Fans Take Shots at Former Coach

When the 2019 Temple football schedule was released, fans looked at the game scheduled for Saturday, September 28th and their eyes opened wide with excitement. In this matchup, the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets of the ACC brought former Temple head coach Geoff Collins back to Lincoln Financial Field for a matchup against his old team. The Owls prevailed in this one, winning 24 to 2.

The return of Collins and playing an ACC team is a date that is circled on Temple football and their fans’ calendars, so the fans came prepared for the special occasion. In the Cherry Crusade section behind the Temple bench and next to the marching band, fans were seen dressed in Temple gear, costumes, and body paint as usual. This game also featured signs made by the fan club, taking shots and poking fun at Geoff Collins and the Yellowjackets team.

One sign said the words “Georgia Technically Sucks.” Another showed the final score of Georgia Tech’s game against the Citadel, and embarrassing upset loss for the Yellowjackets. Other signs also poked fun at Collins’ love for Waffle House, a popular restaurant chain in the south, saying that he left a good football team for Waffle House and a bad football team.

Cherry Crusade member Lauren Jeandell said “When we found out we had this game scheduled this year, we were like we have to do something for this, it’s a huge deal.”

Collins lead the 2018 Owls to a 10-4 regular season record and a trip to the Independence Bowl against Duke. However, not long after it was announced that Temple would compete in the Independence bowl, Collins took a job offer as head coach of Georgia Tech football. After only two seasons in Philadelphia, Collins had been promoted to a Power 5 conference team in his hometown.

While understanding that this was a good move for Collins and his family, Temple fans felt a bit of resentment toward Collins for leaving before a bowl game, especially when it seemed he would coach at Temple for the long run.

Players didn’t show any hard feeling or sense of rivalry toward Collins upon his return. They were more focused on themselves and beating whoever they faced. Referring to Coach Collins, his family, and the coaching staff he took to Georgia tech with, quarterback Anthony Russo told reporters, “You know that was our family for two years so, it’s a little different playing against them but, we have nothing but all the respect in the world for them.”

Fans on the other hand didn’t need to be so civil. Crusade member Tom Skulski has a lot of
criticism for the coach. “Being from a Power 5 school you have to expect something much
bigger. He’s just… it’s hilarious watching them fail and how Temple is having you know a pretty
good season. He was here, and he seemed so energized to be with us for so… you know to be
with us for a while. And then out of the blue he just leaves and goes to Georgia Tech.”
The Cherry Crusade also holds resentment for Collins for taking ideas from Temple to Georgia
Tech. One of those ideas is money down, where fans would throw fake dollar bills with Collins’
face on them in the air if the Temple defense made a stop. Jessica Plaet says, “He took our
money downs, it was something we came up with, it was original. We have our members from
last year, he was on the E-board, he came up with it.”
While they didn’t exactly offer any southern comfort to the visiting team, fans don’t actually

hate Collins. They were really just trying to help their team bring home the win in a big game.
Adam Beck understands that “It’s a business, it is what it is. People change jobs all the time, you
see it all the time in sports. There aren’t that many hard feeling.”
The fans saw an opportunity to try to get under the opposing team’s skin and to help their team
out. Lauren Jeandell says that “I mean I think a lot of the players kind of look to us to get them
hyped up, when they see us in the stands, especially when we’re painted up and we have these
The fans got their chance to get back at Geoff Collins upon his return, and got any resentment
off their chest. Now that they got a statement win, they can move on from him without any hate,
and wish the best for him and his family in his hometown and dream job.

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