Getting The Job Done

Going into Saturday, the Temple football team had one job to do.

Win. The. Game.

They didn’t have to look pretty doing it, like they did in a 49-6 win over East Carolina a month ago. They didn’t have to even cover the spread.

They just had to win the game.

It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t cover the spread and the offensive coordinator and his enabler did some more head-scratching things in a head-scratching season, but the defense and Isaiah Wright bailed the Owls out again and Temple won 27-17.

Meanwhile, they lost about 10,000 potential season-ticket holders with heart ailments because if this trend continues into next year, the doctors will write a prescription to watch the home games on television instead.

The main head-scratcher was giving Ryquell Armstead no support in the running game. Last week, the Owls gave Armstead a caravan of blockers in the form of tight ends and H-backs in motion. This time, they fell back into old habits by lining him up in an otherwise empty backfield and asked him to try to beat 11 guys all by himself.

Worse, this is the first time since the Rutgers’ game of 2013 that the Owls went to a shotgun on fourth and less than a yard.

Just like that Rutgers’ game, they did not get the yard on a handoff out of the shotgun. You learn in Geometry 101 that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and there was no reason to line up quarterback Anthony Russo in a shotgun. Armstead following 6-1, 330-pound Freddy Booth-Lloyd was the higher percentage call in that down and distance situation followed by a handoff to Freddy Love himself or even a sneak by your 6-foot-5 quarterback. If you go shotgun with inches to go, at least make a pass part of the option. You are only helping out the defense by running out of a shotgun.

The Sainted Wayne Hardin said that many times. There is a reason why he is in the College Football Hall of Fame and Dave Patenaude is not.

The lowest percentage call is what the Owls went with and that was a deep handoff against an overloaded defense.

That seems to be the new normal for Temple offensive football, though. Figure things out one week, then lapse into old habits the next.

Fortunately, the Owls are going to a bowl and probably will win eight regular-season games but you get the nagging suspicion that this season could have gone much better with a more disciplined and focused offensive approach.

That’s a job for another day, though.

Tuesday: Fizzy’s Corner

Thursday: Opposing Fans

Saturday: The Answer Right Underneath Our Noses

20 thoughts on “Getting The Job Done

  1. nice piece and great summary..,

    am I the only one? Wright is a better RB than he is a WR, especially if the OC stays.

    PJ developed into a great QB when he threw more TDs than INTs, Russo will do the same hopefully sooner rather than later…,

    Kraft should be thinking about the next HC, this team is loaded for 2019, in part due to CC playing freshmen

    it was a terrible game plan but the kids played with swagger and were better athletes, thus the win

    I’ve always said TUFB lives off the home field crowds,
    nobody in the stands and the team started slow as it always does in front of soft crowds.

    beat UCONN and go to a bowl game you can win. put hardware in the building and finished ranked. Start thinking about a new HC now.

  2. First and foremost a W is a W, no matter how you get it. The kids refocused their efforts in the second half and steamrolled USF on an off day after a big win over Houston. USF is tanking under Charlie Strong.

    Coach Collins is a strong recruiter as was his last two predecessors. I beliece he’s a year away from pulling the ripcord. A stronger record than 9-4 (Bowl Win) will get him a Power 5 opportunity. 2019’s Temple team if it plays up to its potential will give him a deal like Rhule took after winning the AAC.

    Finally a carousel of coaches beats a mediocre coach who stays because he has no options. The key is the fan base, the bigger the alumni support (fannies in stadium seats)t and TV views the more attractive a Philadelphia TV market becomes to a Power 5 conference and a Head Coach.

    • If Chad Morris can be hired as a Power 5 head coach after his best season as a head coach at SMU was 6-6, it’s open season on every moderately successful AAC head coach. The problem Temple faces is that you are playing Russian Roulette by replacing successful head coaches with a coordinator who was never a head coach before. Temple clicked that trigger three times and the Owls’ program is still living. The next bullet in the chamber could be a Bob Diaco type–coordinator of the year who can’t head coach his way out of a paper bag.


    Just when TU fans thought it was safe to watch Temple’s offense, David Patenfruade flipped the script and pulled the rug out from under them by abandoning the offense that embarrassed Houston’s and Maryland’s defenses. Rather than use a lead blocker and rely on play action as he did the week before to great success, he left his all conference running back to his own devices. “If Armstead’s as good as everyone says he is, he doesn’t need a lead blocker.” said Patenfraud, who added, “That offense was fine for Coastal Carolina and if it was good for them it’s good for TU. I made a deal with the devil to develop my offense and part of that deal was to torture Temple football fans, and my players by leaving them without blockers.” “Winning,” according to Patenfraud, “is for losers if the trade off is that I abandon that FCS offense.”

    Patenfraud lastly said that winning the game proved that he was right even though the offense scored only 14 points in a lackluster performance after it scored over 50 a week earlier. TU fans can only shake their heads in bewilderment and are left wondering if Patenfraud will repeat the mistakes it made last season against UConn, a team it should have beaten by 50. Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds and no one can doubt that Patenfraud surely has one when it comes to offensive strategy. Time will tell but no one is confident that Patenfraud is capable of learning from his errors next week, given his affinity for that ill-applied and totally horrendous offense.

    • hard to fathom CC is so endered w/him to the point of ignoring the flaws in scheme.., SMH

      • Rarely does a university have a sure thing out there for a future coach. Al golden is a sure thing; every body else is a crapshoot. Don’t like rolling the dice on a $17 million practice facility and a possible $130 million stadium on the craps table

  4. Diet, sloth, and DNA contribute most to heart ailments, but nervous disorders are environmental. Angst and relief are as addictive as pain and opium, which is part of the plan. Anxiety is a growth business; Temple may be negotiating with local pharma for naming rights. Pfizer Field? GlaxoSmithKline Centre? Dave Patenaude’s offense is stadium-funding bonanza. A business-minded AD would move him up to HC.

    • I talked to the ad…trust me, without disclosing details of the convo, Patenaude is the LAST guy he would ever consider as the next HC

      • Was a hard game to watch Mike the first half anyway if it wasn’t for the defense this game was over but I got ask you something is this guy a real good recruiter in the local area

      • Honesty, that would be a negative…Golden was welcomed into every high school on the east coast and recruits’ moms loved his youthful good looks. Collins is concentrating on Georgia and Florida because he knows those are the areas that will make his next stop successful

  5. Noticed that Collins is giving out scholarships to marginal walk-ons like candy. I wonder if that’s a sign that he’s planning on leaving. I know Daz burned everyone’s redshirt on the way out the door and now it at least appears to me that Collins is burning the opposite end of that candle. Ioannidis and Nate L. Smith would have been playing an extra year if Daz did not burn their redshirts on a few plays. Now we have a guy who caught 2 passes for six yards (his third and fourth catches of the season) getting a full scholarship and a defensive end that got blocked on a regular basis in the Villanova game getting a schollie. Probably could have used those two scholarships on big-time recruits.

    • Right about the Daz points, probably reading too much into the Collins’ points.

    • has a nice story about the wide receiver who was granted a a scholarship. He’s been working two jobs and is an asset if he’s playing. Anyone who plays enough, be it on special teams or otherwise, to earn a varsity letter deserves a scholarship. There probably are a dozen or more kids currently on scholarship who will never play. I’m not advocating pulling their scholarships but rather that hard work deserves a reward. See no problem giving a kid a scholarship especially when the kid’s junior or senior and he’s proven he can play, unlike incoming freshmen who are unproven and could be busts. By the way, loved that Kirkwood had a great day yesterday for the Saints. Eagles again ignored a kid who played on their field.

      • Eagles and Temple have a sordid relationship, and not sure why the Eagles see this as advantageous?

        Steelers and Piit; Dolphins and UM; LA and USC; etc..,

        maybe it’s the old elasticity of demand? Eagles can crap on Temple and it won’t have any effect on their fan base.., but still begs the question, Why?

  6. Good Guard All Mighty, Our Temple team is much better than our Eagles.
    And that’s with warts and all, including not best coaching in CERTAIN areas.
    Holy mackerel, we are not bad.
    Can I get a ” Hey Men ” and “You Go Boys”.

    So why the lack of lead blockers again, hummmhhh ?
    Oh well.

  7. KJ, that animosity goes all the way to when I was on the team in the seventies.We had a guard named Bob Brewer who was getting a lot of attention from the pros. The Eagles invited him and other potential players from around the country for a meet and greet. When Bob came back to the dorm he said that Vermeil went out of his way to ignore him and that he didn’t even know his name. That mindset continues to this day, From Joe Klecko and Randy Grossman before him onward to today they have utterly ignored TU players. I know they drafted Jaquan Jarrett but then didn’t give him coaching. There are currently 12 Owls in the NFL and each one of them could help the Eagles and the Eagles ignored each of them. I think it’s just a mindset in the whole city that the Owls are second rate and play mediocre football. I think that it’s so ingrained that even if they won a national championship, no one would care.

    • what a shame, but why? Temple has extended many olive branches to zero avail..,

      this is beyond any reasonable explanation.., why? It really puts Temple at a SEVERE disadvantage. We have two enemies, the N. Philly community and the pro for profit team that rapes us every single game..,

      PSU makes $1.5M per year in concession sales, parking, etc. Temple gives all that money to the Eagles, why?

      My guess is the Temple grads who are Eagle fans don’t make enough noise for the Eagles to give a crap..,

      this situation is unlike any other in the entire world of sports, in any country…, SMH

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s