Defense is in Good Hands with Coach Phil Snow

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.

The Owls of this year might have a chance at lowering the 13.2 ppg mark of 2011.

The Owls of this year might have a chance at lowering the 13.92 ppg mark of 2011.

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.



8 thoughts on “Defense is in Good Hands with Coach Phil Snow

  1. Agreed. Defense coached/planned by Snow is paramount to a victory on Saturday. It might even be enough to overcome any missing 2nd half adjustments on offense.

    I think we have a good shot at it this year. I really do. Now we just wait!

  2. It isn’t just putting Hackenburg on his ass, it’s also about stopping the run. Last years D didn’t do either very well against PSU. The run, as the game wore on, was what really hurt Temple. Will more defenders on the line also help stop the run? With all those defenders playing off the line last year to defend the pass nobody apparently was in position or told to close in on runners when they saw a handoff. Will pass rushers be able to catch runners from behind before they get very far? No matter what, we’ll see how it goes in 4 days. Go Owls.

    • with Ioannidis, Walton and Robinson in the middle (and Matakevich and Alwan behind them), not that worried about the run. I am worried about seeing Temple sit back and play cover than attack. The Tulane game was really the first I saw a sustained “fu*k it, we’re coming after ’em” approach on defense. I loved it. Put the other guy back on his heels. Of course, the counter to this is screens but we have 2 great linebackers who tackle well in the open field and our corners and safeties tackle well, too.

  3. about snow. I do feel that he’s nearing the end (not of life) but of his career. I hope Temple finds a suitable replacement. Still, Temple got torched by PSU (largely the result of offensive turnovers), Houston, UCF and Navy so Phil has room to improve this season.

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