Langsdorf: Same bleep, different day

Temple’s defense almost allows a big fat guy to score against it. Far cry from the UMass or RU games

What started out as something sweet turned sour pretty quickly in Temple’s 70-13 loss at UCF on Thursday night.

E.J. Warner was holding the baton and orchestrating the offense like Leonard Bernstein and The New York Philarmonic for a while and Temple oh-so-briefly held a 10-7 lead.

Then the same old Danny Langsdorf offensive coordinator shit that we’ve seen the first five weeks of Temple football predictably happened on the sixth.

Danny Langsdorf contributed to Nebraska’s decline on the college football landscape and now he is doing his part to negate all the good Stan Drayton has done so far.

Quincy Patterson was inserted into the ballgame as the quarterback and–you guessed it–ran the football.

The playlist Bernstein, err, Warner had setup was perfect except that every football team that scouts Temple knows what’s coming when Patterson comes in: A run.

Talk about a buzzkill. As embarrassing as the 30-0 loss to Duke was, this was worse.

This harkens back to the Bobby Wallace days of consecutive 70-7 and 70-21 losses against Bowling Green.

I have no problem at all, unlike former Pennridge and Pitt running back/defensive back Louis Riddick, with Patterson coming into the game.

I have a problem with him doing the same damn thing in Game No. 6 that he did in Games 1-5: Run.

Had Patterson, say, THROWN the ball, there’s a good chance that UCF would not have been ready for it and Temple might … might … have been able to squeeze out a 17-7 instead of a 10-7 lead.

The game of football is a momentum game and who knows how Temple’s defense would have responded with the Owls not only having momentum but also the scoreboard on their side?

Probably wouldn’t have won but would have certainly made it more respectable than the 70-13 disgrace on national TV.

After a perfect 4-0 week against the spread last week, our picks this week.

We will never know.

The Temple defense certainly doesn’t get a pass but what happened was what we predicted would happen in this space a week ago. At what point does the defensive effort erode when they realize that they are busting their ass without any help from the offense?

We saw that breaking point on Thursday night. Say what you will about the defense, but at least that side of the ball gave maximum effort for the first five games.

The offense has shown little effort and less of a clue from a coaching perspective for ALL six games.

It’s not that Langdorf hasn’t been warned.

We’ve been saying in this space for a few weeks that the tendencies of the Owls are so clear when Patterson is in the game that the Owls might as well be handing their entire playbook and the plays themselves to Gus Malzhan during the pre-game warmups.

Winning in college football is hard enough as it is. When your offensive tendencies are that predictable, it’s almost impossible.

New Temple coach Stan Drayton does not have to fire Langsdorf before Tulsa–although by doing so he would send a clear message to Temple fans that he’s not accepting failure–but he does have to use his running back acumen and dictate the philosophy on offense.

Giving Patterson some PASSING series and not RUNNING ones is a good place to start. In a 2-4 season, the Owls haven’t tried that concept yet.

The seventh game might be too late to start but it’s definitely worth a try. Langsdoff has tried this shit for exactly half the season and the stink is unbearable.

Update: Went 4-2 with ODU and Illinois not only covering as dogs but winning outright; Navy covered the 12.5 and Buffalo and UMass went under (41) the No. (47); lost on NIU and Kansas. Last two weeks we were 8-2 ATS. Season: 17-13 ATS.

Monday: The path forward


TU-UCF: What the last six days tells you

This graphic illustrates the difference between Warren Ruggierio and Mike Uremovich

As a Temple fan who just watched a mediocre East Carolina team dismantle South Florida on Thursday night, I came away with one overwhelming prevailing feeling.

We’re fucked.

Excuse the language. If I had a Youtube or Facebook account, I would probably be kicked off the platform but I’m given a little more lattitde on my own site.

Put it this way: East Carolina needed a freak late score to beat that terrific powerhouse Charleston Southern, 31-28, and absolutely hammered a team that the Temple coaching staff had no clue how to stop. Honestly, before a few weeks ago, I did not know Charleston Southern had a football team but looking into its season so far, it has lost to Monmouth (41-14), Robert Morris (31-24) and the team that made Bobby Wallace famous, North Alabama (45-22). Monmouth lost to Princeton of the Ivy League.

I’m glad Temple doesn’t have Princeton on the schedule this season. It’s already too embarrassing and, if Dr. Jason Wingard doesn’t dismiss this staff between now and the end of the season, he’s culpable in bringing Temple down to that level.

Temple is 15-2 in painted end zone games; probably 15-3 after Saturday.

Everyone talks about how Temple’s defense, led by Jeff Knowles, could not stop USF but at least an equal blame has to got to Mike Uremovich’s offense. The Owls could only manage 34 plays and under 17 minutes of offense under Uremovich’s tutorship. That produced a whopping 14 points.

Meanwhile, against a better defense on the same day with approximately the same number of plays and minutes, Wake Forest scored 70 points on a good Army team.

No escaping the conclusion that University of Delaware grad Warren Ruggiero is a better offensive coach than Uremovich, who is only here because he is cozy with Rod Carey. Am I missing something here? Do you see any innovation or creativity in Temple’s offense? Why hasn’t Uremovich used a terrific high school quarterback, Trey Blair, to throw a halfback pass yet? Is he saving it for the bowl game? News flash: This team ain’t making a bowl. Why do we see Edward Saydee in there on first-and-goal from the 3 instead of the pile-driving Tavon Ruley?

More blame goes his way season-wise, at least from my perspective, than Knowles because he’s got too many weapons to be producing too few points. In Randle Jones and Jadan Blue, he’s got NFL receivers. In Ruley, he’s got a power back who should be gold in the red zone but is seldom used there. In Amad Anderson, he’s got a big-time productive wide receiver at Purdue who has about 1/10th of that production here. In Dwan Mathis, he has Temple’s first four-star quarterback since Kevin Harvey. In Kyle Dobbins, he made the only back who scored three touchdowns in a game for Temple disappear after that game.

Don’t get me started on the special teams coach. I haven’t seen a punt block or a return to the house since Geoff Collins was here.

As disappointing as 4-3 UCF is, there is no way a 3-4 Temple team isn’t more disappointing.

At least UCF is missing superstar quarterback Dillon Gabriel.

There is no similar excuse for Temple.

The wise guys in Vegas have UCF as “only” a 10.5 favorite.

The “wiser” guys in Philadelphia who have watched not only Temple against USF but ECU against that same team know better.

Temple’s coaches have no idea what they are doing but savvy Philadelphia football fans already knew that.

The Vegas wise guys evidently need another Saturday to convince them.

Picks this week: Going to use some underdogs to rebound from my only poor week. Going with unbeaten SMU (+1) to win at Houston, VIRGINIA TECH getting 4.5 at the fighting Geoff Collins’ (GT), NAVY getting 11 at Tulsa and ILLINOIS getting 2 over visiting Rutgers.

Last week: Won on Ohio State, lost in WMU, UMASS and NC STate bringing our record ATS to 18-14-1.

Sunday: Game Analysis

UCF’s coaching hire is bad news for Temple

If the Enemy of My Enemy is a bad hire, and the AAC has had a few of those, don’t look to Gus Malzahn as falling on his face at UCF.

Geez, as a Temple fan, I hope he does what Charley Strong did moving over from a great coach at Louisville to a lousy one at Texas before falling on his face at USF. Dana Holgerson had five-straight winning seasons at West Virginia before putting up a lackluster 7-13 loss the last two years at Houston.

The thought process is a lot of these “big-time” Power 5 guys who are forced to resuscitate their careers at the G5 level don’t put in the energy that got them there in the first place.

I don’t see that with Malzahn simply because he was a G5 head coach before taking the Auburn job at Arkansas State and knows what it takes to win at this level. Malzahn was 9-3 with a Sun Belt championship at Arkansas State and that punched his ticket to Auburn, where he merely was 65-38 (including 39-27 against SEC teams).

Like the NFL mantra for drafting (‘always pick the best available player”), picking the best available head coach is always a good philosophy. Did Temple pick the best available head coach when it selected Rod Carey? No, his Indiana connections with Pat Kraft and Temple CFO Kevin Clark made him the most comfortable pick available.

The difference between Auburn and Temple is that the Auburn administration didn’t blink at spending $21.5 million to buy out a 65-38 head coach but Temple is blinking like a broken tail light at spending $6 million to buy out a 9-11 head coach.

UCF picked the best head coach available and it might be the best hire in G5 history.

Could he fall on his face like Strong and, so far, Holgersen?

Possibly, but there is nothing in Malzahn’s history to show he won’t be anything but successful.

In that case, he is the friend of my enemy and that’s not a good thing for the Owls.

Fizz’s state of the Temple Football Union address

Editor’s Note: I want to thank Fizz for getting this in so soon. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get to it until Tuesday for Wednesday. I think he was being facetious about the buying out of the contract part at the end because, based on my preliminary calculations, we are about $5,000,985.50 short right now.


By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

I want to begin by congratulating Central Florida coach Josh Heupel for pulling his starters after the third quarter. It showed so much class and good sense. Most other coaches would have run up the score, but he didn’t and saved his first-teamers from possible injury.

     Next, I want to apologize to Mike Gibson for not getting him my copy on Sunday after the game. Part of the problem was I just stared at the screen because I couldn’t think of anything to say that I hadn’t said before.

The TU 1958 unis

     I’ve been associated with Temple football for sixty-two years. It started in 1958 when I was a walk-on with a half-scholarship. After my freshman year, I got full tuition, and it was worth the immense sum of $375.00 per semester. Therefore, for a total of $2,250, I acquired all the blows to my head, which helped me become what I am today.

     As I’ve said just about everything before, I’m only going to make a few quick comments. Temple has had the ball in good field position for three straight games and over a minute left on the clock at halftime. In each of those games, Temple chose to run out the clock. Down 21 – 3, against Central Florida, they didn’t try to score.

     Who coaches like this? Is this what they do in Northern Illinois? Perhaps it’s so cold up there; they want to get back in the locker room. The Central Florida game, however, was played in Florida. Maybe there were lots of flies.

     As a former coach, I saw a few other things that annoyed the hell out of me. Throughout the game, the Temple players were chatting up the opposition. Why? You’re losing; concentrate on the game. Play ball!

     On an underthrown pass in the third quarter, our receiver stood and watched instead of coming back and trying to knock the ball away. Also, defenders continually throw their shoulders at the runner instead of tackling the proper way. 

      You might say these aren’t a big deal. To me, though, it shows a lack of discipline and an acceptance of losing.

     I’ve watched the Temple football program go up, down, and sideways through my many years. My opinion is the program is now quickly deteriorating.  Yes, I usually criticize the coaching strategy. However, when two of our best players choose to leave the program for greener pastures, it scares the hell out of me. Usually, when players transfer, it’s because they don’t get enough playing time. These guys were starters.

     The main reason programs go up, down, and sideways is coaching. Coach Carey is in the second year of a five-year contract. For me, last season was terribly disappointing with all the second-half blowouts. The proof of that pudding is six guys from that team are now playing in the NFL. So I’ve started a fund to buy out the remainder of his three years for 4.5 million dollars. Here are the pledges I’ve received so far.

Teammate Rick Walsh – $5    

Teammate Vic Baga – $6.50

Classmate Don Rosenberg  – $5

There’s also a commitment from another teammate who’d like to stay anonymous and is currently indisposed. He said he’d match anything we raise. If you’d like to pledge, please contact Mike Gibson.

Thursday: ECU

Game Night Minus-1: Flipping the field

Going into the season, if you honestly asked yourself the question what sets Temple apart from every other team in this conference you might come away with these takes:

  • Great linebackers
  • Great offensive line
  • Great return game

The return game is led by the school’s first (and perhaps last) returning first-team All-American. (We’ll answer why later in this post.)

If there’s a key to winning in football, it’s accentuating your strengths to the detriment of the bad guys. The linebackers have been as advertised, all single-digit Temple TUFF guys who have played up to the honor. The offensive line is still the offensive line that Ryquell Armstead followed to six touchdowns at Houston and helped him become a fifth-round NFL draft selection.

Something appears to be missing.

Screenshot 2019-10-25 at 11.35.06 AM

Forecast: Mostly cloudy with a chance of punt returns

Oh yeah.

That great return game, particularly on punt returns. Isaiah Wright, that first-team All-American punt returner, has 10 punt returns for 68 yards, a 6.8 average and no touchdowns. Pedestrian figures for a first-team All-American considering that he had 19 punt returns for 23.8 per return last year and two touchdowns. The alarming number is the good returns he has passed up so far, instead electing to fair catch. He’s had more fair catches (16) than punt returns (10). From my seat, he’s made pretty good decisions on about half of those as a guy was in his face. The other half, not so good. He’s had at least a step, maybe two, to work his magic.

Enough with the fair catches already. If we wanted a guy to make fair catches, we’d have any other wide receiver on the roster back there.

Nobody makes the first guy miss as much as Wright and, if I’ve missed anything this year, that’s what I’ve missed the most: Seeing Wright make the bad guys break their ankles trying to tackle him and make that punt return the best offensive play in the playbook.

I don’t think we will ever see a returning first-team All-American at Temple again unless he’s a true freshman or sophomore and Temple doesn’t recruit those kinds of guys (Trevor Lawrence of Clemson is an example). Once they are a junior, they can declare so Wright did Temple a huge favor coming back for his senior year.

He can do himself a bigger favor by returning those punts for the final half of the season and showing the NFL scouts that he still has the Wright stuff. He can still raise his stock from a UDA to a high pick with a good final seven games. Remember, at this time last year, Duke’s Daniel Jones was rated as a UDA but his terrific second half of the season–including the bowl win over Temple–kept moving him from a fifth to a third to a first-round pick as the season went along.

The most important thing now, though, is helping his teammates achieve their goal which is a championship run (see above video). Wright was a big part of those great plans for this year and just because hasn’t been so far doesn’t mean he can’t be going forward.

Nothing better than Saturday night to start flipping the field only the way he can and reminding people that the Owls have a weapon no other team in this league can match.

Predictions (for amusement only): A very tough week for picks. Thought about taking Tulane getting the 3.5 points at Navy but Navy is playing so well that I’m letting that game go. Do like Indiana giving the 1 at Nebraska, Georgia State as a pick at Troy (still not fully recovered from losing coach Neal Brown), Liberty giving the 7.5 at Rutgers (betting against RU has made a lot of people rich), Ball State giving the 3 at Ohio, fake Miami (Ohio) getting the 2.5 against visiting Kent State (can’t believe Miami is an underdog there), TCU getting the 2.5 over visiting Texas and Pitt laying the 5 against the real Miami. So thankful that Manny Diaz is learning on the job there and not at Temple.

Last week: As far as the spreads go, I was 5-2-1 (the push was Wake beating FSU by the 2) so I will just throw out the push. Lost on Cuse and Duke but won five straight: ECU covering the 33 against UCF, Minnesota covering the 29.5  (Rutgers never covers these ridiculous spreads) and also winning with Louisiana Tech (a much better team than people realize), Georgia Tech (Diaz is even worse than Collins, if that’s possible), and BYU not only covering but winning the game OUTRIGHT against unbeaten Boise State. For the season: 29-12 SU, 25-16 ATS.

Sunday: Game Analysis


TU-UCF: Getting The Swag Back

The real testament to how badly SMU beat Temple was not the final score on Saturday; 45-21 was bad enough for those of us who thought those types of beatings were over under the stewardship of Rod Carey.

The real testament could come in a couple of nights.

Can Temple get its swag back?


Gosh, you have to hope so but that’s the kind of loss that could shake anyone’s swagger.

The Owls have always played with the confidence of a team under control of what was happening on the field. The fact that so many things went wrong on Saturday could shake that confidence.

Or not.

The last time this happened was in Buffalo and the Owls got their swag back rather quickly and played well after that.

You have to hope for the same again but UCF is a very talented team.

Are they as talented as Memphis?

I don’t think so, but we will have to find out on Saturday night.

Unlike the last couple of years, this is a beatable UCF team. They lost at Pitt, the same Pitt team that beat Delaware by three points. They beat ECU by pretty much the same margin Temple did.

This is more about Temple, though.

Temple football is establishing
the run first then, only after
the run is established
bring the linebackers and the
safeties for the bad guys up to
the line of scrimmage and making
the defense susceptible to explosive
plays in the play-action
passing game

Defensive backs that were reliable all season long got beat like drums against SMU. Receivers with relatively good hands (except for the Buffalo game) dropped balls like they were soaked with oil. Coaches who made good decisions all year made questionable ones. (Like, how on any 3d and 5 would you have Todd Centeio in when a completion has to be made?)

One of the things the Owls have to do, in my mind, is changing things up. The film UCF will watch is one of the Owls trying to match SMU point-for-point and that’s not really the Temple football we’ve all come to know and love. Temple football is establishing the run first then, only after the run is established, bring the linebackers and the safeties for the bad guys up to the line of scrimmage and making the defense susceptible to explosive plays in the play-action passing game.

That means using a Temple strength–the offensive line–to establish the run and, at times, using the tight ends as H-blockers for both Ra’Mahn Davis and Jager Gardner if straight-ahead blocking isn’t enough to get the job done.

That approach limits the touches of the high-octane UCF offense, chews some clock, and allows Temple receivers to roam free through the UCF secondary as a result of play-action occupying the eyes of the UCF linebackers and safeties. If Temple has two eight-minute drives that result in touchdowns, the Owls win this game. Even one such drive might be enough.

That’s what UCF hasn’t seen on film so far and that’s what it needs to see on Saturday night.

That’s probably the best way to get the Temple swag back. It probably is the only way.

Friday: Game Night Minus-1 Clues

Sunday: Game Analysis

Losing at UCF’s Game

At track meets, one of the most entertaining events is the “thrower’s relay” where a group of discus, javelin and shot put throwers show off their running skills on the track.

There are reasons those guys throw the discus, javelin and shot put. They are just as integral to the team’s success as the guys on the track, but that “unofficial” race is always good for laughs because those guys aren’t meant to be there.

Throwers don’t compete against runners and vice versa.

Unless you are counting Temple’s 52-40 loss at UCF.

The game was a winnable one if the Temple of 2015 and 2016 was on the field, forcing the UCF guys to play Temple’s game–run the ball with an elite tailback behind a fullback and chew up each quarter with eight-minute-type scoring drives against the 91st-ranked rushing defense in the nation and limit UCF possessions to a bare minimum.

Instead, Temple’s “throwers” tried to beat UCF’s track guys at their own game and no team in America can get in a track meet with them. Temple, rather than run the clock down to single digits before snapping on each play, snapped the ball in the high 20s almost every down.


White helmets made the record 12-12 after UCF

On a night when UCF’s longest scoring drive was 2 minutes, 55 seconds, that’s not a sound game plan.

Temple’s only chance was to use lead blockers for running backs Ryquell Armstead and Jager Gardner and chew up the clock and keep the ball out of the hands of UCF Heisman Trophy candidate Milton McKenzie.

The 2018 Owls, while setting a school record for total yards, pretty much failed to utilize the one game plan that could have won them the game. The 2016 Owls would probably would have won this game with Armstead following Nick Sharga through the hole and the punishing body blows would have had a cumulative effect later in the game.

There were no body blows because Temple fell into the trap of playing UCF’s game, which is to run a track meet. This time, Armstead got 149 yards on 27 carries while hobbled in an empty backfield, and you’ve got to wonder what he would have done if he had a caravan of blockers (H-backs, fullbacks and tight ends) in addition to offensive linemen. My strong hunch is that this Temple team would have fared much better on the scoreboard playing the 2016 version of Temple TUFF offensive football. That version chewed up clock with running plays, kept the sticks moving with play-action, and helped the defense stay fresh.

This version gave the ball to UCF and way too many snaps to Milton and did not help the Owl defense at all. It was a dark night for the tuckered Darkside Defense.

Statistics pretty much favored Temple except in the area of penalties where the Owls racked up 15 penalties for 149 yards, some undeserved, but most deserved. Matt Rhule would have gone ballistic if the 2016 Ventell Bryant spun the ball after catching it, but Geoff Collins had a few words with Ventell after he drew a 15-yard penalty for it. Ventell did the same thing after catching a touchdown pass in the end zone, but the same refs who saw fit to penalize him the first time overlooked it the second (probably because he did not do it in front of a UCF player).

Don’t know what Temple was thinking when it drew up a game plan to get in a track meet with track athletes but, last night, statistics were for losers. I would trade all of those school records for a reversal of the scoreboard in a heartbeat.

It was a valiant effort against a great team with a lot of nice stats but the only stat that matters is 52-40.

It is the only one that ever does.

Sunday: Fizzy’s Corner

Monday: The Bright Side



Elephants and Zebras


“If I give you guys candy, will you promise not to ask about my 92d-ranked total offense?”

There will be a big Elephant in the room—or, in this case, stadium—tonight when Temple faces No. 9 Central Florida on ESPN (tonight, 7:30).

They will be in the form of another great African animal, Zebras.

If there are some, err, questionable calls by officiating, it should be understandable but certainly not forgivable.

Make no mistake, the American Athletic Conference would prefer for UCF to beat Temple. When that prefer turns into want, that’s where the problem arrives.


Cincy fans were salty about this call but photo shows a possession and a foot drag.

The Owls will have to face the ninth-ranked team in the country (though, curiously, not in the FBS playoff top 10 as released Tuesday night). They will have 43,000 fans rooting against them. Their task is hard enough without having the six guys who can make the most impactful decisions making incorrect ones.

It might not even be a conscious bias, but a subconscious one. These officials are employed by the league and know the league would look good with another NY6 bowl and UCF is this league’s best hope for that. Temple, with losses to Buffalo and Villanova, is all but eliminated from a NY6 spot even if the Owls run the table. There may be mulligans in golf, but there are none in college football and that’s why the Owls should have approached those first two games as if they were league championship ones.

This one is. If the Owls win, they have a clear shot to the league title game and can even absorb a loss to Houston next week and win their division if they beat USF and UConn at home. This would be the key win that unlocks that opportunity for the Owls.

The officials, though, know that a UCF win helps the league more.

So is, say, Isaiah Wright takes a kickoff back 95 yards for an apparent score and a late flag comes out on the UCF 5, the reason will be apparent.

The flip side of this argument is that the conference probably also preferred Cincinnati to win last week in Philadelphia but that was in Philly and this is in Orlando and that’s a big difference.

So Elephants and Zebras could be as important as Owls and Knights tonight. If, however, nobody notices the officials, then that’s the way it should be.

UCF: Owls Need Prescription From MD


Rock Armstead needs to get the ball 25 times for the Owls to win.

In many ways, Temple’s task of beating Central Florida reminds me of the famous quote of British General “Bad Boy” Browning in Cornelius Ryan’s excellent book “A Bridge Too Far” when the General turns to his superior, General Bernard Montgomery, and says: “I think we may have gone a Bridge Too Far.”

At first, glance, expecting the Owls to win in Central Florida’s environment may be a bridge too far Thursday night (7:30, ESPN). That’s only if the Owls have the same kind of offensive game plan Montgomery employed in trying to take the bridge at Arnhem in World War II–trying to use paratroopers against two divisions of German Armor or, as the British spell it, Armour.

Not a good plan.


Similarly, if Brigadier General Dave Patenaude takes the same offensive approach he has in the past three games–mostly passes to the sidelines and fades to the end zone–he’s going to get slaughtered like Monty did in the Battle of Market Garden. Fades and sideline routes are the Temple equivalent of paratroopers.

This time, the key to the game is matching Armor with Armor.

For the Owls to win, they have to assume that Heisman Trophy candidate Milton McKenzie is going to play and set their game plan around their own star, Ryquell Armstead, who must play for the Owls to have any chance. I have no inside info but did watch him bounce around on the sidelines 10 days ago and he had no limp and was moving around pretty well. Plus, he’s single-digit TUFF.

Since Patenaude doesn’t
believe in using the
fullback as a lead
blocker, he is going
to have to dust off
the Maryland game plan
and put the tight ends
in motion to create just
the tiny holes Rock needs
to rip off 2-, 3-, 4-
and 7-yard type runs
against the 91st-ranked
FBS run defense

Give the ball to Rock Armstead–we’ll call him Tank for this game–and help him out by giving him as many lead blockers as possible. Since Patenaude doesn’t believe in using the fullback as a lead blocker, he is going to have to dust off the Maryland game plan and put the tight ends in motion to create just the tiny holes Rock needs to rip off 2-, 3-, 4- and 7-yard type runs against the 91st-ranked FBS run defense.

Any good General will tell you it’s always a good strategy to attack the weakness of your enemy. Fortunately, UCF has a chink in its armor and Temple has Armstead to take advantage of that weakness.

Bill Parcells employed a similar strategy with running back Ottis Anderson in Super Bowl XXV. A reporter after that game asked Parcells a question about why he kept feeding him the ball even though most of his first-half carries were only two and three yards: “It wasn’t the two and three yards, it was the cumulative effect those two and three yards had on the defense. Those runs allowed him to break the big one and win us the game.”

Pass only off play action once the run is established and only to move the sticks and keep the clock rolling. Armstead will have to carry the ball 25 times for Temple to win and none of those should be out of an empty backfield where a linebacker can key on him.

That way, two things are accomplished–long scoring drives for Temple and keeping the ball out of McKenzie’s hands. Limit McKenzie’s possessions and he won’t be able to do things like ring up 45 points (as he did against Pittsburgh). The cumulative effect will allow Armstead to do what Anderson did and rip off enough big ones that both wear down the UCF defense and keep the Temple defense fresh. This is Temple’s Super Bowl and taking a page out of the Tuna’s super playbook is probably a wise approach. Certainly, he turned out to be a better General on the football field than Monty did in Market Garden.

Anything outside of that thinking and winning in Orlando may be a bridge too far for these Owls. The MD game plan could be just what the doctored ordered to keep the Owls’ championship hopes alive.

Thursday: Final Game Day Thoughts

Friday: Game Analysis

Why UCF Won’t Repeat in the AAC East

Temple will not be the reason UCF fails to repeat as American Conference football champions after arguably winning the national championship a year ago.

Oh, the Owls might edge out both UCF and USF to win the AAC East for the third time in the last four years, but the Owls will probably not be the primary reason.

History will be.


Unless you are named Tom Herman, no first-year coach in the AAC has ever won the title.

It’s more likely that Josh Heupel’s first year as head coach will go the way of every other coordinator who has been thrust into the completely different job of running the show for the first time.

There will be mistakes, both big and small, and those mistakes will add up to enough losses to tip the scale toward someone else who already has learned to avoid those mistakes.

Someone like Geoff Collins or Charlie Strong.

The AAC has had some pretty good coaches come through the ranks and leave for better jobs but none, other than Herman, have won in his first year.

There is no inclination to think that Heupel is the next Herman other than the first letter of their last names. UCF deserves all the national championship accolades it can get. The Knights were robbed of the NC in an unfair system and their unbeaten record combined with wins over the ONLY two teams who beat the system’s NC, Alabama, is a stronger case than Alabama can make for itself.

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 03 AAC Championship - Navy v Temple

It’s all about the chip this year for Owls


But that was last year and this is this year and Heupel had nothing to do with past UCF successes.

This is his first stint as a head coach and he wasn’t successful in all of his coordinating stops. He was co-offensive coordinator for his alma mater, Oklahoma, until Jan. 6, 2015, when he was fired. If you are fired by your alma mater, that’s a huge red flag. He then went to Utah State to be offensive coordinator for a year before he was hired by Barry Odom to be offensive coordinator at the University of Missouri.

Even with all of the talent at his disposal, including the league’s best returning quarterback, McKenzie Milton.

In football, coaching means more than any other sport—a lot more—and the misfortunes of the never-ending AAC coaching carousel are more likely to be felt in Orlando than Philadelphia or Tampa.

Friday: The Second Time Around

Monday: AAC Facts of Life

Wednesday: Calling All Fans