It’s been a rough few weeks for Temple football as they have suffered the misfortune of losing not just one, but two head coaches to power conference programs. But at least the Owls are going to be paid well for their misfortune.
As reported by Brett McMurphy of Stadium, via Twitter, Temple will be receiving $6.5 million in buyout money from Georgia Tech and Miami. Georgia Tech owes Temple $2.5 million to buy out the contract of former Temple head coach Geoff Collins. And yesterday’s decision by recently hired Temple head coach Manny Diaz to stay with the Miami Hurricanes means Miami will have to pay Temple $4 million to buy out the contract of Diaz, which was just having the ink dry on the paper.
While coaching instability is never easy for a non-power conference program like Temple, at least the financial windfall helps soften the blow and potentially helps the program and university moving forward. Surely Temple would prefer not to have to accept the buyout money from either university, let alone two universities, but Temple will now move forward searching for a new head coach once again and know they have $6.5 million in additional revenue coming their way to put toward the football program in some way.
As Paul Johnson coaches his final game with Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl next week, so will every member on his coaching staff. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports new Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins will not keep any of Johnson’s assistants on the staff moving forward as a new era is ushered in.
This is hardly unexpected, of course, as most new head coaches will often wipe the slate clean on the coaching staff to bring in their trusted assistants. It is also common for at least a couple of assistants to be held over from the previous coaching staff, but that will apparently not be the case with the Yellow Jackets. The slight concern may be Collins bringing together a staff that seemingly abandons all previous relationships that have been established by the former staff, but Collins and his staff shouldn’t take long establishing new pipelines in Georgia and around the surrounding region.
Two assistants reportedly coming to Georgia Tech with Collins will be defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker, a Georgia native, and defensive backs coach Nathan Burton, a Georgia Tech alum. Collins is also a native from the state of Georgia and he has his own connections to the region having previously been an assistant coach at Georgia Tech and at other programs such as Alabama, UCF, Mississippi State, and Florida. Collins will have a feel for recruiting the south as he looks to change the way Georgia Tech operates.
Johnson announced his retirement from Georgia Tech at the end of the regular season and his retirement will be effective at the completion of Georgia Tech’s bowl matchup with Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl.
The Michigan Wolverines are not the only college football program tkaing their brand across an ocean. Although on a much smaller scale, Temple football will be sending a handful of representatives to Japan for a nine-day trip to help promote the sport of football abroad.
Temple head coach Geoff Collins will be joined by eight Temple football players making the trip; Michael Dogbe, Frank Nutile, Jaelin Robinson, Shaun Bradley, Linwood Crump, Isaiah Wright, Dan Archibong and Matt Hennessey. This will be no true vacatrion for these Temple football players, however, because they will be earning three college credits for their efforts in helping to teach and promote the sport while in Japan.
The trip initially started as an opportunity for Collins to travel to Japan for some football coaching clinics, but the opportunity to involve a small number of football players was too great to pass up. The trip will make visits in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.
“I’m looking forward to experiencing a new culture and sharing our knowledge of football to those in Japan eager to learn,” Collins said in a statement (per Philly.com). “I know our players will have a great time and serve as tremendous ambassadors for Temple and our football program.”
WHO: Temple (6-6) vs. FIU (8-4)
WHAT: The 10th Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
WHEN: 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Tropicana Field, Saint Petersburg, FL
THE SKINNY: A year after finishing the regular season with a conference championship, the 2017 season was much different for the Temple Owls. First-year head coach Geoff Collins had some bumpy first tests after taking over the program, but the Owls seemed to find an offensive identity that could work in the final weeks of the season.
Junior quarterback Frank Nutile finished the season on a high note and made the case to keep the starting job in 2018 with 11 touchdowns in the final five games of the season. Nutile’s late surge in the offense provided some stability for the offense and helped to open up the game a bit for the Owls, but the running game remains the key to the Owls offense. Ryquell Armstead and David Hood have split the carries for share of the carries to a balanced effect, and that should continue against the Panthers.
Lost in the attention given to Lane Kiffin turning FAU around is the job done by Butch Davis at FIU. Perhaps even more impressive than the job done by Kiffin this season, Davis returned to the sideline and quickly built an eight-win team with FIU. The offense exploded in the final weeks of the season with 41 points against Western Kentucky and 63 against UMass. If FIU brings that type of firepower into the bowl matchup, Temple could have trouble keeping up the pace.
Davis is no stranger to coaching against Temple, although this is not the same Temple program Davis faced while coaching the Miami Hurricanes in the old Big East. The playing field is much more even now for Temple and Davis.
THE PICK: Temple 31, FIU 27
A summer of attempting to change the narrative and a week’s worth of Brian Kelly trying to tell media outlets this year is going to be different has paid off for at least one week. Notre Dame (1-0) opened the season at home with a 49-16 win against Temple (0-1), and has a few reasons to feel optimistic about this season after one game.
For starters, there is quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Wimbush got the Irish off on the right foot Saturday afternoon with a pair of touchdown passes and 106 rushing yards and a score. Brian Kelly has liked having dual threats run the offense, and Wimbush did just that against a Temple defense that was ripe for the picking.
Then there is running back Josh Adams, who tore up the Temple defense for 161 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns. Adams was a workhorse for the Irish running the football with an average of 8.5 yards per carry. As a team, Notre Dame piled up 353 rushing yards, which was more than the total yardage picked up by Temple on the afternoon.
Notre Dame may have room to improve on the defense, but the Irish did a sound job slowing down the running game for the Owls. It was expected there would be a transition period for Temple with a new head coach in Geoff Collins and a decent amount of roster turnover, an unproven quarterback situyation made running the football a key for Temple. The Irish held the Owls to fewer than 100 yards on the ground, with a trio of sacks helping out in the box score in that department. That is encouraging, but the next game poses a much more serious threat on the ground with Georgia coming in with Nick Chubb. Time will tell if this will hold up.
It wasn’t all bad for Temple, as Logan Marchi battled and passed for 245 yards and two touchdowns in a tough spot. Ryquell Armstead ran 19 times for 67 yards and the Owls spread the ball around in the passing game. It just was not nearly enough to battle Notre Dame in this setting at this time.
Notre Dame will stay home next week to host No. 15 Georgia. The game will be a primetime affair from Notre Dame Stadium with the Irish and Bulldogs squaring off at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC (check your local listings). Georgia opened the season against Appalachian State in a game that was ongoing at the time Notre Dame wrapped up the win. Temple will look to rebound next week with a home game against a local FCS threat from the Main Line, Villanova. Villanova is ranked in the FCS top 25 polls and is coming off a top 25 victory over Lehigh.