What happened?

Shockingly, this crack team of reporters didn’t ask Daz about why he didn’t use his final 2 timeouts with 1:46 left in the first half and the Owls driving.

Somewhere near the end of the first half yesterday, I found myself repeating two words:
What happened?
Even though I had to scratch my head about Temple (with two time outs and 1:46 left and down 31-17) giving up at the end of the first half by not using its two time outs, I wasn’t talking about the game.
I was talking about the last three weeks.
I’m not buying the argument that because this is the “big bad Big East” that the Owls are in over their head, talent-wise.

I called for this pass to be thrown on June 4. It took them to Nov. 3d
to throw it and it worked, but not for six.

According to Scout.com and Rivals.com, Temple recruited talent that was at or near the top of the MAC for the past five years.
So that puts the Owls somewhat on a par or more talented than Northern Illiniois, Ohio, Kent State and Toledo.
Or not.
So much for recruiting rankings.
I don’t think there’s any doubt now that any of those teams would do better in the Big East than Temple has.
Yet, as we stood three weeks ago after a win at UConn coming off a win over South Florida, I didn’t think any of the above teams would have done as well as Temple.
So, what happened?

Regression might not have happened in the locker room, but it has on the scoreboard and, ultimately, that’s where you are judged in this business

Joe Paterno said a football team improves the most between the first and second games, yet did Temple  improve after a 41-10 win over Villanova? No, it lost to Maryland.
Head coach Steve Addazio says the team is so young, but nine of the 11 defensive starters against Villanova were either seniors or juniors. It’s young because of a couple of suspensions and a couple of other coaching decisions.
If it’s so young, then shouldn’t it be getting better, not worse, with each game?
I get that Louisville is unbeaten, but shouldn’t Temple AT LEAST have given the Cardinals the same kind of game 0-8 Southern Mississippi did (17-21) or 1-8 Florida International did (21-28)?
Should Temple not have given Louisville the same kind of game Troy (48-55) gave Tennessee or Tulsa (15-19) gave Arkansas yesterday?
Shouldn’t Temple have given Rutgers the same kind of game Kent State gave the Scarlet Knights?

And this, mentioning the Fitzpatrick to Coyer throwback on the eve of the Rutgers’ game. ….

I think so.
The Owls lost a lot to the NFL last year, but they didn’t lose so much talent that they should have been blown out three weeks in a row.
This is what happens when you don’t throw the ball on first down, using the one dependable weapon you have, Montel Harris, to set up the passing game with play fakes. Love the Jalen Fitzpatrick throwback pass to Chris Coyer that I called for on June 4 (see inset), but it shouldn’t have taken until Nov. 3 to use it.

This is what happened in the last 2 minutes before half. Do you see a timeout? 

When you throw so much on third down, you are asking for sacks and negative plays. I realize the fumbles came on third-down runs, but it’s OK to throw the ball on first and second down, too.
That’s one of the possible fixes. The other fix would be to move Kevin Newsome from offense to the middle of the field on defense. Daz says he’s not playing more at quarterback because he doesn’t know all the plays. (I don’t know how that’s possible since all they do is run it up the middle, do a read option left and a read option right and throw an occasional pass. That’s four plays to remember.) Then put him in the middle of the field on defense and tell him to knock down or intercept any ball in his zone. Since Temple has been killed on passing plays over the middle, Newsome could not be any worse than what the Owls have now. He is perhaps their most freakishly good athlete.
That said, the game got away from Temple yesterday because of a negative four in the turnover department.
The offense keeps giving the ball away and the defense can’t take it away.
That’s a pretty deadly combination.
Regression might not have happened in the locker room, but it has on the scoreboard and, ultimately, that’s where you are judged in this business.
Beat Cincinnati.
Win the game.
Win … the … game.

Tomorrow: Charting the first 10 plays, free courtesy of TFF


19 thoughts on “What happened?

  1. This embarrassment of a season clearly comes down to coaching. The offense and defense are both entirely predicable and the team is in fact regressing. The offensive ineptitude is getting worse and the defense, especially against the pass, is brutally bad. The team didn't fall off a cliff all of the sudden, they've been under-achieving throughout the season (see the Maryland game), but its seeming to reach its nadir of late. Something needs to be done about the QB play. CC is leading the team in regression, and I don't blame the kid. I know my level of frustration and even begin to imagine how it affects him since he's the guy getting popped out there. They need to consider other options at QB if only to shake things up. I agree with your talent assessment also. This team doesn't have the talent of other BE schools but we certainly have talent comparable with the MAC schools routinely beating the rest of our conference. Assuming loefler gets canned at the end of this season I would bring him back for OC. I'm not sure what happened with Heater this year but he's something of a disappointment after last years solid performance. This is the most frustrated I've been with the owls in years because we finally got our shot in a BCS league and we're embarrassing ourselves on a national stage. Meanwhile the league we left to 'step up' owns our BCS conference. I'm just glad we don't have a Mac game on the schedule this year.

  2. Until the 4th quarter, when Daz' put Juice in, our leading receiver was our Quarterback! I don't think Coyer is the QB we thought he was. Juice wasn't all that good either. At one point in the game, I thought (seriously, I did!) what would have we done if Chester Steward was in there. At the very least, he held on to the ball and can throw a short dump pass. I like to see Newsome at QB sometime this year. (P.S.- When Fitz threw the ball to Coyer, I immediatelty thought, someone on the staff must be reading your blog!)

  3. There was a rumor that Temples offense would improve with the graduation of Chester Stewart! Well I am here to say that next year the Defense will improve with the graduation of Justin Gildea. If that guy isnt the worst safety in the history of college football then I dont know who is! He couldnt start for Division 3 Rowan in NJ. Ok, I may be exaggerating a little but you get the point! The guy flat out isnt D1 material. Chuck Heater has been described as one of the best Defensive coordinators in college football! From the way his defense plays id say hes not even a top 5 coordinator in the Big East! I know Temples defense has VERY little talent but C'mon man, this is ridiculous!! As far as Addazio goes, I keep hearing that hes a top recruiter nationally. Well he has a BCS team yet he is still recruiting mostly 2 star players! So far his commitments next year consist of something like ten 2 stars and two 3 star recruits. Temple will never compete in the Big East if Addazio keeps recruiting MAC level players! If you cant win with MAC talent in the Big East now, what makes you think he will win in the future if he continues to recruit MAC talent players (2 star recruits) Addazio should be recruiting nothing but 3 star recruits! He can try to steal 1 or 2 four star recruits and maybe a couple 2 stars who are diamonds in the rough like Pierce or A. Robinson! As far as the QB situation, 2 for 8 for 20 yards by a D1 QB! Enough said. Its sad when the QB is your leading reciever with 1 catch for 13 yards. With all that being said, with Addazios gameplan being so stone aged, I dont know if he could win with Alabama talent on his team!!

  4. thanks for liking my Fitz to Coyer throwback but it shouldn't take Sid Gillman or even a Temple blogger to figure out that if you have a Big 33 starter as a QB playing your No. 1 WR position, you've got to use the throwback more than once a year and Coyer is a good enough athlete and runner at QB to throw the ball to …That said, I will try to draw up a list of plays to run and suggest it in this space by Tuesday's practice.Bring back George DeLeone! (Just kidding)

  5. Where have you gone Adam demichael?

  6. He's right here and, sadly, I turned out to be right. WE have not seen his like here since he left. No doubt in my mind ADM hits those 2 TD passes in the PSU game that CC missed, even under the pressure CC had. ADM was not a touch passer. He would step out of a rush and hit the guy in stride and adjust the throw if he has to … our timing patterns don't allow that kind of improv …

  7. The common denominator in the 3 blowout losses is the lines. Our D line is invisible. I will take your 3-4 and propose a 1-6. Even in replays, I see LB's and DB's but never the DL's. The last 3 QB's have had all day to throw. The OL did not play well in the 2nd half v RU and at all v Pitt. I saw improvement v UofL; much better run blocking and even pass blocking. I don't know if CC is skittish now, but he does not look like the player we had last year and earlier. My vote is Newsome starts this week. As you said, the playbook ain't complicated, let the man play. Oh and Matty Brown and Montel Harris.

  8. I don't think it is exactly that we don't have the talent. I think it is that the talent isn't developed yet. The offensive line may turnout to be very talented but 4 of these guys didn't start last year. If they were ready they would have started last year.Then you add a whole lot less developed talent at WR and TE and we have a problem. Again these guys may wind up being great players but all players need to relearn their position at each level.

  9. I agree that this season hasn't turned out the way I envisioned and hoped, but it's purely a lack of BCS talent. It's quite easy to point to teams in the MAC and other non BCS conferences and say 'why can't we do what they are doing versus teams in the Big East?' The answer is really so simple that I don't believe that it needs to be stated; they are only playing BCS level talent three maybe four times a season our Owls now that we are in the Big East no matter what we think of the level of the conference are playing at that level eight times a year plus non conference where Army is the only non BCS level talent on our currently on our schedule.Temple Tuffness only goes so far more talent will get us over the hump. We out toughed Rutgers for a half before the talent gap reared it's head. Our toughness was on display the whole game against Pittsburgh (as evidence of the three players that suffered season ending injuries against us) as well as the talent gap (as evidenced by the 47-17 loss). Toughness was on display against Louisville as well, but again better talent espe was again the difference. With all that said, in conference the Pittsburgh loss was the only one that I was truly disapponted in. Talentwise I thought we were on their level. I still believe that our MAC talent level and toughness can still win the remaining conference games, plus the Army game to get bowl eligible even without the proposed game versus Hawaii.

  10. Clean Dirt, I hope you are right.Still, I don't care if Northern Illinois plays 100 games in the Big East this year, they would still do better than Temple.Same with Toledo.Is it talent or coaching?I think we are right there in talent.Put the square pegs in the square holes and the round pegs in the round holes.Kevin Newsome is a square peg (defensive safety) in a round hole (scout team QB).Our OL is a round hole (straight ahead running game) in a square peg (quick passing attack).Now a lot of you don't think Chris Coyer is capable of a quick passing attack, but I do if the receivers are named Miller, Fitzpatrick, Alderman and Booth.

  11. I mean, our OL should be in a quick passing game, not a straight-ahead running attack. When I hit enter, I noticed it was the other way around.Damn blogger. No edit button.

  12. I hear clean dirt and want to share his optimism but I'm concerned its more than just a schedule that only gets truly difficult every few weeks for the MAC teams. The owls stunk out loud in the first half of the Maryland game, the most disappointing game of the season for me, which was early I the season but foreshadowed the issues to come. I would love for the owls to only need some seasoning but there are some pretty big issues with guys in their forties and fifties on the coaching staff. You have to play the system that your talent permits you execute. The owls OL is very young and our wide outs are challenged to catch even the most routine passes. I've seen Rutgers and Louisville and other schools turn the corner from struggling mightily to being a legit competitive program. I want the same for the owls and feel we are set up to achieve this end but Daz hasn't impressed me at all this season.

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  14. random streams of consciousness……, the top four teams in the MAC are much better than the top four teams in the BE…., big time college football consists of three things: recruiting, the play of the QB, and coaching – period. if you think otherwise just look at Louisville, Ohio St, PSU……., Temple needs to increase its live on-campus population by 50% ……., AG did much more with much less….., Temple is terrible this year….., next season should be Daz's last season if we win less than 7 games and don't go to a bowl…., frustrated, angry, and extremely disappointed

  15. Can't argue, Kent.Last year, Daz energized me with taking AG's talent and winning 1 more game.This year, i'm not digging the "great locker room" comments after the third straight blowout loss.Give me a lousy locker room and a win over Cincy next week.You are right.

  16. Mike, my apologies I was trying to make a completely different point….the issues with the team lie with the coaching staff (who happen to be around the same age as you and me) regardless of age. I was initially optimistic about Daz, Heater et al but haven't seen them deliver anything resembling a roadmap for success. I've been very disappointed with the QB play this year but that's an issue that's shared with spotty blocking on the line and unreliable receivers. However, coyer owns his turnovers and just like the glory he got last year when the line was opening things up for the running game he's got to take some ownership for what's happening this year. The defense has been horrible and there's certainly a point to be made about the talent but Heater needs to own making the most of his talent. We have gotten scorched in the second half the last few weeks, when adjustments should be made in both sides of the ball by the respective teams staffs. This hasn't happened for us.I was convinced Daz and co were going to be better game day coaches than AG but this season has been a real disappointment. Peace and keep up the great work. Btw at this point nevermind Adam Demichele, I'd settle for Lee Saltz.

  17. No offense taken, Dayowl.Age discrimination for someone around 50 like myself is a really sore issue.I got laid off by the Inquirer, yet see a 22-year-old guy who I taught the ropes hired. Nice kid, but not the writer or reporter I am. Even he would admit that.Really pissed me off when a lot of people said Bruce Arians couldn't do the job at Temple because he was "too old."Too old to succeed at Temple but not too old to beat the Green Bay Packers as a head coach in the NFL?What a joke.BTW, I have a nice list of QBs I'd settle for right now:ADM, Lee Saltz, Tim Riordan, Devin Scott, Mac DeVito, Pat Bonner, Henry Burris, Matty Baker, Bobby Baker, Brian Broomell, Steve Joachim, Frank DiMaggio, Marty Ginesta, John Waller, Tommy DeFelice, Doug Shobert, etc., etc.I don't go back any farther than DeFelice and Waller, who were the TU QBs when I was a 6-year-old kid living across the street from Temple Stadium.All of those guys would have beaten Pitt and maybe even Louisville.

  18. I draw the line at Tink Murphy, though.Worst QB of the Hardin Era.Even WH had a clunker.Other teams recruit QBs and want them. WE NEED A GREAT QB. Big difference.Hopefully, he's out there and reads this message.Coyer, Newsome and Granger will all be gone in 2 years.

  19. Tim Riordan….. Now you're talking. Sorry about your experiences with age discrimination, this is actually one of my areas of focus on diversity in my company. I've worked in a few 'Logan's Run' companies and consider it a disservice for our company, customers and employees to have this group of folks represented in our workforce. Fortunately I work for an amazing company that truly values individuals regardless of age or where they went to school. Keep the faith mike.

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