Daz promises this will get fixed, but he doesn't promise it will get fixed by Saturday.
|Bottom four teams in passing in FBS football.|
Would more play-action passes on first down lift the Owls
out of that morass? Couldn't hurt.
The reality is that Temple is a non-competitive football team right now as judged by the most objective meter: The scoreboard.
Addazio wasn't positively giddy in the post-game, but his positive vision based on these abominably bad outcomes is kind of an odd take.
This team hasn't been a good football team since after the UConn game and I think it's gotten a lot worse.
So much worse that I'm very worried about it being able to beat an Army team that got blown out by Stony Brook.
That's right. Stony Freaking Brook.
Army has gotten much better since Stony Brook, beating Boston College and blowing out a decent Air Force team.
Temple, on the other hand, looks lost out there and has nowhere near the swag it had against UConn and USF.
|Temple fans have not had to endure a stretch like this since 2006.|
If those teams can do great things, why can't Temple even stay in a game anymore?
After four straight weeks of devastating losses, I don't know if the Owls can get their swag back.
Young teams should be getting better, not worse, as the season rolls along but that hasn't happened here.
I know Temple's problems run much deeper than play-calling, but it appears to me that the Owls' coaches have been their own worst enemies in the play-calling department. Better play-calling, at least in my view, would have put momentum-changing early points on the scoreboard Saturday and a lot of other Saturdays. That problem dwarfs any other one the Owls might have.
Here are the Owls' first three plays against Cincy:
Run, Run, Run.
Yeah, I know it's a broken record. It's also a terribly unbalanced offense. No other BCS, FBS or FCS team operates an offense this way.
Even though I don't think Chris Coyer was tackled by Munchie Legaux (he's the Cincy backup quarterback), I've been writing all year until I'm blue in the face that this team is not equipped for that style of ball. I've been blue in the face and everywhere else for the last four weeks.
Here were my suggested first three plays against Cincy, published in a post last Monday:
TU25-Chris Coyer uses a play-action fake to Montel Harris to freeze the defense and rolls out and hits Ryan Alderman for a 6-yard gain near the sideline.
TU31-Coyer drops back to pass, then shovels it forward to Harris for an 8-yard gain.
TU39-Coyer runs right on a read option with Harris trailing. When the pitch guy goes for Harris, Coyer takes it upfield for +14, running out of bounds for ball security purposes.
First down has got to, at least SOMETIMES, be a play-action fake to Harris to freeze the defense and get a big gain in the passing game downfield. Then go back to the run. Instead, Temple starts the game in this familiar pattern and it's no surprise that it failed.
Here are Temple's next three plays when it got the ball back:
Run, run, pass.
Talk about a buzzkill.
When you don't throw the ball on first and second down, you get forced to throw it on third and then everybody in the stadium (and especially the defense) knows what you are going to do. Is it any wonder Temple quarterbacks don't get time to throw the ball?
Here were my suggested second three plays against Cincy:
TU25-Coyer drops back and hands off to Harris on the wraparound draw, good for +15
TU40-Coyer rolls out and finds Harris over the middle of the field, +10.
50-Coyer rolls out and DBs come up on run support so he floats the ball over DBs head to Fitzpatrick, who gains 20.
Run, Run, Run.Yeah, I know it's a broken record. It's also a terribly unbalanced offense. No other BCS, FBS or FCS team operates an offense this way
I think this package is a little more imaginative and a little harder to defend than Daz's or Ryan Day's (whoever was responsible). These are easy, confidence-building throws made away from a rush designed to get the QB in a rhythm.
But, as John Belushi might say, noooooooo, Temple's got to stay in a stuck pattern of run, run, run or run, run, pass.
Meanwhile, after the game Addazio said he's confident this thing will turn around.
The quickest way to do that is not to appeal to the players' pride, but to be more creative in the offensive approach.
This team can only succeed if it spreads the ball around and makes teams defend the entire field.
That disconnect between vision and reality is almost as disturbing as the blowout losses have been but not nearly as hard to take as the unbelievably ill-conceived and stubborn play-calling week after week.