The Big Cleanup

I thought “Matt” gave way too much credit to UMass in this presser.

Probably the biggest cleanup in Philadelphia history came over the weekend, when an army of people knocked down barricades and grandstands and swept away a whole bunch of garbage from the Pope’s visit.

The second biggest cleanup, hopefully, was occurring at roughly the same time on Sunday night and Monday afternoon when the Temple Owls had to address some major issues leading up to Friday’s 7 p.m. at Charlotte (CBS Sports Network).

Here are five things that needed to be addressed:

Penn State v Temple

  1. The Run Game

The Owls took the nation’s third-leading rusher, Jahad Thomas, into the game against UMass and came out with a 67-yard rushing effort against a defense that gave up 390 yards to Colorado and 457 yards to Notre Dame. Colorado is a mediocre team, as proven by its loss to Hawaii. It looked like the Owls overreacted to the Minutemen’s stunts and abandoned the run game too early. That cannot happen going forward. If the run game isn’t working inside, the coaches have to take the run game outside.

  1. Killer Instinct

When it was 14-0, Temple, got to find a way to make it 21-0 against these inferior teams like UMass. If Temple TUFF really means anything, you have to put more helmets on their helmets and knock them back off the ball. If that means putting Nick Sharga in at fullback running lead interference for the tailbacks, so be it. Head coach Matt Rhule said “it’s going to be 17-17” but against teams like UMass and Charlotte, it should never be 17-17. Temple has much, much too much talent to b be playing the likes of UMass 17-all at half. Newsflash: UMass is not going to win the MAC in this century or maybe even the next one.


  1. Turnovers

The Owls have to find a way to limit their turnovers in the passing game and one of the ways to do that is to cut the number of throws from 48 against UMass to the more manageable 15-for-20 P.J. Walker had against Penn State. To do that, they have to establish the run first, then throw off play-action. That brings the LBs and safeties close to the line of scrimmage and more susceptible to the play-fake.

  1. Big Plays on Defense

The Owls gave up big plays on defense because they could not get to the quarterback against UMass. Getting to the quarterback is the key to limiting the big plays. They do not have to sack every quarterback 10 times like Penn State, but at least get in the QB’s face so he does not get a good look downfield.

  1. Negative Plays on Offense

The Owls lead the country with 15 negative plays on offense. One way to negate that is to take more shots down field—again off play fakes to the running backs. Robby Anderson was extremely effective making those kind of explosive downfield plays in the passing game and it is high time that he returns to that role. The best way to get Robby involved is to fake it into the belly of Jahad, pull the damn ball out and find Robby streaking down the left sideline.


19 thoughts on “The Big Cleanup

  1. “Newsflash: UMass is not going to win the MAC in this century or maybe even the next one.”

    Newsflash: this is the last year Umass will be in the MAC.

  2. I agree with that assessment. Mark Whipple is a good gameday coach short on players. Should have pounded the living daylights out of that team, like Colorado did. UMass is not NIU, Bowling Green or Toledo. Not even close.

    • bowling green allowed 59 points against Tenn. I guess they are awful too. I guess that upcoming game against memphis is going to be a cupcake then. your logic is so flawed. You find one stat that serves your view and run with it. You don’t bother to see all angles.

      • here’s the only angle that matters regarding UMass: 0-3 and got clobbered by everyone they played not named Temple. They stink. Your logic is flawed, not mine.

    • by the same logic none of this matters. Temple is 3-0, but you find an aspect each week to bash Matt Rhule.

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