Rod Carey Out as Temple Football Coach

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna is reporting that Temple has fired head football coach Rod Carey after three blowout riddled season on North Broad Street. The Owls closed out a tumultuous 3-9 season with 38-14 loss this past weekend to Navy.

Carey compiled a 12-20 record in his three-seasons at Temple, eight of those wins came in his first season as the Owls coach.  Temple was 4-15 over the past two seasons with all but one loss by two touchdowns or more.  The Owls had made four consecutive bowl appearances from 2015-2019.

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Former Miami Coach Manny Diaz Named New DC at Penn State

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Former University of Miami head coach Manny Diaz has been announced as Penn State’s new defensive coordinator.  He takes over for Brent Fry who took the head coaching job at Virginia Tech. Diaz, 47, is coming off of a disappoint stint as head coach of “The U” where he compiled a 21-15 record at his alma mater. 

Despite the lackluster head coaching record at Miami, this is a very good hire for Penn State.  Diaz is considered by many to be one of the best defensive minds in college football.  He held the defensive coordinator position at multiple schools from 2006-2018.  Diaz’s defenses were routinely ranked near the top statistically.

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Temple Football’s Next Coach: A Look at AD Arthur Johnson’s Texas Connections

Temple FootballPhoto: Temple Football/@Temple_FB


By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

All is quiet on the Temple football coaching search front.  Insanely quiet especially considering the chaos of the coaching carousel around landscape of college football.

Despite the silence, there are rumblings among insiders that athletic director Arthur Johnson could be dipping into his past, particularly his time in Texas, for the next Temple football head coach.  Johnson was in the Longhorn’s athletic department from 2014 until he took the job at Temple.  That’s seven-years worth of connections, including three former Power 5 head coaches, with one of the most well-known brands in college athletics.

Here are some names that could fit the “Texas to Temple” connection:

 

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Report: Penn State Co-Defensive Coordinator Anthony Poindexter to be Named Head Coach at Virginia

Poindexter

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

One of James Franklin’s in-house options to replace former defensive coordinator Brent Fry, now the head coach at Virginia Tech, looks to be hitting the road to Virginia as well.  Jerry Ratcliffe is reporting that co-defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter will be named the next head coach at the University of Virginia.  

The announcement could come as early as Monday evening. 

Poindexter, who spent 1995-1998 on the Cavaliers, was a consensus All-American and ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 1998.  His jersey, number 3, has been retired by the university.  He returned to Virginia as a graduate assistant in 2003 after a short run in the NFL with Baltimore and Cleveland.  Poindexter spent 2003-2013 with the Cavaliers before taking the defensive coordinator jobs at UConn (2014-16), Purdue (2017-2002), and Penn State (2021).

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Penn State Set for Outback Bowl Against Arkansas

OutbackPhoto: Penn State/@PennState_FB


Penn
State (7-5, 4-5 Big Ten) is headed to Tampa, FL to face the Arkansas Razorbacks (8-4, 4-4 SEC) in the annual Outback Bowl on January 1, 2022.  It will be the Nittany Lions fourth trip the Outback Bowl and first since 2011.  

The Outback Bowl, a New Year's Day tradition since 1995, pits the Big Ten against the SEC.  The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2. 

Arkansas is ranked No. 22 in the final College Football Playoff poll and have wins over four ranked teams.  The Razorbacks ended their regular season with a 34-17 win over Missouri. The Nittany Lions are coming off a disappointing end of the season where they lost four of out their last six.  

The Outback Bowl will be the first match up between Penn State and Arkansas.  


Jordan Stout Becomes Sixth Nittany Lion Selected to the Senior Bowl

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Penn State will be sending six players, or more, to the prestigious Senior Bowl on February 5 in Mobile, AL. 

Nittany Lions’ place kicker/punter Jordan Stout, a first-team All-Big Ten selection, accepted an invite to play in the game on Thursday. 

Stout will join wide receiver Jahan Dotson, safety Jaquan Brisker, cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields, linebacker/defensive end Jesse Luketa, and defensive end Arnold Ebiketie in the all-star classic.

Players will spend the week leading up the game practicing and speaking with NFL representatives.  The Senior Bowl is considered the first step in the NFL Draft process. 


Brisker, Ebiketie Selected First Team All-Big Ten Defense

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker and defensive end Arnold Ebiketie had themselves quite a day.  Both were selected as consensus first-team All-Big Ten selections by the Big Ten media and coaches.  The duo were among ten Nittany Lions defensive players to take home All-Big Ten awards. 

Brisker, a COVID senior, returned to the Nittany Lions this season and it paid dividends for the Pittsburgh native.  In addition to his All-Big Ten status, Brisker was selected to play in the prestigious Resse's Senior Bowl in Alabama.  A team captain, he started every game for the Nittany Lions amassing 64-total tackles, six tackles-for-a-loss, one fumble recovery, one interception, and five pass breakups.  

Ebiketie, a red-shirt senior transfer from Temple, took a step up in competition and was rewarded mightily.  He recorded a season-high ten tackles in Penn State's upset loss to Illinois.  For the season, Ebiketie compiled 62-total tackles, 18-tackles-for-a-loss, 9.5-sacks, and two blocked kicks.  He is a finalist for the Hendricks Award which goes to the best defensive end in FBS football. 

Other Penn State defensvie All-Big Ten selections include:

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Jahan Dotson Nabs All-Big Ten Honors

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson can add another accolade to his impressive 2021 season, first team All-Big Ten selection.  Dotson was the only Penn State offensive player to take home first team honors as selected by the Big Ten media.  He was selected second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches. Dotson was also named as an honorable mention in the returner category. 

Dotson, a fourth year (COVID) junior, hauled in 91-receptions for 1,182-yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns this season for the Nittany Lions.   He also added a rushing touchdown to his ledger against Ohio State.  Dotson’s finest moment came in the Nittany Lions’ November 6 win over Maryland, he caught 11 passes for 242-yards, and three touchdowns.  His 242-yards was a career high and set a new Penn State single game record.

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Penn State DC Brent Pry Officially Named New Virginia Tech Head Coach

Fry JobPhoto: Virginia Tech Football/@HokiesFB

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Penn State’s coaching staff has taken it’s first hit of the chaotic college football coaching carousel.  Defensive coordinator Brent Pry has officially been named as the new head football coach at Virginia Tech.  Pry, 51, had been with Penn State since 2014 serving in various defensive roles.  He takes over a Virginia Tech program that had  a 27-season bowl streak snapped in 2020.  This will be Pry’s first head coaching job at any level.

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Temple Football Needs a Head Coach (Again), Here are Six Names Worth Mentioning

Temple Football
Photo: Temple Football/@Temple_FB

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Temple Owls  once again need a head football coach after firing Rod Carey three-years into a six-year contract.  The college coaching carousel has already begun and it’s been a wild ride so far.  Do the Owls jump into the craziness and find a coach that has recently been booted from a Power Five program, do they find themselves a young and hungry assistant or do they dip back into the past to find a program builder?

Whatever the direction, the Owls will need to find someone with a knowledge of the I-95 corridor and how to recruit to an urban university like Temple. 

Here's the first batch of names, yeah this is going to be a multi-part series, that Temple should consider:

Blast from the Past: Al Golden 2.0

Former Owls head coach Al Golden has long been rumored to be a candidate if Temple ever pulled the trigger on Carey.  Would the former Owls coach want to return to North Broad now that Carey is out?   Golden was rumored to be the lead candidate for the UConn job but the job ended up going to Jim Mora Jr.  Did Golden turn down UConn’s overtures because UConn is a dump with the worst fans in sports or did he know that Temple would be a possibility? 

Golden’s return to Temple would be comparable to Greg Schiano’s return to Rutgers.  Both coaches built former Big East doormats into respectable, bowl bound programs only to leave for “greener pastures.” Golden led the Owls rebuild from 2006-2010 and was the MAC Coach of the Year in 2009 before leaving for the University of Miami.  He obviously understands how the university works and how to recruit to Temple.  Golden has spent the past six-seasons in the NFL as position coach for Detroit and Cincinnati. 

Young and Hungry: Elijah Robinson and Fran Brown

If Temple decides to go with a younger crop of coaches two names that should be high on the list are Elijah Robinson and Fran Brown.  Both coaches are former Temple assistants under Matt Rhule and have deep ties to the Delaware Valley.  Robinson is a graduate of Camden-Woodrow Wilson and Brown is a graduate of Camden High School.

E RobinsonPhoto: Elijah Robinson Twitter/@CoachE_TAMU

Robinson is currently the defensive line coach at Texas A&M where he is well regarded among the college coaching community.  He has been part of A&M defenses that have consistently been in the top 10 of overall defense.  Robinson continues to heavily recruit the Northeast and is well respected by prospects and high school coaches in the region.

Fran BrownPhoto: Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano (L) and Fran Brown (C)/RUCoachFran

Brown is currently in his second season as the secondary coach at Rutgers.  He is one of the key pieces in the Rutgers recruiting machine that currently has Scarlet Knights slotted as a top 25 recruiting class, fifth in the Big Ten, according to 247Sports.  Like Robinson, Brown was a key piece of Matt Rhule’s coaching staff at Temple and Baylor.  The former Camden High quarterback is beloved by local recruits and coaches. 

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Navy Blows Out Temple in Season Finale

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 2021 season is mercifully over for head coach Rod Carey and the Temple Owls football team.  The Owls were on the receiving end of another blowout loss, this one a 38-14 beatdown by the then 2-8 Navy Midshipmen.  The Owls finished the season losing seven straight games by an average of 34.3 points.  The Owls record falls to 3-9 and 1-7 in AAC play.  Carey’s record at Temple now sits at a paltry 12-20 and is firmly planted on the coaching hot seat.

Navy used an 11-yard rushing touchdown from running back Carlinos Acie and a 15-yard receiving touchdown by running back Chance Warren to take a 14-0 lead into the second quarter of today's AAC game in South Philadelphia   The Owls closed the gap when Ra’Von Bonner scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:30 to go in the half.  Navy extended their lead to 10-points thanks to a Bijan Nichols 32-yard field goal with :10 remaining.

The second half was very much a mirror image of the first half.  Navy’s Isaac Ruoss capped off an 11-play, 60-yard, 5:22 drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.  The Owls answered with a rushing touchdown of their own right before end of the third quarter when Tayvon Ruley scored from 4-yards out to keep the Owls within 10-points.

But it was not meant to be. 

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