Another way to look at Fordham

Temple has not won crap with white helmets, dating back through Bobby Wallace, so I hope the Cherry ones come back soon but I like when Zaire Williams gets the ball, whatever helmet he wears.

Temple has not won crap with white helmets, dating back through Bobby Wallace, so I hope the Cherry ones come back soon.

Napoleon had his Waterloo.
Hitler had his Stalingrad.
Rhule had his Fordham.
Actually, Hitler and Napoleon had some victories first.
Matt Rhule losing to Fordham was like leaving Paris and Berlin with an Army and getting beaten in the suburbs by a Militia.
That’s pretty much the way I’ve been thinking about the Fordham game for the past 10 days.
On today, the 11th day, maybe the 11th hour, I had an Epiphany.
Fordham might not be a Waterloo or Stalingrad after all.
Fordham actually is a pretty good FCS team.

  Degrees of Fordham Separation
Fordham 30, Temple 29;
Fordham 27, Villanova 24;
Villanova 35, Stony Brook 6;
Buffalo 26, Stony Brook 23 (five overtimes, five missed SB field goals)
Ohio State 40, Buffalo 20
Fordham 51, Rhode Island 26
William and Mary 20, Rhode Island 0;
  West Virginia 24, William and Mary 17

I know the warnings about Transitive Property. Just because Team A beat Team B and Team B beat Team C doesn’t mean Team A will beat Team C.
There is, though, a lot of evidence based on the first three or four games of the season that Fordham is the real deal and Temple had the misfortune of scheduling Fordham instead of Lafayette or Monmouth this year.
Fordham went from not ranked in the FCS to No. 16 in the country and the Rams are moving up with a bullet.
The Rams have a top-level FBS quarterback in Michael Nebrich and a top-level FBS tailback in Carlton Koonce, who probably are more polished than the two players Temple had at those positions starting the game, Juice Granger and Kenny Harper. I think Zaire Williams is every bit as good as Koonce, maybe better, but maybe Rhule believes Williams had to wait his turn.
Well, that turn has come and, like Napoleon and Hitler, Rhule has reached Moscow in a defining moment.

That said, IF Paul Hornung Award leader
Chris Coyer gets fed the ball at least
10 or more times in a variety of ways
against Idaho, Matt Rhule will prove
to be smarter than Hitler or Napoleon
and have a lot easier time
in Moscow than those two did

Moscow, Russia for the first two; Moscow, Idaho for Rhule.
Still, no excuse for not pounding the ball against Fordham’s 247-pound defensive line but that mistake has to be chalked up to the inexperience of a young Field General in Matt Rhule.
Fordham, though, is pretty good. The Rams not only beat Temple, but they beat Villanova and last week Villanova beat Stony Brook like a drum (35-6).
If you don’t think that’s impressive, just check out what Stony Brook did the week before: It extended old Temple rival Buffalo to five overtimes before losing, 26-23. In a pang of pain Temple fans felt during the Houston game, two Stony Brook kickers missed five field goals during that game. Stony Brook should have beaten Buffalo, no doubt about it. Buffalo hung with Ohio State before losing, 40-20. Ohio State is about as good as it gets in college football these days.
Should have, could have and did are different things but you get the drift.
With a third-string quarterback, Temple could not get it done against one of the best FCS teams out there.
It happens.
Ask Iowa State, which lost to Northern Iowa, 28-20, and Kansas State, which lost to North Dakota State, 27-24. Kansas State was a top 10 BCS team all last season. Or Oregon State, which lost to Eastern Washington. Or UConn, which lost to Towson.
Something tells me at least one or two teams among Iowa State, Kansas State, UConn and Oregon State will survive and go to a bowl game.
Temple can, too, if it can get the ball in the hands of its explosive playmakers like Chris Coyer and Zaire Williams on a more regular basis. If is the same word as could and should and the hope is that Rhule spent the last 10 days figuring out how to change if and should to did and done.

That said, IF Paul Hornung Award leader Chris Coyer gets fed the ball at least 10 or more times in a variety of ways against Idaho, Matt Rhule will prove to be smarter than Hitler or Napoleon and have a lot easier time in Moscow than those two did. If he doesn’t, it will be another cold and nasty retreat.


24 thoughts on “Another way to look at Fordham

  1. Stony Brook had a decent amount of D-1 transfers too… unfortunately we have been having quality players transfer out ie; stud Malcolm Eugene now averaging 100+yds and 1TD/game, and they had studs transfer in ie; Nebrich who was first team all-state in HS before signing with Uconn

  2. What do you mean? If you mean the optimism, it relates to the fact that Chris Coyer is going for the Paul Hornung Award and won’t win it by getting him the ball once or twice, like they have been. If they get it to him 10x or more (run, pass, catch), he’s got a shot at the award and Temple’s got a better shot to win. Hopefully, MR realizes that.

  3. Mike, I hope coach Rhule spent the past 10 days on the following:
    1. First and foremost on beating Idaho
    2. Realizing that he needs to have flexibility in his approach and adjust his game plans to take full advantage of whatever strengths Temple has vs. opposition weaknesses, like pounding the ball on the ground against a team like Fordham
    3. Really looking at what players on the roster give the best chance for winning now with an eye towards next year as well

    While I think it’s a stretch to become bowl eligible this season, I think realistically we can be competitive in the conference and at least come out the best among Uconn, Memphis, SMU and USF (know we don’t play them this year). Put the big focus on the remaining games with Idaho, Army,Uconn, SMU, Memphis, work on not being embarrassed by most of the top AAC teams ( my be tough against Louisville) we have to play and I think you can build off that for next season

    • We really have a weapon in Coyer, who won’t be around next year … a guy who can throw, run and catch. Got to use him. The misuse of him has been borderline criminal. He’s not a Wildcat QB. He’s a guy you can work into the offense with runs and catches and an occasional throw off a fake. Why we haven’t done that is beyond me. …

  4. I felt the response to Fordham was curious, about the effort and such. Should we not have had this effort from the get-go? What was training camp for? Seems like we are making adjustments in season on stuff that should have been taken care of preseason.

  5. The Fordham loss sucks but you know what, any give Saturday. The team just needs to move on. We as fans need to hope that the play calling and recognition of other teams’ weakness (as in realizing that you are pushing their defensive line back 3 yards every running play and you don’t just run the ball down their throats) gets better. The one really dark point of this team that I am not sure how it is getting fixed anytime soon is our secondary. Our secondary really does not look FBS to me.

  6. How Nate L. Smith, the best high school safety in the state of Pennsylvania two years ago, can’t get on the field at Temple with guys in front of him who can’t cover a fat guy at a picnic is totally mystifying to me.

    • I’ve been wondering the same myself. I am surprised with the depth chart moves for the Idaho game there isn’t a single change in the defensive backfield

      • When Fordham’s QB looks like Manziel in the second half there is a problem. I can’t believe that there can’t be some adjustments made to scheme or personnel that would make the secondary play at a better level. I am not talking top ten pass defense. I simply would not like someone to be wide open every single play.

  7. All I can think of is that Nate at Wood was taught to challenge the guy he’s charged with covering for the ball and they actually WANT the Temple DBs to play 15 yards off the ball. Given Snow’s defensive stats at Eastern Michigan (44 points a game in 2010 and 38 in 2012) I wouldn’t doubt it.

    • Mike, even in years when you would have considered Snow in his prime, 1999 through 2004, in PAC 10 his defenses gave up anywhere from 25 to 30 points a game with no shutouts and only 8 times were opponents held to single digits, 2001 being an exception at only 20.5 ppg.
      On another topic, I’m reading comments about some of the players not buying into the program, lack of effort on the part of some, etc. I thought before he was hired all we were hearing from the players was how the admin had to hire Rhule, he was the best guy for the job etc.

  8. JD, the Rhule they knew when they clamored for him worked well with both Golden and Addazio and guys like Chuck Heater and George DeLeone, two guys respected in the coaching fraternity across the nation, not just at Temple. When I hear about players “not buying into the program” I cringe because maybe they are not buying into guys like Satterfield (Tennessee-Chattanooga) and Snow (Eastern Michigan). I’d trust Adam DiMichele more as OC and wish Rhule would go outside and get a real good DC that other people respect. Maybe the program the kids aren’t buying into reflects on those top two assistants. If so, we’ve got a real problem.

    • I’ll say it again: Houston fired their OC after 1 game last year; and both coordinators after the season. Levine was hired in a similar fashion to Rhule, to add a Houston guy and stability. Snow should be gone. The DB’s have not been good but the DL has not been either.

  9. I agree. Rhule may be “too nice a guy” to fire Snow, though. If he is, he’s too nice a guy to be Temple head coach, too.

    • Mike, generally I’m not a big fan of firing coaches during the season but mainly from the pro sports perspective. With the college environment perhaps there is a benefit with say getting a new DC in before the recruiting season, gives the opportunity to evaluate the current talent on a couple of fronts; determine recruiting needs, what type of defensive the existing personnel works best with, etc

  10. I agree, JD. That’s why I was so much for Rhule hiring Nick Rapone:
    1) Rapone WANTED the Temple job;
    2) Rapone knew Temple and loved Temple;
    3) Rapone’s daughter goes to Temple;
    4) Rapone has been DC before at Temple;
    5) All of Rapone’s ex-players AT TEMPLE loved the guy and wanted him to come back;
    6) MOST IMPORTANTLY, by all objective criteria, Rapone is a better defensive coach than Snow ever was. In 2010, Rapone was named FCS Coordinator of the Year;
    The only qualification Rapone did not have was that he had no prior relationship with Matt Rhule. That’s not a good enough reason to pick Snow over Nick.

  11. In that case I hope as part of his maturation process as a head coach, I think most of us thought the program was beyond this kind of pain, he will realize that long term it’s performance that counts. On the “glass half full” side his initial staff showed that he has loyalty to coaches he had relationships with, were mentors, etc. I’m sure that has some importance in the coaching fraternity but once you’ve established that the next step is to surround yourself with the best people available. Don’t think anyone will criticize coach Rhule if the defense ends up at the bottom of the AAC and he would can Snow at the end of the year. Now given that, if in fact Snow would go what are the chances a guy like Rapone would come to TU as DC now, I figure the pay day is better as a DB coach in the NFL but success at DC in an FBS program may lead to a bit more stable longer term career

    • Probably the Rapone ship has sailed, but it would behoove Rhule to see if he can send a PT boat inquiry to see if there’s any interest on Nick’s end. Family being back here is a huge consideration in matters such as this.

  12. Forgot this on my last post but right now I’m probably a little more positive than you regarding our OC, Since Satterfield is a much younger guy than Snow I’m willing to give him some time to grow into the job

  13. I’d probably be a lot higher on Marcus if he showed me Chris Coyer coming around the end once to run or pass this season. Don’t understand how four games into the season you have a tight end who can throw the ball like he has and you don’t pitch it to him ONCE and have him try to throw it down the field? This should have happened about 10x in three games.

  14. I was surprised that Nottingham and White were benched.
    The curse of the white helmets goes back to the early 60’s.

  15. Whittingham, but point well-taken. Both of those guys were being called NFL players in the preseason. I think Rhule’s quote was that we were going to “trade White to the NFL.” Gotta wonder what happened.

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