If someone gave Rod Carey a blueprint to destroy Temple football on the day he was hired, it would be this:
“Hey, Rod. How about firing the best special teams coach in the country and giving the defense an extra coach on the field?”
“Yeah, Joe (or Fran or Pat), that sounds like a pretty good idea to me.”
Some time later, Carey had this conversation with Ed Foley:
“Sorry, Ed. Gonna have to move you upstairs. We need another defensive coach on the field.”
Ed: “Fuck that. I’m outta here.”
Carey: “See ya.”
Since then, Temple has has been a national embarrassment on special teams. That’s a nice way of putting it. Probably a better way would be the Owls suck royally.
That certainly wasn’t the reason for Temple’s 52-3 loss at Cincinnati on Friday night but it definitely was the reason why the Owls gave up 14 early points that they could absolutely not afford if they were to have any confidence going forward.
In a potential blowout game, you need some early confidence and Temple got none of that.
In a 61-14 opening-day loss to Rutgers, Jadan Blue routinely let the ball go over his head on the 30 and allowed it to bounce inside the 5. Blue, my favorite CURRENT Temple player, showed absolutely no interest in advancing the ball and that’s his job.
Against Cincy, he muffed a punt that led to six.
That got him pulled.
Love the guy, but it should no longer be his job.
His replacement, Amad Anderson, muffed another one a short time later than led to another Cincy six.
When you are a 29.5-point underdog, can’t make those plays.
Why doesn’t Cincy muff punts? Why didn’t Temple under Matt Rhule?
Those were not plays Ed Foley’s special teams made.
Foley’s teams routinely returned punts for touchdowns and blocked the bad guys’ kicks for touchdowns the other way.
Again, not the reason for a loss but certainly the reason that it wasn’t a 31-3 loss or even more cosmetic. Those 14 points in terms of the Owls’ confidence in winning were worth much more, say, 28 points.
Temple fans deserve to have a kind of team that locks down the “most easy” of the three phases of the game and Rod Carey in his capacity as CEO has failed to do that nor has he shown any interest in fixing it. Special teams are 1/3d of the game. Carey thinks they are 1/10th.
Hopefully, new AD Arthur Johnson was taking notes in Cincinnati on Friday night. If not, he will get an earful from Temple fans once the team plane lands in Philadelphia.
Monday: Listen and Learn