Saturday, September 8, 2012

Reasons, not excuses for Temple's loss

This is how the day went for the Owls.

Memo to Chuck Heater: Mike McGloin is a statue. It's time for Temple to cut him down and wrap a Temple T flag around his head, ala Sadaam Hussein

Way early  in the book of Football Game Planning 101 should be a chapter on true freshman quarterbacks.
The chapter should be titled "Blitz Early, Blitz Often."
On the way home from Temple's embarrassing 36-27 loss to Maryland, I remembered all of the video I watched on Maryland's 7-6 win over William and Mary.
Since I thought it was odd the Tribe stayed in the game until the end, I was determined to find out why.
The Tribe brought two extra linebackers on every passing situation, one from each side. William and Mary rolled the dice and essentially won with the strategy despite losing the game.
Perry Hills, Maryland's true freshman QB, never had the time to breathe, led alone find a receiver more than 15 yards down the field. The pressure caused Hills to throw three interceptions and allowed a 1AA football team with a 5-6 record to limit a BCS school to seven points.
Going into the game, I figured Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater would see that, too, and sic Ahkeem Smith and Nate Smith through open gaps on Hills. Instead, Hills faced a four-man pass rush.
Heater, in my mind, is still the best defensive coordinator in the country but he rolled the dice, too, believing guys like John Youboty and Sean Daniels would get enough pressure on Hills so he could eschew the blitzes.
If you don't get there, it's not enough and you should ratchet up the pressure as needed.
Putting the quarterback on his ass is always the best pass defense.
To me, failure to get significant pressure on a mistake-prone true freshman QB was Reason No. 1 why Temple lost today.
 Reasons, not excuses.
My first "oh-no" offensive moment came a couple hours before the game in the parking lot when someone told me Chris Coyer had a 101-degree fever and was getting intravenous treatment. I remembered the old story about Mickey Mantle having a 101.5-degree fever and hitting three home runs in an NBC game of the week, but I forgot Mantle wasn't being chased by 6-3, 230-pound linebackers with 4.6 speed.
To me, Coyer wasn't showing the burst I know he has. He must have had some Holy Water sprinkled on him at halftime because he was cured for the final two quarters.
Reason No. 2 Temple lost today was a lack of a passing game in the first half.
Again, a reason, not an excuse.
Three personal foul penalties, a fumble on the opening drive, not a good way to start.
Reasons, not excuses.
As good as Temple's special teams were last year, you can't have a field goal from essentially extra-point territory blocked. Had that field goal been made, Temple leads, 30-29, and the complexion of the game changes dramatically.
The Temple fans were GREAT in the second half. Imagine how loud they would have been if Temple had a 30-29 lead?
Maybe Zack Smith's departure for Ohio State will be felt more than I thought.
The good news is that these mistakes are fixable.
Matty Brown might not be an every-down back in BCS football, but a healthy Montel Harris sure is. Maybe they are saving that nuclear device to drop on State College.
Geez, I hope so.
Memo to Chuck Heater: Mike McGloin is a statue. It's time for Temple to cut him down and wrap a Temple T flag around his head, ala Sadaam Hussein. I hope they can do it with four but if you can't get to him with four, send five. If you can't get to him with five, send six or seven. Heck, you have to send all the guys on the team named Smith through the unblocked gaps to get him, do it.
We all know a healthy Chris Coyer can deliver at a high level. Hopefully, the next two weeks will be good for his mind and body.
Other good news is that future national champion Rutgers beat Howard, 26-0. (If Temple can't beat Howard, 26-0, they might as well padlock the E-O right now.) Penn State's 17-16 loss at Virginia is not good news, but I don't see them as the Penn State team of a year ago. Pitt is 0-2, including a blowout loss at home to Youngstown State.
There are a lot of winnable games left on the schedule, but not if the Owls can't pressure the quarterback, play with better discipline and avoid turnovers.
It should have happened today, but you can only go forward, not backward.
Oh yeah.
Lafayette won at William and Mary, 17-14.
Freakin' Lafayette.
I might not have a 101-degree fever, but I'm officially sick.