Every once in a while, we submit the extraordinary insight of a former Temple football player, Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub. Fizz graced us with this analysis of the game. Enjoy.
By: Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub
For the third year in a row, we end up in despair. Two years ago, we lost out three in a row. Last year, we lost a winnable game in Houston, and then a horribly coached and played game against Toledo. This past Tuesday, after a terrific conference championship, we lost to Wake Forest. There were three major reasons for this loss, the defensive coordinator, the offensive coordinator, and the NCAA.
When I watch a game, I mentally grade the coaching. That’s because the players will always make great plays and poor plays, and many in-between. The refs will also be inconsistent, and that’s to be expected. What shouldn’t ever happen, is that the coaches screw it up. That’s what happened.
Yes, Phil Snow coached a highly rated defense this year. Despite the fact he always drove me crazy when he’d go to a three-man rush when the opponent had a third and long, the defense was fine. It wasn’t even satisfactory on Tuesday.
Wake found a weakness early on, and Snow never adjusted. Wake would come up to the line, look to the sideline for the called play, and then adjust their formation. After Wake’s adjustment, Temple would look to their sideline for their defensive call. Yo Phil, while you were sending in the call, Wake Forest was already running the damn play. Over and over, even into the fourth quarter this was happening and a major contributor to the Wake Forest tight end catching and running down the middle of the field without a Temple defender in sight.
How do you fix it? Well, it’s simple. You let your defensive captain make the call on the field. We have two guys on the defense who will probably be playing on Sunday. They should be trusted to make the call. When I was playing in high school (in a previous century), we had four different defenses, and the captain made the call.
Moving on to the offense, I could never tell if it was Matt Rhule, who dictated the mostly conservative play calling, or the offensive coordinator. But in the AAC, it didn’t matter because we had more talent than mostly everyone, and we’d overwhelm the other teams in the second half. It mattered Tuesday though.
Wake was consistently blitzing up the middle, yet we ran no real screens, no middle screens, no jet sweeps, which would have put Jahad outside their rush, or flares to Jahad after a quick fake. Over and over on first down, we called the straight hand-off to our running back into the teeth of the blitz. All this did was put us in second and third and long, so they could bring great pressure on Walker.
Four times we were in the red zone, and two of those times the first play was the direct hand-off which got stuffed. We ended-up having to kick four field goals, despite two, first and goal situations. Yes, I know; Phillip took some horrible sacks. However, those sacks were after we were already in second, and third and long situations.
Now let’s review the NCAA bullshit rules that allow schools to poach each other’s coaches. Mike Jensen from the Inquirer and I, tried to fight this nonsense four years ago. I even wrote a letter to the NCAA, and got a politician’s reply from the Executive V.P. that any rule change would have to be initiated by the schools themselves. The NCAA won’t ever force a change because they fear the Power 5 will simply form their own association.
There’s an easy solution for the problem. Simply move the signing day back to March 1st, and mandate that all the coaches who are leaving must coach in championship and bowl games. It’s grossly unfair to the players and their schools for the current piracy to continue. How much did the coaching turmoil affect Temple? For sure, it couldn’t have helped, and it was a definite factor in keeping us from finishing in the top 25.
So Temple fans, here we are again. A new head coach is on board, and there will be new coordinators. Will we improve? I’ll let you know after the Notre Dame game. On the plus side, I did get to see a win over Penn State last year, and a conference championship this year.
Tomorrow: Season Analysis