Temple-UCF: Inside the War Room

Gotta wonder what happens when all the Temple coaches get together to game plan the next opponent on the schedule.

Since what happens in the Coaches Conference Room at the E-O is not televised, we can only imagine.

Full disclosure: After watching the first few Temple games, I’m convinced they don’t even game plan for an opponent.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that they were so embarrassed they lost 62-21 to UCF at home last year and they don’t want that history to repeat itself before a national TV audience (ESPN-U, 7:30 p.m.) on Saturday night.

Rod Carey: “Fellas, we’re feeling a little heat here. Temple fans are used to winning and my plan to use this fall as an extension of spring practice probably isn’t working. I got hammered by an anonymous fan on Temple Football Forever Thursday. I want to win. You want to win. Anyone have any ideas how we extend the game to the fourth quarter Saturday night and steal it then?”

Mike Uremovich: “Rod, you know what we did at Northern. We played the RPO every game and accepted the results.”

Rod: “Gabe, any ideas?”

Gabe Infante: “We are playing into their hands that way. If we run the RPO, they don’t respect the quarterback’s ability to run the ball, and they are going to come after Anthony on the next two downs. He will probably either get sacked or throw incompletions. Not Anthony’s fault at all, but asking him to run is not his forte and probably will result in giving Dillon Gabriel about a zillion more possessions than he needs to have.”

Rod: “What do we do to avoid that?”

Gabe: “When I was the head coach at (St. Joseph’s) Prep, we played a lot of nationally ranked Florida teams with much more speed than us but we always beat them.”

Rod: “How?”

Gabe Infante after beating Florida’s top-ranked high school team.

Gabe: “Put two tight ends on the field, put a fullback on the field, line up in run formations on first down. They’ve seen our film. They expect the run on first down. Fake them out by throwing short passes, run on second down, keep the sticks and clock moving. Take a chance every now and then with a fake to our tailback, followed by a deep ball. Keep the defense off balance. Those high-octane offenses never saw the ball. We had eight-minute drives each quarter. We’d get seven points one quarter, three points the next, seven at the beginning of the third and, before you know it, we had a 17-0 lead and they were playing catch up. We’re from Philly, 17th and Thompson, and that’s only five blocks west and five blocks south from this room we’re in now. We used our toughness to our advantage.”

Rod: “Sounds good but we run the RPO. That’s what we do.”

Gabe: “That’s precisely the point. That’s what they do. They are more comfortable with us doing what they do, throwing passes, stopping the clock, giving them more possessions. I’d say let’s make them uncomfortable and keep our defense off the field. I’m the running backs coach but I’m all for helping our defense any way I can.”

Rod: “Mike, what do you think?”

Mike: “We didn’t do that at NIU, Rod. I’m not comfortable with a fullback and two tight ends.”

Rod: “That settles it. We’re going to do what we do and let the chips fall where they may.”

Gabe: “But, Rod, the chips haven’t fallen our way so far, let’s try other chips.”

Rod: “Gabe, I love you, man, but this is what got me to 52-30 at NIU and I’m sticking with the plan Saturday night. Meeting adjourned.”

(Coaches get up leaving the room while Adam DiMichele can heard mumbling under his breath: “That’s also what got us beat 62-21 last year.”)

Rod: “Adam, did you say anything?”

Adam: “No, nothing, Rod.”

Rod: “OK, let’s do this. Let’s beat them at their game.”

Picks this week: Went 1-2 opening week against the spread and skipped last week, but like a few games on the docket this weekend. First, Friday night the Florida Atlantic Owls covering the 8.5 spread at nearby FIU. On Saturday, taking Wisconsin to cover the 3.5 at Michigan and Penn State the same number at Nebraska. For the final game, going for Louisiana Tech to cover the 1.5 against the visiting Rice Owls. All favorites this week, no underdogs.

Update: Evened the season record at 3-3 by going 2-1 against the spread. FAU easily covered the 8.5 as did Wisconsin the 3.5. Only loss was Nebraska beating PSU. LT and Rice postponed due to COVID. Record this week: 2-1. Overall: 3-3.

Saturday Night: Game Analysis


9 thoughts on “Temple-UCF: Inside the War Room

  1. Do you think Gabe Infante has the experience to be head coach?

  2. Fran would make an interesting candidate for HC.

    Recruiting ability and netowrk is unquestioned. Hiring a black HC would be positive on multiple levels for the program and university.

    His success at the start would be based on his coordinator hires. Perhaps Gabe as OC or assistant HC?

    • What we have now is an untenable situation: My first choice would be Al Golden to revive Temple TUFF, bring back Ed Foley, promote Gabe to OC and DiMichele to QB coach; Second choice would be Gabe and a distant third would be Fran (which would be better than going forward with Rod and looking at 1-7 this year and 2-10 next). I believe the first three guys would be way more likely to stop the bleeding of quality talent leaving the E-O and keeping the talent pipeline open both with area high schools and area high school guys who are now in the P5 who want to come home. Pipe dream, though, with Fran Dunphy as AD. I’d rather have Fran Duffy, the video coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, as our AD than Fran Dunphy. Love the guy but he’s the antithesis of someone who will put the boot up the ass of an employee making $2 million per.

  3. At this point I do feel sorry, very sorry for our QB Anthony Russo, he has no chance to be noticed for anything any longer.
    Yes I did constantly slam him for every fault, but it was with some hopes he had a chance to get better /do better.
    Maybe he has no chance to show his stuff now.
    A team which withdraws , hides, waits for better till next year, will not provide the support he needs.
    This doesn’t even include comments on coaches performance, schemes, preparations or game time decisions

    • He’s an NFL player. Four inches taller than P.J. and throws a better deep ball. Every mistake he’s made is directly attributable to a stupid RPO offense being forced upon him. Matt Rhule would have had this guy as a first-round pick if he stayed here because he would have protected him with a fullback and a lot of play action and told him never to worry about running the ball. As it is, he’s a 6-7 rounder if he stays at Temple next year because being the QB of a 1-7 team is not going to get him drafted in 2021. He takes a lot of heat on this site (not from me) and both Owlscoop and OwlsDaily but I said if we ever lost him, we’d be yearning to get him back and guess what? Our QB play has sucked the last two games.

  4. Just sent coach Dunphy an email- told him how much I respect him taking our guys on the subway to go beat Duke on a big stage.
    Told him coach Carey has to go.
    Just one vote.

  5. Time to get this guy out if here before we, go back to the early 90s , we have made so much improvement , dont want to back to those days again… this guy has alienated the area coaches and doesn’t have the relationships in the area, he doesn’t represent the brand that was gaining traction…his on the field speaks volumes… time to hit the reset button before its too late…

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