Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rutgers' fixation with Temple

Hopefully, the Owls will be smiling like this after the RU game in November.
Photo by Patrick Rosenbaum


After the 2012 Temple spring game, I talked to a couple of Temple players in the parking lot at Lincoln Financial Field.
I asked the two guys to do me one favor.
"If you do anything this year, please beat Rutgers," I said. "I've never seen more obnoxious fans in my life."
This is how every RU-TU game should go. ....interesting use of the possessive in headline.
"Don't worry," one of the Owls' said, "we've got something special planned for them."
Their fans are at it again today, calling the Owls' recent recruiting surge into New Jersey "getting RU leftovers" and saying that the Owls' recruits are "RU Plan B" guys who Piscataway can pooch on signing day if needed.
I don't get this RU fixation with downplaying Temple's recruiting successes, but it does stir the rivalry juices.
I guess if Kent State didn't teach RU a lesson in humility, Temple is going to have to come the first Saturday in November.
Not all RU fans are like this, to be fair, but from the 54 plus replies to that thread, a good 50 of them give Temple no credit.
Last year, it was Temple's fault.
It's football, not rocket science, so:
On offense, look for the Owls to use guys like Khalif Herbin and Jalen Fitzpatrick on quick slants to open up the running game for, say, Zaire Williams, on wraparound draws.
On defense, use the Owls' speedy LBs to get in Nova's face one second after he snaps the ball.
After Temple blew a 10-0 halftime lead and went on to lose, 35-10, last year I could not blame the kids.
They could have not known that the "something special" their coach had planned for Rutgers was to run the ball up the middle all day against the then top-ranked run defense in the country.
Nor did they figure the Owls would play defense passively, dropping eight into coverage at times and allowing the Rutgers' QB all day to throw the ball in the second half.
As far as Temple games go, it was the worst game day strategy I've seen since Ron Dickerson and that's pretty bad.
Yesterday, the Owls spent all day helping build a house in Philadelphia as the Habitat for Humanity program.
I hope when they go to Piscataway in the fall they help tear down one.
Just judging by what new coach Matt Rhule wheeled out in this spring's game, I think Temple will have a much better plan of attack this fall.


A week later, Kent State showed Temple what should have been the blueprint for beating the Scarlet Knights _ use ultra-quick linebackers in blitzing situations and force Gary Nova, the QB with happy feet, into  six interceptions.
That should be the plan this year.
It's football, not rocket science, so:
On offense, look for the Owls to use guys like Khalif Herbin and Jalen Fitzpatrick on quick slants to open up the running game for, say, Zaire Williams, on wraparound draws.
On defense, use the Owls' speedy LBs to get in Nova's face one second after he snaps the ball on both gap and edge blitzes.
I'm looking forward to Notre Dame, like every other Owl fan, and I fully understand the "one game at a time" mentality in a 12-game season.
With apologies to Thomas Jefferson, though, not all wins in a 12-game season are created equally and the first Saturday in November certainly qualifies under that declaration of war, not independence.

2 comments:

Da M Nels said...

Rutgers fans were pretty nice last year. The Maryland fans were very obnoxious. Why are you giving away a good game plan on your blog? Are you another Edward Snowden ;) ?

Temple Football Forever said...

Don't need to give it away.
With Khalif Herbin and Jalen Fitzpatrick on the edges, one 5-yard slant can turn into an 80-yard TD and there is nothing .. NOTHING ... RU can do about it.

They'll just be grabbing air.