TU Fans: Enjoy the win

In the waning days of Andy Reid’s tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, his team did not look good.

Mostly losses, and even the wins were sloppy.

After the unimpressive wins, Reid would walk into the press room and brush off legitimate questions with one phrase: “Enjoy the win, fellas.”

That’s pretty much the message to Temple fans today.

This is what Temple has looked like on special teams

Enjoy the win because this might be the last one of this strange season.

It’s not hyperbole.

I can’t find a single team remaining on the Temple schedule as bad as USF was and is but the Owls had to struggle mightily to beat the Bulls, 39-37. In fact, they needed the USF quarterback, Jordan McLeod, to inexplicably put the ball on the carpet for a scoop and score that pretty much gave Temple a gift win.

I had to laugh at a few of the exchanges I saw on social media Saturday. After the game, former Owl Barry Jenkins correctly noted these Owls were “soft on defense” and “couldn’t stop the run.”

To that, a familiar face on the sidelines for the last couple of decades responded: “Adam (Klein) was hurt. We’ll be fine.”

My response: “He was talking about the defense. There was nothing about the defense that spelled fine unless you are talking about Larry Fine of The Three Stooges.”

If the defense was the only problem, that would be one thing. Defense is only one-third of the team. Offense is another third and special teams is a third.

That was the Al Golden Mantra. Defense one third, Offense one third, special teams one third. The way Rod Carey has prioritized special teams since his arrival has made it abundantly clear that he considers special teams 1/10th of the team, defense nearly one half and offense nearly one half.

That’s a losing football mentality.

The sad thing was that he had the best special teams coach in the country, Ed Foley, and let him slip through his fingers. If there was anyone who was a Temple lifer it was Foley. Coaches from Al Golden to Steve Addazio to Matt Rhule to Geoff Collins were smart enough to give the keys to the special teams car to Foley and know that he would not wreck it. Foley had that thing shiny and clean and purring like a kitten and he changed the oil and filter every 3,000 miles.

Since Carey let Foley go because he “wanted to get an extra defensive coach on the field” the Owls have looked like the Keystone Cops on special teams. They can’t block kicks (they used to routinely lead the country in that department), they can’t return kicks, they can’t cover kicks, and they can’t even kick it into the damn end zone. They even have a hard time recovering onsides’ kicks. Anthony Russo doesn’t even hold on field goals any more and defenses consequently don’t even have to account for a possible fake, which makes it much easier to block field goals.

Other than that, they are doing great on special teams.

Yet, for some reason, Carey thought getting an extra defensive coach on the field was a higher priority.

How did that extra defensive coach work out against USF on Saturday? He probably had a lot to do with USF, a team that was shut out by Notre Dame, scoring 37 points.

Not good.

Enjoy the win, though, fellas. It might be the last one because two-thirds of the team looks remarkably like all thirds of The Three Stooges.

Monday: Fizzy’s Corner


11 thoughts on “TU Fans: Enjoy the win

  1. At least we’re not Syracuse or Georgia Tech today.

  2. Yes Mike, Keystone Cops, on both teams. If it wasn’t for USF’s ridiculous mistakes, we would have lost. And about Carey – it seems like he truly got his dream job tripling (or more) his salary at a school that doesn’t fire mediocre (or worse) coaches. The special teams is an atrocity altho the punting was decent yesterday, everything else was unbelievably bad. And what’s up with the kickoffs? I’m sure our kicker(s) can put it in the end zone so these pooch kicks must be some sort of “strategy?” But how many times do you get big run backs before you settle for the 25 yard line for gosh sakes? For the most part the D couldn’t stop the run (again) altho they came up big in the 4th 1/4. Defensive coordinator and special teams coach need to go. Another upset of Memphis? I think not.

  3. Mike,
    I’m not a grad but a longtime TU football fan. I feel for the student athletes that are not getting coached up to their potential. Most of these kids have only 4 years of collegiate football, to have a couple of those years essentially wasted due to poor coaching is a shame. I’m not going to beat a dead horse, I’ve stated since his first game, Rod Carey is not the guy. He might be a good person, but he should not be a FBS coach. I still can’t see how hiring a guy from NIU that had never won a bowl game was ever a consideration.

    Heck, Hugh Freeze from Liberty is 5-0 and they just beat Syracuse. If we can’t beat USF, we wouldn’t beat Cuse. Would you ever think Liberty would be more relevant than Temple? Coastal Carolina is 4-0, beating Kansas and Louisiana Ragin Cajuns–they are more relevant than Temple.

    How you do not fix special teams after last year I can’t wrap my head around?
    I’m depressed for you and your alumni as we are a long way from College Gameday at Independence Hall.

    You have to move on from Carey. They won’t do it in-season but they should– let Gabe take over. Inject some damn life into this program. Sorry for the negativity, but they are going to force me to go fishing Saturday’s.

    C E SPEED, West Chester

    • As someone who watched Gabe’s teams long before he got to Temple, the Prep was top notch in all three areas–offense, defense and special teams. I don’t think Gabe would let this special things thing slide for two weeks, let alone the two years Carey has let it slide. Untimately, the CEO is responsible.

    • The MAC and NIU are FBS level. They’re lower down in the G-5 category. But Temple has often struggled with MAC teams. But I agree, a coach who never won a bowl game should have been a red flag. And I’m sure there were other better choices out there willing to take a 2-mil per year salary at Temple. Why the school’s administration can’t do a better job escapes me – even Matt Rhule was a chancy hire but turned out great, whereas Daz and Collins were mediocre overall but at least brought bowl wins to Temple. Somehow it doesn’t seem that Carey will do the same. But as usual, we’ll have to wait and see.

  4. So, Saturday was interesting to say the least. I was amazed that I felt Game 2 of Season 2 was an absolute must win for this head coach. That’s my level of pessimism on this regime.

    The win says something for the character and resolve of the players. Last year’s team quit on the field three times. This team did not. Good for them.

    The low expectations crowd seemed satisfied to squeaky by a team that had lost 3 straight by 93 combined points. Lot of excuses about talent lost from last season. Is the talent that Carey attracted enough to fill the gap? Do the players have confidence he can get them to the NFL or will they grad transfer to a P5 team? Is a mistake-prone team his coaching status quo?

    Yet the pattern of poor coaching continues. The defense remains a concern. USF converted TWICE on fourth down. The special teams remain a liability. Blocked FG, onside kick disasters, poor kick coverage overall. I’m glad that Ed Foley ended up not having to work under Carey.

    One thing that irritated me during the week was ESPN’s decision to put this game behind a paywall. Now I’m curious to see how many more games are left off any of the ESPN networks. It seems they are relegating what they see as bottom barrel programs to the subscription service.

    From a larger perspective, I have concerns on the trajectory of the program. The progress made since the Al Golden days seems to have stagnated. Can this coach put a team together that can seriously compete in the AAC? Can this coach put a team together that has any chance of making the Top 25 at any point of the season? What P5 program would have any interest in poaching him?

    I saw a few comments on social media chuckling about Georgia Tech’s performance yesterday. How many points to do you think Dabo would put up on Carey? I’m 100% confident that Collins will have a team that is ranked before Carey ever does here.

    Nicknames aside, the real rambling wreck seems to be in the head seat at E-O.

  5. Wonder if Peterson got his 2 point play from Carey. LOL.

    • Chasing points early with 2-pointers is always a bad idea. Had the Eagles kicked XPs, they would have been kicking for the win with 2 minutes left and not needing a 2-pointer to tie.

      • Boy is that the truth. There were two or three games this weekend including the TU game where it mattered. I still can’t figure out why the TU player who recovered the fumble on the two point play decided to fall down instead of taking it to the end zone.

  6. Was reading an article on the Giants coach Joe Judge who’s Dad played for Temple back in the 70’s. I came across this interesting article that got me thinking why don’t more coached stress this. I know it’s dated, but may help recruiting if Gabe takes over!


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