Temple will look to bounce back this week against the Georgia Institute of Technology, lead by Temple’s former head coach, Geoff Collins. The main headline will likely be the return of Geoff Collins, who left Temple at the end of last season. He has faced a difficult rebuild in Atlanta, overhauling an outdated offensive scheme with recruits that were not meant for his new system. It’s been a struggle in the early going for Georgia Tech, who were trying to patch themselves up while idle this past weekend.
Temple must re-focus
Fun fact: Temple has not gone undefeated since 1907, when the great Horace Butterworth lead the formidable Owls to a 4-0-2 record. He currently leads all Temple football head coaches in winning percentage. In fact, Temple has more 0 win seasons (8) and one win seasons (14) then it does undefeated (2) and 1 loss seasons (13). So odds are Temple was going to lose a game at some point.
However, Buffalo jumped out to a 31-7 lead at one point, and the Owls just didn’t seem to have it in them this past weekend. It wasn’t necessarily the fact that the Owls lost, but how fainthearted and toothless the Owls appeared. As soon as the special teams blunder occurred, it’s as if the entire team spiraled out of existence. The body language, coaching, mental mistakes, all of it reminiscent of the 2013 Owls that urged Rhule to play PJ Walker and other underclassmen.
To be sure, this season isn’t a lost cause such as that one. The conference schedule is as wide-open as it will be. The AAC is there’s for the taking. The coaching staff will be under the microscope this week. They, along with the players, need to show some heart.
georgia institute of technology
Not much has gone right of Geoff Collins at GT, who paid The Citadel 400k to come in and beat the Yellowjackets. Many people will probably disagree with this next statement, but I am huge fan of the #Moneydown and Geoff Collins money down dollar bills. I mean, who thinks of this?
Geoff Collins remains the same, a marketing genius who has knack for creating headlines. This past weekend he hit the recruiting trail, and as Geoff Collins can only do, took a helicopter to some Friday night lights. I mean honestly, what recruit wouldn’t get excited for a college coach to chopper in to his game? If you weren’t already, you would be the man of the school, everyone would be talking about it. Recruits love that kind of attention from coaches. If nothing else, Collins gets an A+ for theatrics. Anything to build the brand. If it gets attention to Geoff Collins, it gets attention to Georgia Tech. And that’s a marketing win.
On the field it has been anything but winning. Georgia Tech has struggled mightily in the early going. They have only a handful of seniors on the roster, making things more challenging. They gave up 320 rush yards to Citadel. The week before, just 92 rush yards to a formidable South Florida rushing attack. I know, USF is falling apart as well, but they DO have good running backs and had to play Wisconsin the week before (yikes!). GT faces significant injuries along its offensive line, with backups comprising of walk-ons. Brent Key is a solid coach, but when you are down to your 8th and 9th offensive lineman, things are not looking good, even if we are talking about Bama.
georgia tech offense
Their offense ranks 126th in the country. Knowing Temple, it’s likely we will make them look 26th. If we have learned nothing about Temple football over the years, it’s that they always play up or down to the competition. Everyone knows Georgia Tech has a bad offense, so look for them to reel off chunks of yards. They rank 108th in 3rd down conversions, have all but 6 redzone attempts which is tied for 128th. Tobias Oliver is a tricky dual-threat QB and only a sophomore. He is the type of QB that will give Temple fits. Buffalo did a great job mixing in QB keepers on some of their RPO plays. I think GT will attempt to exploit it. With Patenaude at the helm, Georgia Tech will likely employ Lucas Johnson, who is probably their most quarterback-y quarterback. He has about 136 yards passing at 1 touchdown on the season. A third QB, James Graham, is just a freshman but a 4 star recruit. He also has seen some game time but has battled some injures. They don’t know what they are doing at QB, don’t have much of an OL, and have Patenaude as their offensive coordinator. So look for them to accumulate 450 yards of offense, doubling their season average. They do have a good RB in Jordan Mason, who God bless him running behind that OL, has to see his life flash before his eyes each time he touches the ball. They do have a little pep in their step, ranking 40th in the country in 10+ rush yard plays. The bye week came at just the right time for Georgia Tech to help heal their offensive woes. They do have good receivers, plenty of athleticism and talent, but not much on film just yet.
minister of mayhem
Defensively the Yellowjackets are a bit more stingy, as you would expect. Their pass defense ranks 6th in the country at just 140 yards per game (because Clemson and Citadel ran for 300+ yards). They have 5 forced fumbles on the season, tied for 15th. On 11 redzone attempts, the defense has allowed just 5 touchdowns, 23rd in the country. The team ranked 24th? Temple. They also have 3 fumbles recovered to their name, currently 31st.Their base defense appears to be a 4-2-5, utilizing their young talent at DB. They rank 41st in the country in allowing plays of 10+ yards. Not great, but not terrible either. Charlie Thomas is their top playmaker at LB and makes a strong duo with David Curry. They have combined for 43 tackles, 5 TFLs, 3 sacks, and an interception. These guys can play and will be all over the field for GT. At defensive back, Tariq Carpenter and Christian Campbell are both good players and will man the safety spots. They are very young at the corner spots but rank middle of the pack in yards per attempt. Their defensive line has seen some turnover and are generally undersized, especially at defensive end. Again, they are rotating some of their younger and athletic freshman defensive lineman TK Chimedza will remind many of Ifeanyi Maijeh. They are going to be interesting to watch as they develop over the next few years.
Temple opens the Vegas spread at -9. The Owls have the better team, and I don’t think you will get much push back. Both Georgia Tech and Temple suffered difficult losses in their previous games. Georgia Tech is bringing in some really nice recruits and has a talent advantage further down the depth chart. But we aren’t talking about 2022. Right now, Owls should win this game. However, if Georgia Tech can hang in there and make the Owls second guess themselves, I am not sure this team is as TempleTuff as previous ones. I think Temple will play better and tend to respond well after similar losses. Too much of the season is ahead and Carey should have this team better prepared to face off against their ‘ol ball coach.