Saturday, September 22, 2012

No anger, just disappointment


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.
Again.
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.

20 comments:

MassOwl82 said...

Totally agree on South Florida. You can tell a lot about a program from non-conference.games. On its previous trip to Indiana USF beat some obscure French school, Notre something.

Temple Football Forever said...

That was a different year and so is this one. All I know is that everybody was saying how big a step this was to the Big East for Temple and all the freaking MAC teams are beating the crap out of all the freaking BE teams.
It's time for Temple to blow somebody out and USF is next on the schedule.
No excuses. Get the ball in space to Montel and Matty and watch them go. That works. Running it up the middle doesn't.

Philly TU Grad said...

Mike, while I agree with a lot of your points, sitting through the game today at PSU I really didn't see a very strong Lions team. They did win but are not that good of a team. I didn't like the way we were gashed by some mediocre RBs and still put no pressure on McGloin who is average at best My big concern is what appears to be no change in strategy, adjustments, etc. Daz needs to stop running an offense where he still thinks he has Tebow at QB

MassOwl82 said...

This year USF won at Nevada, which.won at Cal. Non-conf games mean nothing. Convenient how you point to UConn's loss at WMich to make your point but ignore that.Huskies beat Maryland. Isn't it unseemly to trash other teams and.opinions when your own team plays like.crap?

Temple Football Forever said...

If non-conference games mean nothing, then why are you worried about Temple "playing like crap" against Penn State.
Means nothing, right?

MassOwl82 said...

Correct. Just like a phony-baloney third tier Bowl win over Wyoming means squat as do wins over Villanova. You build a program by playing your best in the most important conference games and against ranked, not rank, foes. Curious, what was TU's record against MAC bowl teams 2009-2011?

Temple Rugby said...

"Temple Timid". I started writing a long rant, but no need. "Temple Timid" just sums it up....

Temple Football Forever said...

They have no control over who they play in a bowl game. They took care of business last year after opening up 5-4. They COULD take care of business again this year.
Still, they can't leave plays on the field.

Temple Football Forever said...

Disagree about PSU backs. All of them were big-time recruits and Zordich is a beast. Temple didn't get beat by walk-ons.
Sometimes you have to recognize that you are playing a Big 10, not a Big East, foe out there.
Temple didn't move from the MAC to the Big 10.
As disappointed as I am about this loss, and I'm crushed, I have no doubt Penn State would smoke Rutgers, South Florida and probably Louisville, too.
Evidently the fans who vote in our poll feel the same way, too.
So it's not all doom and gloom in Owlville.
Doom and gloom if we're not able to do what Ball State did, but no doom and gloom yet.

CleanDIRT 's Comeback Page said...

Mike, I was at that game with my son and the rest of sections NL and NLU showing our Temple pride, even if the Temple defense and Chris Coyer didn't do the same thing. I also watched that game and was astonished how those 'average' running backs at PSU were looking like Silas Redd against us. Again, I'll have to disagree with Aug 2014's pending victory over PSU to be a hollow one, PSU and their obnoxious fans (although in person they seemed fairly pleasant, dangit) didn't feel their wins over some very inferior Owls teams were hollow victories. Finally, as I have suspected since the day we were reinvited to the Big East, we will do fine, Louisville (which should be winning that poll handily btw) is the only team in the Big East that gives me pause, I would expect nothing less than 5-2 in the Big East this season, that accompanied with the VU and projected Army victory gets us to 7-4 and one of the BE's primo bowl bids.

Temple Football Forever said...

I totally agree, Clean Dirt (except for the hollow part). If they beat us in 2014, which they won't, they will be doing it with walk-ons and I don't think that's going to happen.
The Penn State fans around me weren't nice, but I just sat there and took game notes and didn't cheer like I usually do.
Anything less than 5-2 in the BE the rest of the way and I will be disappointed.
But for us to run the table, we're going to have to hit open passes and defend a lot better than we've been.
Can we win a game 31-27, like Ball State did, or 32-31, like CMU did.
We might have to.
Get Kevin Newsome in there on defense. We need a more athletic safety who can defend (and intercept) passes, rather than reacting with tackles 20 yards after the catch.
Newsome is doing us no help carrying a clipboard.

Tractorr said...

Sorry Mike but I think it is time to accept that the Owls did take a huge step back this year.

I was as optimistic as you were coming into this season but there was just too much experience lost. We are simply not a team loaded with enough talent to reload. This isn't to say these players won't improve but many of them are going to need this season to get where they need to be.

The only trouble for next year will be rebuilding much of the front 7.

Temple Football Forever said...

You could be right and I could be wrong.
Heater had to replace seven starters on D from two years ago and it improved to No. 3 in the country.
He only had to replace six this year.
If anybody is capable of fixing this defense, it's Heater.
I will say one thing: Those ALMOST sacks we had with Youboty would have been definite sacks with Arob. We miss his motor.
With have guys with his talent, like Sean Daniels, but we don't have any guys with his motor.
And why can't we knock down or INT a pass anymore?
Do we ALWAYS have to let the guy catch it and tackle him 20 yards downfield?

William Lloyd said...

New rule: you can't claim future victories against your big brother unless you've beaten them once in the last 70 years.

ArtieFufkin10 said...

PSU Fan here - Despite the outcome, I think Temple showed a lot of guts. There were definitely some missed opportunities and by that I mean dropped passes or misses WRs - a few of those get caught and we're looking at a much different game.

Also, I was impressed with your defensive front 7. We've had some problems at RT and they were definitely beating up that side of the line.

Good luck the rest of the year.

ArtieFufkin10 said...

PSU fan here. Despite the outcome, Temple showed a lot of guts yesterday. If not for a few missed WRs or dropped passes, we're likely looking at a much closer game.

I was also impressed with your front 7. The right side of our OL has been weak and you guys definitely exploited that.

Good luck the rest of the season.

MassOwl82 said...

Wow, while I would LOVE to see TU go 5-2 in the BE I need to see some concrete evidence that we are capable. We did not beat one MAC bowl team the last three seasons. Addazio is impressive behind the microphone and embarrassing on the sideline (the Bowling Green game last year was a warning). We don't have an OLine, we are hoping on improvement from freshmen wideouts, and our CB play has been D3 level.
Oh, and we lack discipline and have no home atmosphere. More than glad to be wrong.here and will gladly buy a round on Oct. 6 if we bounce back.

Philly TU Grad said...

I have to disagree with the assessment of the PSU running backs. We are talking about the same Michael Zordich who started out as a LB, moved to fullback and until this season his best rushing year was 40 yards. While I'm not going to say that Rutgers wouldn't have gotten smoked, I don't think PSU would have gotten half the yards on the ground they got on TU. Plus I think they would have dumped McGloin a few times. No we didn't get beat by walks ons more like the 3rd tailback of the year and a 5th year senior QB who is basically the starter because he was the last man standing at that position and I think he was a walk on.
Have to agree with Cleandirt about Temple fans in NL and NLU, great group. Also liked the Alumni Association setting up the tailgate, just hope they keep this kind of support going and we can build on it

Temple Football Forever said...

Thanks, PSU fans.
Validation for yesterday will come only with a solid finish to the season by Daz and company.
I wish PSU the best of luck going forward.
It does Temple no good for PSU to fall flat in the Big 10 season.
Just saw the replay and the announcers (Ed Cunningham, at least) said that PSU would only lose to Purdue the rest of the way.
I hope PSU runs the table.
As far as 2014, Temple will be favored in that game and win the game.
Past has nothing to do with the future when you only have 30 schollies and Temple has 50.

Temple Football Forever said...

Probably won't be able to moderate any comments until daylight. I know it's only 8:40 and nobody cares, but I have the worst headache and the worst stomach ache of my life. Just took my temp and it's 92.2. I hope that's not real bad.
Probably should not have made the trip.
Will post any comments between now and then in the morning.