Should Mark D’Onofrio get fired at the end of the season?
It’s the second to last game of the year today, and the season has more questions than answers for me personally. What started off with a trip to the ACC Championship Game has turned into a fight for self-respect for the Hurricane football program. The fan base and some radio talk show host are blaming Mark D’Onofrio the defensive coordinator for the 2nd half collapse. I am a believer in studying history and looking for patterns and trends. Yesterday while my daughter was taking a nap I looked my old Phil Steele preview magazines. Coach Golden always talks about what he did as head coach at Temple. So I looked the defensive statics of his 5 year coaching tenor. D’Onofrio was defensive coordinator with Golden at Temple.
I’m going to focus on the last two years of Golden as head coach of Temple. In 2009 they gave up 1399 rushing yards and 2943 yards passing. Temple had four teams run for over 150 yards on them. In 2010 they gave up 1674 yards rushing and 2138 yards passing. Temple had six teams rush for over 200 yards on them. Temple’s last game of the season, the defense gave up 253 yards against Miami of Ohio. The loss cost the Owls a chance to play in the MAC championship
In 2013, Miami has already given up 1725 yards rushing with two games left in the season. I have heard the reasons; the defense is young, they don’t have talent, the NCAA instigation has hurt recruiting. I understand that it does have an impact, but that doesn’t excuse the poor tackling I saw against Duke and Va. Tech. That is a coaching problem from all the way back to coaching at Temple. The defense was regressing at Temple and it is regressing at Miami. When D’Onofrio was at Temple they did not have the NCAA cloud on top of the program. I know Temple is not Miami, but the MAC isn’t the ACC either. Also keep in mind that nine of the defensive starters were either junior or seniors in 2010 D’Onofrio’s last year at Temple.
Jimmy Johnson said we may not have the best players but we will win with the players we have. I’m not hearing that from Golden, I’m hearing blame me I am the head coach. Then Coach Golden, fix the defense starting today against an UVa team that isn’t a strong running team. If UVa runs for over 200 yards rushing, it may be time to replace D’Onofrio. It is know that Golden and D’Onofrio are friends, and he will not fire him. Golden also wasn’t going to bring in defensive transfers from Junior College or 5th years seniors, but he did. For Golden to get this program to the next level, changes will have to be made.