|Note Boston College was beaten badly by Temple, yet beat Navy, 37-0. This was the only time I ever saw Hardin say he was outcoached but Temple had better personnel than Marshall and won, 31-10.|
Not long ago in the general scheme of history, Temple was known as having a smart football team.
"I was outcoached by Wayne Hardin again," Joe Paterno said after his second-straight one-point win in a row over the Owls in the 1970s. "We were lucky they didn't connect on that two-point conversion."
"Hardin is outcoaching Joe again," late Allentown Morning Call sports columnist John Kunda said out loud in the press box after Temple took a 7-6 lead on PSU at halftime in 1979.
Everybody in the press box laughed because they knew it was true.
Something happened along the way to change that perception, certainly in the 1990s, and again maybe in the last couple of weeks.
Also at Pitt, Temple gets two cracks at a score inside the 5. On third down, instead of rolling Clint Granger out on a pass/run option, the Owls run it up the middle behind an inexperienced offensive line and a true freshman running back. That's just beyond stupid.I get all the Temple TUFF talk and the team generally over the last five years has been as tough as nails.
What's alarming is the number of extremely dumb plays being made out there by both players and coaches. Here are four touchdowns worth of stupidity at Pitt:
1) Ball goes off Temple player's leg on a punt, leading to an early Pittsburgh possession.
2) Temple player catches a kickoff while standing on the sideline. If you are standing on the sideline at the 10, that's usually a pretty good clue the ball is going to go out of bounds.
3) Temple player gets the ball stripped. That probably falls more in the area of toughness than smartness, but it takes some smarts to secure the ball.
4) Also at Pitt, Temple gets two cracks at a score inside the 5. On third down, instead of rolling Clint Granger out on a pass/run option, the Owls run it up the middle behind an inexperienced offensive line and a true freshman running back. That's just beyond stupid. Give Granger two cracks at finding a receiver in the end zone on a rollout.
To me, that's the most egregious stupidity because it came from a coaching staff who should be thinking on the fly better.
Just once, I'd like to see the team play as smart as those Hardin teams did most of the time.
There's still four games to get the team's head in the same place as their heart. If that doesn't happen, there won't be a fifth.
Tomorrow: The Road Ahead