Shaken, But Hopefully Not Stirred

A long time ago a former Temple football father started a music craze with these three simple words:

Shake, rattle and roll.

Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” is widely credited with getting the rock and roll genre started in the 1950s and his son, Scott Haley, was an outstanding tight end for the Owls when the Owls used to throw to tight ends way back in the football stone age of the 1980s.

Scott Haley's dad. He rarely tailgated.

Scott Haley’s dad. He rarely tailgated.

Now at least a derivative of  those three words have entered the Temple football dictionary again as Matt Rhule mentioned his team appeared “shaken” in practice this week.  A report in the Philadelphia Daily News about this press conference (above) noted Rhule used the word “fast” three times but his use of shaken has got me rattled and rolled.

Under Al Golden, even when Temple was playing very good BCS-level teams (Uconn, Navy and UCLA come to mind immediately), the Owls always played with a “Temple TUFF” swagger. Golden even noted that coming off the field at halftime in the UCLA game before a national TV audience: “We always play Temple tough,” Golden said, adding, “that’s spelled T-U-F-F.”

Shaken never entered the Temple football vocabulary back then.

It has now. Sure, the Houston and UCF teams the Owls played the last couple of weeks were very good but they were no better than Uconn, Navy and UCLA back then and back then Temple was playing with MAC-level recruits.

High winds: Hopefully, the Owls can move out of the spread and go 2 backs and power football. Failing that, maybe some of those Shane Carden passes will blow into the waiting arms of Tavon Young.

High winds: Hopefully, the Owls can move out of the spread and go 2 backs and power football. Failing that, maybe some of those Shane Carden passes will blow into the waiting arms of Tavon Young.

Got to wonder if at least a little part of the shakes has to do with a loss of confidence in the leadership above the captain’s level and reaching to the very  top of the program. At least Golden had the good sense to use his breakaway 5-5, 150-pound back  from New Jersey, Matty Brown, as a change-of-pace running back and not a slot receiver. At least  Golden had the good sense to know if he found a tailback with Jahad Thomas’ elusiveness and explosiveness, he would use him like he used Bernard Pierce, behind a great blocking fullback,  to maximize his skills and not as a decoy in a spread offense. Golden never had a five-star tight end recruit transfer in from Florida but my guess is that he would have down something radical  like THROWN HIM THE BALL. Just a hunch. Then again Golden never hired an offensive coordinator from Tennessee-Chattanooga.  Probably because Golden never had any friends from Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Rhule’s right about one thing: The Owls appear shaken. What he could be wrong about are the reasons for the shakes.


38 thoughts on “Shaken, But Hopefully Not Stirred

  1. Who appears to be the most shaken on the Temple sideline? It is Matt Rhule! Deer in the headlights! If my coach looks like he just sh*t in his pants do you think i’ll go out and play with confidence? OMG..,

    MR shows up at the Tuesday practice and says, “hey guys you look shaken, trust our process and scheme on offense, listen to coach Snow, and let’s have a good week of practice.”

    this is a 4-8 season but wow…., can you imagine what is going on in the minds of the kids we are trying to recruit? who in their right mind would choose a bad program that is getting worse?

    East Carolina 47
    Temple 10

    cold, wet, miserable ride home

  2. He does seem to spend an awful lot of time conversing, gesturing, arguing to the refs in most games. The other thing I notice at least at the home games is he is out there on the field on time outs and on the sidelines talking with the offense. I’m assuming that Satterfield is up in the booth but in addition to getting on the players I do think it’s time that he really looks at how this offense is trending:

    2014 2013 Change
    (7 gms) (12 gms)

    PPG 22 25 -12%
    Total Offense 344 399 -14%
    Rush Offense 130 149 -13%
    Pass Offense 223 250 -11%
    Passing Eff 121 129 -6%
    3rd down % 23 42 -45%
    Red Zone % 72 78 -8%
    Time of poss 24 28.28

    Full disclosure the team overall is scoring better than last year 30 ppg the above figures are strictly based on offense scores and took out defensive and special teams scores. And no I’m not saying those don’t count, are important or that it isn’t an improvement over last year. We are talking about the offensive scheme here

    • Typo on the rush offense, 121 per game so far this year, sorry

      • the panic is PAINFULLY evident on this guy’s face during every shot of him during games and doing things like pulling quarterbacks and kickers and using a punter to kick an extra point when you have a perfectly good backup kicker to do so. at least Golden had a poker face on the sidelines compared to MR.

      • OMG, what lengths we’ll go to find anything! We’re now interpreting his facial expressions? Rhule pulled a QB for 2 series. Unlike Daz who pulled Gerardi with the scored tied at 7-7 against Penn State, put in Chester Stewart, then pulled him with Temple leading 10-7, only to watch Gerardi throw the game-losing INT. Sounds like panic by your dfeinition. Or pulled a kicker who missed ALL three FG attempts and 1 of 3 PATs. Who let a punter, who was an New York All-State selection as kicker when he made 68 of 69 PATs and 3 FGs his senior year make a PAT. Man, for saying you don’t really hate the guy you sure go out of your way to find the most trivial things.

  3. Here are the main 2012 offense stats just to compare that horrid Daz offense to this spread lite (11 games versus 7 games right now):

    Rushing Offense 201.18
    Passing Offense 120.82
    Total Offense 322.00
    Scoring Offense 24.73

  4. “It’s not about your record…it’s about how you play”

    Wow. And here I thought you were what your record said you were.

    How you play = record. Duh.

    • Ben, you have to realize things in the MRA World are judged very differently, here is a stunning example for one of the dumbest ones on Owlscoop (which Mike mentioned in another post) in response to some other posts regarding wins and losses and looking at Memphis this year versus last:

      “Overall this team is much better than last year. By the stupid simple won/loss record. By overall team athleticism. By performance of the various players on the field. That doesn’t change the simple fact that by most metrics, this team is better than last year. By a rather significant amount.”

      Even though when you look at the offensive metrics from the official NCAA Football Statistics page you can see so far this season Temple is down is pretty much all metrics.

      If you feel like paying the money the MRA comments on that board are hilarious.

      • JD, let me ask you a question, when they judge bowl eligibility, do they go by NCAA stats or by wins? Is the team better than last year? 2013 after 7 games: 1-6. 2014 after 7 games: 4-3. Which record would you rather have?

  5. To MRAs who say be happy we have four wins, please note that those four teams are a combined 6-25. Winning those games does not justify the bad coaching exhibited in the last two games. Besides, in those games, the offense really underachieved and should have scored many more points.

    • Man, do not hate the guy but hate his schemes, his hires, his misuse of personnel, etc., etc., etc. other than all of that, he’s a great coach. wish Temple wasn’t the site of this failed rocket launch. Kutztown would have been the perfect proving ground.

    • And the five teams the Eagles have beaten are 14-24 and their offense has underachieved and should have scored more points. Guess Eagles fans shouldn’t be happy either.

      • What does that have to do with TU. And Eagles fans should not be happy and they weren’t after last Sunday. The media and their fans got all over Kelly for some of the boneheaded mistakes he and the team made. Stop being a mouthpiece for incompetence.

      • Actually as an Eagles fan I’m not happy. They had a very easy front loaded schedule. Many of the commentators and podcasts are placing them in the playoffs with ease. Won’t list my reasons here, but it feels like I’m in the twilight zone hearing that. Same with the Temple fans that are happy with our 4 wins and our “great improvements”.
        Wish they’d all stop drinking from the same punch bowl.

        This blog is what keeps me from quacking and thinking I’m the crazy one.

      • Apples and Oranges, Jackass

  6. trying to remember, but i think this is the first time in the 40 years i have been following college football that i have heard a coach refer to his team as “shaken”…, that is rock bottom, right?

    time for the University to hit the reset button, or install version 2.0…,

    so we have ‘shaken’ poorly coached players playing the best team in the conference in an empty stadium on a rain soaked saturday? look for ECU to come out fired up and put a TCU type number on the board in order to make a move in the rankings

    • I will give props to Matt for his honesty. I truly believe him when he said the team was shaken in practice on Monday and, yes, I think it’s the first time I’ve ever heard a Temple coach say that. They played like a team with zero confidence after going down 17-squat last week.

    • Time to cut the cord and unload this idiot

  7. NEPhillyOWL, typical of MRAs move off of the topic when facts do jive with your beliefs, I’ve been commenting specifically on the offensive scheme and production never said the team overall wasn’t improved, how much we’ll know once the next 5 games are finished. The offense has not shown the progress the defense has and really doesn’t look like it has improved much from 2012, other than reverse passing and rushing yards per game. So if you want to comment on what I had focused on, fine tell me how the offense is going so great this year. I certainly think if the trends continue that Rhule has to take a serious look at who he has running things on that side of the ball. Coaching staffs have turnover in almost every program, after most season, Greg Schiano did that quite regularly at Rutgers. Plus Satterfield was a “fall back” guy for the OC position and not even Rhule’s first choice, maybe there was a reason for that. I think you can look at the d-line to see that staff change could help, Outside of Praise Martin, basically the same set of players but a new d-line coach and the pass rush is certainly improved, technique looks better and for the most part there real issue is that it is a smaller, quicker group.
    Let’s wait a couple of more weeks before we talk about bowl eligibility

  8. we’ve regressed a lot since uconn and ucf did not play uconn.

  9. What do Eagles fans have to do with what is going on with Temple football!!!

    • Good point, JD. I could not care less about the Eagles. All I care about is Temple not embarrassing itself against teams the current caliber of Houston and UCF, which unfortunately happened.

    • Geez JD, you I really have to explain it to you? Read what John said said about not getting excited or being happy with TU’s 4 win because they didn’t beat anybody with a winning record and their offense has underachieved. I make the comparison that the same thing is going on with the Eagles, but you don’t hear their fan complaining about their 5 five wins, only one of which was against a team with a winning record. See this is why Temple has such a small fan base. When they lose, everybody complains about they shouldn’t be losing to these teams. Then when they win, everybody still complains that it’s no big deal because they really didn’t beat anybody.

      • You apparently don’t listen to Angelo’s show on WIP in the AM too much, heard Eagles fans moaning pretty much about a lot of the same things, tough part of the schedule coming up, Foles is playing like crap, having beaten any good teams, etc… which one of the show hosts would say but their still 4-1 or whatever. I haven’t been complaining about the 4 wins ao far and have said that I feel that is an improvement over last year. We were losing to those same kind of teams last year, in fact I’ve said on this site that I think last year’s team would have lost the Tulsa game. So for me, first step in improving beating the teams you should. Ok the team has done that this year. Next things I look for are cutting down on un-competitive blow out losses, last 2 games don’t bode well for that but again the season isn’t over, I also start looking at statistical improvement, I know there are pros and cons with this but at some point you need to look at some quantitative measures in addition to wins and losses. On defense this year there has been improvement across the board, on offense which is the point I was making pretty much all major metrics are down and the offense has actually been rather stagnant the past 3 seasons, only big change is more passing yards and less rushing. Finally, I look to start beating a top conference team or top OOC team on the schedule. So bottom line my complaint isn’t with the 4 wins so far but rather how much improvement will the team be able to achieve by the end of the year. College football is big business now and I really don;t think you have 4 or 5 years to get a competitive product on the field, in the 3 year of a program the message needs to be made clear it’s time to start moving up or you’re out. Do you really think if UConn is substantially improved by 2016 Diaco won;t be on the hot seat there? Ok, I’m done on my soap box

  10. Interesting to see that some of the earliest rah-rah types (let’s leave it at a former players father) for Rhule and how needs to get the players, put the process in place, etc are suddenly saying things like:

    “This will come down to game plan by the coaches. The only way we win is if the coaches put together a game plan that our kids can execute on both sides of the ball, especially defensively.”

    What about youngest squad, not AAC level players yet (even though the team has been recruiting at that level for 3 years) and all of the other apologies and excuses. Now it’s all the game plan, my how the worm turns.

    • If it comes down to game plan, we’re screwed. We do a lousy job scouting opponents and an even worse job at exploiting their weaknesses. Heck, we’re not all that great knowing what our own strengths are. I will say without qualification our head coach is the nicest guy of all the HCs in the conference, for what that’s worth.

      • Now my question is if othesr besides us crazy talkers here, think that a victory over ECU comes down to game planning by the coaches, that would seem to imply they also think there is sufficient talent on the team to get the job done. Of course they have to execute correctly as well.

  11. drove up from the northern virginia area this afternoon…, several flag wearing ECU convoys on I-95 North.., suspect they’ll have as many fans as the “home” team tomorrow

    • I’m afraid you might be right about that KJ, especially if the weather turns out bad. Oh well if it does rain I’ll have my “lucky” rainy day Sham-woo to wipe the seats down in my section and hopefully it’s “luck” holds

      • Glad you brought your lucky Sham-woo JD. It was worth standing through the rain for today for this win!

  12. Hey that Sham-woo is going to be at the remaing 2 home games regardless of the weather!!

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