OWLS 16, Villanova 13 | Philadelphia, Pa.
A friend ripped the lack of preparation for Saturday's 16-13 victory against FCS-level Villanova (not to mention last week's loss at Notre Dame). Personally, saw a bigger issue with lack of adjustments during this game. Whatever, new ringmaster and chief proponent of swag Geoff Collins had better get things more in line on both offense and defense if the Owls have any hope of being competitive in the American Athletic Conference, never mind attempting to repeat as the circuit's champion. The running game, a staple during the Matt Rhule regime, was pathetic (27 carries, 79 yards), and Temple got shredded for more than 250 yards in the air after intermission.
2. Seriously, does David Hood have pictures?
Sorry, he's a decent RB and all, but the “effed up strategy” alarm sounded for me once he started the game over Ryquell Armstead. The Owls' ground game got completely disjointed at Notre Dame when Collins and Co. kept alternating the backs, and it never got going at all in this one thanks to that decision. Keeping it real, from everything these eyes have seen the last three seasons, Hood is the third-best back the Owls can run out there, behind Armstead and Jager Gardner ... and a distant third-best at that.
3. Speed not only kills, but saves
Take away its team “wheels” advantage and Temple, frankly, doesn't even belong on the same field as Villanova. The difference in “feel for the game” and innate intangibles were that overtly dramatic in this one, in the visitors' favor. The Wildcats either are better-coached, have, in general, more natural football instincts, or some combo of both, and that almost made the difference against a Temple squad with reputedly superior talent. 'Nova wanted to get outside on some plays, but was thwarted repeatedly due to Temple's overall speed., which is impressive ... and, in this case, along with LB Shaun Bradley's fumble-forcing talents, game-saving.
4. Yeah, QBs can be that important
You can see the arm talent that Temple's Logan Marchi possesses. But all too often it shows in erratic form, and, frankly, he just doesn't “get it” the way Villanova's Zach Bednarczyk does. Holy cow, what a discrepancy between those two. Marchi has it all over Bednarczyk in terms of throwing a fastball, or going distance, but seems to have no concept of needing to throw with touch, or how to lead receivers, or even when to take chances. Might be a good idea for Collins to have his signal-caller watch tape of the 'Cats QB for the rest of his career in order to help grasp how it's done.
5. Chalk about another win
On the scoreboard? Well, OK ... but, really,we're talking unis. Man, if the Owls' game could match their weekly attire, wow. Their white lid and rest all cherry getup kinda put Villanova's outfit to shame, and the Wildcats usually look pretty damn good in whatever combo they utilize. Still not sold on the faded diamonds that Under Armour has deemed Temple's “thing,” but there are uglier, more nonsensical staples out there – like, pretty much anything Oregon pushes or Maryland's distorted addiction to its state flag.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org