On a day when Al Golden got the first signature win of his coaching career, the players who lobbied so hard for an ex-assistant of Golden to be hired as a head coach failed to deliver one for him.
It’ll be awhile now before Matt Rhule gets his first signature win because wins in the next two are merely holding serve.
A three-point underdog at home has got to beat a Houston team that went 5-7 a year ago and lost (big) to Marshall, SMU and East Carolina. Heck, beating Houston should not be considered a signature win, just a must one. This team allowed 72 points to a 6-6 SMU team. Seventy-two. They didn’t bring a whole new group of players to Philadelphia. These were the same guys. The … same … guys (minus an NFL player, who graduated).
The Temple offense has to score more than two touchdowns against that team.
Whether it was Rhule’s fault or the players’ fault is immaterial by now, but there were a number of curious developments or non-developments I felt contributed to the loss:
- This team reminds me of the Phillies: A lot of singles’ hitters and no home run hitters. The Owls have a lot of guys who can catch an 11-yard out and fall down. They have a lot of possession receivers, but no “home run” threat, a guy who can take a bubble screen to the house (unless you are counting 4.34 sprinter Khalif Herbin, who must be in witness protection somewhere or Zaire Williams, who they never throw a screen pass to).
- I’m not as fixated on the kicking situation as everyone else because this team should be scoring touchdowns, not field goals. Does Temple ever throw the ball INTO the end zone? I haven’t seen much evidence of that. You can’t score touchdowns if you don’t throw the ball INTO the end zone on a more regular basis than Temple currently does. Who knows? You might even get a pass interference call.
- Speaking of the kicking game, we heard all summer that Jim Cooper Jr. was locked in a neck-and-neck battle with fellow true freshman Nick Visco for the kicking job. In the scrimmage at Neshaminy, only one kicker nailed two of three from beyond the 50, including one against the rush without a tee in six-inch grass and he wasn’t named Paul Layton or Jim Cooper Jr. Yet we didn’t see that kicker on Saturday. Only one kicker in the history of Pennsylvania football has hit extra-point attempts at a 96 percent rate (minimum attempts 100) and he is not named Jim Cooper Jr. or Paul Layton. We haven’t seen him kick in a real game yet. They must be saving his red shirt.
- Does it concern you that Temple didn’t score a point in the second half? Doesn’t bode well for the offensive adjustments being made by the Temple OC Marcus Satterfield at halftime. Just for giggles, I went back over Nick Rolovich’s record while OC at Nevada. As I guessed, he was never shut out in any second half. Rolovich accepted, then turned down, the TU OC job, leaving the door open for Satterfield.
- While on the subject of Nicks (Visco and Rolovich), add in Nick Rapone. No Temple defense has ever given up 524 yards of total offense when Rapone was DC. Now Nick is in Arizona working as DB coach with two Temple guys, Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles. Something tells me the Cardinals’ defense is in good hands. By the way, Rapone was “very interested” in the DC job before it was awarded to Phil Snow. Since Rapone, who was FCS defensive coordinator of the year at Delaware, has a daughter who currently attends Temple, he likely would not have accepted the NFL job in Arizona had he got the TU job first.
- If you are going to try a wide receiver pass, why have John Christopher do it when you have two accomplished passers who already play the position (Chris Coyer and Jalen Fitzpatrick)? Just a thought.
- Why on third-and-nine with Juice Granger coming in cold off the bench do you have him throwing a 40-yard bomb? How about an 11-yard pass just to move the sticks? Just a thought.
- Now that Cody Booth, who owns the best pair of hands on the team, is a tackle, how come Temple never uses the tackle eligible play?
- Now that Richie Leone hit 5 for 5 field goals against Temple, maybe recruiting somebody like Devonte Watson to block kicks wasn’t such a crazy April Fool’s Joke after all.
- How come we haven’t seen Coyer throw one halfback (or H-back) pass off a simple quick toss from Connor Reilly? Are they saving that for Fordham?
- Zaire Williams should get the ball 20 times a game just one game to see how many yards he racks up. I’m willing to bet it’s over 100.
- I really like everything I see from Connor Reilly expect the dearth of touchdown passes. Maybe I’m crazy, but I think part of the job requirement of being a FBS college quarterback is to throw a lot of touchdown passes. I remember going to a game once and seeing a Temple quarterback throw five touchdown passes against a conference foe. One game, five touchdown passes. Geez, I hope I see something like that soon. Maybe Saturday. Maybe.
It’s been a long time since Adam DiMichele played here. Or Bruce Francis.