Same S*it, Different Saturday

Phil Snow

Phil Snow

If anyone spent some time listening to the AAC coaches conference call on Monday, it’s pretty safe to sum up the Temple game plan against East Carolina in four simple words:

Same S*it, Different Saturday.

That’s because Temple head coach Matt Rhule included in his summary this sentence: “I think we always have to take a step back, catch our breath (and) not listen to anyone on the outside tell us what’s wrong.”
Anyone on the outside …. Temple football should have such problems.

Looks like Kenny Harper will be spending more time  on the sidelines watching scenes like this than being P.J.'s protection as a blocking fullback.

Looks like Kenny Harper will be spending more time on the sidelines watching scenes like this than being P.J.’s protection as a blocking fullback.

Thanks largely to two-straight deflating losses coming off a 2-10 season, there is no “outside” when it comes to Temple football. Despite having three 24-hour sports talk stations, there has not been a single call taken on the air to talk about Temple football this season and probably few ever. Meanwhile, the town dissects every play in every Eagles’ game like it’s a frog in biology class.

The newspapers and internet are not any better. There is no critical coverage of Temple football in the Philadelphia Daily News or Philadelphia Inquirer, no columnist suggesting opinions on why the team was blown out in two-straight games. The coverage is pretty much straight forward game stories and an occasional feature.

The internet sites who follow Temple football, Owlscoop and Owlsdaily, range from being lapdogs for Rhule (Owlscoop) or right down the middle (Owlsdaily). The message boards on both sites seem to clamor for four more years of “patience” even if those four years are all losing ones.

“I think we always have to take
a step back, catch our breath
(and) not listen to anyone on
the outside tell us what’s wrong.”
_ Matt Rhule

Temple football has lapsed into irrelevance in its own city, quickly to be followed by apathy unless something big happens soon like a win over ECU or Penn State—with the emphasis on soon.
“Not to listen to anyone on the outside,” Rhule said.

What outside? There is no “outside” unless he’s talking about this site. If he is, we can assume Temple will be doing the same things this weekend that got it blown out in the last two.
So, as a favor to the fans who cannot bear to watch this train wreck anymore and are skipping the ECU game, we will give you a few of the offensive highlights now:

• Temple will give a half-hearted attempt to establish the run game with Jahad Thomas in the pistol behind P.J. Walker. When he gains one and two yards on his first two carries, it will abandon the run game and blame the blockers. “We have to do a better job blocking,” Rhule will say. “I will talk to them on Monday about it.” Nobody will remind Rhule he said the same thing after the prior two games.

• Temple will throw no less than five (5) two-yard passes on third-and-eight to a slow possession receiver, hoping he can break five tackles before getting to the sticks. None of them will work.

• Temple will not attempt a single toss sweep with Jahad Thomas running behind dynamic blockers in fullback Kenny Harper and tight end Colin Thompson. “I suggested to Marcus that was something we tried and worked to the tune of 268 yards and two touchdowns for Bernard Pierce behind Wyatt Benson and Steve Manieri at Navy,” Rhule would say after the game. “Marcus told me he never ran those kind of plays at Tennessee-Chattanooga and he’s not comfortable calling them and we left it at that.”

• Temple will line up three wides most of the time, but ECU will pick up all three in its nickel package and P.J. Walker will have no blocking back to protect him and one-half second to pick from three well-covered receivers. “P.J. is just going to have to thread the needle better,” Rhule will say afterward.

• The best blocking fullback in the AAC, Kenny Harper, will spend most of the day on the sidelines Saturday, waving a towel and cheering his teammates on as a backup tailback. “I thought Kenny showed great leadership on the sidelines,” Rhule will say afterward. “Even when it got to be 70-21, he was waving that towel higher than ever.”

  • Lincoln Financial Field security will mistake Temple defensive coordinator Phil Snow for a homeless man and attempt to remove him from the sidelines before Temple coaches intervene. Meanwhile, the Temple coaches will miss an ECU touchdown.

• Temple will fair catch five punts and start all of its possessions from inside the 20 because Rhule forgets that Temple once had dynamic tackle-avoiding and ankle-breaking punt returners like Delano Green who made that an offensive play.

Yes, keep doing what you are doing. That sounds like a plan. Not a good one, but a plan nonetheless and, when Temple fans begin the long and too familiar death march up the steps at the end of the third quarter, they will be mumbling one thing over and over again:

“Same S*it, Different Saturday.” This time without the asterisk.


51 thoughts on “Same S*it, Different Saturday

  1. If Matt Rhule owned a firearm, he would accidently shoot himself in the face.

    Then he would recover and try to examine the inside of a gasoline can with a lighter…

  2. “Lincoln Financial Field security will mistake Temple defensive coordinator Phil Snow for a homeless man and attempt to remove him from the sidelines before Temple coaches intervene. Meanwhile, the Temple coaches will miss an ECU touchdown.”

    The funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. Seriously. My coworkers are staring at me.

  3. Matt Rhule hand picked PJ and he will NEVER abandon him. He unfortunately has invested in too much of a freshman class of players to go back on what might actually work. I dont believe one decent coach would continue to play a QB who clearly does not have a grasp of what it takes to be a “D-1” QB. Bench him…move on. Coach Rhule is too stubborn to see this. They could no doubt lose the rest of their games. Tick tock…whose the next coach?

    • bench him for who? Connor Riley? u joking right?

      • I like P.J. very much. I HATE what they are asking him to do … throw without protection in the pocket to heavily covered receivers. Roll the pocket, establish the run (with a fullback), then throw off play-action. It’s a concept that has worked at Temple many times before. Unfortunately, our OC is from Tenn.-Chatt and our HC is too timid to over-RHULE him.

    • Actually thought Daz picked PJ before he left. Not that Rhule would have turned him away, but technically I thought Daz tapped him to play for us.

      Anyone clarify that? I could very well be wrong on that though.

    • That’s a nice try, but it was Daz that brought PJ here. I don’t think rhule could hand pick his nose.

  4. The comments on this site will also start waning as only the most diehard fans will watch and comment on yet another lost season.

  5. Cheer up.TU basketball is about to start and not too soon this season. They haven’t blown a game yet and actually look pretty good. As far as football goes, there won’t be 10 grand this weekend attending the game because of the weather. At least that’s what the coaches and administration will tell themselves even though we know it’s because the team is boring on offense. As long as Ruhle is coach and Satterfield the offensive coordinator (double entendre intended) things will not change. One more thing, going into the season, it was predicted that the Dallas Cowboys’ defense would be horrible. With that in mind Dallas has focused on long drives to keep the defense off the field and thus, prior to the Washington game, the Dallas D was at or near the top of the list for the fewest number of plays run against it. That’s a strategy the Owls should have adopted, Oh, I forgot it’s not part of the process.

  6. I don;t know about that attendance number John, given the proximity to Greenville and the ECU fans rep for traveling well might get over that number somewhat. Trouble is it will seem like an ECU home game.
    Another point regarding focusing on long drives, if Walker is still having some issues with a high ankle sprain, and they can be one of those nagging injuries, another reason to try to have long, time consuming drive with a good volume of running. Have the rbs pick up more of the load. But alas, we all know we need 4 to 5 years for the process to really show dividends.

    • no we actually only need 3/4 years. any coach deserves that much time to implement his plan, develop his recruits.

      • plenty of first- and second-year coaches winning all over the place. this one could, too, if he adjusted his “plan” to the personnel he has. He has failed miserably doing that or has not even tried. 6-18.

  7. This article is funny but true…or is that sad but true? I suppose I’ll be watching but my heart’s not in it at this point. 70-21? God I hope not. Maybe the D can keep it respectable.

  8. Where have all MROs gone. Finally, the roaches ran when the someone turned the light onto the process and saw nothing there.

  9. rain or shine I’m still driving up from Northern Va to get my heart broken again. my co-workers are questioning my sanity.., I keep driving up to Philly expecting a different result…, oh by the way, a Temple Assistant AD is coming up to the Washington, DC area to market the program and raise funds…, I have an appointment with him on November 4th.., my position will be “I’ll gladly donate and support the program on a per win basis after we achieve bowl eligibility” what do you guys think? I don’t want to reinforce failure but I do want to reward success…,

  10. Mike, gotta live the MRAs with their pithy comments. To be honest at the start of season my sights were a little lower, at a rock bottom minimum I felt Temple had to get 5 wins to consider the season any kind of success at all, UConn, Tulsa, Memphis, Tulane and Delaware State. With the win at Vandy I agree less than 6 wins what real success has there been. Less then 5 wins, then 2015 better be up or out for the “process”

    • 6 wins minimum. they should have had six last year. heck, even the vilified daz went from tu to bc and returned 9 starters and went from 2 to 7 wins his first year. daz left mr with 16 starters and mr went from 4 wins to 2 wins. that said, i think rhule is better than daz but that’s like saying ray rhoads is better than rich kotite. we need a dick vermeil-type, a guy who rises above the pack as a leader and a schemer.

      • I love how you fail to mention Daz went from 9 wins, including a bowl victory, in his 1st year at TU and with 9 returning starters his 2nd year dropped to 4 wins. But hey, why let that ruin a good Matt Rhule rant.

  11. Yes, JD, (the good JD), the MRAs are back trying to deflect everything off their teflon hero.

  12. So NEPhillyOwl, I’m assuming your point is the Matt Rhule is an even less capable coach than Daz, after only one year removed from a 9 win season, you would think since he wanted the job and the “players choice” he would have been able to reverse Daz’s slide right away or at least stop the decline. Oh I forgot, “Daz left the cupboard bare”.
    Hey I’ll buy into another MRA oldie but goody that he basically tore things down his first year to get his “process” in place but if you are going to do that you better show marked improvement the following year, 6-6 does 4-8 doesn’t so there are more than enough games left get back moving forward. I just get the feeling that the MRAs protest so much because they really don’t have that much faith either

    • No JD, I’m not saying Rhule is less of a coach or more of a coach than Daz. My point is simply this: what Daz did last year at BC is held up as this shining example, yet it gets ignored that he did the exact opposite in the same situation here at Temple. Just give ALL the facts. If you’re going to point out what he did at BC in a certain situation, then point out what he didn’t do at Temple in that same situation.

      • I never pointed out anything Daz did at BC, other than when someone posted here that saying he had a balanced offense was a joke. Well looking at passing yardage and rushing yardage per game not plays, his offense is as balanced as Temple’s just an opposite focus. Plus I found the guy to come across more as a self serving bs artist than anything. I know someone who had met him when he was recruiting his son and painted a less than complementary picture of the guy. I don’t know what he would have done had he stayed at Temple. I suspect that he would have won more games last year at Temple. Because he is a better coach, don’t know about that, rather I think he would not have played as many young players and would have played more to the moment so to speak. Would that have been the best thing for the long term health of the program, again doubtful. My point is going back to blow out losses after closing that gap so to speak from Daz’s second year , considering beating another opponent this year will be an upset, Memphis, that you manhandled last year and whose program over the past 6 years was even in worst shape than Temple. Those trends if they continue through the rest of the season make me concerned if this process is going in the right direction.

  13. ironically, because of at least two team’s weakness against the run and daz’s propensity to establish the run, temple would have beaten at least those teams (Idaho and Fordham) and I believe he would have held serve in MR’s two wins as well. still think MR is better than Daz, but don’t like those 2 choices. both are stubborn to a fault.

    • Where I think Rhule surpasses Daz is first he does present a better image for Temple in the media. Two I think he is a better recruiter for a program like Temple not from the aspect of talent, not that he isn’t getting talent, but rather in approach. By that I mean it seemed Daz still felt he was recruiting for Florida where he didn’t need to focus on specific needs or shortcomings in the roster and went for good athletes even in positions that may have been already well stocked. While that is certainly a position to strive for in your program Temple is still at a point where it has to build a solid first team across the board. Rhule seems to get that. My issue is game day planning and coaching, which he is having a learning curve with that I think is exacerbated by not having the strongest staff, especially at the coordinator level, though I have to give some props to Snow he does seem to have done a better job this season tailoring his defense for the most part to maximize the skill sets of his players.

    • Look, nobody likes the fact that we lost to Fordham. But you keep arguing about establishing the run against Fordham like Daz would have done. Temple ran the ball 49 times against Fordham. They ran for their highest total of the year, 245 yards. Only TWICE in 2012 under Daz did Temple run the ball more than 49 times! So that argument makes no sense. Under Daz in 2012, they averaged 42.5 rushes per game. So they were right on par with Daz in the Fordham game. And yes, the kid from Saint Francis ran for 294 yards against Fordham. But Saint Francis still LOST the game by 18 points!

      • they should have beat fordham like daz beat army … 5 passes, all the rest runs. army was a much better team than fordham (beat fordham 55-0 the year prior) and daz rang up 63 points on them with 16 starters who started for MR in the fordham game. fordham had a d-line that averaged 247 pounds … 247 … you pound and pound with a 306 line … no passes.

      • Mikey, you continue to crack me up. Sure let’s pick out one of Temple’s all-time recording breaking games and say, we should have done the same against Fordham. Afterall, we 16 returning starters. Too bad two of those returners starters weren’t Montel Harris and Matty Brown (who happens to be TU’s 4th all-time rushing leader). No, for Fordham we had Kenny Harper and Jamie Gilmore, with a COMBINED 66 career carries between the two of them, and freshman Zaire Williams. Yes, surely those three should have easily run for 500+ yards in that game.

        And since you like to point to high schools as examples, I went to Frankford in the 1970s. Our O-lines were routlinely out-sized, yet we went to two city title games.

  14. I am nowhere near a Daz fan because he is a phony. Nevertheless, he has had his team in every game and would have beaten Clemson had receivers not dropped two clear touchdowns. At least he knows how to use his players something which this coaching staff clearly does not. He also calls a game to take advantage of his team’s strengths and plays to win. That sounds cliched but Ruhle and his staff seem to be more focused on the process and lose sight of that as evidenced by no in game adjustments. The MRAs will simply not accept that Ruhle fails in the most important aspect of coaching-winning the game. Don’t tell me that they won four games either because those wins come against schools having a combined record of 6-25. If it gives you satisfaction to say we have 4 wins, be my guest but it’s clear that those wins mean nothing in the scheme of things. Progress is being in every game and playing without glaring errors, all of which is coaching.

    • daz gave temple great coordinators. rhule failed miserably in that part of his job. i would say it’s going to be his downfall but there are other factors that will be his downfall.

      • Daz gave Temple great coordinators? I’ll concede that Loeffler and Heater were very good in 2011, but Day and Heater in 2012 were far from great.

    • Who cares what he does at BC. They weren’t in every game when he was head coach HERE at Temple in 2012. Double-digit losses to Penn State (24-13), Rutgers (35-10 where they gave up 35 points in the second half while being shut out, which was worse than UConn last year), Pitt (47-17), Louisville (45-17), Cincinnati (34-10), and Syracuse (38-20).

      • Correct, I don;t care if it was a move up from the MAC or not, those kind of losses were a step back. For the mess that last season was, there were close losses to better teams in the UCF, Houston and Rutgers. Even the double digit losses in most case were competitive games, SMU, Cincinnati. Now 2 years into Rhule’s tenure and 3 years after moving up from a “lessor” conference the team seems to be sliding back to bad double digit losses. Still 5 games left, if the rest of the games are competitive, pick up a couple of more wins, ok then some over reaction to the last 2 weeks. But if this team gets blown out by ECU, Cincinnati and losses to Memphis and Tulane then what progress is there, especially looking at Memphis. That is a team that was losing in the AAC as bad as or worse than Temple last year, had won 15 games the 5 years prior to joining the AAC compared to Temple’s 35 wins over the same period. Now Memphis is being touted as one of the better teams in the AAC, beat a team considered a leader Cincinnati (something Temple has yet to do) and was competitive against Houston. Of course the season isn’t over so we don;t know how they will finish and how Temple will finish, but if (and it is a big IF) Temple finishes 4-8 how can you say the Rhule deserves more than one more year to get this team on the winning side of the ledger or it’s time to move in a new direction.

  15. Well, there’s no more fantasicing now about whether Temple might beat some of these quality teams, is there? Even Memphis is looking pretty darn good. If the players lose faith and stop playing hard (thought I detected a bit of that against UCF) the season will go downhill fast and so will any momentum for the future. These last 2 loses were worse than last years loses (we almost knocked off UCF last year – with the first QB drafted!) and there’s more to come. And how is that going to effect recruiting? Lousy loses on national TV can only hurt too. I’m watching the game anyway. Its still my team and what’s another crappy season after all these years?

    • Still my team, too, but I think the team is rapidly losing confidence in the leadership (above captain level) and, when that happens, loss of faith and half-hearted play follow. I think the swagger has been beaten out of Temple the last couple of weeks. I hope it comes back but, as I like to say, hope doesn’t get me to a bowl game. A proven winning HEAD coach does.

  16. If they are losing faith it’s because they are not being properly coached and are not getting the appropriate schemes from the coaches. Can’t tell me that the kids are all in on the quick outs and lack of a running game strategy or no use of the tight end. They’ve finally realized that the head man and offensive coordinator are naked and can’t or won’t change even though it would make the team better.

    • the thing that boggles me is that rhule ran a better “system” under Golden with similar personnel to what he has now. Jahad Thomas might never be Montel or Bernard, but we won’t know until he gets a chance behind a blocking fullback and a great blocking tight end. WE HAVE THOSE GUYS ON OUR TEAM RIGHT NOW. I’ve come to the conclusion that Rhule would rather see Satterfield run (or more accurately pass) Temple football into the ground than have the balls to restructure the offense in the middle of the season. He really appears to value his personal friendships over the betterment of the organization as a whole and THAT will become his major downfall at Temple.

  17. As usual, lots of crazy talk on this board! Your head can explode listenng to this blather, unreal.

    • yes, who would ever dare question this great young head coach we have and a DC whose last three teams gave up an average of 44 and 38 points in two of his last three seasons before he came here and an OC who came from Tenn-Chat? that’s some damn crazy sh*t, yo.

    • Does Rhule pay you?

      Are you nuts!!?

      What the fuck are you watching, Guy’s a blithering Moron!!

  18. Mike, maybe we should take up a collection so the MRA who can’t seem to afford an Owlscoop subscription could head over there where they would find kindred spirits

    • the appropriately named Mr. Badley, if that is indeed his real name. I have a strong feeling Geerson and the other JD have piggybacked their user names on others. I respect NEPHillyOwl because he’s remained the same over the last 2 seasons. we may not agree, but at least he’s not pretending to be someone else.

      • Mike, +1 on NEPhillyOwl, I would say I disagree with a lot of his posts but at least he does state his position

  19. the biggest Win in the Matt Rhule era! “A program defining win” quote from ESPN!

    wasn’t pretty but we beat the #23 team in the country.

    Now come on Mike & John bring on the negative comments!

    and my name is Jamal Doman so my initials r JD. but i will change it if it confuses people.

    1 more win to a bowl game! a huge accomplishment considering we went 2-10 last year!

    and with just 8 seniors the future is bright!

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