The pieces to the puzzle that is Rod Carey’s new staff are mostly there, it’s just a matter of fitting them together.
What we do know is this:
There will be a decidedly FBS flavor for the one taking over compared to the mostly FCS one that left the Edberg Olson Complex for Atlanta over a month ago.
That’s a departure from the previous University of Florida coordinator who took over and represents a trend in a more positive direction for the program as a whole.
When Steve Addazio came from Florida to take over Temple prior to the 2011 season, he brought with him a national champion defensive coordinator (Chuck Heater) and a national champion quarterback coach (Scot Loeffler). When Geoff Collins came from the same school, he bought the Gators’ equipment guy and coordinators from Kennesaw State and Coastal Carolina.
Big difference and it showed in games the Owls had no business of being close in (the first Villanova game) or losing (UConn and Army, 2017) and Villanova and Buffalo (2018). Two years in a row, Collins’ FCS coaches were badly outcoached by Villanova’s FCS coaches.
While you could argue with the results on the field, the equipment was top-notch.
Rod Carey’s additions from Northern Illinois have much more solid football credentials. Mix in the Temple holdovers, including former Baylor assistant head coach Fran Brown, and this has the making of one of the best Temple staffs in a long time.
We don’t know who the offensive coordinator will be, but hopefully it will be a guy who helps the Owls get back to the Temple TUFF style of offensive football that was run under both Al Golden and Matt Rhule, more of a running game mixed in with a play-action passing one.
The addition of Jeff Knowles as defensive coordinator is probably the best get by Carey so far. Knowles had the NIU defense in the top 35 in the country last year and coached three years at North Carolina State. In his first season as defensive coordinator this past fall, the Huskies were second in the FBS in sacks with 50, trailing only national champion Clemson. The Huskies were ranked 11th in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game (109.2), 10th in team tackles for loss per game (7.9) NIU had six all-Mid-American Conference selections on its defense
Melvin Rice, the DB coach, coached last year at NIU and four years at Minnesota and DL coach Walter Stewart played at Cincinnati (so he’s very familiar with Temple) and had one of the best pass-rushing units in the country at NIU last year. Joe Tripodi, who holds a masters from the Harvard of the Big 10 (Northwestern), is the new OL coach. Craig Harmon, who was the QB coach at NIU, also comes over as Carey’s staff meshes with the Temple holdovers.
While Manny Diaz’s poaching of Temple strength coach David Feeley–who he never met before arriving on Temple’s campus one month ago yesterday–was particularly troubling, the Owls get the NIU strength coach Brad Ohrt, who played on the Appalachian State team that beat Michigan and has been with the Miami Dolphins and USC, among other squads. For all that Feeley did with Temple, the Owls were still pushed around in the Buffalo and Nova games and Ohrt did not allow that to happen to NIU against Buffalo.
The Owls should be strong next year.
In more ways than one.
Monday: Red Flag On The Field