Any analytical look at the Penn State vs. Temple game film from a year can see a lot of foul-ups, but few were committed by defensive coordinator Phil Snow.
Sure, the Owls could have been more aggressive than the rushing three, cover eight, approach they used a year ago but does anyone really believe a call like that to be solely the propriety of the defensive coordinator?
I do not.
That’s a head coach’s call or at least probably was last year.
Snow did the best he could under that general game plan. If he has the influence I believe he has on the head coach, he will do his best to change that approach at least this Saturday against that particular quarterback. Expect a more attacking, not passive, Temple defense this Saturday and that is certainly the way to go against a relatively immobile quarterback like Christian Hackenberg.
If the Owls cannot get to Hackenberg with five, they should bring six. If they can’t get to him with six, they should bring seven. The whole defensive game plan should be predicated on putting him down.
Have the Owls learned their lessons from last year’s laid-back approach? Geez, you have to hope so. A clue as to how the team might approach this game plan came in the final moments against Tulane a year ago. This was the same Tulane team that beat Houston and a team that needed a touchdown in the red zone.
Instead of sitting back, Snow went after the Tulane quarterback with a blitz by linebacker Avery Williams. I’m sure he remembers how successful that approach was. If Temple goes down, it goes down with its guns blazing and not its hands up.
That should be the approach Temple takes against the Penn State offense. Snow’s job is to convince Matt Rhule that’s the right way to go on Saturday. He’s got enough street cred established to do it.
When Steve Addazio was here, he said Chuck Heater was the “head coach of the defense” and, for the most part, that worked out well. Giving Snow that kind of leverage on Saturday could not hurt.