Temple-USF: The Narrow Path Forward

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 03 AAC Championship - Navy v Temple

This is the only thing worth getting

Over the last two weeks, the Temple Owls made their bed and now have to sleep in it or do the whole thing over.

It’s a bed with a lot of lumps in it and corners not tucked in and they can give up or do it over again starting in a couple of nights at a place where they have never won, Raymond James Stadium.

Unfortunately, it’s a bed that needs others to help them make it.  First, the Owls will have to tuck in their corner and win at USF. On the other side, they need help from Cincy and UCF. Cincy will have to lose to USF and Memphis. Then, on top of that, UCF would have to lose twice.

Not likely, but still possible.

So, as long as there is a chance that there is some glory at the end of this rainbow, it’s worth the effort to achieve it. Because the runnerup prize to the non-champion in this league is a bowl pretty much equal to the others.

Nothing happens, though, without a win over USF in a couple of nights. It’s important because the Owls team that started this season bears no resemblance to the team that did a bad impersonation of this one in the middle of the season.

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 9.50.25 PM

Let’s keep it Cherry or White the rest of the season, please


If the Owls are to win on Thursday night, they will have to run–literally–for their lives. Run or die.

They have to do whatever they can to jumpstart what has been a nonexistent running game in consecutive losses to SMU and UCF if they have any chance to beat the next alphabetical opponent, USF. That means not doing the same thing with the running game they have the last two weeks–spreading the field with the RPO and hoping that opens running lanes.

Guess what?

It doesn’t.

So what do they do? Try something different. Since there is no fullback on the roster, line tight ends as H-backs, put them in motion and bring more blockers to the point of attack than there are defenders in that area to stop them. Mix in a few jet sweeps with either Jaden Blue or Isaiah Wright and get this running game rolling.

Only then will the fakes to the running backs work and open up lanes in the passing game and then the Owls will start to resemble the team we all knew and loved after the Memphis game.

Otherwise, it will be an offseason of tossing and turning in that lumpy and uncomfortable bed asking a whole lot of unanswered questions.

Thursday: Game Night Preview




10 thoughts on “Temple-USF: The Narrow Path Forward

  1. I say enough with Thursday games for Temple this year.
    Then again I thank tv network ‘g o ds ‘, ‘ it ain’t ‘ MAC with Tuesday Night TV .
    I am still happy to see those days in my rear view mirror.

    My fear is HC Coach is still in MAC mentality and doesn’t get, that he is
    near big time now, playing the Big Top here, as TU gets good TV now.
    They could have been ranked this year, but nope.

  2. Mike, I hope Coach Carey listens to you or otherwise gets the message and adopts a power running attack. I am fearful that he won’t. It took Coach Rhule a year and a half of failure to see the light. I have my doubts Coach Carey is open at all to changing his offensive strategy now in the middle of the season. Even if he does, out lack of depth seems to be killing us with injuries to key personnel. I have given up on anything better than 8-4, and even that might be a stretch.

    • I will never forget preaching that same message here for two years and some Rhule apologist commenting that if he followed the advice of a blog said comment guy wanted him fired. Well, it took him 2 years and but he followed the advice of this blog and it made him $7.4 million. Not a word or two but every single thing we said: Run the ball behind a fullback, two tight ends in red zone, set up the run first and then Temple receivers will be open all over the place after defenses started to key on Thomas and Armstead on play fakes. That’s exactly how Temple beat Penn State in 2015 and won the 2016 championship. I know Rhule read the blog because the day he was hired he called me and said “the only way he followed Temple football” in his year with the Giants was “by reading Temple Football Forever.” We had a nice 35-minute conversation where I tried to get him to hire Nick Rapone as DC and he told me he was going for “another old guy” as DC who turned out to be Phil Snow. Doubt that Rhule stopped reading the blog the day he got hired.

  3. If Rhule did stop reading it, I bet his wife started.

    Noticing your interactions with former players, have any of them commented to you if they have any interaction with the current staff? Do any of the now NFL players come by on their bye week to visit? Understanding the staff they played for is gone or twice removed, there could be reluctance, so the absence of those visits should not be misinterpreted.

    Also, on the recent donation by former player Kurt B, how is the man doing? He’s from where I live and while I’ve never met him, I know he played hurt a lot and was curious as to his health.

    • Helluva player. Rhule and golden were very welcoming to former players; Rhule even asked me for Bruce Arians cell (of course I cleared it with Bruce first). Don’t get the feeling subsequent staffs are seeking out that kind of inclusion although it’s a priority for people like pat Kraft and Nadia. Carey is not a bad guy but he’s all business.

  4. Prerequisites for a position coach:
    1. Successful experience
    2. Ability to successfully recruit players for the position you coach

    Half of Carey’s staff can’t recruit. Why does he keep them? Send this guy back to the MAC.

  5. The bed’s soiled, and it’s time to change the sheets. I’d move Wright to RB, since he can’t catch. I’d use multiple TE as H-backs, since they’re not a passing asset. I’d use Arm & Hammer, Tide Plus, and a clothes line since they’re eco-friendly and the sheets are nasty. I’be be recruiting Florida hard , since Collins left the linen closet is bare.

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