Ample evidence in this film to make P.J. a full-time rollout passer as we’ve been saying all year.
Up 13-0, you’ve got to win the game.
So, how do you not?
Let’s count the ways.
The first and most important is that you cannot come up with empty possessions. An empty possession is one without a field goal or a touchdown and, after 13-squat, the Owls came up with seven empty possessions.
Watching on TV, it only seemed like 70.
Phillip Walker had a career night with over 400 yards worth of passing, but most of those 400 yards were needed with a 13-0 lead and the Owls were way too comfortable walking off the field as it went to 13-3 and 13-6.
There has got to be a greater sense of urgency at 13-0 than there was Thursday night.
The body language was “la-dee-da, we’ll get them next time” but, in big-time college football, there is no next time.
The sad truth is that there will be no AAC championship for the Owls this season and it was left on a football field in Memphis when the score was 13-0. They had a chance to put the hammer down and make it 20-0 and 27-0, but refused to see how important that was.
You can talk all you want about a kickoff return for a touchdown or two long touchdown runs before that, and even the two missed field goals from a guy who had hit 17 in a row (I know, the announcers should have never mentioned that), but this game, this night, was lost when it was 13-0.
The Temple coaches were far too comfortable is “managing” the game at 13-0 rather than putting it away when the pedal needed to be put to the medal. Nick Sharga and Brian Carter, two standouts in their limited time on defense stopping the run up the middle, were nowhere to be found and the Owls were gouged up the middle late without them. Does this coaching staff even know they are on the team? From the 120 yards in penalties at Penn State to the horrific defensive game plan against Army’s triple option, to the lack of killer instinct at Memphis, one thing is clear about this 2016 version of the Temple Owls.
This is a poorly-coached football team. How does Memphis hire a 34-year-old guy with no head coaching experience who goes 4-1 when the same guy Temple hired in his first year went 2-10? You thought Memphis would have the coaching growing pains, not Temple. Turned out the opposite was the case. The Wildcat Offense is an absolute joke when you have someone running it who has not demonstrated he can complete a pass out of it. What do you think the scouting report for Temple is when Isaiah Wright comes into the game? That he’s going to throw the ball? They just load up on the run.
Late in this one, I thought the law of averages would catch up to Temple and the Owls would be the ones benefitting from a Hail Mary pass instead of the ones suffering from it (Fordham, Buffalo, UCF). Instead, this game was lost long before then when the game was sitting on what turned out to be unlucky 13.
Now the only thing left is to figure out what crummy bowl game the Owls will be sent to, if indeed they are that lucky.
Sunday: Catching Up With Greatness