Defense, QB come up small in Illinois

12:36 Cholis Back 0 Comments


Proof positive that even a JC quarterback can routinely hit Rod Streater in stride.


Does an AVERAGE Division I-A (FBS) quarterback miss that wide-open Rod Streater for a touchdown with the Owls down, 24-17?

No.
Does an AVERAGE Division I-AA (FCS) quarterback miss that pass?
No.
Does an AVERAGE Division II quarterback miss that connection?
No.
Does, say,  West Chester University's  Sean McCartney (who completed 36 for 44 for 447 yards in a win over East Stroudsburg Friday night) complete that pass?
Yes.

Let's start the blame game for Temple's 31-17 loss to Northern Illinois on the right foot.
The right foot was the defense, which returns six All-MAC performers.
No way a defense with more than half the MAC all-star team should yield 31 points to any MAC offense.
 That said, I hope all of the Chester Stewart fans are happy now. I haven't been one and that's been well-documented here.
Temple won some thrilling games that didn't need to be thrilling early because, in my view, Chester Stewart brought the Owls down to the level of competition, not up. Freaking Ball State put up 31 points on Central Michigan, but not Temple. Freaking William and Mary put up 34 points on Villanova, not Temple. Freaking Illinois put up 33 points on Penn State, not Temple.
Yet I would take all of the weapons around Chester Stewart (Bernard Pierce, Matty Brown, Joey Jones, Rod Streater, James Nixon, Evan Rodriguez, Michael Campbell, etc., etc.) over all the weapons on Ball State, W&M and Illinois combined.
So who's fault is it when the offense underperforms?
I've been saying all season that Chester Stewart's performance needs to come up a level or two or three for Temple to win the MAC title.
My detractors said to shut up, he's got the Owls to 4-1.
I told them the Owls have got to 4-1 in spite of his consistent overthrows, fumbles and interceptions.
He proved me right today.
Does an AVERAGE Division I-A (FBS) quarterback miss that wide-open Rod Streater for a touchdown with the Owls down, 24-17?
No.
Does an AVERAGE Division I-AA (FCS) quarterback miss that pass?
No.
Does an average Division II quarterback miss that connection?
No.
Does, say, West Chester University's Sean McCartney (who completed 36 for 44 for 447 yards in a win over East Stroudsburg Friday night) complete that pass?
Yes.
It's a simple pitch and catch, yet Stewart not only missed it on Saturday but he's missed it on the other Saturdays and the Thursdays and Fridays Temple has played this year.

What concerns me more than Chester missing that toss was that Al Golden and Matt Rhule do not have confidence in the backups to make it.
If they can make that simple toss, they should be playing.
If they can't, Temple is in trouble the rest of the season.
This is the week some hard choices have to be made at that position.
Because Al Golden made those same hard choices this year at about the same time, I'm confident he could pull the trigger again.
But will he?
One of the other guys should have a chance to try these weapons on the Bowling Green firing range.