Taking Care of Business

Matt Rhule’s press conference this week.

One of those little annoyances about Temple football is the inability to sustain a weekly highlight show in the Philadelphia market.

Penn State has one. Notre Dame has one. Even Rutgers has one. Temple, which has 155,000 of its 275,000 graduates still living in the Philadelphia TV market, does not–unless you are counting the Temple TV station (Channel 55 on Comcast) in Philadelphia. While tossing and turning and thinking about Fordham and Idaho at 4 a.m. this morning, I went through the channels looking for a replay of The Roosevelts (PBS, every night this week) and found Matt Rhule’s press conference instead.

Hopefully, the producers of that show will put a microphone in the crowd because you cannot hear a single question being posed.

Maybe if Temple goes to a bowl, the highlights’ show returns to Comcast next season.

That’s one order of business that needs to be taken care of and it won’t be accomplished without a big win over Delaware State. I’m not one of those Temple fans who writes “I’ll settle for a one-point win.” I’m settling for a big win–about 44-7 would be nice, 63-0 would be better.

I’m on record as saying Matt Rhule would be better for this program than Steve Addazio ever would have been, but he’s got to start doing some of the things that Daz made routine–including putting away these lesser opponents. When Daz arrived, the uni needed him to take care of business against Villanova and he did that twice by 42-7 and 41-10 scores. Against a service academy with strict academic admissions standards and a five-year post-graduate commitment, Army, Daz put up 63 points by throwing just five passes. Temple, with no such tight restrictions, should have been recruiting at a level for the past five years that made beating these service academies routine.

Rhule and the Owls need to take care of business starting Saturday.

Press Conference Notes: Somewhat surprised that we won’t be seeing Zaire Williams any time soon, but I hope that his problems are all injury related and he makes a big comeback …. doesn’t look like the Owl coaches took any time watching the Eagles’ game Monday night to see how the Eagles used 5-6, 170-pound Darren Sproles. Too bad because that’s the best way to use Khalif Herbin, who was drafted No. 1 by his teammates in the Cherry and White Day Draft. The kids know who can play and who can’t. Too bad the coaches don’t seem to know. My biggest fear is that for the second year in a row the most unique offensive talent for Temple will be lost on an island of inactivity. Call it Slot Receiver Island for Herbin; last year it was Tight End Island for Chris Coyer. It’s No-Man’s Land for Temple. Just like to see five … five .. Darren Sproles-like carries from scrimmage for Herbin on Saturday. If he does nothing, put him back in No Man’s Land … What are they afraid of? …. Good interview with Temple center Kyle Friend on Temple TV this week. They asked him about goals and he said winning every play should be the focus. Seems humble for the best center in the AAC and a great leader for the Owls to follow. .. looks like David Hood will get some carries this week. Owls need to find an explosive guy who can take it to the house at RB.

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36 thoughts on “Taking Care of Business

  1. Somehow Chris Coyer AND Herbin managed to be mentioned…props Mike 😉

    Predictions?

    Temple 48
    Del. St. 10

  2. Rhule may be keeping a few cards up his sleeve.

  3. I didn’t even realize we led the nation in turnover ratio after week 2…what a horribly coached team!

    • yeah, I’m sure matt rhule stepped in front of all those passes and picked up the fumbles. Geez, you don’t stop defending this guy, do you?

      • He’s certifiably insane to DEFEND A COACH WHO CAN’T SEE THE OBVIOUS!

        Addazio knew what he was doing.

        Rhule should be coaching East Stroudsburg.

      • I have to agree with Matthew Sell on this one. Last year this blog was full of comments blaming poor coaching for the lack of takeaways. Through 2 games this year the defense has 10 takeaways and scored two touchdowns and yet no one wants to give the coaching staff any credit. THis seems like a big contradiction to me.

  4. This team is still poorly coached. During the Navy game, the coaches insisted upon running the hurry up offense even after four or five three and outs thereby putting a clearly tired defense back on the field too many times in less than two minutes, the passing scheme is non-existent, and there is no running game off or outside the tackles. A good team would have won by fifty at Vanderbilt given the number of times the Owls were inside the ten yard line. The read option is not aimed to get whomever is free in open field and that’s why their running game has been anemic. Can’t tell me that there is no back on this team that regularly can have 10 plus yard runs.
    I also agree that rebroadcasting the press conferences is useless because you can’t hear the questioner or the question. It wouldn’t be too much trouble to set up a mike that could be handed to the reporter asking the question.

    • funny. … vandy win was devalued by vandy struggling to beat a UMass program which should be 10 years behind Temple’s. No one wants to see a well-coached Temple team more than I do and I hope I see one in the Uconn game. You could bring back Ron Dickerson and have Bobby Wallace and Jerry Berndt for coordinators and still beat Del State 44-7. Beating Uconn convincingly will finally convince me that Rhule is a good coach (and Uconn isn’t all that great so it must be by more than what Uconn beat Slippery Rock, err, Stony Brook) by. I would kill to have a younger Andy Talley coaching Temple (he beat Michael Nebrich and Fordham, by the way, 50-6 .. that’s what Rhule should have done to Fordham)

      • Win by 50 @ Vandy??? hahaha only you and Mike could find a way to complain about beating a SEC team by 30 on the road. Ole Miss only beat them by 38, so I guess they aren’t a good team either. You guys act like we are Alabama! I can’t wait to see what nonsense is posted next because it just keeps getting better and better!

        Let me know when you wake up to the reality that we are, at best, a 6-6 middle tier AAC team with one of the youngest rosters in the country.

  5. At this point, I’m going to wait and see what this teams record is on October, 12th. I agree that I was perplexed with the hurry up offense during the Navy game given that the D seemed gassed, then go into a super conservative offensive shell, with the same result, 3 and out. Granted, Vandy certainly looks like a bad team but I have my doubts as to whether last years team would have won that game.
    Now, anything less than 4-1 after the first 5 games, then I have some concerns about this staff and the direction of the program. I’m a bit more familiar with UConn as I talk with a current players parent regularly about the team and conference. UConn has been described to me as a team with not great overall team speed and whose conditioning could be better. They are near the bottom of the rankings for most major offensive categories, especially total offense and scoring offense. Top running back averaging less than 4 yards a carry, and with Cochrane out at qb, Whitmer is only completing 49% of his passes.
    Tulsa has a defense that ranks near the bottom of all FBS teams, total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense and passing yards allowed. Looks like their offense may have a passing attack but a lot of that may also be the result of of losing 2 games where their opponent scored 50 or more points and playing a 2 OT game for their only win. Even with that their qb has thrown multiple interceptions in all 3 games. So sorry for the long winded way to say that UConn and Tulsa are the level of AAC teams that we should expect Temple to be beating this year. Giving up a 21 point lead against UConn this year or losing to Tulsa on a “hail mary” pass is not acceptable. Now if you’re talking about a team like ECU or Cincinnati, right now all I look for is to be competitive against them.

    • agreed. del. state, tulsa, uconn and tulane must be all wins. the charge after that is to step up and “steal” one of the other games. Would Temple beat Akron by 21-3 or worse (which is what Penn State did)? I think so. If I had a choice, Penn State is the one I would steal. You can talk conference all you want, but a win over Penn State this season would be a program-changer.

      • I would throw Memphis into the must wins category as well. Understand the whole Penn State aspect, especially in PA, while ECU may be a better team than PSU a win over them while great from a conference perspective won;t have nearly the program impact. I guess we differ a bit on the importance of conference standing. For me it’s important to finish at least closer to the upper half of teams rather than the lower.

  6. yeah, forgot about memphis. that was a game p.j. and robbie anderson dominated last year, yet memphis gave ucla all it could handle. geez, i hope somebody grabs that robbie anderson role. we’ve got a lot of 6-5 guys on the roster, but no one seems to want the ball. deloatch is good, but does he have anderson’s speed. the freshmen who do must step up now and separate themselves. eaton or derrick must grab this job and make explosive plays or we’re stuck with bunch of guys 5-7 to 5-10.

  7. Aside from the obvious physical skills of Andersen, do you think that the departure of Terry Smith has had any impact on wr performance this season. Really don’t know how good of a coach he is since it seems all most people want to discuss about Temple coaches is how they are as recruiters. But last season, aside from Andersen, Alderman did a good job and Christopher seemed to come on in the second half of the season as well.

    • don’t think so, jd, because a lot of the things Anderson could do (speed, vertical jump, hands, strength) can’t be taught. I like Adam DiMichele, but he should be QB coach and not WR coach.Heck, the only pass he went out for in his TU career, he tipped into Bruce Francis’ hand. Alderman was doing all of those good things prior to Smith’s arrival. He was always solid. Christopher is a star in the making if he can just stop getting injured, but he’s too much of a possession-type receiver now. We need a guy who can make explosive plays after the catch.

  8. totally agree with JD, anything less than 4-1 is trouble…, confidence is funny and fragile..,, if Temple gets to 4-1 and starts to play with confidence then anything can happen if the coaching staff learns to teach, inspire, and make good game decisions…, haven’t seen a Temple team play with swagger since AG left, we had big time players who were nasty on those teams…, really concerned about our d-line, depth, and schemes on that side of the ball. the Tulsa passing attack will let us know sooo much about the team this year….., wild card in this equation is PJ’s health, playing on a bum ankle is not wise as only bad things can happen.., maybe he goes a quarter against DState and sits the rest of the way…, this Temple NEEDS a healthy PJ for the entire season

    • i”d even consider sitting him and going with connor reilly and lenny williams or logan marchi. save a redshirt for one of those last two, but not both. Need a mobile, P.J.-like, qb backup.

  9. Got to give Rhule credit for starting PJ last season – that’s when the passing with Anderson, et al got real good if I’m not mistaken. And I remember Rhule being criticized for not red shirting PJ. But other than that, last year was a coaching disaster.

    • Been following Temple football for 30-plus years and without a doubt, the loss to Idaho was the worst in school history. Fordham was a close second. How do you do that in one season? Extremely (and not moderately) bad coaching. Idaho should not have been on the same field with Temple, yet the coaches played right into the Vandals’ hand by throwing pass after pass against the 125th-ranked run defense in the country at the time of the game.

      • Interesting that you keep saying that Temple played right into Idaho’s hands by throwing pass after pass when Idaho’s passing yards allowed ranked 122nd out of 123 teams, while their rushing defense ranked 104th. And that’s straight from ncaa.org. So I could see where you would want to run against a team that’s worse against the pass than the run.

  10. Just read on mitchell’s blog that Zaire Williams has a bulging disc and is out indefinitely.

  11. Godspeed to Zaire and hope he develops into a good college player.

    Good offensive teams can overcome two handicaps and win, but never three. So far, I’m tracking: 1) Nagging injury to starting QB which has a negative effect on performance; 2) No pro level talent at the skill positions; 3) No breakaway threat, or any player which the opposing defense must put in a game plan to stop and shutdown; 4) No production out of the TE position….,

    AG teams had Rod Streater, BP, and Matt Brown…., good news is we are getting credible play out of the O-line which was supposed to be a weakness

    • your tracking system is spot … so far.. i expect a bunch of players to break out and have great games against Del. State. I hope it’s not Fool’s Gold (due to opponent).

      • Rhule hinted that the season starts on September 27th against UConn. We’ll see a bland game against DE St with Harper, Gilmore, and Hood running the ball and killing the clock. I agree with protecting starters as soon as the score allows. I would sit anyone who was not 100%.

  12. Del. State game will show a lot about where the program and coaching stands. Temple has enough good players to dominate but not if the coaches screw up on play calling, time management, etc. Its hard to shake off last season until we all see some positive results this season. And talking about what should happen means nothing.What actually does happen tells it all.

    • Agree wholeheartedly. If this isn’t a blowout we’re in trouble. They lost to Delaware 28-7 who lost to Pitt 62-0. Anything other than a blowout, except if the starters are done by half time, shows no progress.

      • If we cannot get our running game going this Saturday, it will never get going. Love Kenny Harper. He could be one of the best blocking fullbacks in the country if given that role. He just not have AAC-elite-level speed to play tailback. Don’t know why the coaches are forcing Kenny, a square peg, into the tailback round hole. Hood, Gilmore, Herbin and Thomas do have elite-level speed. Get Harper out in front of them and get them to the corners for explosive plays in the run game.

  13. The Owls will win this game easily. What I want out of this game is no injuries, a solid game plan that attacks the weakness of the opponent, and getting the younger guys some much needed playing time because as the season progresses injuries occur and we will need the younger guys to step up later in the year. I am still of the mind set that this team has a good chance of winning anywhere from 5-7 games this year provided they avoid key injuries and the coaching staff is able to coach these kids up and make them improve week in and week out.

  14. nice comments James and agreee especially the part about improvement.

    despite a terrible 2-12 record last year, the team did show improvement over the last 6 games of the season.., which they followed by a good opening day win. took a susbstantial step backwards against Navy (although I think Navy will wind up being one of the top 3 teams on our 2014 schedule)

    the key is improving each game and playing above the individual talent level…, small things like making FGs, getting take-aways, keeping penalities low, not beating yourself are characteristics of well coached teams…, look at teams like Boise St, BYU, and even UCF.., no reason why we can’t play consistently on the same level

  15. can Temple keep up with Pitt and PSU? golden years for college football in Pennsylvania? expect both Pitt and PSU to remain undefeated Saturday, and one of those teams should crack the top 25.., can Temple keep pace in the state? good bye to four stars recruits in the home state if they can’t stay on par

    • true … pitt took care of business against Delaware, a better team than del. state, 62-0. temple must do something like that on sat and, more importantly, do what daz did 2 years ago– win at uconn

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