Temple: No incentive to win

After the first play, it was all downhill for Temple.

There are 127 FBS teams who opted into playing this season despite a global pandemic.

Just about every coaching staff is taking this season seriously.

Then there’s Temple.

“I know your right shoulder is hurt but can you throw with your left hand?.

In a 47-23 loss to SMU on Saturday, the latest in a growing number of embarrassments for a once-proud football program, we saw this:

  • A quarterback (Trad Beatty) who arguably slid past the yard marker (you could make a case either way) for a first down in the first half, was ruled short, and Temple did nothing to challenge. The ESPN+ announcers said it was worth a challenge and it probably was.
  • A shotgun formation on fourth and 1 yard and a predictable loss with the ball snapped so deep. (Every fifth grade Geometry student can tell you the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.)
  • A kicking game that hasn’t even been addressed (missing an extra point and getting two more kickoffs hit out of bounds) despite it being an ongoing problem;
  • No quarterback holding on any kicks, eliminating even the chance of a fake.
  • Punts on fourth down late in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach when those could have been used as a teaching down for the offense.
  • Quarterback auditions during a game for the second straight week that should have been done during practice.

What does all of the above prove?

Temple is playing this entire 2020 season like it’s an extension of spring practice and not a meaningful business enterprise which, when you boil it down to basics, college football is a business and the business is winning.

Like many businesses that serve the public this terrible year, Temple is about to go bankrupt with that approach.

The Owls had more time to prepare for a triple option than both BYU and Air Force did and crapped the bed in that game. They could have invited the best minds in college football known for stopping triple options (say, the Air Force and BYU coaching staffs) but decided, “well, we can stop them doing things our way.”

Err, no. BYU and Air Force held Navy to 3 and 7 points, respectively. It would have been nice to at least review the film of those games and apply the same approach. Instead, Temple did the opposite of those schools and “held” Navy to 31.

Very little of this is attributable to COVID, the City of Philadelphia or injuries. Most of it has to do with the incompetence of the coaching staff and, frankly, a lackadaisical attitude. When you are making $2 million a year for three more years with a $10 million buyout, there is a decreased sense of urgency and that’s what we’re seeing now.

Schools that don’t produce as many NFL players as Temple does have the same problems with COVID but have found a way to succeed. Forget about the teams Temple is looking up at in its own conference (err, everyone). Liberty is 7-0. Coastal Carolina is 6-0. Marshall is 6-0. Hell, even Nevada and San Jose State are 3-0.

Can we get one of those coaching staffs?

The business of college football is flourishing everywhere but Philadelphia largely because winning is no longer a priority here. It’s a sad thing to see.

If it reminds you of a bygone time of nearly 20 years ago, it should. I don’t want to go back to it. Neither should you and, more importantly, the powers-that-be at Temple who were around then.

Monday: Fizzy’s Corner


14 thoughts on “Temple: No incentive to win

  1. There is no doubt that Carey has not acquitted himself well. However, in rating his coaching this season you have to consider the numerous injuries to key players, the players unable to play because of Covid, the loss of eight players signed by the pros, the losses of Yeboah, Roche, and now Davis, and the covid restrictions placed on the team by Philadelphia authorities. Frankly, there is not a coach in the country that could have made something of this team. A good coach would have have beaten Navy and that’s it. The condition of the team for the Tulane game would have thwarted Vince Lombardi from eking out a victory and the other losses were to teams fielding much better talent than TU. Yes, Carey’s schemes are bad and he doesn’t do what he should be doing. However, the factors I cited have to be included in grading him honestly this season.

    • Doesn’t explain the Navy fiasco or the inexplicable decision to have the punter hold when Russo did it all of last year, among many other things.

      • Tailgating was allowed in FDR Park today. Free parking. I know most of us don’t have the stomach to see this team in person but at least it’s an option for next year if Lot K is locked down.

  2. The problem is that there seems to be no improvement from week to week! Same mistakes,same play calls,same missed tackles, wide open receivers and non existing special teams!!! Oh I forgot one and that is do we make adjustments at all at halftime!!!! This to me is All Around COACHING. I am hoping we are not headed into another 20 years of irrelavent football?? Love the Owls,but hate seeing this happen to the program!!!!

  3. Now Mike, that is some good news after all, there can be some tailgate fun at FDR Park. With that we may well decide to take in a football game this year. I just have to see how far away that place is from the Linc. See ? Good news comes in little dribs and drabs . Just maybe we can organize an non-organized Football fling. Since the Team will be expected to win, that won’t be such a downer. It ‘s like the bad old days where we went anyway, just to see a good player or two… Are we reliving Dickerson or Wallace, that’s the question I had. Muckerson comes to mind here.
    BTW I am done complaining for this year and have not jumped ship –
    Ahoy Matee.

    • Decided not to go.As much as I love tailgating, I love winning more. I hate losing more than anything else and I don’t see a single win going forward with this coaching staff.

  4. I did not bother with the game yesterday, raked leaves all day. I did see the “highlights” on the 6 ABC News and saw a few things that were concerning.

    First, and I believe it was SMU’s first score, the Temple d-back was clinging to the SMU receiver (Page?) as he crossed the goal line. Our back continued the play clearly after the score and spun the receiver to the ground. While not a cheap shot per se….it was very clearly out of frustration and unnecessary.

    Secondly, the two second half td’s they showed such lack of effort on the defense that it can only be attributed to the coaching staff. Besides the half-ass attempts at a tackle on either play, Temple defenders obviously quit early on the play, you can see at least two Owls stop running at the twenty yard line!

    If your willing to give Carey some slack and assume that he needs to get his own recruits in here, his handling of the team is so concerning. No oversight.

  5. I spent the day raking leaves yesterday rather than checking out the game…I’m pretty sure I made the right choice.

    However, I did see the “highlights” on the 6 ABC news before heading off to bed at night. I saw enough that I have real concerns about the future of the program.

    The first SMU touchdown, the 24-yard pass to Page had a Temple defender clinging to the receiver as he crossed the goal line. While not a dirty play per se, Page had clearly crossed the goal line when our d-back “followed through” on the play and swung him to the ground. Again, not a cheap shot, but not really serving any purpose either.

    They also showed two second half touchdowns by SMU, both clearly showing Temple defenders quitting on the play. Outside of the questionable effort on tackling, Temple defenders has stopped chasing the ball carrier WAY before the end zone.

    I get the idea that this team is not listening to the coaching staff at all. Think back to the sidelines during the ass-kicking by NC in the bowl game. How is this guy gonna recruit based off a 1-7 record?

    • It’s going to have a snowball approach, that’s for sure. I was told by someone close to the team that both Branden Mack and Jadan Blue are not coming back next year, probably many more on top of that. If that’s true, on top of the personnel hits taken with Roche, Yeboah, Toddy, etc., it’s just too much proven developed talent leaving the building and that’s going to impact the bottom line next year. Winning is really the only thing that matters and the laisse fair attitude the coaching staff approached preparing for the Navy game carried over to the rest of the season. No excuse for a team with the talent of Temple losing to Navy when you have nine months to prepare to stop the triple option.

  6. This has gotten ugly early. It was not a shock after some of last year’s drubbings to think this was a poor hire, but it is almost to the point where you have to find a way to eat the contract and move on. Very tough in Covid world to buy him out. You might have to find a way to keep him in the program working in the equipment room, pay him his $2 million a year and hope he dislikes it so much he leaves on his own. Wishful thinking. At that point, promote Gabe, you don’t have to pay him a ton at this point, he can at least begin to try and turn this titanic around. You go into next season w/ Rod Carey, there will be calls for the program to drop to 1-AA. No college in this fiscal environment has the luxury of throwing money at a 1-7 then 2-10 team (2021). The vibe with this team is really bad. I feel bad for these student athletes as their career is short, why wait around for a coach that has proven he can’t get it done. I still hark back to 0-7 in Bowl games? Something ain’t right.
    More players will leave, recruiting will suffer and you will be in a tailspin. Darn shame. Rod Carey should be coaching Division 2 or 3.

  7. Yup, that’s what I’ve been saying. Why can’t or doesn’t Temple get those kind of coaching staffs? WHY? Offering that kind of salary shouldn’t make it very hard to do better. Geeeez.

  8. If even more talent does leave TU FB, that confirms my earliest thoughts on HC Carey. I thought right away, he gets a 3X pay raise with millions guaranteed.
    No doubt he thought he had it made no matter what and had all the money he would need, even to retire.

    Always thought overreach was a possibility for HC Carey, when he came in.

    TUFB was guilty of the eternal human emotional condition known as the spurned lover. We quickly married the next one up, just to show the world

    Carey may well be a total A-whole and and arse wipe and all that.
    But he’s our arse-wipe, our A-whole -and we gotta love it.

    By his works shall we know him…..the fruit of his labor and all that.

    Looks like all the kids want to run away from home ?

    But I am not angry , just mellow.
    The joy of the past 10 years keeps me content, its what I think.

    Just yesterday doing yard work, I wore my old Temple New Mexico Bowl Cap, which we got out there; happy memories

  9. In reality, Temple’s football history is pretty bad overall, spotty at best. This last 10-12 years while bringing the program respect, has itself been spotty from season to season, barely above mediocre, and even within good seasons (Rhule’s last season a prime example). But there’s just no excuse to let the program slip back into another Bobby Wallace era (worst all-time TU coach IMO). It is all about the coaching, getting a coach that can bring sustained success and for 2 mil a year shouldn’t be as difficult as Temple makes it to be, especially compared to some of those much smaller schools with relatively new programs Mike mentioned (Liberty? for gosh sakes?!) – it’s really quite ridiculous. Temple’s administration decision making is really sub-par in more than one respect. I think many of us older followers are getting pretty fed up with it all.

  10. QB’s don’t always hold for place kicks. In some instances, it’s the punter. All about “hands” first.

    No excuses for the lamentable effort vs. Navy to stop the option. It’s in books and video. YouTube it.

    Liberty rolled the dice on Hugh Freeze. He’s a proven winner on the field, Has some baggage otherwise and I doubt a lib college like TU would get sign-offs on hiring him from some factions because of the baggage. Think what happened to Schiano when Tenn announced he was their choice. Now he’s got Rutgers on the rise and Tenn is sucking wind.

    There’s a guy named Kendall Briles calling plays at Arkansas. While his father has baggage and is properly blackballed, Kendall only shares the name. Might be the play to go back to rising assistants and coordinators. Or like you said, give Infante the post. I’m sure he’d make a lot of needed changes. All the NIU coaches brought in sure don’t seem to be hustling to make their coach look good.

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