The Mayhem Express has reached a fork in a road and the map doesn’t indicate which road to take that might lead them to the Promised Land.
Go down the wrong one and this already long season could get a lot longer.
Make the right decision and the Owls could be on a journey that leads to that elusive bowl win that even their last two Top 25 teams could not get.
I must admit that the normal amount of confidence I had in the Owls getting this job done in Greenville, North Carolina (ESPNU, noon today), has been shaken.
Not by the players, but by the coaches.
The Owls have doubled-down on a quarterback who has thrown six interceptions in the last two games and an offense that is ill-suited to the personnel they have. The head coach who assured me personally that he would never take Nick Sharga out of the game looks the other way when his offensive coordinator pulls Sharga out routinely for three wide receivers. Sharga has not played a single game that he was in for more than 15 offensive plays this year and that’s a disgraceful misuse of a wonderful blocking asset.
The defense has shown signs of life only recently after getting uncharacteristically and shockingly gouged on long running plays in the first four games.
The personnel on both offense and defense is fine, so the logical conclusion is the coaching is not up to last year’s standards.
Phil Snow’s defenses were not spectacular but were sound. Except for the opening-game debacle versus Army, when the scheme was wrong, each player was in the right spot to make a play most of the time. This year, they’ve been caught in wrong slants and coverages and the coaches said they were only “misfits” that would be cleaned up next game. Then the next game came and there were more misfits. Defensively, we will find out if the better performance versus Houston was an anomaly or a harbinger of things to come.
Am I the only one who did not hear the word “misfits” applied to a Temple defense in the last two years?
I don’t think so. When you don’t need excuses, you don’t need to come up with them.
If we don’t hear the word misfits in the post-game media session today, you can assume Temple has won what figures to be a low-scoring game.
Something like 16-13 because this OC is a very stubborn man who is never alarmed by scoring 16 or fewer points. That’s where I think this result will fall, something like 16-10, 16-13, 21-17. If Temple wins 41-10, then we are cooking with gas.
If not, we’re rubbing two sticks together and hoping to get a spark.
If we do hear the word misfit against an offense that can put points on the board, just assume the Owls have taken the wrong turm and are on the road to oblivion and that’s the kind of Mayhem none of us expected when the season started.
Tomorrow: Game Analysis