Friday, October 15, 2010

25 Night Owl Questions

Did you know that Temple got its nickname because it was originally a night school?  True dat.

What is their body of work?

Temple came into the season the favorites to win the East and I have had them ranked as the top team in the MAC until this week.  Under those circumstances, they are probably under-achieving a bit.  Their only losses are to Penn State (a game they were in control of until Pierce was hurt), and @NIU.  Meanwhile, they beat UConn, Army, CMU and their arch-rival Villanova.

What is their best recent result?

The win over UConn was the MAC's first BCS win this year and a nice win for their program.  Inexplicably, Golden called the Army win the biggest of his tenure.

What is their worst recent result?

Their Coach was very upset at the loss @NIU.  On the surface, it is not such a bad loss...NIU is good and they are tough at home.  But, perhaps the 14-point deficit and no second half points made it more painful than it seemed.

What is their turnover ratio?

They are -2 for the year.


How is their QB Play?

Good question.  Their starter is Chester Stewart, who is 8th in the MAC in passing efficiency.  He has completed only 54% of his passes, and has a 4/4 TD/INT ratio.  For their offense, he looks serviceable to me, but the buzz outta Philly is that Mike Geraldi may play in his place.  If so, that would seem to be a break for us, especially if we can get some pressure on him.  He is a r-Jr, so he is no kid, but he had not thrown a pass in a game.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are 6th in the MAC in scoring but 3rd in yards per play at 5.4.

Can they run the ball?

They can.  They are 3rd in the conference in rushing offense and third in yards per carry at 4.7.  Everyone knows about Bernard Pierce, their stud RB, but he is still having healthy issues.  His replacement, Matt Brown, actually has a better yard per carry average (5.9) than Pierce does (5.1).  They are 3rd and 4th in the MAC in rushing, respectively.

Do they pass the ball?

They are 9th in the conference in passing efficiency and 11th in passing yards.  They have 73 completed passes, with is only 2 ahead of the conference basement.

How is their run/pass balance?

They run the ball on 60% of their plays, which is slightly less than what OU was averaging coming into last week's game.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

In what probably accounts for the fact that they are not as good at scoring points as they are at making yards,   they are 12th in the MAC with only 31% on 3rd down.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are also not good in the red zone, with 3.75 points per trip.  They have 5 misses, two on FGs and three from other sources.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They have given up 14 sacks so far, which is a lot given that they don't throw very much.  In fact, they have sacks or INTs on 12.7% of their passing attempts, while the typical is around 8-9%.

This certainly has the hallmarks of being a tough matchup for our defense.  They run the ball very effectively, and it will be a real test for our defensive unit.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

Actually, defense was supposed to be their calling card, and so far they can't be thrilled.  Its OK--they are fourth in scoring defense and 5th (tied) in yards per play allowed.

Do they defend the run effectively?

Not really.  They are 11th in the MAC.  Now, there is a game against Army tossed in there, and Army gets almost all their yards on the ground.  Teams have run on them 260 times, which is exactly the number of times BG has been run on (could also be an artifact of run heavy opposition, not just Army, but UConn, NIU and Penn State).

Could they be passed on?

They are 7th in pass defense efficiency.  They allow 65% completions and have only 3 INTs.  They allow 7.1 yards per attempt, which is pretty high.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

This is not a strong point, they are 10th in the MAC at 47.8%. (BG is 12th).

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are ok, allowing 4.0 points per red zone trip.  They have been a little lucky....3 of their 4 stops have been missed FGs.

Do they pressure the QB?

This is not a strong point.  They are tied for 10th in sacks with 7 (though on limited attempts).  (BG has 5).  They create sacks or INTs on only 6% of pass plays, less than the normal 8-9%.

Temple is clearly under performing on defense this year.  If BG is going to compete, they are going to have to move the ball.  Temple has seen a lot of running teams, so their passing defense is a little bit of an unknown quantity.

Special Teams:


They are very strong--2nd in the MAC in net punting--few returns, and only 1 TB.  They have not been blocked.

Punt Return?

They are 3rd in the MAC in punt returns, with Delano Green averaging over 10 yards a return.


Their kicker is Brandon McManus (which, by the by, is a kicker's name if I ever heard one).  He has a long of 53 yards, but has missed 4 times and twice inside of 40, so he would seem to be inconsistent.


They are 3rd in the MAC with opponents starting on their own 24.

Kickoff Return?

They are 2nd in the MAC in return yards. They usually start on the 27 off a kickoff.  They have no TDs but both of their returns have gone over 50.

Summary:  Temple's special teams are very solid.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Both teams are coming off a week when they disappointed their coaches.  I suspect that there has been a high level of urgency this week in practice.  Teams can respond differently to that.

Also, Temple really cannot afford to lose again.  The NIU loss is outside the division and manageable, but a second loss would make it tough.  The pressure is different on BG, which is playing only for pride and improvement.

It is homecoming.....

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