Editor’s Note: Former Temple football player Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub brings the perspective not only of a player but a lifetime of coaching football, teaching and writing. He breaks down the Navy game here.
By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub
Well, you saw the game. There could have easily been fourteen more points on the board for Temple, and the two-point conversion call at the end was stupefying. That’s not what I want to discuss.
Throughout last season and this year’s first game, one consistency stands out. Temple does not adjust during the game, especially on defense. The game plan you come in with is the plan for the entire game. No matter what.
Saturday was the worst. With over a month to get ready to play Navy’s triple-option, the plan was an overshifted 4-3 with a defender (nose-tackle) head-up on the center. Guess what? It didn’t work, and Navy ran up and down the field because Temple couldn’t stop the fullback. The only time the defense changed was when Navy had third and/or fourth and short.
My opinion is that if you stop Navy’s fullback, you destroy their offense. So one different alignment might have a middle linebacker stacked in back of the nose-tackle, and they each blitz the gaps on either side of the center. Another might be two defenders lined up in the gaps on either side of the center. You have to remember that Navy’s quarterback couldn’t run well and couldn’t throw deep. There was no risk.
After the debacle, Inquirer reporter Mike Jensen interviewed head coach Rod Carey. Carey said the problem was, “Our pad level was too high.” Of all the poppycock excuses I ever heard, this takes the cake. What the hell does that mean? Do you have to get shorter defenders? Carey made no mention of coaching deficiencies.
With last year’s defensive collapses in the second half and the poorly designed defensive strategy vs. Navy, one thing is abundantly clear. Temple can’t adjust. What a waste of talent.
Friday: USF Preview