Close-but-no-cigar was typified by how close TU got to sacking McGloin on a 4th and 5 TD pass.
I thought the coaches had a great gameplan. My only question was punting on 4th and 4 late in the third quarter, down 14-3. Kick it into the end zone and you gain only 20 yards of field position. To me, the correct call was to get a swing pass out there on the sideline near the sticks for four yards and keep the drive going. That's the logical call and I don't see giving up that down in exchange for 20 yards of field position. I didn't see it when the call was made and I didn't see it after PSU went 80 yards for a 21-3 lead. That's being Temple Timid, not Temple TUFF.
UNIVERSITY PARK _ After Temple's 36-27 loss to Maryland, the predominant feeling from this corner was anger.
Anger, as in, "How can you not blitz the crap out of a true freshman QB who threw three blitz-induced picks against William and Mary?"
That loss was on the coaches.
Now, sitting here getting free wifi in McDonald's after a 24-13 loss to Penn State, the overwhelming emotion is disappointment.
This one is on the players.
I thought the coaches had a great game plan. My only question was punting on 4th and 4 late in the third quarter, down 14-3. Kick it into the end zone and you gain only 20 yards of field position. To me, the correct call was to get a swing pass out there on the sideline near the sticks for four yards and keep the drive going. That's the logical call and I don't see giving up that down in exchange for 20 yards of field position. I didn't see it when the call was made and I didn't see it after PSU went 80 yards for a 21-3 lead. That's being Temple Timid, not Temple TUFF.
But the plays left on the field before that were the game-changers.
As the only Temple fan sitting in my section (thanks to a free ticket from a PSU supporter and friend) from near the top row of Beaver Stadium, I could see both Cody Booth and Jalen Fitzpatrick CLEARLY being missed on sure-fire touchdown passes.
Had the Owls hit those seemingly easy pitch and catches, the game might have been different. No bigger Chris Coyer supporter than I, but it looked like he missed the Fitzpatrick pass altogether.
On the other one, it looked as if Cody Booth stopped in the pass pattern did not go where the ball was designed to be thrown.
|Owlscoop.com's take on the game plan.|
Since Jalen complained to the ref about being held, I think that might have been the case on his play, too.
Still, I think Chris could have adjusted those throws for two scores.
Adam DiMichele makes both of those throws for scores. He didn't care about timing patterns. Of course, on the other hand, Chester Stewart throws both balls into the first row, so I guess everything is relative.
That's easy for me to say because I wasn't being rushed by 6-foot-5, 300-pound linemen, but those are plays a big-time team makes in a big-time setting.
Temple isn't a big-time team. At least not yet.
It really ticks me off that the first Temple win over Penn State will come with an asterisk, but it's going to happen in Philadelphia on Aug. 30, 2014.
The asterisk, of course, will be Temple having 10 more scholarships than Penn State in each of the next two seasons leading up to that game.
Temple will have a talent and depth edge so pronounced that I would be surprised Penn State gives Temple the kind of game the Owls have given PSU the last three years.
On Saturday, though, it was just another case of close, but no cigar against PSU.
I like cigars.
Temple could have given their fans a puff of a primo Havana cigar on Saturday.
Instead, we'll have to settle for one of those cheap 7-11 cigars in 2014 and that's a long way away.
That's the bad news out of Saturday.
Other bad news came from our former MAC brethren against Big 10 teams. While Temple was losing at Penn State, Central Michigan was getting it done at Iowa and lowly Eastern Michigan was throwing a scare into Michigan State.
If them, why not Temple?
The good news is that these are fixable problems. The defense is not a SEC-level defense, but it certainly is good enough to excel in the Big East.
Here's the offensive fix: Have Romond Deloatch, Jalen Fitzpatrick, Deon Miller and Ryan Alderman in the receiving rotation. Forget everybody else for now. Get those guys up to speed. I know Deloatch stepped out of bounds on his great catch, but that is a minor problem that's fixable in practice for a true freshman. He fights for the ball and catches it. I like that. I know Alderman had a drop, but that was his only drop in a three-year career at Temple that I can recall. He's a great third-and-eight option. Fitzpatrick can make explosive plays downfield and he won't drop the ball, either.
Get the ball "in space" to Montel Harris and Matty Brown more. Shovel passes, screens, pitchouts. Those guys are deadly in space, not so much between the tackles.
If you want to run it up the middle, give it to fullback Wyatt Benson.
I think Penn State will prove to be the best team on the Temple schedule not named Louisville and the Lions might even be better than Louisville.
More good news came from the mighty Big East on Saturday:
South Florida lost at Ball State (in the same stadium Temple beat Ball State, 42-0, last year).
"That's the kind of team we'd like to be in four years," Ball State coach Dave Lembo said of Temple after that loss last year. Since then, Ball State has beaten a Big 10 team and South Florida.
Heck, Ball State is the kind of team I'd like Temple to be in two weeks, too. Temple hasn't fallen that fast in a year, has it? I don't think so but they'll have to prove it to me on Oct. 6.
Also, Western Michigan beat UConn.
Yeah, that transition from the MAC is really going to be tough for the Owls.
They have the blueprint for the fixes and two weeks to do it against South Florida. If Ball State can do it, so can they. There can be no excuses next time. Get 'er done.
Now for the long ride home for both me and them.