Other Schools Are Getting the Job Done

Under this offense, P.J. is often faced with impossible down and distance situations. The fix is an easy one.

Under this offense, P.J. is often faced with impossible down and distance situations. The fix is an easy one.

Watching Temple implode like I have so many other times over the past two years, one over-riding thought occurred to me: How do the University of Texas at Freaking San Antonio and Western Freaking Kentucky do what Freaking Temple is not able to do?

Both schools beat teams Temple lost to with arguably far lesser talent than Temple. (Actually, it’s not arguable.) UTFSA beat Houston, 27-7, while Western Kentucky beat Navy for the second year in a row, 36-27 (19-6 last year).

Matt Rhule should have been on the phone with Bobby Petrino before Temple’s loss to Navy and he probably should have been on the phone with Larry Coker before the Houston game but, instead, he is enamored with “the process” and “having the kids trust us.”

One of the few Temple highlights was this hit.

One of the few Temple highlights was this hit.

When Western Kentucky’s  process and Texas-San Antonio’s process is better than your process, you need another process.

UTSA used a two-back approach and pounded Houston inside with quick-hitters led by a blocking fullback. When Houston adjusted by bunching the linebackers and the safeties closer to the line of scrimmage, UTSA quarterback Eric Sosa faked the ball into the belly of his halfback, got a protecting block from his fullback, and found receivers running free through the Houston secondary.

It’s football, not rocket science.

It is apparent to anyone outside “the process”
that Temple’s best chance to win
is to go two backs, pound the ball
with Jahad Thomas behind kick-out blocks
around the perimeter from guys like
fullback Kenny Harper and tight end Colin Thompson
to create short down-and-distance situations
for P.J. Walker. Once that happens, Walker
can fake the ball into the belly of Thomas
and find Temple receivers running so free
through the secondary that he will not
know which one to pick out

Petrino’s process against Navy in a 19-6 win a year ago was using a fullback to get kick-out blocks for his speedy tailback, Antonio Andrews, and Andrews beat Navy outside to the tune of 180 yards. Geez, I wonder if Temple has a speedy tailback and a fullback who can block? The answer is yes in Jahad Thomas and Kenny Harper.  On defense, against Navy, Petrino eliminated Navy’s 2 on 1 and 3 on 2 advantages in the option by blitzing a safety from the blindside, often catching Navy in backfield losses before the Mids could even pitch the ball.

It is apparent to anyone outside “the process” that Temple’s best chance to win is to go two backs, pound the ball with Jahad Thomas behind kick-out blocks around the perimeter from guys like fullback Kenny Harper and tight end Colin Thompson to create short down-and-distance situations for P.J. Walker. Once that happens, Walker can fake the ball into the belly of Thomas and find Temple receivers running so free through the secondary that he will not know which one to pick out. Thomas might not remind me of Bernard Pierce–who had Wyatt Benson as his lead blocker–but he certainly reminds me of Todd McNair, who had Shelley Poole as his lead blocker. Harper is just as good a blocker as Poole was and Poole was great. Temple has not learned to gear its offense to the talent of its players; instead, the Owls force feed this offense on ill-fitting parts.

Under “the process” Walker often drops back to pass, has no time and is forced to throw into incredibly tight windows. Is it surprising that there are so many interceptions and sacks? Not to me.

Temple’s defense allowed Navy to attack the perimeter at will with basketball-fast-break-like 3-2, 2-1 advantages. What Petrino, now at Louisville, had figured out, the, err, braintrust at Temple is slow on the uptake.

Don’t even get me started on Rhule calling a time out with six seconds left in the quarter and 14 seconds left on the play clock.

Must be part of the process.


108 thoughts on “Other Schools Are Getting the Job Done

  1. As we’ve been saying for two years, there is no offensive philosophy. If the philosophy is short passes, they have to be thrown all over the field quickly like Bowling green did to TU at the Linc four or five years ago. There also is no mid-range passing game and the running is horrendous. Even when this team wins it’s because of big plays and not sustained drives. That puts too much pressure on the defense given how much they’re on the field. There is also no deception like Houston used last night-having the flow go one way and then go the other. Goal line offense is and has been a mess since Vandy where TU should have had three more tds. Last night inside the five three times and nothing but a field goal. With Kirkwood, Thompson, and DeLoatch something can be devised that will work. The sad part is that there is talent on this team and that cannot be used as an excuse any longer. Finally, it’s clear that PJ is having a sophomore slump. Maybe Connor Reilly should be given a chance. I no longer think this team will get the two wins it needs for a bowl.

    • Each win going forward (Possibly Tulane or Memphis depending if our offense rebounds) moves the notch of us renewing the Linc deal. What I’m wondering on this bothersome, Cowboy winning Sunday night is when will we actually hear what the Board of Trustees has decided to do, or when they will decide to announce it. End of the season? Too late now for us to build our own field in time. Franklin field petrifies me as an option and will surely mark the nail in the coffin of Temple Football.

      I believe this is why we all congregate here on this blog each week. Why we sit next to each other at the games and know the regulars who sit by us. Why Rhule’s costly scheming and time out use is so infuriating.

      Fact is Houston was a winnable game. We need to keep winning to grow our program. I truly believe we have the resources to be a top team in the nation. I remember a decade ago when we barely had attendance and any concession beyond a hot chocolate was a joke. Now we have improvements in the stadium on a weekly basis. Attendance = revenue = more kitty the school will chip in. Best way to get attendance is to win.

      They used to tout that 1 in 8 in the Philadelphia area is a Temple grad. Heck, I’d take 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 shoeing up at games. Winning each week and not being content with beating the “expected” teams is what we need to focus on. Why? Because we can beat them with the right plan. Love/hate Rhule all anyone wants it starts in his office.

      • brilliantly said, ben. the “la-dee-da” no sense of urgency attitude from the Rhule supporters indicates a basic lack of understanding of the fragile nature the BOT approaches sports in general and football in particular. the “let’s-give-this-guy-five-years” attitude doesn’t take in this simple fact: WE DON’T HAVE FIVE YEARS! Heck, we might not have five games. As far as the two unis are concerned, winning this UCF game is 20x more important to Temple than it is to UCF. Two backs, give the rock to Thomas behind Harper and Thompson and then give P.J. a chance to be successful. Simple formula.

  2. You can argue “process” and two-back offenses, etc. etc. all you want. What I saw last night was a game that could have been won except for too many unnecessary mistakes. Hate to say it but most of the costly mistakes/turnovers are on PJs shoulders. He tries too hard to make things happen. Example: inside the 5 and, instead of protecting the ball, he stretches out, just misses the goal line and fumbles into the end zone for a touchback. That missed TD to tie the game was the turning point of the game. Is he really “forced” to make those passes into tight situations? Throw it out of bounds! I see that when he needs it, he has no touch to get it over defenders. No, he whips it straight into the other teams hands. PJ sure has athletic ability and a heck of an arm, but he often lacks the ability to play smart and guard against turnovers. I want to see him succeed, to do well, play consistent, effective ball. Temple had plenty of big plays last night, but turnovers killed their chances. Thomas is proving to be a heck of a tailback – quick, sharp cuts. C’mon PJ, clean up your act and capitalize on your obvious attributes and your team will do well.

    • Bad schemes will get your quarterback killed out there.

    • I have to agree, at least about this week’s game. I’ve been watching PJ for a while and he really does have a good arm. But he seems to really lack the understanding of when a laser pass is neccesary and when it needs a little touch to at least put it out of the defender’s reach. Right now a lot of defenders just have to be generally between PJ and the receiver to get the pass. And since seeing him throw the interception against Delaware state, it seems to me that he really does try to make a bad pass happen before he throws it away. That being said, I think the offensive schemes could use just a little work in terms of creativity. Here’s to hoping this is just that one truly bad game for the sophomore quarterback.

  3. He is a Block Head, pure and simple.

    Has talent on the roster but doesn’t know how to use it.

    5-7 record this year.

    Fire him or suffer mediocrity to downright putrid records.

    • I tend to agree. At a school like Temple, you need to be able to BOTH recruit and coach on game day. When Temple was good in football, it had a great recruiter who was a good coach (Bruce Arians) and a great coach who was a good recruiter (Wayne Hardin). Rhule is a great recruiter who has proven to be a poor gameday coach. Don’t need any more evidence to come to that conclusion.

  4. we are looking 4-8, or at best 5-7, right in the face. the Temple Football program is not there, and worse yet may never get there. starting at the top, from the Uni Pres, AD, and all the way down to us, the fans, we are clearly not ready for big time college football. shared blame and responsibility.

    Really tired of “this is a process” argument.

    My new boss is a “process” guy who does not know crap about the business. his philosophy is if you get the process right the results will follow. my answer is bullshit. first figure out how to win and make money and then document the “process” you used to make money. same here at Temple Football..,

    hire a coach who knows how to win and everything else will follow. Process guys can’t guarantee success, and you’ll go broke implementing and executing the perfect process. additionally, if “process” was in fact the magic bullet everyone would be millionaires or top 20 football teams. America is all about demonstrated achievement and results, and creating the environment for geniuses at their professions to excel. Sadly at Temple we don’t have any geniuses nor have we created a conducive environment for success in big time college football.

    (read a recent article in which Snow admitted “sometimes the process doesn’t work”)

    • Without process you have chaos. Perhaps you should listen to your new boss. There might be a reason he is the boss and you work for him. Did you think Temple was going to win all 12 games? Unreal is all I can say about many of the posters on this board.

    • Excellent, spot on analysis.

      I too have a “process jackass” as a boss.

  5. Oh please stop, the QB turned the ball over 4 times. He was careless with the ball and personally contributed to 14 points. He gave them 7 and took 7 off the board for us. Not to many teams win games when the QB.play is pathetic. Walker had a really bad game and it led to an L. He needs to clean it up for next week.

    • I will blame him for only 1 of the turnovers–the fumble at the goal line. The others NOBODY WAS OPEN because the down and distance situations were absolutely brutal (all 3d and 10s) because this guy is as pass-happy as Daz was run-happy. Need a, err, happy medium.

      • You know why down and distance was bad? A blindd man could see it. The offensive line is bad and has been all year. They get no push and the team can’t run and that guy 71 (lofton), he got whipped all night and when he wasn’t getting whipped, he was getting a penalty. As for pj, he gets kudos when he makes a good play he takes the heat when he forces throws. He personally gave them 7 and took 7 off of us and had a bad game. The most important role of a qb is what? Take care of the ball and he did not on Friday. Rhule and Satterfield didn’t commit the turnovers, pj did. Now with that being said, I think pj will continue to grow and we still have 6 to go and I still think this team is capable of a few more wins. I did not expect this team to be 6-0, did you?

      • Don’t know what game you were watching, but two of PJ’s INTs came on 1st down. In nobody was open, throw is away. You can’t force throws in those situations.

      • Are you just making stuff up now?
        1.Three of Walker’s four turnovers came on first down. 2. For the season they have exactly 198 passing attempts and 198 rushing attempts. How is that “pass-happy?”

  6. And to Mike’s comment about other schools are getting it done UTSA and Western Kentucky are a combined 4-7 so far this year. It’ll take 4-2. The point is stop cherry picking stats and anything can happen in one game.

    • We’re 4-2 only because TU played some of the worst teams in D-1 and D-1a. Just watched Tulsa blow a 21 point lead at home and Tulane give Central Fla. a tough game. Tu may not get another win. Can’t win with the “process” now in place especially on offense because there doesn’t seem to be any cohesive strategy. Relying on big plays as a strategy is ridiculous.
      Western Kentucky and UTSA would clean TU’s clock because they’re better coached. Wk also beat Navy rather handily and TU lost tom them Why? Because Western Kentucky’s coaching staff did a better job preparing the team.

      • John but Temple played some of the worst teams last year (Idaho/Fordham) and lost. part of being a good program is beating the teams that u r supposed to beat.

  7. Bad game from Walker, probably the worst he’s had so far and I do think he will have more good ones than bad the rest of the season. Also think this team will still pick up 2 wins but they do need to put in a more consistent offensive scheme to take better advantage if Thomas and Kirkwood and utilize Thompson more to see if we can get a TE mor involved in the offense. As far as a process maybe do overall in organizing the program, recruiting, etc. but there sure as hell none when it comes to the offensive game plan. At best it looks like Spread Lite or The Spread Offense for Dummies, very little option read run game, most passes either like 5 yards or 30 yards with not much in between, especially in the middle of the field. And I know there are several here who take the “the coach isn’t on the field attitude” but I got to believe that the coaches can do something to correct the horrid long snapping that has plagued this team all year. Bottom line for me from a coaching perspective with a season and a half if the Matt Rhule regime is we are going to end up with Ron Dickerson II or Al Golden II. Both seemed to be good recruiters, in Dickerson’s case couldn’t even win games the team should have had a chance versus AG who by his 3rd season was beating the inferior teams on the schedule but could never get over the against the top MAC teams. I kind of see Rhule ending up there best case, good recruiter, good manager of the program and a mediocre game day coach who beats the opponents with lessor talent and the occasional evenly matched opponent but not ever moving into the top echelon of the AAC. As I’ve said before I can live with that as this isn’t the MAC and a team that can win 6 to 8 games a year consistently will get into a bowl game more often than not in the AAC.
    John, totally agree with your point about the offense and big plays. Tulsa was a great example if that, especially those 2 long, cross field passes to Gilmore

    • Gilmore wasn’t the primary receiver on those plays so PJ deserves credit there. Imagine how bad his stats would have looked last night had Thomas not turned two 4 yard screen plays into 140 plus yards. I watch at least ten college games a weekend (espn 3) and see innovative play making by average QBs, Our passing scheme can’t be that complicated because it always seems that everyone is covered before PJ scrambles and there is no play action, something I see every team use extensively. Just don’t understand why there isn’t more complexity to the offense.

      • I don’t even think Gilmore was the second receiver on the one catch. UCONN game was similar in one of the long TD passes was more on Walker than the offensive design. At times this team kind of reminds me a little if the offense on the Buddy Ryan Eagles, where the story goes he told Cunningham to just get 4 or 5 big plays a game. When it works great, especially the way the defense is playing. When it doesn’t or your key player, in this case Walker has a dreadful game you are basically screwed with no fall back. I know Rhule wanted Rolovich as his OC originally, I wonder if he needs to really re-evaluate that position on the staff in the off season.

    • No shot at 8 wins in any season with this guy.

      You are dreaming.

  8. Why aren’t there any post game quotes from the players or coaches on temples website? Was there not a post game press conference?

  9. UTSA is 2-5 and W. Kentucky is 2-4. Temple is 4-2. I prefer Temple

  10. This place is getting ridiculous. When they win a couple games, we get articles about winning the conference and being the “Boise State of the east.” After one loss, the sky is falling and Matt Rhule is “dumb as shit.” I’d also like to point out UTSA is 2-5 with losses to Florida Atlantic and New Mexico.

  11. Neither Mike nor I said they’d win the conference and have stood fast saying they need offensive consistency. UTSA almost beat Arizona and have suffered a lot of injuries.

    • That comment wasn’t directed at you, but go back and look at what Mike wrote after the Vandy game: “AAC Champs: Why not the Owls” and just a couple weeks ago “Finally, the Boise State of the East.”

      And as far as UTSA almost beating Arizona- remember last year Temple almost beat a UCF team that finished in the top ten in the country. That doesn’t mean they were a good team.

      • I was hoping they’d wise up and use the two-back attack. They’d rather follow their “process” to 6-6 than go two-back and risk going 8-4. This team has plenty of talent. The misuse of this talent is appalling.

  12. Did anyone see UCF and Tulane? no way Temple beats either of those two teams, 4-8 is our destiny. why? simply because the remaining teams on our schedule are better

    • If we can’t bet Tulane, then this team has made no improvement over last and all those folks talking about 2015 being this big “break out” year, well they need to get back to Colorado and replenish their stash. I’m sorry aside from Walker’s horrid game I really don’t think there was this huge talent disparity with Houston that the Rhule Apologists would like you to believe. And before you get started that comment is directed at the “no criticism” of the coach is valid rather than towards the coach

    • Actually looking at today’s game I think Temple is more than capable of beating both of those teams

  13. I’ll join the chorus on the lack of offensive clarity. “Trust us” doesn’t win games. Strategy and execution do.

    That being said you cannot overlook how Snow adjusted our defense after the first quarter. If they were actually given a break (offense was way too quick off the field) they might have held out better in the third.

    Rhule can get credit for recruiting. He can get credit for being a “players coach”. But his inept handling of game day and planning is beyond my comprehension at the moment. We should have won. We should have beat Houston.

    P.s. Someone tell PJ not to extend his arm on the one yard line. We can run for the extra yard if need be.

  14. Have a Coker and a smile with losses in 5 of 6. Let’s go easy on the scheme talk, until we all feed our families wearing a whistle. Even Daniel Snyder doesn’t annoy me as much as”Tight End Option Pass” and “kick-out blocks” talk.

    • that’s because you don’t know squat. following coach Hardin for 13 years gave me a PHD in football knowledge. Huge difference between that guy and this guy. In fact, opposite ends of the coaching spectrum.

    • Complete choke and absolute failure to implement a balanced attack.

      He sucks

      Stick your whistle up your ass.

  15. well we knew this was coming from this site. even when we were 4-1 this site didn’t give Rhule any credit. now after yes i agree bad performance the old story lines pop back up.
    Rhule is the worst coach that ever lived
    They need a 2 back set
    Get the ball to Herbin more
    They wasted Coyer senior season
    Snow is the second worst coach that ever lived
    Etc,etc, etc!

    Why are we so emotional on this site?

    Listen yes it was a bad game. PJ looked bad. them ints are on him but of course if u listen to Mike they r all Rhule fault.

    all around bad game. but u know what last year we lost to teams like Idaho&Fordham. this year we are beating those teams so i see improvement.

    PJ is just a sophomore who has only started about 12 games so he will improve. Matter of fact this team only has about 8 seniors so they will improve.

    Mike its amazing when they win u give Rhule/Snow no credit but when they lose he’s an idiot and should be fired asap.

    This team is full of freshman, sophomores, and juniors. Rhule is recruiting good classes.

    Im upset about last nite but I’m happy with the progress this team has shown. Remember we were one of the worst teams in college football last year.

    now we are 4-2!

    Relax gentleman and respect the process. The future is bright….unless if u read this site!

    • what future? friday night or 10 years down the road? if it’s 10 years down the road, there is no future.

    • he’s not an idiot BECAUSE he loses. he’s an idiot for doing very stupid things like calling a time out with 6 seconds left in the first quarter with 14 seconds left on the play clock. there is no reason for that .. .none. .. plus, he’s got a running back now. let’s give him another blocker in the backfield and create shorter down and distance situations for this talented quarterback. he’s an idiot for not seeing that.

    • Thanks JD for bringing some logic to the conversation. Unfortunately, too many posters on this board never laced up a shoe or strapped on a hat and never carried a whistle yet they are schematic x and o guys. Maybe they think we should have hired Pete Lembo or Bob Disco cause they have taken the college football game by storm. This team lacks the big uglies upfront and that’s why the offense struggles.

      • So now in the last two days he’s called Rhule an “idiot” twice as well as “dumb as shit.” Brilliant commentary.

        We’re not exactly talking about a school with a long history of success here. This team has had 3 winning seasons in the past 20+ years. I’m having a hard time understanding this level of negativity when we’re sitting at 4 and 2.

      • Bob Disco? You mean, Diaco. Hated him. I would rather Temple have hired a proven guy who won as a head coach and not rolled the dice on an assistant, but Matt Rhule is our coach now and we can only hope he decides to become the boss of Satterfield and run the same offense he ran under Golden. That”s really Temple’s only hope. They aren’t going to fire anybody.

    • Uh, we beat UConn, Tulsa, a train wreck (Vandy), and a FCS DOORMAT.

      Do you like mediocrity? Do you like losing seasons 3 years in a row.

      Are you a loser? Or do you just like to think about life that way?

  16. JD, do you seriously believe this team will beat UCF? OMG, bet you a beer and pretzel? what happens when you make process more important than product? 4-8

    • Plan plus process equals product.and you can’t have a product without a plan and a process. At least not a good product.

    • No, rather I think they can beat both of those teams. Whole different story whether they will. I understand “we have a process in place”, young team and all that but the AAC isn’t that strong this year and Temple has an opportunity this year that they don’t seem willing to take advantage of

  17. How can anyone looking objectively at the offense say that the coaches are doing a good job. Very few people were ready to announce that Ruhle was competent just because they beat Vandy. In fact, a good team would have beaten them worse. Three or four times the O was unable to score from inside the ten. And maybe people are a little sensitive because other than for a couple of years in TU’s football history have they had competent coaching. Another reason for the hysteria, for lack of a better word, is that if the administration doesn’t see significant progress, it could pull the plug given that it has to make a major decision costing tens of millions of dollars about where the Owls will play after 2017. I’m now watching ND run the same offense we do and a large part of it is play action. No play action, passes to the middle of the field or to tight ends, or counter plays in our offense. The line splits are too tight and the read option is run too close to the line. Other than that things are hunky dory.

    • well said, john. I think a big part of the frustration is that Arians showed you can go 6-5 here against a top 10 schedule (twice) with a good scheme on offense and defense and Hardin was always one step ahead of the guy on the other side of the field despite huge talent differentials. our schedule is ranked No. 62. Navy is 3-4 and we should have beaten them. Houston is 4-3 and we should have beaten them. Our approach, particularly on offense, is puzzling. we look like we have no clue out there and it’s not just in those 2 games. it’s been that way for much of the season.

      • On top of everything else Mike, I had to watch Daz’s team today run a diversified offense with a kid with the same skills PJ has. Granted BC’s QB has more experience but not as good receivers as PJ has.. The only reason they lost was because two clear touchdowns were dropped both after play action. Unless TU’s offense develops some consistency .and can have at least one sustained drive a game, the odds against success are long.

    • The apologists think this is still 2006-2008.

      The program is running out of time.

      Win now or lose football at Temple.

      Get it!

      • that pretty much sums up the urgency of winning this year. losing=small crowd+; small crowds=franklin field=end of program. could you imagine what the crowd for tu-ecu would be at 7-0, 6-1 and not 4-3? I could. Navy and Houston were winnable games. Limping into ECU 4-3 after 4-1 is much more likely now.

    • Best reply yet John. For the “happy at 4-2” crowd you need to realize what’s actually on the line here. Timing is everyone and we have Captain Nero steering the helm.

  18. despite ucf struggling with tulane, I will now be shocked out of my mind if we beat ucf saturday. I hope to be shocked out of my mind but hope doesn’t get me to a bowl game.

    • Diversified offense, Murphy threw for 108 yrds 8 for 19 passing and put up 13 points. He had 55 rushing yards…What were you watching? Daz still playing the game with leather Helmets. Lol

      • never liked daz’s approach, either. al golden’s offense (ironically, under Matt Rhule) was a happy medium between all run and all pass–although with bp and matty and a blocking fullback in Wyatt Benson, more geared toward run. like to see us become more balanced.

      • They dropped two tds. What were you watching if you missed the two sure tds that were dropped, which if caught would have added almost 100 yards to their total. . Don’t think you have a clue especially since you seem so satisfied with mediocrity, which is all the offense has shown us. Offense is not hoping for the big play. It means having some kind of goal line offense so that you can get a td one out of three times you’re in side the ten, which the owls failed to do last night. It means being able to go on a time consuming drive when necessary, and it means having a cogent plan, which the Owls have failed to demonstrate. And Daz has opened up the offense. He would not have beaten USC with what he ran at TU. And why the love for Ruhle. he’s six and twelve and lost at least four games last year because of bad coaching. Beating four bad teams this season doesn’t make him a good coach especially since he’s lost twice this season to average teams.

    • Don’t get your hopes up

  19. A good head coach looks at the skills of his players and develops schemes to allow them to be successful. If the offensive line cannot run block effectively, develop a scheme to allow our runners to have success. If our passing game is failing because our receivers are always covered and the quarterback tries to make low percentage passes, develop a scheme that helps get people open. I don’t know what the answers are. Mike and John make a lot of sense to me, but I am no expert.

    By the end of last season, i thought Coach Rhule was improving as head coach. However, his failure to adopt to the talents and limitations of his players now raises doubts in my mind whether he has the talent to succeed. I hope he can right the ship. From what I have seen though, two more wins seem unlikely. I hope I am wrong.

    • I agree. His use of timeouts against Houston and especially Navy in the second half was inexplicable. He also, as you point out, seems not to be putting the best eleven on the field in positions to succeed. Last season, he wasted Coyer, who should have had ten touches a game and this season he’s wasting the the tight end. Thompson is huge. Have him go five-eight yards down the field and turn around. Either he catches the ball or is interfered with. For some reason, our passing scheme ignores the middle of the field. Just don’t get it.

  20. John, great question about the ” love” for Rhule that none of the apologists ever answer other than with “he” wants to be here” and “he’ll stick around”. Ok, Bobby Wallace stuck around and how did that work out. My feeling about him when he was hired was he was a guy who was familiar with the program, had worked with a good number of the players who were on the roster in 2013 and may be able to get things turned around faster than any other assistant coaches Temple may have hired, like Diaco.
    So far I’m seeing a coach who appears to be a good recruiter but is a poor game day coach who this season is primarily winning games with better talent. My concerns with Rhule is if he becomes a mediocre game day coach at best will he be able to recruit good enough talent on a consistent basis to firmly move Temple into the upper half of the AAC? That is the one big advantage Golden had in the MAC, a lot more .500 teams and under. I don’t think that is going to be the case in thus conference. I also don’t get how, as Mike coined MRAs think a 4-8 year this year is going to translate into this “break out” year in 2015. I mean 2 years of moving backwards will suddenly turn into beating PSU and ND at the Linc?

    • Unreal, all these football MBAs on this board. They complain when they win, they complain when they lose. The qb makes 4 dumb plays and its the coach who lost the game.You folks are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts. The guy has coached 18 games and has won 5 of the last 7. After a rough start sounds lke some progress to me. It must be nice sitting in a bar or your living room saying they should do this or that. NICE, only one problem, no Monday morning quarterback ever won a game. The internet has a lot of positives but one big negative is every nitwit with access is an expert with an opinion. Why don’t we take Matt Rhule out back and beat the snot out of him. You folks need to get some balance in your lives. The sun came up today and we play another game Saturday and I will be rooting for my team to win. I look forward to the obligatory Matt Rhule apologist comments that folks will ascribe to me.

  21. Yeah from a guy who throws up Bruce Arians as a great college coach. A 40 percent winning percentage. Two winning seasons out of six. That’s a 33 percent percentage. Facts are stubborn things Mike. Gotta move on because your overall negativity might be catchy.

    • did you see who Arians was playing against a top 10 schedule … twice … facts . and he was 6-5 twice … our schedule last year was ranked 119 and we were still 2-10. He did not have a $17 million practice facility. everyone he played against even then had one. facts … see ya … yes, facts are a stubborn thing.

      • Sounds like an Arians apologist to me. Facts Mike, they teach that in Jounalism 01. He ran such a clean program, they had to forfeit games for using an illegal player. Wasn’t successful no matter who the competition was. He even admits it. Let’s stop with the revisionist history.

    • Bruce Arians record at Temple:
      1983: 4-7
      1984: 6-5
      1985: 4-7
      1986: 6-5 (vacated due to having an ineligible player)
      1987: 3-8
      1988: 4-7

      • damn good record considering the lack of facilities and the fact he was the only Temple coach to beat ranked teams multiple times. beat west Virginia twice and beat Pitt 3 of 5 years, including Temple’s first win over Pitt in 39 years. Pitt was ranked No. 4 in the pre-season polls, No. 17 at the time of the Temple win. Wake me up when Matt Rhule gives Temple its first non-loss against unranked Penn State in 64 years. I won’t hold my breath. Temple also gave RANKED Georgia, Penn State, Alabama, BYU (coming off a national championship season) good games under Arians. Nobody better seriously be comparing Rhule with Arians. Dickerson with Rhule? Fair comparison.

      • Also, what is your source for claiming their schedule ranked 119th last year? That seems impossible to believe considering they played two 12-1 teams (Louisville and UCF) as well as Notre Dame, Houston, Cincinnati, and Rutgers teams that all went to bowl games if I remember correctly

      • STILL, the fact remains, Arians DID NOT beat ranked team multiple times! He only beat ONE ranked team, Pitt in 1987. Coming close against other nationally ranked teams doesn’t count Mike unles you’re going to be fair and also give Rhule credit for nearly beating #15 CFU last year.

      • what ranked team has rhule beaten?

      • Took Arians what, 5 seasons to do it? Rhule has had 18 games.

  22. I’m no expert, but it seems that if Temple can just limit their mistakes – turnovers and penalties (and, yes, ill-timed time outs), they might have a chance at a couple more wins. I don’t know if they had done that Friday night whether they would have won, but it would have been a much closer game. PJ officially now has a whole seasons worth of games under his belt, so maybe if he can settle down and help limit those mistakes the Owls can win some more. Every team makes some mistakes during games but Friday night was a bit ridiculous. I watched the UCF game and think that Temple has a chance to beat them, but not if they hand them the ball repeatedly. Temple had enough good D and big plays to do much better but the errors killed their momentum and chances.

    • THIS! The TO margin was just crazy, and I don’t see that happening again this season. PJ & co should have realized going into the game that HOU was on some crazy streak of games in a row forcing a turnover! (forget the # of games in a row, but it’s impressive.) That was a very opportunistic defense Temple faced on Fri night.

  23. This was taken from an article on AACfootballfever. i think this will shield a little light on this topic. Mike this is what i mean when i say the future is bright!

    Owls are wise.

    To possess wisdom, you usually have to be old. Not all owls are old. Take, for instance, the Temple Owls‘ players. They’re really, really young.

    Just how young are they? The Owls are the youngest team in the AAC and one of the youngest in the nation.

    Consider this: Temple’s starting offense has a grand total of one senior— wide out Jalen Fitzpatrick. The defense? Zero. None. No seniors on the best defense in the conference and one of the most efficient in the nation.

    The punter? Freshman. Kicker? Freshman.

    Every week, Temple players vote on who they believe to be the 10 toughest players on the team. Those 10 players get to wear a single digit jersey number for the impending game. So far, of the seven players given a single digit for every game this season, one is a freshman (Sean Chandler) and two are sophomores (Stephaun Marshall and Avery Williams).

    Even Matt Rhule was the eighth youngest head coach in the FBS when he was hired last year.

    This is something to be excited about, for sure. Temple is sitting at 4-1 and playing some incredible football this season. And because of its youth, we can assume it will be even better in the future. It’s inevitable, right?

    But being young also means Temple may be prone to struggles this season too. I’m not saying it will struggle, because every time I say something bad about this team I’m wrong. Instead, I’m saying there may be a chance that it could possibly struggle, like, if, say it had a stretch of six games that included road trips to Houston, UCF and Penn State; and then home games against ECU and Memphis. And all of this would have to come without a bye week in between. Oh, it does have all of those games on its schedule? And they’re starting right now? Oh.

    • when the scheme is bad, the struggles are worse. there is plenty of talent on this team. the kids are not being put in the right position to win. I don’t trust the process. If they come out in a 2-back set and fall flat on their face against UCF, I will be the first to admit I’m wrong. I think it would be a spectacular success, get P.J. a lot of short down-and-distance situations, create open windows to throw into and make this Temple offense incredibly tough to stop and take pressure off the defense. It is increasingly apparent, though, this coaching staff would rather go 4-8 and stick to “the process” than try something different. You have a proven … proven … great blocking fullback who can run a little bit (Kenny Harper) sitting on the bench and now you have a dynamic blocking tight end (Colin Thompson) and an exciting young tailback (Jahad Thomas). Use this talent by attacking the perimeter with those blocks to create short down-and-distance situations for a QB who also has talent WHEN HE HAS TIME TO THROW. Constantly putting him at 3d and 10 and asking him to throw is a recipe for disaster.

  24. If u read some of the comments on here u would think that Temple was 2-4 instead of 4-2. Temple beats Vandy on the road 37-7 and someone on here says a good team would have beat them by more. what 97-7. this is the delusional thinking on here that drives me crazy. we were 2-10 last year fellas. now we beat an SEC team on the road but a good team would have beat them by more. we lost to UConn last year but we blow them out in there stadium but somehow that doesn’t count this year. we lose to Idaho/Fordham last year and this year we blow out their equivalent Del St. 59-0 but that doesn’t mean anything. we were in the MAC 3 years ago but now we are supposed to be some juggernaut in a better conference with a young team?

    U noticed u never heard from me last year because the criticism was justified. however last year as frustrating as it was I stated that we have to give the regime time to implement there system and recruits their players.

    i’m not a Rhule apologists or a Rhule hater. i have not made a decision on Rhule one way or the other. i believe any coach should have 3/4 years to show what they can do.

    Rhule seems to have the program going in the right direction. we are getting some 4 star recruits. (Aaron Ruff, Kareem Ali) Transfers want to come to Temple (Kirkwood, Thompson). We found a QB (although Walker had a bad game). We have already doubled our win total from last year. The players believe in the regime and the team seems like a family. The team is filled with young players with talent.

    The thing is Mike is that u have backed yourself in a corner. U have already played your hand about your hatred of Rhule. now if he is successful there’s nothing u can say to take it back. because myself and other posters would most definitely remind u every Temple win of your disdain for Rhule.

    • I don’t hate the man. In fact, I like the guy very much. I hate his schemes. They don’t work, particularly on offense. He’s got to move off of them to be successful. What has Satterfield ever won before he got here? Answer: friendship with Rhule. As CEO, Rhule is going to have to get more hands-on with this offense and reshape it in the image what it was when he was OC at Temple. … and that image was BP behind Wyatt Benson with successful throws off play-action. Thomas behind Kenny Harper would make those throws (with a better quarterback) more successful.

      • It’s not about hate but rather a lack of coaching ability. I think Ruhle is a breath of fresh air as far as public relations go and as a person. However, he should not have hired a friends as offensive coordinator because he too did not have much experience. I would have hired someone who had past head coaching experience like Ron Vanderlinden who could have mentored Ruhle and acted when Ruhle went off the tracks. Even Addazio had game plans that seem more thought out. Take the Rutgers game at the Linc. The team twice went methodically down the field and would have had a larger lead had Coyer not fumbled. That was a game plan. I see nothing discernible as far as the offense goes and that has to change. If the team doesn’t get to six wins, it won’t be the kids’ fault.

    • To the other JD on the board, the points you put out there about the wins versus Vanderbilt, Delaware St and UConn, do show that up to this point in the season the team is showing improvement over last year. Beating a team you weren’t “supposed” to in Vanderbilt (I don’t care that they have turned out to be a bad team) and teams you should beat in the other 2. My concern is did the offense and Walker just have a bad game, I thought the D played well enough to win or was Friday’s game a drop in the offense that will continue to get worse. Outside of big plays, this offense really hasn’t put together many sustained drives, hasn’t looked smooth or have any kind of rhythm and really isn’t running a spread attack very well. Defense and special teams aren’t going to score every game. At the beginning of the season I looked at 3 things that for me would show real improvement over 2013 from an overall record perspective:
      1. Win the games you are “supposed” to, bottom of the conference and any FCS team. So far the team has done that to a point outside if squandering the opportunity against Navy
      2. Win a game you’re not supposed to, as I’ve said I still put Vandy in that category
      3. And most importantly, win a game against one if the better conference teams, turn one of last years close losses into a close win

      My feeling is the worst this team should finish right now is 6-6 with wins over Tulane and Memphis. I’m sorry if you are going to tell me that Memphis is now 22 points better than Temple tell me again how we are moving in the right direction. Finishing with 4 or 5 wins this year only shows me that Rhule was able to get the team where it should have been last year

      • you were the first JD. seems like we have a couple of guys making up screen names to mirror past posters like you or real people like Dave Gerson.

  25. There’s a thing in sports called “hurting the team” and I think PJ did that Friday night. Leads me to reason that maybe some use of the 2-QB system might be useful at this point. I mean, are PJs backups so bad that they can’t be used intermittently. Maybe some bench time would benefit PJ at this point to give him the opportunity to observe from the sidelines some. He obviously has the most talent but if the other guys didn’t make turnovers, that would benefit the team more. Just a thought.
    And here’s another thought concerning the apparent worry over whether Temple would drop football if there is little or not enough improvement. It’s one thing to let people fail in the hopes they will improve from it. But if things are so urgent, shouldn’t the higher ups be more involved with that improvement assuming they want a successful football program? Meaning that they (the AD, President and even the BOT, should take steps necessary for that improvement. If things are THAT urgent…..they should something about it, not just sit on their hands waiting for a blessing from above like they did with Bobby Wallace which was possibly the single biggest disaster in Temple football history (which is really saying something). So, in the overall situation, don’t just blame the coach. There are others just as responsible, maybe even more so.

  26. I have had the pleasure of talking to every Temple coach from Hardin on down many times and I can say without hesitation that Matt Rhule is the nicest guy of them all and we’ve had a lot of nice guys as Temple coach. As far as “revisionist history” no less an authority than Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz said that Temple firing Bruce Arians was the worst mistake the school has ever made. Arians later became NFL coach of the year. Yeah, bad coach.

  27. is 71 comments a record for this blog? we are 4-2, and could go 4-8 if we don’t’ make drastic improvements. limiting mistakes and penalties is all about coaching, doesn’t matter if a kid is a senior or a freshman.., first rule of coaching is teaching the game and the rules of the game.., double digit penalties has nothing to do with talent or experience, it is about playing within the rules of the game.

    punt and kick-off returns teams are a joke. does anyone know the name of the Special Teams coach? something strange is happening, the offense made significant improvement during the last six games of last season. where did all the momentum go? the inability of this team to convert on third down is directly correlated to the lack of productivity on first down.

    the offense must change the strategy, positive yardage on first down should be an imperative. 2nd and 10 leads to often to 3rd and 10.

  28. Mike I realize you (and john belli) feel that PJs problems rest solely on a lousy offensive system. But my comment about using 2 QBs “for awhile” and “at this point” doesn’t mean I meant a permanent change. I wonder if PJ is 1) maybe getting a bit panicky or becoming unglued mentally for making what seems like poor judgement mistakes and/or 2) maybe he’s somewhat hard headed himself and trying to make things happen (be a hero) instead of protecting the ball. I mean, c’mon, he was pretty bad in this regard Friday. So, it seems that a little sideline time might help him settle down and instill in him the importance of not taking chances – just for a game or two. That’s all I meant with the 2 QB thing. Even last year when things were going well for him he threw some interceptions and didn’t win those close games and that trend seems to be continuing. Again, just some observations and thoughts. If you still think trying some substituting to help him settle down is a bad thing, so be it.

  29. Anyone who did not think we would pull a clunker or two out of our hats before this season was over is dreaming. We are at year 2 of a new coach. The talent, coaching etc. is better this year than last. Six wins is very reachable, Based on what I have seen so far there is no reason we wont beat Memphis (home) and Tulane. Anything more than 6 wins is gravy in year 2 . You may not love everything about Rhule but he wants to be here and the kids love him and it appears he can recruit That is good enough for now, as we progress into years 3 – 5 the gameday coaching will have to improve. I do agree that he seems to get his timeout management from Andy Reid, it killed any real chance of us coming back in the Navy game.

    Everyone needs to understand this is going to take a while. There are not enough Temple alumni alive right now who give a hoot (no pun intended) no matter how good the program becomes. This is slowly changing as the quality of individual that attends temple has significantly upgraded since my time (late 1980’s) but it will take a combination of continued success on the field and in the classroom and in the community before we see the kind of improvement in stands we would all like to see.

    I guess very specifically, if we had won this game and or if we beat CF next week, anyone who expects an extra 5,000 to 10,000 temple fans in the stands when ECU shows up is dreaming right now. Would there be some incremental increase, yes, mainly in the student section but until these new brand of students continue to filter out into the world and become proud alumni, something the 80’s and 90s sorely lacked no amount of winning is going to increase attendance significantly.

    The team and the student/alumni base are making slow and steady improvement. Questioning the coaches when they make obvious mistakes is part of the game and in fact a great sign that people are actually starting to care. When you stink and all you hear is crickets, well that is kind of how Temple got into the football mess of the 90’s and early 2000’s. But we are making progress, A new stadium would certainly be a headline grabbing feature and provide some positive short term attention but is it the right thing long term. I tend to think that if they can find a spot for it and include the lots and parking for the full college experience then the answer is yes. But it needs to be done right like the Liacourous Center and it needs to be based on the long term improvement in the quality of the people that go to this school in terms of their academic performance and desire to be part of the college experience. Inner City Universities are hot and this is a perfect time for TU to take advantage.

    Rhule is a young and inexperienced coach but as I mentioned above he seems to be a good recruiter, the kids really seem to like playing for him and MOST IMPORTANT HE REALLY WANTS TO BE HERE……. There are a lot of coaches that probably could have been hired with better pedigree’s, it is almost guaranteed that none of them would have stayed more than the businesslike 5 years we got from Golden and the 2 years we got from Daz who I am surprised lasted that long since they made a bowl his first year. Criticize and 2nd guess Rhule all you want, that is what people do when they care and its good to have more people care about the program but please look at the positives before deciding that there was significant number of coaches with better pedigree that wanted to coach here for the long term.

    • How does Louisiana Lafayette .. a school with far less resources than Temple … hire a guy who wins 9 games (and 3 bowl games) in his first three years? Would I rather have a 2-10 coach who “wants to be here” or a 10-2 coach who can’t wait to get out of here. Give me the 10-2 coaches any day of the week.

      • Mike,

        at some point you need stability, The program needs a coach that is committed to Temple for a longer period of time than 5 years max. Maybe Rhule is the long term answer and maybe he is not, what is not debatable is that they are better than they were last year and he is doing a good job recruiting. Based on his game day coaching we would have run Golden out of town too. Rhule is only in his 2nd year as a D1 head coach, I know that you have been a fan forever and are understandably impatient but there really is no long term alternative to getting a coach that is going to stick with the program and the school if you really want to be relevant every year. The program is not going to end if Rhule ultimately is not the guy to get it done. Too much time and money have been spent to make football the centerpiece of the athletic marketing efforts for the school. Having said that, I agree, it would be nice to have a top 25 team more than every 35 years and I feel your impatience to see temple reach that level

        Be honest though, if you were told before the first game that after six games, temple would be in a very good spot to win 6 or 7 games this year you would be pretty happy. Memphis, Cincinati and Tulane are all very winnable games, we win two and get to six wins, we go to a minor bowl and hopefully get our 7th, that would be a great improvement.

      • Where did Louisiana-Lafayette hire their coach from? Uh, North Alabama. Seems to me you were REALLY happy with the last guy we hired from there.

  30. John, are you serious that BC has a diversified offense? So 9th ranked in rushing and 123rd ranked in passing is diversified??? It must be the 145 pass attempts vs. 355 rush attempts that is diversified. Much like your Texas State argument, you are just uttering garbage that isn’t even close to reality.

    Temple is at 198 passing attempts to 198 rushing attempts (includes 44 PJ rushes). While I think Rhule MUST run more, Temple has be much more “diversified” than BC.

    • Do you watch any of the games or do you go just by stats. The fact is that that BC’s offense compared to how DAZ ran TU’s offense, is diversified. Many of those rushes were rushes by the QB after he found no one open. Stats are a lousy way to judge something. And I stand by my comment about texas State v Navy. They fumbled or had penalties near the goal line, which prevented them from scoring at least three times.

      • Your comment on Texas St. wasn’t JUST vs. Navy, it was about the offense as a whole. Numbers never lie my friend, and they constantly prove you wrong. Stats and analytic analysis are actually one of the best ways to judge something. While they aren’t everything, they certainly are not a “lousy” way to judge something. Just ask virtually any professional GM.

  31. I’m really beginning to wonder whether Walkers success was more Robbie Andersen than anything else. Once Andersen emerged Walker really didn’t spread the ball around that much and maybe what we’re seeing this year is closer to “reality” than last by that I mean a young QB learning and maturing. This season a lot of his big plays were more on athletic ability alone, which he may be “falling” back on without really thinking about it. I do agree though with the criticisms raised about the offensive play calling. At each home game this season there have been big stretches where the offense has been predictable, out of sync and just outright boring. I know people here who disagree with Mike’s call for a 2 back set keeping pointing out that Temple runs a spread offense, but that’s part of the problem it doesn’t seem we run much of the spread except for 3 and 4 wr sets. Hardly ever seem to run out of the read option, just started running a TE out of an H-back set.

  32. I’m still waiting for a source for the baseless claim that our schedule ranked 119th in the country last year. Again we played six bowl teams including three that finished the season in the top 25.

  33. A good process includes a feedback loop. If you get your butt kicked and a lot of negative criticism and suggestions for improvement, that should a big part of “the process.” If the coach/players make the same mistakes against UCF, the process may be flawed.

    • I see your point Dave and while this is a discussion of perspective one of the elements I have been critical of in the Rhule era is the lack of in game adjustments on the offensive side of the ball. I’ll give Snow credit for mixing up our defense after the first quarter, but rarely has Rhule made significant alterations in-game. Stats, video, film, press conferences I don’t care what form or shape it comes in. Fact remains that to be a solid, effective game time coach you HAVE to be able to make adjustments. Navy game being a prime example. When the other fans around me are calling our plays before they begin you can bet any day of the week the other team knows what play is coming. And they did that day.

      I’d argue we are not making enough week to week changes, but our inability to make in game changes I would hope is not following “the process”. At minimum id like to know what his process is in that regard.

  34. Ben, you have a very reasonable approach to what has become a fan argument. Reminds me of John Chaneys approach – articles, evaluations and even he always stated that the competition always knew what was coming because Chaney had one and only one approach to playing the games. Thing is, he had his players so well prepared that his teams could get away with that approach and usually win. Maybe that’s the idea Rhule has in mind – keep doing it a certain way until the players are schooled enough to make it work? I don’t know but they obviously aren’t there yet. Chaney wouldn’t have put up with a player making the uncalled for and repeated mistakes PJ has gotten into the habit of doing. That kid would be on the bench observing and being forced to settle down. And thank you John Belli for acknowledging my thoughts on substituting at QB to give PJ “some perspective.”

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