Rod Carey, to quote Ricky Riccardo talking to Lucy, has some “splaining to do.”
Being beaten this badly in consecutive games is something new to Temple head coach Rod Carey.
That doesn’t mean Carey hasn’t ever rebounded from consecutive losses.
You need to go only back to last year to find Carey’s Northern Illinois team losing consecutive games only to earn his most surprising MAC win in the title game, a 30-29 win over heavily favored Buffalo.
So this staff has been known to bounce back.
Last year, Carey lost consecutive home games to Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan but had already clinched the West Division. In the title game, his team rallied from way down to beat Buffalo.
So they have been here before.
It’s just not has been this bad.
No NIU team in Carey’s six years ever lost games by scores like 63-21 and 45-21. In fact, Carey’s worst regular-season loss in 82 games as an FBS head coach was 48-17 at South Florida in 2016 (the same year Temple beat USF, 46-30).
So, in that sense, this is uncharted territory.
Unfortunately, Temple is not going to win the AAC or even the AAC East this season. Cincinnati would have to implode and that’s just not happening but the Owls can beat their expectations–they were picked No. 4 in the East behind UCF, Cincy and USF. They would be almost assured of finishing ahead of a USF team with a win there exactly one week from now. They are certainly at least as physically talented as USF and Tulane and far more than UConn and proving it on the field would be a nice way to finish out this season.
To do so, they are going to have to find their running game even if they have to manufacture it by attacking defenses with more lead blockers than the defense has to ward off. They probably won’t do it with the RPO, especially with a quarterback who is better suited without an RPO style offense.
Carey will have had a dozen days to pour over the film and find it out for himself or decide that he’s too stubborn to change anything and forge ahead with the same kind of game plans that resulted in disaster the last two weeks. Look at the Kansas State film above. Is this coaching staff even capable of putting in a fullback play like the one above that helped the Wildcats beat Oklahoma? I think they are, but they will have to earn my trust going forward.
Improvise and adjust have to be the catchwords of this staff now. Otherwise, a nuclear-type implosion is what they will be remembered for this season and no one, especially them, should want that.
Saturday: Game Day Without The Owls