When I watch Phil Snow coach defense for the Temple Owls, I am reminded of the quote of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the two fathers of the Atomic Bomb.
Oppenheimer was asked what his first reaction was to seeing the A-Bomb “work” in the New Mexico desert. He said he thought of a quote from the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
“Now I have become Phil Snow, the destroyer of programs.”
That’s the quote rattling around in my head when I watch Temple play defense.
Don’t take my word for it. To quote Denise Simpson when talking about O.J., “You know his record.”
It’s right here, serving as a defensive coordinator for Eastern Michigan/Temple and a defensive assistant for the Detroit Lions:
The Phil Snow Winning File
|2011||6-6 (with wins over Ala. State and Howard)||Eastern Michigan|
We’ll only go back to 2008, because it’s too depressing to go back before that.
Let’s put it this way: Snow’s last shutout against a Division IA team (they were know as Division IA teams then) was 1996. That’s the last century for anyone counting.
In his last 70 games against Division IA foes, he’s held teams to single digits just three times.
That’s three as in the number after two.
Last year, he had the Eastern Michigan defense ranked No. 120 of 125 FBS teams in yards-per-game with a 453.91-per-game yield.
This year, he has Temple’s defense ranked No. 120 out of 125 teams with a 510.8-yards-per-game yield.
You’ve got to give him points for being consistent.
Temple hasn’t been much better this year,
scoring ZERO points in the second half
of games vs. Notre Dame, Houston
and Cincinnati. … doesn’t seem to be too
much effective offensive chalkboard
work being done at halftime, either
Before you blame it on the players, these are the same players who Chuck Heater had shutting out UConn in the second half of a 17-14 win. That’s when Temple coaches used to make adjustments at halftime.
(Speaking of which, on the offensive side of the ball, Temple hasn’t been much better this year, scoring ZERO points in the second half of games vs. Notre Dame, Houston and Cincinnati. That’s zero, as in the number before one. Doesn’t seem to be too much effective offensive chalkboard work being done at halftime, either.)
When Snow was hired, I wrote I saw no justification in hiring him and speculated it was only because Snow was an old buddy of Matt Rhule’s at UCLA. What he’s done since hasn’t changed my mind at all. This is what I wrote in this blog way back on Jan. 18: “I’m all for hiring old buddies, but not old buddies who give up 38 points per game.”
From someone who watched Temple develop a strong defensive identity under Wayne Hardin (Vince Hoch), Bruce Arians (Nick Rapone), Al Golden (Mark D’Onofrio) and Steve Addazio (Heater), this might be the toughest part of the season to swallow. Rapone would coach the DBs to step in front of the ball and intercept it, rather than let the guy catch the ball and tackle him. That produced NFL defensive backs in Terry Wright, Eddie Parker, Todd Bowles and Kevin Ross. In those days, Temple played the ball and not the man.
Heck, when Dick Bedesem was the secondary coach at Temple, the Owls led the nation with 26 interceptions.
They have zero.
That’s as in the number before one.
I might be tempted to say it’s the players, but I know the record of the DC all too well.