Crashing and burning in State College

Rushing only three much of the game, the Owls made Christian Hackenberg a lot more comfortable than he should have been.

Rushing only three much of the game, the Owls made Christian Hackenberg a lot more comfortable than he should have been.

Plenty of lesser talented Temple teams have walked into Beaver Stadium against infinitely more talented Penn State teams and walked away with better results than this once-winning Owl team did on Saturday.

What happened was a complete and utter disgrace. Quite frankly, with Penn State at an ebb in its program and Temple coming in with more scholarship depth due to sanctions, this was Temple’s only chance to beat Penn State, maybe for the next 73 years as well.

Name Change:
Nate should go down to City Hall
tomorrow and legally change his name
to Anyone L. Else. That way, the next
time Rhule says, “I don’t have anyone else”
the Stepfords can ask him if Else was injured

Temple simply doesn’t recruit on that level and, at least with this staff, certainly are not going to out-coach James Franklin. We can only hope he moves onto the Potato Skins, or whatever the Washington NFL team is called in a few seasons.

With talent removed from the equation, there can only be one logical conclusion to make: those other Temple teams were simply better-coached than this one is, for just a few reasons we’ll list here:

The Mr. Haney Offense


When you go on the cheap to hire a hick offensive coordinator from Hooterville, like this one is, you get what you pay for. Temple rolls out the 3- and 4- wide receiver formations Marcus Satterfield won all those national championships at Tennessee-Chattanooga with (oh wait, he didn’t win any; never mind) every week and wonders why it struggles to move the ball every week. On offense, what the Owls have are a lot of really good players with unique skills who are not being put in the best position to win. Temple should not be struggling to score points in the AAC. The Owls have two potentially great blocking fullbacks in Kenny Harper and Marc Tyson, but they rarely use them that way. Temple has a potentially great tailback in Jahad Thomas, but they rarely use a fullback block at the point of attack to spring him for big gains. Temple has a potentially great tight end in Colin Thompson (a five-star transfer from Florida) and rarely throws him the ball. Temple has at least two offensive linemen who will be playing in the NFL on Sundays — tackle Dion Dawkins and center Kyle Friend — and rarely use those two with Thompson and Tyson running interference on toss sweeps to Thomas that could open up that entire offensive arsenal.

Speaking of that arsenal, Temple has a change-of-pace tailback who runs the ball well in space in Jamie Gilmore, but — you guessed it — they rarely use him that way. Hawaii transfer Keith Kirkwood (his OC called him Kirkland on a radio interview), John Christopher and Romond Deloatch — guys with magnets for hands — are rarely thrown to but instead target too many guys who do drop balls. The Owls have an extremely talented rollout quarterback, P.J. Walker, who they try to make a dropback passer far too much.

This offense is a cluster-bleep of trying to fit perfectly good square pegs into imperfect round holes.

With this talent and more traditional two-back and I-formations with plenty of play-action, Temple is as formidable on offense as it has been on defense this year.

Maybe more.

What Have You Done With All That Practice Money?


Last year, Temple built a $10 million addition to Edberg-Olson Hall, which cost $7 million to build in the first place. Yet the team jumps so much on offense (and three offsides on defense) that you’ve got to assume that happens in practice, too. If so, should not practice be stopped and have the team do the play right 15 straight times before they move on, like Mike Pettine Sr. used to do with CB West? You’d be amazed how much peer pressure causes mistakes like that cease and it does carry over into games. Do we practice the throat slash? If so, why don’t we practice doing it behind our own bench instead of in front of the officials?

The Passive Aggressive Defense


If Temple should have learned anything from Northwestern’s 29-6 win over Penn State, it was that head coach Pat Fitzgerald made Christian Hackenberg very uncomfortable by going out of his base 4-3 defense into a 5-2 for that game. Fitzgerald had the Wildcats hit Hackenberg so much, that he would throw the ball up just by hearing footsteps. Temple outsmarted itself by “mixing it up” and that only mixed up its own defense. The Owls often rushed only three and made Hackenberg way more comfortable than he should have been. Put three-time Pennsylvania large school state wrestling champion Averee Robinson over the center as a 5-2 nose guard and make Matt Iaonnidis and Hershey Walton the right- and left tackles with Sharif Finch and Praise Martin-Oguike at the ends (on running downs sub in Brandon Chudoff). Watch Robinson blow up the center and free those other guys to get in Hackenberg’s face. When you have two LBs like Nate D. Smith and Tyler Matakevich, you can play the 5-2. Temple’s strength on defense is its deep, physical and athletic defensive line. By rushing three, Temple was doing Penn State a favor and not playing to Temple’s own strength.  It should not be surprising for someone who allowed 44 points a game and 38 points a game in two of his last three seasons before being hired at Temple. If you are going to be flexible on defense, be flexible to be aggressive, not flexible to be passive. That’s Temple weak, not Temple TUFF.

Not-So-Special Teams

Nate L. Smith

Should officially change his name to “Anyone L. Else.”

When asked if John Christopher was returning punts against PSU in the pre-game presser, Rhule said: “I don’t have anyone else, to be quite honest with you.”  Of course, the group of reporters who meet the coach every Tuesday–Matt Rhule Pravda, I’ll call them–never thought to follow up on the question. Hmm. Nate L. Smith, who led the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in punt return yardage and touchdowns via punt return in 2011, returned Temple’s last punt against Memphis for 30 yards. Since Nate L. Smith played against PSU, we can assume he wasn’t injured. Nate should go down to City Hall tomorrow and legally change his name to Anyone L. Else. That way, the next time Rhule says, “I don’t have anyone else” the Stepfords can ask him if Else was injured.  Putting Smith back there gives Temple a chance to score or at least significantly change field position on every punt. When you are struggling on offense, you need to maximize opportunities to move the ball any way you can. Matt Rhule does have someone else, to be quite honest with you. Temple has given up on the punt return as an offensive weapon. That’s Temple weak, not Temple TUFF.

Par for the course and a just a few reasons why a season that started so promising is now headed for what could be a Hindenburg-like crash and burn.

Hell, Might as Well Use Him at WR, Too:


67 thoughts on “Crashing and burning in State College

  1. Still think win number 6 will be Tulane, they were awful against Memphis today and are going with a freshman QB who makes PJ even look servicable. The big question will be can the team do what it takes to win that game after what I’m sure will be a blow out lose to Cincinnati. My bigger concern is next year, depending what teams get on the schedule from the new west division, hopefully Tulsa and SMU will be, this team could be hard pressed to go 6-6 in 2015. My expectations for “The Process” is that it has Temple in 2015 at least at the same position in the AAC as Memphis is this year. If not what is the point with giving the process 4 or 5 years when enough programs, with track records no better than Temple’s, can get it done in 3. Next year has to be put up or shut up for this staff

    • We’re going to have to sweat out a win over Tulane at Tulane. We’ve got way better talent, but tulane’s 20-13 loss to ucf and win over houston make me think they actually game plan better than we do. Tuberville is a damn good coach. He knows we’re going to come out three wides in an empty backfield and he’ll send six guys after p.j. every time we show that look. p.j. will have 1/10th of a second to throw to 3-4 covered receivers and our coaches will yell at him when he tries to make a play that gets picked off. we are coached to fail.

      • Mike, understand what you are saying about Tulane but I look at their performance against Memphis and what seems to be an approach for the remaining games of playing their younger players to build for next year. For the UCF and Houston games I believe Montana was QB, for Memphis the freshman Lee was the QB, who had a terrible game. Hoping that ECU hammers them and they are just playing out the string come the last game and Temple comes into that game with a “take no prisoners” attitude. I think the defense will keep Tulane’s points down the question will be can this offense score more than a single TD.

  2. Completely agree with the points made.

    Temple has substandard coaches, in large part because it rushed the process. Bradshaw was tempted by BCS dollars and didn’t accurately read the landscape. If Owls had stayed in MAC 3-4 more years it may have won a couple of titles and Bowls, attracted fans, and been able to attract a top-tier coach (Petrino, Coker, Franklin, et al) that could have guided us into a better conference interested in the Philly market. Instead, we are in a dogshit league for both hoops and football that recruits or fans have little interest in. Don’t tell me this is the Big East. Marinatto sold a desperate Bradshaw a bill of goods.

    Hope I’m wrong, but fear we will remain irrelevant for a long time.

    • I should say a desperate Marinatto, soiling himself after being jilted by Boise and TCU, sold a bill of goods to a greedy Bradshaw. The Andrew Bynum trade was brilliant by comparison.

    • coker doesn’t appeal to me and franklin and petrino are a lot out of our pay grade, but we could have easily afforded todd bowles or mario cristobal (who turned down rutgers the year before but wanted the temple job). those are guys who won as head coaches. any assistant is a crapshoot. In temple’s case, a multi-million crapshoot (counting assistant salaries).

      • Funny how you always throw up the name Cristobal. Where’s he coaching now? Oh, right, O-line at Alabama. If he would be so good for Temple, why hasn’t anyone else hired him as a head coach since he got fired at FIU two years ago?

    • Dave, you make some interesting points. First, I agree the move back to the BE was for the money and at the time the automatic BCS bowl bid. As for staying in the MAC, taking the $$ out of the equation I think you could make a solid case either pro or con for that. The way things have developed don’t think you can “blindly” say it was a good move. At the present time the MAC has the same number of primary bowl tie-ins, 5 each, so no more going 8-4 and missing a bowl. Also have about the same chance of qualifying for one of the playoff “access” bowls out of the MAC versus the AAC, for basketball do think the AAC is better than the A10. As for your fear of Temple being irrelevant, I have the same fear. Look at 2015 when the AAC moves to a divisional structure, with Temple in the east with Cincinnati, ECU, UCF, USF and Uconn. Right now I’d say we’d only be ranked ahead of USF and UCONN, with USF closing the gap. In 2 years in the AAC, outside of the ECU upset, can you really say that you’ve seen any real improvement against the better teams in the AAC, I really can’t, especially if we get blown out by Cincinnati in 2 weeks

  3. The defense played fine, I think. They really only allowed 13. A pick six and so many short fields of eight and goal are not their fault. I agree that they probably should have rushed more than three more often. But the game was lost undeniably on turnovers. That said, I agree with you and hate the game plan on offense. It’s boring to watch and the result is a visibly uncomfortable quarterback. I’m getting tired of a lack of any appreciable growth.

  4. Just dumbfounded why Satterfield and Rhule refuse to change the offensive scheme from three wide to, well, anything at this point. Big supporter of the two back set, but heck I’d be happy to see any change. Even if his plan was to make the offense entirely around PJ’s hand the complete lack of a run game will just put pressure on the pass game and repeat a declining pattern of success.

    I’ve said this before here, but the compete lack of a weekly game time strategy will be our doom. If people commenting on this website already “know” the plan for Tulane and Cinci then you bet their coaches do as well.

    Another week. Nothing changes. Coaches aren’t giving the players a chance for success.

  5. Excuse my ignorance, but who is Marinatto? Anyway, talking about PJ having “appreciable” improvement is optimistic. He’s not improving, he’s getting worse. I feel bad for the kid, partly because the O plan doesn’t help him, it hurts him. But, his 2 picks yesterday were really unnecessary, maybe frustration poor decisions on his part. I’m seeing a young QB that doesn’t seem to have the ability to make correct and quick decisions. The D let some big plays happen but overall I thought they did a good enough job to win if the O had been able to get anything going – including being able to score in the red zone. That pass TD was a thing of beauty but was one big play, not a sustained drive resulting in a TD. The D forced several turnovers, harrassed Hack at least in the first half pretty well and the score was tied into the 3rd quarter. Those interceptions killed Temple, one for a TD! PJ hurt the team yesterday. Sorry, but that’s what I saw. But I do agree the O situation has got to change – from the coordinator to the play calls. Another thing, mistakes, once again did the team in, agree with you 100% on that Mike. And that’s on the coaches – by this time in the season, especially with some modest success and bowl eligibility still a possibility, everything from penalties to receivers and QB not being in sinc (did anyone else notice that yesterday?), it’s just really poor preparation. Either it’s the kids not listening or the coaches not getting them to pay attention. Either way, its the coaching. Discipline! That unsportsman-like conduct penalty really hurt when it happened. Seemed pretty minor, but the “slashing-the-neck” thing apparently is just not tolerated. But again, the kids should know not to it and have the discipline by now not to. If Rhule doesn’t do something about the O, this team is doomed to sub-par mediocrity at best. Yesterday I saw the Memphis QB pull out and block for his running back! Holy crap! Game comparisons don’t mean much, I agree, but Memphis just blew Tulane away and Temple almost beat Memphis – actually should have but that’s another story. With all the expectations of a win, yesterday turned out to be another in a long line of not playing up to the situation – we can never calculate how this team will do becuase it’s so inconsistent. Had one other thing to say but a brain fart just blew it away. Oh, well this is pretty long as it is anyway.

  6. Oh, I just remembered – PSU got a really good running game going which I think affected the change to 3 lineman rushing. No?, Yes? Whatever. The Owls still have a chance to go 6-6. Play a near mistake free game like against ECU and anything can happen. Go Owls, damn it!

    • Penn State is ranked No. 119 (out of 126) in fbs rushing. Presumably, those are updated stats on today, which means they were worse than that going in. when you only have to beat 3 guys at the point of attack, your rushing game looks a lot better than it should.

  7. because we score only 13 points (now seemingly every game with this convoluted offensive scheme), tulane will go down to the wire. we have the personnel that should be scoring 30 points a game in more traditional I and 2-back sets (with plenty of play-action) but P.J. gets no (zero) protection in the formations we use 99 percent of the time and that’s a recipe for disaster. 13 is probably our ceiling right now unless rhule steps in and goes with the bernard pierce/wyatt benson offense running featuring jahad and marc tyson behind future nfl-lers friend and dawkins. that’s our only hope to blow out tulane.

  8. Well, here I go again…..JD, as far as the conference affiliation comparisons, you can’t take the money out of the equation. Temple’s been on TV much more in the AAC than the MAC in both sports. And I think the AAC is better than the MAC (albeit, not by a whole lot). Basketball? With Louisville gone the AAC is a good conference yet, perfect for Temple as was the A-10. We’ll see how things work out in the AAC – it’s a new conference – but don’t forget the A-10 was the only mid-major conference that regularly had multiple teams in the NCAAs, sometimes 4 or 5. Sometimes more than the majors. It was a very good conference until, of course, it too lost some very good teams including Temple and a few schools to the “Catholic” conference, amen. But it doesn’t matter. It is what it is – Temple’s not ready to be in the ACC or Big Ten anyway. I feel the Owls are in a good place right now, all sports in one conference (except for field hockey where they’re in the Big East because the AAC doesn’t have it) and because the competition gives them a chance to do well and improve instead of getting swamped by, frankly, superior competition (see Rutgers).

    • Agree to disagree, John, but I am a hoops guy first. I would much prefer Temple to be in a hoops conference with LaSalle and St. Joe’s, along with other regional rivals, than a hickseed conference that counts East Carolina as marquee.

      • Temple was king of the A-10 and didn’t even get credit for that. We dominated that conference and still Xavier was considered the marquee program. At least in the AAC UConn deserves their status and it will actually count for something if we beat UConn/Cincy/Memphis/SMU rather than playing tough games against SLU and Dayton and getting no credit for it.

    • Jon, understand that was more commenting on the point regarding where the MAC fits in with the current football landscape. I don’t disagree that the revenue and TV deal is much better in the AAC. I think that was Dave’s point, the move was primarily driven by the $$, but that’s what college football is these days. From an on the field perspective when a C-USA team may be in the hunt for an access bowl how strong is the AAC

  9. This team stinks on offense because the line is terrible, # 71 is not even bcs talent, receivers are just as bad and the qb lacks the ability to scramble that he had last year and is running for his life. I don’t know if he’s hurt or just bulked himself up too much. You can run whatever scheme you like, there just is a lack of talent on O and that is the coaching staffs responsibility. The offensive line is really embarrassing, they throw lookout block and get whipped upfront with no push.. The qb is careless with the ball, time to yank him and put anyone else in there that won’t turn it over. Need more talent on O. Look at the 3rd convocation rate.that’s the result of being constantly in 3rd and long. The O line is a disgrace and lacks pride to continually play this bad.

  10. Dear Mike,

    I check in on this blog a couple of times a week, and generally appreciate your insights on the team and the program. Additionally, I enjoy reading the comments. The back and forth banter is often not only informative, but entertaining.

    One problem keeps nagging at me however, and it is the question of how realistic any of us actually are with regard to the team. YES, I agree with those who have little faith in this coaching staff or “the process”, I felt that Rhule should have been fired after the disgraceful loss to Idaho last year. That performance in and of itself tells you all you can ever expect. Furthermore, I believe that it is unexplainable, that Satterfield or Snow were hired in the first place let alone be allowed to continue on this far.

    That all being said, does anyone really have the right to expect much different considering this group of players? You frequently write about the talent on this team, but I just don’t see it. The players on this team stink. The wide receivers, for example, excepting Fitzgerald, are just awful. You repeatedly point to Kirkwood, but he had a big drop yesterday and had at least one, maybe two against Memphis. Christopher can’t catch anything and you talked about his magnet hands. As a group, they run pooir routs, can’t get open most of the time, and simply drop passes every time they do manage to create space.

    The offensive line, and I acknowledge how banged up they are, is just as bad. The pass protection is weak, but looks great compared to their run blocking. Good Lord, Harper and Thomas might be better off if the line just got out of their way rather than try to open a hole.

    PJ Walker has been probably the biggest disappointment of all. Yes, even as I type this, I recognize that it is probably hypocritical to blast Walker after admitting he has no line or receivers, but has he not clearly regressed significantly? Where is his leadership? Why is he not in the face of the receivers who drop balls or run the wrong routes? Why has he not corrected his own mistakes? Why does he seem so reluctant to run?

    I looked at the schedule at the start of the year and figured 5 wins, maybe 6 if they pulled off an upset. There still is a decent shot at 6 wins, and possibly a bowl game. But what does that really show? Is that a sign of progress? It’s a heck of a lot better than last years debacle of a season, but I doubt it really indicates much of a step forward.

    Hopefully, what most Rhule supporters point to is accurate, that he can recruit at a higher level than what Temple is accustomed to. He better, because the talent level on this squad is poor overall. We are simply the middle of the pack of a crappy, uninteresting Conference. 6-6 and the occasional minor bowl appearance are better than the Dickerson years, but it certainly will not sustain the program for much longer.

    • Agree with a lot of what you say but christopher’s history has been that he’s a good possession receiver. I think he’ll catch you way more balls than he will drop, same with kirkwood. as far as the OL goes, we have two future nfl players in dawkins and friend. Our OL is a sieve because it leaks in other areas, but use dawkins and friend on toss sweeps (Green Bay style) with a fullback (we’ve got two good blockers who can play the position) behind a shifty guy like thomas and away we go … that, unfortunately, is not in our playbook. got to highlight the strength of your players. we are piss-poor at doing that.

    • If only the team would show as much quality as some of the recent posters to this board. Excellent stuff and spot on. Is there a single draft choice on this team? And the conference blows.

  11. We lost to a team with better talent in a stadium that truly provides a home field advantage. I thought the defense played a very solid game and Snow has done a very good job this year in bringing in the right talent and leveraging it effectively.

    The offense is a mess and it’s painful to see the regression of PJW. Its also painful to see how aenemic our receiving corps is performing. I’m left concluding that if these guys could catch the ball they would have been offered scholarships from Penn State.

    I think yesterday’s game showed the gap between our program and that of a good not great top tier program.

    I just hope we beat psu at least once before I die.

    • I don’t think they have better talent. They were beaten 29-6 by a Northwestern team that lost to NIU. Put eight guys in Hackenberg’s face and you can beat them. we just sat back and let their substandard rush game (119 out of 126 beat us).

  12. There’s no there there regarding an offensive philosophy. I was there yesterday sitting with PSU fans and they were mystified by what TU was trying to do offensively. Why are there no slant passes, down and ins to the tight ends, two-back sets, etc. This offense is horrendous. And I don’t want to hear about the offensive line because most of the sacks or almost sacks yesterday were the result of outside blitzes, which means that PJ was not told what to do when PSU lined up showing a corner blitzes, which is throw a flare to a back. In addition, for one of the few times this season, PJ kept the ball on a read option and gained 8 yards. That play is run too close to the line of scrimmage and cannot work if PJ never keeps the ball. The 4th and one was a repeat of Rutgers last year-no lead blocker. And besides what’s wrong with faking the handoff and leaking your tight end out either to the middle or the sideline depending on what the linebacker does. The program’s done for boys because the Bd of Trustees is not going to ok spending tens of millions of dollars on such a pathetic mess. And to those people who say we should have stayed in the MAC, that’s ridiculous because those small schools are being marginalized. I can forsee every one of the top conferences going to nine conference games like the Big Twelve thereby cutting the number of games available to the MAC and other non-big conference teams. That means that for the three non-conference games teams will play the better schools because of the importance of strength of schedule. At least we’re in conference that doesn’t play on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

    • John, good points and it must have been tough sitting through that. I was busy so only got to listen on the radio which was bad enough. I think the discussion of the MAC in this thread, at least my point anyway, was not advocating staying there just making the point that at least for the past 2 years and probably the next 2 or 3 a team has as good a chance in the MAC, MWC or C-USA as in the AAC to make an “access” bowl for the playoff and the real driver for moving was money and TV exposure. Even in the AAC the only way Temple becomes one of those 3 OOC games for a Big 12 or Big 10 team is to be at the top of this conference. A 6-6 team from here is not going to add to your strength of schedule or be considered a better team. Right now if I’m a P5 school who is looking at an OOC game with a team from a lessor conference that I’ll win but look good on my schedule tell me who gets the nod right now. An 8-2 Northern Illinois team that beat Northwestern or a 5-5 Temple team that beat ECU. Problem I see with that is I don’t see any urgency with this program to get there anytime soon, as I said in previous posts Rhule’s 3rd year needs to go the way Fuente’s has with Memphis so far this season. That is the one thing I don;t get from the big time Rhule supporters on the other blog, this idea that we need to give him 4 / 5 years to build the program because it takes time. Maybe that time frame was fine in the 70s and 80s but in this day and age I think in 3 years you better have a more than competitive team on the field. Plus we can’t just be scheduling teams like Notre Dame and PSU we have to beat a team of that caliber once in awhile. Granted not taking anything away from knocking of a ranked ECU team, but how much weight does that carry nationally over the long haul.

  13. One more thing. Mike is right about the punt return game. It is atrocious. Yesterday was the first time i saw Christopher, a possession guy, return one for two yards. It’s not his fault that he can’t make anyone miss or that he can’t get into 4th gear in a step like good punt returners can. On top of that he didn’t even try to catch 2 or 3 punts yesterday each time giving up 10 yards. Finally, Jihad Pretlow was a hell of a punt returner in high school and you can’t tell me that Anthony Young couldn’t return punts.Parenthetically, Young should be used on offense every now and then because he has great hands.

    • More new blood needed.

    • we all know anthony young can return punts, but he’s got to be 50 by now. I think you meant Tavon Young. Look at that interception he had against Uconn … that was a better “punt” return than anything we’ve seen this year, Herbin vs. Del State nothwithstanding. Young or Nate L. Smith would be fine with me. Those guys can make the gunner miss and once the gunner misses, all kinds of good things can happen on the return. (I love Christopher as a possession receiver but he cannot make a fat guy miss on a punt return and Rhule’s “I don’t have anyone else” is really laughable).

  14. at some point in time the coaches have to coach up the talent they have…, two and three star talent teams can beat four and five star talent teams provided they are taught first how not to beat themselves.., absolutely no excuse for the penalties and turnovers..,

    totally agree in that this team has very little real talent at the skill positions, and the O-Line play is ‘offensive’ to college football fans..,

    this week at practice should be a complete myopic focus on the basics.., Block, Tackle, Catch the Football, Play within the Rules of the Game, Secure the Football, etc, etc. et fuckin’ cetera

    not sure how anyone can defend keeping Rhule if this team does not get into a bowl game

  15. Hang around and then beaver stadium came crashing down!! DISGRACE, the streak, the end result, the coaching, and PJs play!! Im on board now Mike. This staff can NOT COACH ON GAMEDAY. CAN NOT MAKE OFFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS. Ill give Snow credit. The score is misleading on the defensive end. And crazy 8 looked phenomenal. But our wrs are no where near as skilled or as talented as you think Mike. There average at best. And thats being generous. What really really concerns me tho. Is PJ Walkers play. I know you blame all of it on Rhule. But thats just not the case…errrr problem alone. I mean last season in the same scheme and offense he flourished. I even went back to read usa todays preseason report and ranking on temple. To try and put the season in perspective. Altho were on pace to be in and around 86th overall and a 5 win team as forcasted. It also said PJ is a program changing QB. LITTERALLY THATS WHAT IT SAID IN PRINT. regress is not the word for this mans season. I mean even against delaware state he threw 2ints and looked average. That was one of his better games. Im afraid now that its was a,flash in a,pan. The whole season last year. I know his weapons arnt there so im praying to the football gods one of these freshman wrs or and incoming one can make a inpact next year. And Rhule can def recruit. But can he coach up the talent??? He will not be fired. Nor am I calling for that yet. But he needs to at least go out and fine a PROVEN QB development coach. And either that be a new o coordinator or just a qb coach
    WE MUST HAVE A NEW OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR!!! Other wise I think pj is a lost cause. And the kid from don brosco should be started. Altho he may face a similar fate. Under this staff. Im not going to say I lost total faith in rhule or this team. We have improved over last year. But this O hss,been brutal. Its not even fun to watch this team play. Somebody mentioned PJ bulking up maybe that’s were his speed and abilty to make plays with his feet went??? Makes a little sense. But this one hurt and really with the 4_1 start. I had high hopes now at 5_5 we have ZERO Chance to keep up wit gunner keil and cincy. So it all boils down to tulane. This program needs a bowl game. For money…for the kids and def. To help rhule recruit bc at this point thats his greatest strength by far. And possibly his only. Disciple under Golden was infamously strict. We seemed like every drive to get a flag and go offsides. No excude for that after 10 games. I dont care if your in the swamp against the gators!!!! If you expect to be a winning team you need winning discipline. That is only the case on D. And special teams same thing. New coach find a punter, kicker and return man. All these 3 star recruiting and thats the only guys you got. #side note I know nate and tyler ate great but will buddy brown ever see the field. He is the highest rated recruit for his position overall (20th )best lb)

    • In his class we have had higher rated over all prospects but in my days of following recruits only gilmore is even close 32nd best rb. Were lucky to get a top 50 guy in a off season at his position. Rhule has landed 6 or 7 very good recruits. Maybe thats the plan. Let rhule bring in real talent. And then hite the next guy with a full cupboard. Im joking obviously. But maybe that will be the case. Cant win like this against any of the major conf. Teams or even other winning teams. Ecu game was won all by the D. That kinda thing happens Twice a year and thats with a GREAT D!!!

      • ECU win was most the result of the weather. They couldn’t handle the rain and cold, something they exhibited against Cincinnati. Neither could CFU which lost to a very bad UConn team the same day TU beat ECU.

    • Buddy Brown, Nate L. Smith, there do seem to be some highly rated recruits that for some reason can’t seem to break the lineup here!!!

      • Has anyone seen practice? Did either play in the cherry n white game? I know recruits can be busts. But it seems like all out high ranked guys are? Bp and tyler were unrated or 2 stars or lower there both nfl talents

    • I feel your pain. this was as close as we get against psu … at least in talent. … we needed a good game plan and we didn’t get it 5-2 on defense, in hack’s face all day and we play 3-8? got to be kidding me. offense is same old same old … every.damn.week 3-4 wides, every damn week no wr and qb protection in that formation. rather go max protect with a tight end, wr and slot receiver, fullback, halfback and plenty of play action. that’s the way to go. that these supposedly are “good football guys” (they are not) and don’t see that makes me fear for the future of temple football.

  16. John, the Big 10 has officially banned schools from scheduling patsy opponents, meaning no MAC teams, no BCS teams, etc. I live in Ohio and that’s the word on that.
    I know defensive schemes affect pass coverage but isn’t receivers getting open largely a 1-on-1 thing? Our guys rarely get open. Is it the talent level or the routes they’re told to run? Also, plays to the sides or ends whether they be passes or runs, seem to be a major problem for Temple’s D. Still feel that the D did ok enough but the O simply sucks. Rhule should make himself the OC. He did a good job under Golden. Satterfield must go or be dictated to on how to run the O. Period.

    • You last sentence is the “tough decision” Matt will have to make today. He, unfortunately, is too nice a guy to make the necessary decisions like that to move the organization forward. If I were Rhule (I’m a lot more cut-throat than he is, though) I would demote Satterfield today to WR coach and make Adam DiMichele the QB coach and tell the press I’m taking over as OC and we’re going back to running the same kind of Temple TUFF offense we ran under Golden. Run the ball, play action, max protect for P.J so he can at least have more than one second to survey the field. If Satterfield quits, he quits. He can go back to Hooterville.

      • Mike correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t Satterfield originally hired to fill that role on the staff with Rolovich having accepted to OC job coming over from Nevada? When he backed out kind of late in the game Rhule moved Satterfield up to OC. I’m more like you and given the circumstances of Satterfield’s getting the OC job in this manner I wouldn’t see the problem if I were in Rhule’s position of saying I thought the guy had good potential, could grow into the job and it didn’t work out, he’s free to stay on as WR. Also think having young QBs it has to be a help to have a full time coach for that position.

  17. Mike, what’s with you and your fascination with A Robinson? Have you actually paid attention during any of the games?

    • yes, i paid a lot of attention to him knocking over an ALL-SEC guard back into his own qb, picking up a loose ball and rambling and rumbling 68 yards for a touchdown against vandy. since then, I’ve seen a potential AAC first-team 5-2 nose guard being forced to play out of position as a 4-3 tackle, but that’s par for the course for a lot of our really good athletes and he is one.

  18. The big Ten’s ban was what I was alluding to. As far as I know other conferences have not followed suit although I have heard talk of limiting the scheduling of games to teams in the Power Five conferences. That would be such a greedy, cynical move. Frankly, all the schools should realign geographically- 6 conferences of 18 teams. It would save them all a bundle on traveling costs for their non-revenue sports as well as on travel wear and tear on their athletes.

  19. JD, agree with most of your thoughts. This 5 year time frame is ridiculous. First of all, last year never should have been as bad as it was and this year 7 wins should have been minimum. Therefore, to say the 5 wins are already sooo much better than last year is nothing but hype talk. Frustration is the word at this point. And the players have to be feeling it too. I mean, what the hell is Rhule doing? The same major problems on O and no adjustments – seems like last year all over again. The team is sinking and it seems like he doesn’t know what to do about it or is too weak a commander to put his foot down with his assistant coaches.

    • Jon, agree with your comments about last year ans this year. At least 6-6 most likely gets you into a bowl game this year, which does several things, give the team several additional weeks of practice time, I have to think helps recruiting and most importantly to you earlier point about the B10 ban (sure it’s only a matter of time before other P5 conferences do the same thing) who do you think are going to be the teams scheduled for P5 OOC games? So while PSU will still consider us an “easy” game they will be able to make the case “hey, we’re scheduling bowl teams from the non-P5 conferences”. I just don’t understand the talk on the other blogs about the program having the “right trajectory”????, it’s takes time to build a program, need to have patience, blah-blah. Well, news flash to those folks, Temple had the time and wasted it with Wallace, Dickerson, etc, not investing money in the program in the 80’s and 90’s, this program is playing catch up now. To me the “right trajectory” is make a bowl this year, in 2015 at worst be 2nd or 3rd in the east division with a winning record, and from that point forward be an annual contender for the division and AAC conference crown. Anything less and by the time the series with Rutgers rolls around, I think 2018 or somewhere around there, they’ll be canceling because Temple won’t be a strong enough opponent for them to play out of conference.

  20. Another thought. Maybe next year will reveal a big turn-around for the offense, as the defense did this year from last – or is that just wishful thinking? The offense didn’t even have to be real good for Temple to be 7-3 right now, just decent with fewer mistakes. Navy and particularly Memphis could have been wins easily enough. Enough already….

    • I don’t think they have the right approach on offense. They struggle to score 13 points a game pretty much against everyone. The one time they scored a pair of offensive touchdowns recently (against ecu) they used 2 backs. What do they have to lose going to 2 backs and giving this young quarterback more than a second to get rid of the ball? Nothing now. They have two weeks. Let’s get something done.

      • Hey Mike, they tried the two-back set and lo and behold it worked to some degree against ECU. The fact that it worked knocked the coaches for a loop because it wasn’t part of the process. Can’t have any more of that so they haven’t used its since. Sarcasm is all I have left.

  21. It may be all any of us have left. don’t see them winning against cincy because tuberville is smart enough to rush six when we go empty backfield and that should be enough to win that game for him. going 3-4 wides will get us the same 13 points we struggle for every week at tulane and that could go 16-13 or 13-10. doesn’t matter who the foe is the last few weeks, we seem to top out in the 13 range.

  22. C’mon guys, sarcasm’s it? I still have loads of frustration, annoyance, even some anger thrown in for good measure. Pretty good recipe for cooking up being a Temple football fan don’t you think? Sheeeeit! One more win and while not off the hook we’ll give them a bye. How’s that?

    • Sarcasm is all they deserve given the amateurish coaching job they’ve done this season.

      • Let’s look at this staff objectively. I DC who went 0-16 as a NFL DB coach and who allowed an average of 41 points a game in his last 3 seasons at E. Michigan. Forty-one points!!!!! … that’s for my friend, Doogie Hoops, who likes to use a lot of exclamation points in his defense of Rhule. OK, he’s had a good season this year and maybe his penultimate year at EMU but still has not had a shutout of a FBS team since 1986!!!! (that’s for you, Doogie!!!!). By contrast, Heater had shutouts over 2 consecutive FBS teams on back-to-back weeks in 2011. Then the OC who really didn’t even distinguish himself at Tenn-Chat. and who was brought here to be a WR coach. coach foley, foreman, elijah r. and mike s. are ok, but then you drop down to a whole bunch of grad assistant types. we really struggle with halftime adjustments. think bowles would have brought in nick rapone to lead the defense and Keith armstrong to lead the offense and we would have been away better off. I know hackenburg would have spent saturday on his ass if bowles was the coach.

      • Sept. 21, 1996: Arizona State 19 – Nebraska 0. ASU Defensive Coordinator: Phil Snow.

  23. 96 … big difference. still last century.

    • Humm, same season that ASU lost to Ohio State who had a last minute, 65 yard scoring drive against a prevent defense in the Rose Bowl to win the game and probably cost ASU the national championship. ASU Defensive Coordinator: Phil Snow

      • good point. harry donahue said in the pre-game show with matt rhule that, “Hey, Matt, after seeing christian hackenberg, i would send everybody after him. he doesn’t seem to handle the pressure well.” Matt gave a really non-committal answer but we really weren’t in his face like we were with the 3 vandy qbs. If we would have blitzed the hell out of the guy and he beat us, I would accept the loss a lot better. instead, we played 3 down linemen at least 50 percent of the time. not a temple tuff defense.

      • Still got them to the Rose Bowl though, didn’t he.

    • Yeah, 96 versus your wrong 86 is a BIG difference.

  24. Philly.Com had a story this week lauding the fact that PSU’s line was coming together. Hmmm. Who did they play last Saturday? Prior thereto, the line had been a disaster. I have to laugh to stop from crying. For those who want to see a complicated offense this week-end run at a high level watch St. Joe Prep on Saturday at noon on comcast sportsnet.

  25. NEphilly Owl, did you look at Asu’s schedule in ’96? Gave up 42 against Washington, 34-UCLA, 35-USC, 27-Oregon. Some great defensive year. Jake the Snake was the only reason that team was successful.

    • That’s the problem John, people don;t look at his track record long term. A lot of the criticism leveled here regarding Phil Snow as DC was not so much the performance of the defense last year but rather how it seemed to fit into a pattern of declining defenses he had been in charge. Plus as Mike points out offenses of the 80s and 90s when Snow did run some very good defenses are a lot different then today. As the adage goes, “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat”

    • Yeah,John, I looked at it. They only gave up an average of 18 ppg and shut out the #1 team in the nation, Went 11-1 and lost one game to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. The point is, Mike said Snow hadn’t shut out a FBS since 1986, when in fact, he shut out the #1 ranked team a DECADE later. Criticize Snow all you want, that’s fine with me. His recent track record warrants some skepticism. But just get the facts right.

  26. You’re the one who cherry-picked one game from that season thereby implying that Snow was better than he’s been . You have to present all the facts before accusing someone of not doing so. Besides, this site has laid off Snow for the most part. Against PSU, he should have blitzed Hackenberg on every play as other teams have done and not played so vanilla because he’s shown that he doesn’t like to be blitzed.

    • John, you are probably right about Snow and blitzing and how they performed against PSU. But my original point was the following: Mike said let’s look at this staff objectively. And then he produces a list of criticisms against the defensive coordinator. And that’s OK. His track record definitely deserves such scrutiny. But he should at least, for someone who was an award-winning sports journalist, get his facts correct. Don’t you think that’s fair? If someone were going to criticize you to other people, wouldn’t you at least hope they have their facts correct and not make you look even worse?

      Let’s go point by point about Mike’s facts on Snow that he outlined above:

      1) Snow was the linebackers coach, not the DB coach of the Lions. And not much of a contributing factor the LB coach has on a team being 0-16 I’m not quite sure. Todd Bowles was the DB coach on an Eagles team that gave up the most points in team history, but i wouldn’t blame him for that.

      2) Allowed 35.2 ppg in his 3 seasons at Eastern Michigan, not 41.

      3) Shut out an FBS team in 1996, NOT 1986. Yes, it’s only 10 years, but it is a big difference between 18 years ago and 28 years ago.

      Again, not a record of distinction, and many might say, so what if it’s 35 instead of 41 or 1996 instead or 1986. Well, if a reporter makes that many mistakes in one article, the editor is going to be none too happy.

      So criticize Snow. Again, I have no problem with that. But just be fair and accurate because none of us would want people making up facts to criticize us. Don’t you agree?

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