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.”
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