For Idaho, no place like Dome

Idaho is a completely different team indoors than outdoors.

Idaho is a completely different team indoors than outdoors.

The old Wizard of Oz line was that there was “no place like home.”
For Idaho’s football team, that’s especially true because, for the Vandals, there is no place like dome.

The last time Temple played in a small indoor arena (Carrier Dome doesn't count).

The last time Temple played in a small indoor arena (Carrier Dome doesn’t count).

The Vandals look like a Division II team outside of the Kibbie Dome. Inside the building, they play like a pretty good FBS team most of the time.
Whether it’s the familiarity with an unusual setting or the altitude, that’s something Temple’s football team will have to be aware of for tomorrow’s 5 p.m. (Philadelphia time) start (97.5 FM,  DirecTV via Altitude TV on DirecTV 681 and Dish Network 410-HDTV). The game is also available on the internet via a link to VandalsXtra here.
An Idaho team that loses, 42-0, on the road to Washington State, put 35 points up on Northern Illinois in a 45-35 loss earlier this season.

This chart  below shows that Idaho performs SIGNIFICANTLY better in home games than on the road:

Dome Sweet Home

Idaho Home This Year Idaho Away This Season
Northern Illinois 45, Idaho 35 (2013) North Texas 40, Idaho 6 (2013)
2012 Home Games: Wyoming 40, Idaho 17 (2013)
Eastern Washington 20, Idaho 3 2012 Away:
Wyoming 40, Idaho 37 Bowling Green 21, Idaho 12; LSU 63, Idaho 14
Idaho 26, New Mexico State 18 North Carolina 66, Idaho 0
Texas San Antonio 34, Idaho  27 Texas State 38, Idaho 7

Meanwhile, the Owls have problems of their own, especially with defense and the kicking game. Temple defensive coordinator Phil Snow had Eastern Michigan ranked 120 out of 125 defenses in FBS football last year, giving up  478.9 yards per game in 12 games last season. His Temple defense is ranked No. 119 currently, giving up 529 yards a game.

This is the same personnel Chuck Heater had when he shut out UConn in the second half a season ago; yes, the same UConn team that beat Louisville so talent does not appear to be an issue here. Hopefully, the changes made on defense with Nate D. Smith moving to one end and Matt Ioannidis moving to one tackle will help put pressure on the quarterback and take pressure off the defensive backs.

At least that’s the theory.

Snow has not recorded a shutout against an FBS opponent since 1996 — five years before he met a 25-year-old grad assistant at UCLA named Matt Rhule. Given the fact that the Vandals scored 35 points on a pretty good Northern Illinois’ team, he’s probably not likely to get one here. The feeling is the Owls will have to win a shootout, high-20s, high-30s, type game.

Temple opened as a 10-point favorite and the line dropped to 7 1/2 in just three days. There is not a lot of national confidence out there in Temple despite the strong words this week coming from the Edberg-Olsen Complex.

For Temple, this is where the talk about winning has to stop and the winning itself has to start.

Tomorrow: Late Saturday night game analysis

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26 thoughts on “For Idaho, no place like Dome

  1. Just checked the depth chart…. Still no Khalif Herbin on the 2-deep for punt returns or kickoff returns. Also Deon Miller still not starting. Hope his 6’4” frame doesn’t go to waste all season. Looks like Robbie Anderson might be our biggest target at 6’3” now

    • I love Ryan Alderman, so they are obviously concerned about ball security on punt returns. But that play needs to be an offensive play for Temple. We’re not good enough on offense that we can just fair catch punts all the time. Eagles should play DeSean Jackson on punts and we should play Khalif Herbin on punts.

  2. There has to be a story with Herbin. Wish John Mitchell would go get it. I know Keith Pompey would.

    • There has to be a story regarding several players who seem to be nowhere to be found, Hebrin, Nate L Smith. Also what about Walton on the DL, I thought he started to show some flashes towards the end of last season

  3. Agreed. All a good beat reporter has to do is ask. Matt can either say “no comment” (which itself speaks volumes) or explain his rationale. As far as Herbin goes, this screams that they are trying to redshirt him. Maybe they think Fitzpatrick is too similar a player. I thought Walton was at least as good as Levi Brown last year and they were interchangeable parts.

  4. Mike, I didn’t feel good about the owls going into the Fordham game and feel a loss this week is definitely a possibility. MR has shuffled the line up since he’s been unable to get his talent to play up to their potential. He burned a kids red shirt, has a brutally inept set of coordinators and is at risk of seeing his entire season tank if he drops this game. This isn’t to mention how badly he’s managed special teams by not changing kickers and not putting his best athletes out there to make big plays.

    Additionally, he’s not getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers and not allowing his guys to leverage natural advantages in size, strength or speed in one on one matchups. It’s too early to declare his hire a disaster but it’s not looking good. BTW I don’t think it’s too early to say he needs to change his coordinators if he wants to win and keep his job.

    I also think he’s also putting a very good recruiting class at risk. I hope the owls pull this one out because the following couple of weeks will likely be ugly. I’m afraid the owls could be entering the days of Bobby Wallace-bad football if we lose this week. And, yes I believe that to be a non-hyperbolic statement.

  5. Well-said. We could blow them out, lose, get blown out or win a close one. The only scenario I feel confident in is us NOT getting blown out. Don’t have a good feeling on the other three.

  6. Dayowl, great points and I hate to say I am starting to feel the same way about this season and how it bodes for the future. I really have to put most of the issues the team has faced the first 3 games on the coaching staff, an inexperienced HC , learning on the job and as you point out really poor coordinators. I just don’t believe Temple’s issues are this “huge” talent gap that too many apologists keep harping on. I could see that case made for last season, but for this season the AAC is 40% C-USA from last season. Over the past 2 to 3 seasons C-USA has been at best rated marginally better than C-USA, this year Bowling Green beat last years C-USA champ and 2014 AAC member Tulsa. So when I keep hearing that “oh this is a MAC recruited team” do people really mean that this was a team recruited to be a mediocre member of the MAC. Also, I keep reading how this kind of performance is to be expected with coaching change, again don’t really buy that either. It isn’t like coach Rhule was coming into the situation cold, he was only 1 year removed from the program, had a hand in recruiting a lot of the current players and should have had a good idea of what they could do. I would think that should have helped with some of the learning curve he is obviously suffering through as he matures as a HC.

  7. Great points, especially about the coordinators. I mean, how does Satterfield not use Coyer to run or throw AT ALL in the first three games? Is he blind? Snow reminds me of the Dennis Hopper character in the movie Hoosiers, an assistant coach once good but way past his prime. Gene Hackman (Matt Rhule) sees something in Hopper no one else does. The difference is in the movie Hopper gets redemption of sorts, but I don’t think there is any redemption for Snow. Surely, there must be a remarkably sharp and qualified guy out there who can get the most out of Temple’s defense.

  8. There are five phases of team building. “The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of group development by Bruce Tuckman who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable for the team to grow, face challenges, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results.” I’d say were all storming right now.

  9. I’d prefer the performing. No excuses for forming when Rhule recruited most of these guys. Except for maybe the DBs, this team has enough talent to beat any team left on the schedule with the exception of maybe Louisville and Central Florida and who recruited the DBs? Certainly not Daz. The coaching staff has a lot of holes and those must be addressed in the offseason. Good guys to eat pizza and watch film with over at the E-O and talk about old times at UCLA and Western Carolina with, not good-enough guys to be in the foxhole with on Saturday afternoons.

    • Mike I know you’ll be having a post game post but listening to this game on the radio so far (14-3 Idaho 2nd qtr) I had to check and see if I was driving a DeLoren today, looks like we’re back in the Dickerson-Berndt-Wallace era with Rhule just looking like a continuation of that mess. Lose this game then I will say hiring Rhule is a disaster and you can forget everything AG did. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong later tonight and can laugh at myself for this post.

  10. I’m calling for Rhule’s job right now!! I can’t even watch the second half of this Idaho/Temple game. He had 2 weeks to prepare for an 0-4 team in the middle of no where, and this is the team he fields?? Are you kidding me!? Let’s get someone else in there to finish this season, so we can hit the ground running next year. And before you say it Mike, Snow is going with him! WE ALL KNOW that Snow is garbage as well.

    • ACG, I’m afraid I have to agree with, I only said afraid because another new coach means more instability, but I really don’t think this program can survive what is looking like at best a 2-9 or 1-11 season. I think if that happens forget the good 2014 recruiting class, attendance, etc. I mean the AAC is at best will be about on par with the MAC and we have the look of being a bottom dweller. With that being said that’s why I agree about canning this staff and getting a head coach with a proven track record. Plus next year may be the best time to make the move as there is probably going to be a couple of coaching changes in the conference

  11. A lot of young talented players on the sidelines, what Rhule has been using is not working, he needs to start switching things up and taking some chances.

  12. Let the record show the Matt Rhule coaching experiment ended on this day in Idaho.

    • We can only hope that the. Admin bites the bullet and cleans house at the end of the year. Please no more letting the players pick the coach

  13. I am going to go ahead and put UL’s points over/under at 60. It is going to be terrifying.

  14. That’s the best performance we get after 13 days off!?!? Phil Snow SUCKS, Connor Reilly can’t hit a receiver past 15 yards, and the Defensive line managed to get 1 sack on a team giving up 6 per game… NO EXCUSES. lack of defensive talent + inexperienced coaches that don’t know how to put them in a better position to win = FAILURE. Fire Snow, and start PJ for the next 3 and a half seasons.

  15. The blue turf must have thrown the Owls off. No, wait, that program was smart enough to realize the AAC was a bag of rocks.

  16. Absolute Disgrace

    Rhule IS A JOKE

  17. Athletic Dept needs to get a clue, either drop down to FCS or go back to the MAC. Never should have left in the first place.

    • Jay, what makes you think going back to the MAC would be positive. The AAC is not much better than the MAC and will be even weaker next season. Buffalo smacked Uconn and UoB was a 1-2 MAC team coming into the game, Miami ( OH ) played Cinci tough last week losing 14-0, Cinci will probably beat Temple by 3 touchdowns, Biwling Green best C- USA champ Tulsa ( an AAC member next season) earlier this year. People need to stop equating the AAC withe the Big East, it’s the old C-USA, which over the past few seasons was rated about equal to the MAC

  18. Maybe it is time to look at FCS play Delaware, Nova, Colgate ,Fordham, etc. Lower travel costs, probably easier to build a 12 to 15k seat stadium on campus and build local rivalries. I only say this because I’m beginning to wonder how serious the admin is at competing even at the AAC level in football

  19. How many points does Teddy Bridgewater have to hang on the owls for us to get a new DC? This guy is beyond brutal. I saw where the owls are ranked 120th out of 125 D1 programs after the loss. Considering the strength of recent recruiting classes you can’t lay this on the kids, it’s clearly bad leadership. I agree the Rhule hire may be shaping up to be a disaster and hope he’s got the stones to make the required changes at the coordinator positions.

    He’s got to realize if he gets the boot after this kind of a disaster onus season they won’t let him coach in the CYO.

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