewer water yesterday.
It is high time to put Nitro in at fullback (his natural position) and giving the ball to Jager Gardner for the easy six. If Gardner doesn’t get it on first down, he almost assuredly does on second or third. Don’t try to be a rocket scientist when you know basic geometry–the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Memo to Patenaude: This SHOULD be Temple football on every first and goal. Do you think Matt Rhule ever cared what defense Cincy was in here?
But …. nooooooo … these guys are so stubborn they don’t want to use a traditional fullback behind a pretty good tailback.
Twilight Zone was revisited on the penultimate drive of the game, with 1:48 left and the Owls getting a first down at the 9. All the Owls had to do was put a fullback in the game and run Gardner behind him for three downs, using the clock, perhaps scoring. Instead, this genius from Coastal Carolina decides to throw a ball into the end zone, committing two unpardonable sins–stopping the clock and turning the ball over.
Less than two minutes left with a first down inside the 10 is not the time to get greedy.
Speaking of stupid, the very smart announcing team–led by former All-Pro Randy Cross–was aghast (aghast, I tell you) about the Owls approach to running down the play clock which could be described in two words: Ignoring it. On just about every play, the Owls were snapping with 11-13 seconds left on the play clock, when they could have run that down to 2 or 3 seconds before snapping. Cross estimated that the Owls wasted “about a minute and 42 seconds” by snapping the ball early.
“What’s the rush?” Cross said.
Randy, meet Dave Patenaude, who seldom makes any sense.
The Owls got what they needed yesterday. To win a title that these kids deserve, they better start getting both what they need and what they want and that is an offensive coordinator who understands even the most basic elements of Football 101.
Monday: Fizzy’s Corner
Tuesday: What We’ve Learned
Thursday: A Special Homecoming
Saturday: How Good is Vegas?
Sunday: Game Analysis