Drayton probably is wondering what might have been

Temple was the only team in the AAC to have two four-star quarterbacks to start the season. Drayton probably didn’t figure on finishing it with a first-year freshman but this is where we are.

Physically, by all accounts, Temple head football coach Stan Drayton is on the mend from his recent viral illness and will be joining the team this week.

Mentally, though, he must have spent the last week wondering what might have been this year in a 2-6 season that looks like it’s most likely headed for 2-10.

If that didn’t make him sick, it certainly could not have made him feel well.

Going into the season, a lot of things had to go right for the Owls to win more than they have and right at the top of that list was quarterback Dwan Mathis.

Had Mathis played like the four-star quarterback he showed ONLY in the Memphis game last year–three touchdown passes and 349 passing yards in a Temple win–this Owls’ team might have had more success.

Instead, though, Mathis played like he had in all of his other five starts last season and was pulled for good in the 31-14 win over Lafayette. He needed to play well in one of those two games and he didn’t.

Other than catching a couple of passes, he hasn’t been back since.

What if, though?

Mathis at his best opens up the offense in a way E.J. Warner at his best doesn’t. He brings that element of running and throwing at a high level that Warner brings to only one side of the football.

Drayton has to take a peek at these other big-time teams and, almost to a man, the great ones have someone at quarterback who is a threat both running and passing the ball.

While Temple fans could have foreseen Mathis not playing well, fumbling the ball away once against Duke and twice against Lafayette had to be surprising. Maybe it’s the byproduct of wearing that green jersey and not getting hit for nine months leading up to the opener but it’s a move Drayton had to make.

When asked about it in the post-game, he said “putting the ball on the ground twice” was the reason he pulled him.

It’s kind of surprising, though, that Temple hasn’t seen much of Mathis or even Quincy Patterson since. Patterson especially being inserted into the game on Saturday with a first-and-goal at the 5 and THROWING a pass off a ball fake might have worked better than anything Everett Withers tried with Warner. That’s because Navy’s scouting report had to dictate selling out for a run when Patterson was in there because that’s pretty much all he did prior to that. The element of surprise was held by Temple and the Owls chose not to use that card.

It could have been their ace in the hole but Drayton wasn’t there to make that decision. He will be around for the last four and it should be interesting to see what decisions he makes or if it makes a difference at all.

Friday: USF Preview

11 thoughts on “Drayton probably is wondering what might have been

  1. Mike – we’re all disappointed. But. How many games into the Drayton era are we? Just a handful. And we have all reminded ourselves, on here and elsewhere, that it took Golden and Rhule multiple *seasons* to rev things up. Patience. Let’s see how Stan’s recruits look. I’m not big on the OC and the calls; liking the defense. And this QB — not long out of high school; looks 16 (!); lots of promise. Golden and Rhule did it. No reason — yet — to think Stan can’t do it too.

    • It’s a new era in college football, Rob. You can build a team in a year and lose a team in a year with this transfer portal. You better be able to show kids you can win now or your good ones will leave. Golden or Rhule never had to deal with that. They had time to build. Drayton doesn’t.

      • Mike, I agree in the current CFB environment the model of 3-4/5 years to build a program, wait until a coach “gets his guys”, etc I think now days it’s more like 2 years to complete a turn around. I don’t know what Mira did roster wise iat UCONN but he took a team that was 1-11, a talent level probably no better than what Drayton inherited and in his first year he has the team with the possibility of being bowl eligible. I also think a better strategy for using the portal would be to focus on top players out of FCS looking to move up and local kids who went to a P5 school out of the area and would like to play closer to home. So far TU definitely has lost more than gained in the TP

  2. With the anticipated Portal Turnover discussed here, maybe some talent drifts down.

    • It’s a double-edged sword. You better be able to keep your good guys and get better guys here. At least Temple had good guys (Magee, Smith, Jordan, etc). What Mora has done with fewer good guys is nothing short of remarkable.

      • as the first to call for his impeachment, I’m not backing down. The OC sucks! His record before this job is one of the worst in college football. He has done absolutely nothing to redeem himself since his arrival. And he can take the RB position coach with him. Results and record are why position coaches get hired and fired.

        Drayton was the last to get hired during the past coaching carousel. His staff choices were extremely limited, thus we get the OC’s box of chocolates. Why did the AD and BOT wait until the last minute to hire Drayton? Didn’t they grasp the consequences? No, they simply gave up on 2022, extreme injustice to Drayton and the fans..,

        Why wait to fire this OC who was the last OC to get hired last yr? last in first out is the American labor way.

  3. Beating USF is a must not only to tie last years win total but to show some modicum of forward improvement. Losing to a team like USF will be a disaster – even tho winning is no given. Just win the damn game!

    • Slight line movement toward Temple. It opened at USF 3.5-point favorite and now bet down to 3. Weather favors USF as it will be a 74-degree sunny day. I never bet Temple games but I’m tired of hoping for the offense to show up. Thought a team with two 4* quarterbacks going into the season and a big-time P5 receiver transfer from GT (not to mention DMR and a Texas A&M RB transfer) would put more points on the board than this. One of the 4* guys didn’t get a fair shot in my humble opinion. The OC is complete dogshit (as both KJ and Habitual complainer point out above). His play-calling is Dave Patanaude-ish and that’s about as low as the Mariana Trench.

  4. Kj’s assessment is right on the money. Typical Temple process waiting around to hire a HC leaving fewer good choices for assistants – to say nothing of hiring only a position coach, altho he does have a great resume. IF we beat USF, I’ll give Drayton some leeway IF he gets rid of the OC. The O-line is in shambles which makes it hard on the offensive strategies I guess – but even at the start they weren’t doing very well. Gotta keep the offense on the field longer even if the D scores most of the points, lol. Do whatever it takes, but beat USF!

  5. So then, we bought season Tixx, the weather will be great. so we will see you all Saturday at the Temple Football Game : ‘ come heck or high water’. Even bad football is football AND we love the BAND. OK ?

    • l love winning a lot more than the band. Enough of this “they tried hard” crap. I’d rather have them go through the motions and win every week than trying hard and lose every week.

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