Go through the posts on this website and you will find several references of Temple’s offense being one where the coaches tried to fit a square peg into a round hole.
So you can excuse us for wondering just where Temple head football coach got this notion from when he uttered this quote at the inaugural Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl press conference.
“I think we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole on offense,” Collins said. “Once we got a good taste of who our personnel was on offense, it kind of took off.”
Collins could have saved a whole lot of time and heartache by reading what was posted here in September.
Maybe he did.
This is what we wrote in a post on Sept. 22, after a 43-7 loss to USF:
“Ask any Temple fan who followed the team over the last 40 years (I will raise my hand here) who the best set of receivers are in Temple history and that fan will probably say the current group of Ventell Bryant, Adonis Jennings, Keith Kirkwood and Isaiah Wright. Any offense that has those four guys on it is not rebuilding, it should be reloading.
Emphasis on “should be” because the coaching is the X-factor here. Temple won the past two seasons because it catered an offense to suit the talents of its players, and did not try to force fit a square peg (spread offense) into a round hole (play-action offense). A good head coach tailors a scheme to the talent he has, not the talent he wants.”
Better late than never, but putting the square pegs into the square holes and the round ones should have been something that was figured out by August, not by the end of October. The real sad thing is that Collins seemed to be onto it at the season ticket holder party when one season-ticket holder asked him to “never take Nick Sharga out of the game” and Collins responded by saying that he would not and, if anything, Sharga’s role as a lead-blocker in a play-action-oriented offense would be greater than it was a year ago. For reasons only Collins knows, he lied. Maybe he allowed offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude to have too much input.
At least Collins dictated a heavy dose of play action over the final six games of the year and that saved their season. That was the personnel they had all along.
“Temple won the past two
seasons because it catered
an offense to suit the
talents of its players,
and did not try to force
fit a square peg (spread offense)
into a round hole (play-action offense)”
_ Temple Football Forever, Sept. 22, 2017
“I think we were trying to kind
of fit a square peg in a round
hole on offense. Once we got
a really good taste of who
our personnel was,
it kind of took off.”
_ Geoff Collins, Dec. 6, 2017
The Owls took way too long to figure out that they never needed a “running” quarterback as much as they needed a guy with a big enough arm to get the ball to their most talented players on offense, their wide receivers. They figured out too late that many of the “drops” they suffered in September were the result of these same receivers circling back on poorly thrown balls. When they inserted the guy with the big arm, those receivers caught balls in stride and away they went, usually into the end zone.
Collins followed the outline of the advice, although we would have liked to seen more running from guys like Ryquell Armstead and David Hood behind a guy like Nick Sharga.
Maybe next year with those two behind a guy who goes by the nickname of Nitro, opening passing lanes for a guy who goes by the name Juice.
Let’s hope a second-year coach isn’t as slow on the uptake as the first-year one was. One of the fastest ways to fix a problem is to recognize it and, with that one quote, Collins showed there is hope for a better future plan.
Monday: The Padre Pio Factor
Wednesday: Bowl Preview
Friday: Bowl Analysis
Christmas: Season Analysis