5 Things To Work On In The Bye Week

UCF is still having nightmares about Ventell Bryant

One of the mottos of Temple football is to be 1-0 every week.

That’s hard to do this week since it’s a bye one.

That doesn’t mean what happens this week can’t contribute to being 1-0 next week.

Let’s think about it. Both Temple and UCF have a “bye” week this week, which means both the Owls and the Knights are spending extra time pouring over the other team’s tendencies in an effort to gain some kind of advantage in preparation.


The first person to congratulate PJ in the end zone? Anthony Russo.

The team that both changes up what they do and attacks the weakness of the opponent will probably come out on top.

I don’t have any game film on UCF but, according to the NCAA stats, UCF’s rushing defense is ranked No. 91st and its passing defense 46th. I’m not a math major, but it would seem to be easier to beat UCF with a steady diet of runs versus passes.

If I was the Temple OC, I would be devising a game plan based on attacking the Knights via the ground. That usually means running Ryquell Armstead (who will be 100 percent a week from Thursday) behind fullback Rob Ritrovato but current OC Dave Patenaude is stubborn to the edge of insanity in his refusal to use a fullback as a lead blocker. Still, running the ball against a weak run defense has to be the focal point of any game plan. It worked for Memphis. It can work for Temple.

Did Temple learn anything about running the ball against a weak run defense when it failed to attack the Achilles Heel of Buffalo? Geez, you’ve got to hope something good came out of that disaster.

Patenaude’s been banging his head against a wall all season so maybe it’s too much to expect that he puts some ice on it. I know that. You know that. He doesn’t know that and I don’t think even Geoff Collins knows that. If the light bulb hasn’t gone on yet, they are still using kerosene lamps at the EO.

What Patenaude has shown he is willing to do–just in the Maryland game–was to run tight ends in motion as lead blockers for Armstead, opening up the entire offense with play-action. We can only hope he is willing to do the same in Orlando. He must if the Owls are going to have any chance.

That’s the No. 1 thing to work on this week and next, establishing the run, controlling the clock and keeping the ball out of Heisman Trophy candidate McKenzie Milton’s right hand.

Here are four more:

Attack the center of the field. UCF game film almost exclusively has the Owls attacking the perimeter on passing routes, primarily fades. Pump faking those routes and throwing over the middle to tight ends Kenny Yeboah and Chris Myrick is something UCF won’t expect.

Use trick plays that work. Since Patenaude’s almost never do, take a page out of Matt Rhule’s playbook and line Toddy Centeio up as a wide receiver. Have Centeio catch a double pass from Anthony Russo and then throw downfield to either Isaiah Wright or Ventell Bryant, who usually catch everything within their zip codes. A variation of this play worked for Rhule at SMU when he used Jalen Fitzpatrick–a former Big 33 quarterback– on an end around touchdown pass to Robby Anderson for a long touchdown. Other tried and true Temple trick plays have been Adam DiMichele’s jump pass to TE Steve Manieri for six in a Tuesday night game against Ohio and another jump pass to the tight end from Chester Stewart (for Al Golden) at the Fake Miami. Maybe even allow DiMichele, the QB coach, to draw those up. Another was ADM’s fake kneel down at Navy. If the Owls have the ball with the clock winding down in the first half, that’s always a good one. Navy got suckered and Bruce Francis was 20 yards behind the nearest defender for an easy six.

Shore up the perimeter run defense. For some reason, Temple has susceptible to the perimeter run for the past three games. From my observation, it’s been smaller defensive ends being too easily being sealed off on edge blocks. Change up the personnel and replace those smallish ends with more athletic and harder to move ones like Dan Archibong (6-5, 295) and Karamo Dioubate (6-4, 265) and trust Michael Dogbe and Freddy Booth-Lloyd to handle the middle of the 4-3. UCF knows it can attack the perimeter. Having Dan and Karomo there will disabuse it of that notion.

Make good use of the holder. For many seasons, the Owls’ holder on field goals has been the punter. This year, it’s Anthony Russo. A fake field goal–something the Owls have not shown all year–won’t be a high priority for UCF.  Since Will Mobley isn’t a long-distance kicker, this might prove to be a better option than punting on the UCF 35 or so.

Also, ditch the Centeio packages. They don’t work because they telegraph Temple’s intention to run Centeio. You could hear the Cincinnati players yell out “watch the run” and point to No. 16 in Section 121 at LFF last week. It doesn’t fool anyone.

Might be a good idea to brush up on 32-second, no timeout, drill, too. There’s a good blueprint for that at the top of this post.

Thursday: Shallow Owl



15 thoughts on “5 Things To Work On In The Bye Week

  1. 1. put Wright in the backfield if #7 can’t go
    2. put the OC in a walking boot, leave him home on the unable to perform list
    3. UCF lives off takeaways, stop throwing INTs
    4. blitz the Will and Mike often

  2. That video still gives me chills. I recall feeling that even though they won it still felt like a loss. Why is it so tough to be a TU football fan?

  3. History records Lincoln the ‘Great Emancipator;” the media deemed Reagan the ‘Great Communicator,’ and the AAC speculates that Patenaude is the “Great Experimenter.” UCF wont find ‘tendencies,’ because there are none. Patternaught may show his cards with with 32 sec left.

    Jimmy ” Loose Balls” Panagos needs to keep the game close.

    • Patenaude is an idiot. He’s got plenty of tendencies, mostly sticking to fade patterns in the end zone or outside the hash marks. If he doesn’t change up, attack the middle of the field with the passing game and heavily rely on the run, UCF will eat him for lunch and dinner.

      • Agreed. Patenaude has got plenty of tendencies, none of them good. UCF is making notes off the Temple game film and the Owls better be able to have about 60 new wrinkles ready or there will be a tackler everywhere.

  4. Cherry and White.

    if we wear black helmets, and/or black jerseys at UCF I’ll vomit..,

    and just sayin, the helmet Temple in script looks better than the Temple in block

  5. Uniform of the day: Same ensemble they wore two years ago for this game.

  6. i watched the game again and several things popped out. First, many of TU’s offensive series were not even shown during the replay because they were three and out. Second, the red zone offense is worse than horrendous. Why does Patenfraud think that the other team won’t be ready for trick plays and why hasn’t he come up with even a semblance of a red-zone offense? Even the announcers were ready for the trick plays. Third, they rarely use the middle of the field during passing plays. 90% of the time passes are to the sidelines. You would think that given that, they would send receivers deep as decoys and hit a back or tight end in the middle of the field. Fourth, after half time, Collins allegedly told the sideline reporter that he was going to run straight ahead with instead of outside. He did no such thing. These things better be fixed by next week for the Owls to have a chance to win.

      • They should have more practice for the quarterback so he doesn’t have so many turnovers that would help a lot

      • Quarterback is 5-1 and should be 6-0 if the OC wasn’t such a dumbass. Quarterback is not the problem. Mike, keep up the good fight against Patenaude. I’ll never forget you and John railing for the first two years against Satterfield on this blog saying 1) Run the football behind the fullback; 2) Throw off play action; 3) Use two Tight ends near the goal line. One response back in the day was “if Rhule takes the advice of a blog, he should be fired.” Well, Rhule adopted all three ideas by Year Three and made $7.3 million per year. He owes you and John a cut of his salary. Demoting Satterfield was the best thing Rhule ever did. Demoting or firing Patenaude will be the best thing Collins will ever do. Is Collins as smart as Rhule? We’ll find out soon enough.

      • Thanks, Apollo. I got from a note from a guy who asked me to either stop attacking Patenaude or pay off his contract. Not going to do either. Temple doesn’t have to pay off his contract. He’s an assistant on a year-to-year contract, unlike Collins who is guaranteed for five. Two, telling me to stop doing something makes me double down and do it more. Watch this space for tomorrow’s post. The payoff for pleading for Rhule to get rid of Satterfield for those two years and go pro set was two 10-win seasons. It was more than worth it.

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