The case for the defense

Almost a year ago, Geoff Collins got up at the season ticket holder’s party and praised his “dark side” defense, saying that it would be one of the best defensive units in the country.

Like a lot of things that came out of Collins’ mouth, it was promised hype that never materialized.

Not because of talent, because the talent was there but because the talent was often lined up out of position in the hopes of creating pressures that would cause fumbles and interceptions. What it did cause more often than not were gashes in the defense that allowed runners huge chunks of yardage and points on the scoreboard. The pass defense was OK, but the run defense was not.

Temple was rated 47th in total defense, one behind Georgia Tech and one ahead of North Texas. That’s the definition of mediocre. Worse, it gave up 45 points to Boston College, 52 to UCF and 57 to Duke.


Screenshot 2019-06-04 at 11.59.15 PM

About 20 former Temple players of Bruce Arians traveled to Tampa to renew a 30-plus year friendship with their former coach earlier this week. That’s GOAT Paul Palmer (bottom left) with Keith Jones and Mike Hinnant behind him with Bruce.

That’s not the kind of gang-tackling defense Temple fans got used to seeing under Matt Rhule and Al Golden and it probably won’t be the kind of defense they will be seeing going forward.

For the Owls to have a championship season in 2019, they must do better and there is every indication they will.

It all starts up front as defensive end starters Dana Levine, Quincy Roche, and Zack Mesday return and Karamo Dioubate and Dan Archibong provide a solid duo in the middle. The linebackers are both good and deep with Shaun Bradley and Chapelle Russell joined by William Kwenkew, Sam Franklin and Isaiah Graham-Mobley. In fact, the linebacker room is so crowded that Franklin–who has experience both at DE and safety–might have to be moved to strong safety to better utilize his exceptional talent.

Corners are solid with Linwood Crump Sr., Christian Braswell, and Ty Mason and the safety core that already included Benny Walls and Keyvone Bruton was bolstered by the addition of Penn State portal transfer Ayron Monroe, who played in all 12 regular-season games for the Nittany Lions last year.

This is a lock-down group coached by a staff that believes in lock-down defensive principles. NIU traveled to BYU and won, 7-6, last season (see video at the top of this post). That was the same BYU team that won at Wisconsin.  While the Huskies had talent and finished seven spots ahead of Temple in overall defense, new coach Rod Carey and his defensive staff have a lot more talent to work with here than there.  Carey believes in sound base defense. It puts a premium on being in position over getting turnovers.

The days of those gouging runs against the Temple defense that we saw for the last two years may be over.

Instead, get ready for the gang-tackling Temple defense we all know and love.

Saturday: Measuring Up



13 thoughts on “The case for the defense

  1. Collins was a blithering charlatan who never deviated from his script regardless of the facts confronting him. Money signs continued to wave even when it was clear that bankruptcy was imminent and their prese nce was deemed by the TU fans as evidence of his incompetence or a refusal to acknowledge that he was mocking his own defense. I would add the 49 hung on the team by Houston to the parade of incompetence you duly denote in the article. All I can say is that TU got very lucky that he was able to connive and convince another AD that he actually knows what he’s doing. For whatever reason, people still are fooled by clowns like him, people who never shut up and continue to sell their bs even when others know it’s bs, as you and I were when he told us to our faces that Sharga would never come off the field

    • I shook his hand and introduced myself to him and sung the praises of Sharga (who I still believe was the MVP of the 2016 championship team because he played both offense and defense at a very high level). I would have respected him a lot more if he said, “Geez, Mike, me and Dave don’t believe in the fullback like Matt and Thomas did so he won’t have much of a role.” Instead, he lied like a Persian rug. Don’t have much use for liars or charlatans. I get the feeling that Carey is more of a straight-shooter type.

  2. X-HC G Collins; FULLA-BULLA, ‘nough said on that…..

  3. Can Temple stop the run? Two Big Ifs: The defense will keep us in every game if the DTs can avoid getting blown off the line of scrimmage and if the CBs tackle.

    Much work to do with the RBs and the WRs.

    The ‘analysts” and most publications rate our skill position players in the bottom half of the conference. Their opinions are based on the facts from last season.

    Reality of it all is, aside from Bucknell and UConn, every game will be hard. The 2019 Owls will not be a dominant team. Can Carey pull off a few wins on Saturday from the sidelines? Will the 2019 team be among the least penalized and most disciplined teams in the conference?

    Compelling drama awaits the diehards..,

    • With Dioubate and Archibong in the middle and probably the most athletic group of LBs in recent history, Owls can stop the run. Also have FBS level defensive coaches for the first time since Rhule.

  4. Unfortunately, Collins is a pathological liar and narcissist , who believes is own bullshit.
    Sounds familiar to some one @ 1600 Pennsylvania?

    • Go Owls. btw, what if I think the dems are fulla-bullla, how about that ? See, no obvious politics here is the rule, so I won’t post it – OK ?

    • History will record Temple as probably the only university that backed down to neighborhood pressure to NOT build something on its own property. Incredibly stupid leadership. They should have picked a spot on the uni campus where they did not need to close a city street and then build the stadium and take the city to court if it objected. They could have built the library where 15th and Norris is now and put a stadium where the library is now. They still have other options. Returning football practice field to Geasey and demolishing the EO and building a stadium there or just go to Broad and Masters.

  5. Brain stem beats mayhem.

    • True, Dave. True. We shall see. Big tests are Maryland and Georgia Tech but I really like our coaching matchup (head and assistants) versus GT (our defensive coordinator vs. their offensive coordinator is an all-time mismatch in our favor).

      • Those will be great games, but let’s not lose to a Patriot League team. Rhule, Collins, and Golden all lost to FCS teams. Slicing the bison is step number one.

      • Our scout team quarterback, Kennique Bonner-Stewart, is better than the Bucknell starter. No worries. This will be 48-7 or worse. If Patenaude was still here, I might be worried. Not now.

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s