How The East Will Be Won


The Owls could use the playmaking ability of Marshall Ellick for the stretch run. Great uniforms, by the way.

When Matt Rhule takes the call at the AAC teleconference today, maybe someone will ask him a question about the health of his team and how the week off has benefited the Owls.

With South Florida beating Memphis on Saturday night, the easy answer to how the East will be won is for the Owls to win out, one game, one quarter and even one play at a time. The best thing that could have happened in the off week was for the Owls to be revitalized by the rest.


The perfect answer for Rhule would be that everyone is fine and ready to go for Tulane (3:30 Saturday, Channel 17).

The worst answer would be that nothing has changed and the Owls are as banged up as they were last week.

The most likely answer, though, is somewhere in between.

Marshall Ellick, the promising wide receiver who would have, among other things, caught a touchdown against Penn State (had it not been for a penalty), has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. There has been radio silence on Ellick for a couple of weeks, but it was never seen as an injury that would keep him out for the season so maybe the week off has helped him as well. Ellick’s loss has not been felt because this really has been the deepest the Owls have been at wide receiver and Jahad Thomas has been, as we guessed here in the offseason, very effective when used as a slot receiver.

There have been a number of other Owls who have played through bumps and bruises. Sean Chandler was thought to be out for the entire year with a knee injury, but came back and seems to be playing at a high level.  Too many to mention, but there is no doubt that if most of them were OK to get on the field the last couple of weeks, they will tough it out for the final two weeks.

It will be nice to know, though, how the week has impacted those bumps and bruises and we should find that out no later than today.

Wednesday: So You Are Saying There’s A Chance?

Friday: Tulane Preview

Sunday: Game Analysis


9 thoughts on “How The East Will Be Won

  1. would be great to head into the post season a full strength.., other than Finch do we have anyone out for the remainder of the season? hard to remember when the team was this healthy at this point in the season.., the defense is peaking and will play well the last two games..,

    Air Force has been the only team to stop the Navy ground game, they did it by forcing Navy to pass.., that was the only game all year in which Navy had more yards passing than running.., we are hard headed and stupid if we don’t study the AF/Navy film.., that was also the only game this year Navy did not have over 100 yds rushing..,

    we will beat Navy if we don’t throw INTs and force them to throw.., our DBs can cover their WRs w/man coverage..,

    • Been saying for weeks that the coaches better get Air Force film. If they haven’t already and given it to grad assistants to break down, they are not doing their jobs.

      • Here it is, John. I’m counting five USAFA down linemen and one blitzer in different gaps on every down. Tell me if I’m wrong:

      • AF played hard and fast, they hit Worth in the mouth early in the game, he wasn’t the same player all after.., we must stay out of the 4-3 even on 3rd and long

  2. Assuming Temple beats both Tulane and ECU and plays Navy in the AAC title game, I think another big key will be for the Owls to establish its own running game, as it has for most of the last 4 games, to control the ball and keep Navy’s offense off the field. Controlling the ball will also keep the Temple defense fresher.

    • Historically Navy has been a team with smaller defensive lineman and susceptible to wearing down over the course of a game. If the Owls can control the clock and take Navy deeper into the game they have an excellent shot at grinding out a victory. However, if we play stupid and wrack up penalties agains a team as disciplined as Navy it will be ugly.

      The service academies always remind me of the old Pete Carill Princeton hoops teams. They have just enough talent to plug into a well-disciplined system that enables them to beat ‘superior’ squads and offset talent deficiencies.

  3. And watch the Army game film to understand what not to do.

    • Yeah, disappointed that Matt seems to be in denial about the Army defensive game plan. Jeff Monken, the Army coach, said he was “surprised” Temple didn’t play 8 in the box, and when Shawn Pastor asked him a question about it, Matt deflected the answer to “well, we went to a single high and single low safety and maybe he misunderstood.” Huh? He said 8 in the box. How much more clear could that be?

      • in order to win players have to make plays which is always a given.., scheme is just as important.., there is no way PSU would be where they are today without Joe Moorhead.., Glen Thomas is a step up over Satterfield and is getting better by the game..,

        old dog Snow must learn a new trick, devise a scheme to beat the triple option

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