Two Weeks to Get Something (Different) Done

This is what Temple fans have been seeing all year, no separation between the wr (left) and the corner.

This is what Temple fans have been seeing all year, no separation between the wr (left) and the defender.

When it comes to people saying intelligent things, it’s hard to beat what Albert Einstein once said about the definition of insanity being doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

If Temple loses out, and I think the chances of that happening are about even right now, that quote will be the story of the season—at least on the offensive side of the ball. For 10 games, the Owls have gotten no wide receiver separation and no quarterback protection from their three- and four-wide receiver sets, yet go through the “process” of sticking with those ill-advised formations in the hopes the process eventually clicks. Newflash: It’s not going to click.

In this photo, the left side of the Owl line is doing a good job blocking, but things break down on the right for P.J. when one guy cannot hold his block. Why not establish the run first to the left, then give P.J. time to throw with play action? Mystifying.

In this photo, the left side of the Owl line is doing a good job blocking, but things break down on the right for P.J. when one guy cannot hold his block. Why not establish the run first to the left, then give P.J. time to throw with play action? Mystifying. P.J. has no time and is sacked by No. 91.

After 10 games of futility, I do not see this process leading to different results. Two weeks to try something different. Max protect for a beleaguered—yet very talented—quarterback and give him some time to throw down the field. Establish at least a semblance of running. Throw off play action to give the receivers a chance at separation. Make some of the LBs and safeties come up to support the run and then dump the ball over their heads to for big run-after-catch opportunities.

Almost two weeks to get something done. Something different, not more insanity in Games 11 and 12 that we saw in 1-10.

Albert Einstein would no doubt approve.

In this photo, Temple rushes so few players against Hackenburg, 6 PSU blockers can occupy 3 Temple rushers. Ugh. Must be part of the "process." The passive approach on defense opened up the "A" gap for No. 22 and he has a big gain on this play.

In this photo, Temple rushes so few players against Hackenburg, 6 PSU blockers can occupy 3 Temple rushers. Ugh. Must be part of the “process.” The passive approach on defense opened up the “A” gap for No. 22 and he has a big gain on this play.

The Perfect Owl Storm

People of a certain age will remember a commercial by Julius Erving after the Sixers imploded and lost a playoff series they were favored in and, in an attempt to win fans back the next season,  Erving said: “We Owe You One.”

Well, for those of us who have sit in many Gosh-awful storms—and one documented Hurricane–to watch the Temple University’s football team lose heartbreakers, another storm, this time unnamed, came through with big-time payback on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Watching looks of happiness on the faces of long-time great Owls like Steve Conjar and Mark Bresani made this win even more worthwhile.

Pure post-game happiness by the Mulvihills surrounding two of the greatest ex-Owls, Mark Bresani and Steve Conjar, who is putting up the No. 1.

Pure post-game happiness by the Mulvihills surrounding two of the greatest ex-Owls, Mark Bresani and Steve Conjar, who is putting up the No. 1. I think Steve is saying he’s got the No. 1 tailgate in Lot K.

I don’t think the Owls win this game without the storm, but who cares? They won and that’s the bottom line. Nobody cared when Uconn got several calls at the end of regulation and OT that won a 12-6 game during Hurricane Hanna and years down the line no one will care that East Carolina was a team built for a fast track and a dry ball this year.

What’s important now is that the Owls take this ball and run with it–with the emphasis on the key word “run.”



“We made a decision to get back
to who and what Temple is.
We tried to play good defense
and special teams and
run the football.”
_ Matt Rhule

They know they can beat Memphis on Friday night to become bowl-eligible. Heck, they beat Memphis last year by 20 points with essentially the same offensive players, sans Robbie Anderson and Chris Coyer. Colin Thompson has shown he can become a Coyer; someone is going to have to step up and become a Robbie Anderson. Maybe Keith Kirkwood can. Memphis is better than it was last year, but so, too, is Temple. I don’t think Memphis has improved more than Temple, but that’s something Temple must prove on Friday night.

The Temple defense is light years ahead of last year and, if there is a better linebacker in the country than Tyler Matakevich, I have not seen him. This was Matakevich’s best game yet. We need a nickname for him. Maybe Pac-Man because of the way he eats up ballcarriers but I’m sure someone can come up with something better.



Temple Fun Fact:
Owls held ECU
to 60 fewer points
than North Carolina
did–despite having
to go to class
during the week

The Owls won because they did a better job taking care of the ball and a better job at committing to the run. It was heartening to see the post-game comments by head coach Matt Rhule that Temple had to get back to being Temple—which is running the football. Seeing Marc Tyson back there as a blocking fullback in a two-back set was a big step forward for the Temple run game and, hopefully, Kenny Harper can get some fullback time in, too. Harper’s spin move on one touchdown was a thing of beauty, as was his hesitation to pick up Dion Dawkins’ block on another TD. He’s both smart and tough, though he doesn’t possess high-end tailback speed.

The defense is playing at a big-time level and it’s high time the offense played up to their capabilities. If that happens, this could be the start of a long winning streak. If not, it will be a struggle to get to six. Maybe the renewed commitment to the run will help jump-start the play-action passing game.

Let’s hope so. They owe the defense one.

Winning Is An Attitude

Coach Rhule gives good news on Jabo Lee and makes other comments after 11th practice.

 

One of the many reasons why I love John Chaney because he refused to back down.

He’d take Temple on the road against the best teams and he’d win a lot of those battles. He instilled the mantra “Winning is an Attitude.”

I’ve got to like what I’m hearing out of the E-O so far this season. Khalif Herbin’s tweet was my favorite: “Temple University will not lose a football game.”

Matt Rhule also said he expects to go to a bowl “this season.”

I expect all 85 players on scholarship and a few more not on scholarship would consider this season a failure if the team does not make a bowl game.

Our fans should take the same attitude.

Anything less is a losing attitude and not reaching that minimum goal of a bowl game should deem this season a failure to every fan living in reality. The “reality” is that this league is more New Conference USA than Old Big East and that Temple’s last seven recruiting classes would have been ranked in the top half of CUSA and one, the 2012 class, would have been the top class in CUSA. Temple should be able to beat teams like Tulane, Tulsa, Memphis and East Carolina right now. The Owls already have proven they can beat teams like Navy and Uconn in the not-too-distant past. That’s the reality.

Winning is an attitude and so is losing. Maybe John Chaney can come down and say a few words before Vanderbilt.

Coach Rhule At AAC Media Day

A few things to take from this interview, one that means nothing, the others that mean everything.
First, the nothing part. Nothing ages a man like being either a President of the United States or a Temple head football coach.
I did not notice a single gray hair on the head of Mr. Obama or Mr. Rhule before they took either job. Now there are plenty of both. Al Golden addressed that problem with Grecian Formula.

Now onto the meaningful observations:
Coach Rhule is a very good guy and I would like nothing more than to see him succeed on the job, despite my documented and numerous reservations in the past. He’s a good representative of Temple University.
Rhule seems to have a handle on the team’s problems, the pass rush coming immediately to mind. Moving faster linebackers to ends, where they can use that speed to seek out and destroy enemy quarterbacks, is the key to the defense.
Kiser Terry is now a 285-pound tackle. He used to be a 240-pound end.
The offense will try to spread the ball all over the field and get the ball in numerous guy’s hands. That’s a good thing, if Khalif Herbin is used both as a halfback and a slot back.
Of all the “outside” interviewers, this guy Mark Rogers came into this short interview well-prepared. If only the Temple football beat writer for the Inquirer, John Mitchell, knew as much about Temple football as this guy.
Wonder what coach was looking at in the beginning of the interview? Must have been something distracting him.

Good Job, Temple

The best part of this great video is the reaction of the players.


“This jaun is crazy.
They put a lot of effort
into this so I’m really
appreciative of it. I love it.”
_ Zaire Williams

It’s apparent that these are a good group of young men representing Temple University this year and that they are sincere in their appreciation for what they have.

Nothing would please me more than to see these guys transform 2-10 into 10-2.

Hopefully, that happens.

Either way, great job by Temple football in getting this done and to all those who made it happen.