Spring Game: What Are They Saying About The Owls

Every once in a while, a spring camp phenom bursts onto the scene and that is usually a term for baseball players who tear it up in the spring to make the club unexpectedly.

Spring’s second favorite sport—college football practice—also has a version of that.

Last year’s breakout star for Temple was a wide receiver named Marshall Ellick. Then head coach Matt Rhule said he had “five NFL scouts come to my practice on different days” and ask who Ellick was. Ellick caught a touchdown pass that could have impacted the Penn State game but it was called back due to a phantom block in the back called by (ironically enough) AAC refs on Dion Dawkins. Replays clearly showed Dawkins blocked his man on that touchdown legally on the side, not the back, but a hold like that is not reviewable.


This is the “best” deal we’ve seen on Ebay for tickets. Drew Katz can afford it.

Ellick got injured after that and we have not heard much about him this spring, although it is very possible he will be a major contributor in the fall.

Chances are after Saturday’s Cherry and White game, we will have our own opinions but, for now, I like the comparisons fellow Owls are making of receiver Adonis Jennings.

One of his fellow Owls compared Jennings to “Megatron” and the former Detroit Lions’ player was a special kind of athlete. Temple fans got a glimpse of what Jennings could do near the end of last season and in the Military Bowl. Let’s just put it this way. If all of the Owls had the production of Jennings in the Military Bowl at their positions like he did at his, the Owls would have won the game, 56-18.

That’s the key this year as Jennings, Keith Kirkwood and Ventell Bryant give the Owls their best trio of receivers in my 40-plus years as an Owl fan. (There have been better pairings of two, but the Owls have not been able to put three receivers of this talent on the field in their modern history.)


Channel 3 is so clueless about the Owls that they put the game at LFF; it’s at the EO (but they probably do not know what the EO is)

Other than the personnel implications, on a personal note getting to meet and talk to Geoff Collins is important. I waited in the Military Bowl tent for him for two hours but he did not show up until much later. Since I thought he was not coming, I made the sprint to tailgate with “regular” Temple fans on the other side of the stadium. While a good time was had by all, I only heard during the game that Collins made a late but impressive appearance for the fans who remained.

I hope he does the walk-through at Lot 10 that Matt Rhule made his first year as head coach. Rhule walked up to every fan and personally shook his or her hand and made a point to listen to what they had to say.

Rhule listened to me, put my ideas (fullback, play-action passing,  a blocking back to protect the quarterback against blitzes) in the circular file and went rubbishing through that file to implement them by his third year. Hey, better late than never. As a spread offensive team, the Owls won two and six games. As a play-action offensive team with a fullback, they won double-digits in back-to-back years.

It ain’t rocket science.

Collins is a little ahead of the curve since he called Nick Sharga “the best fullback in the country” on the Zach Gelb Show yesterday.

That’s a good start. No, make that a great one and Gelb asked the question of the spring. “If you had to name a starting quarterback for the Notre Dame game tomorrow, could you do it?”

Collins, while praising his QBs, said no. That’s a good thing, not a bad one. Let it all shake out over the next few months.

Hopefully, if the Owls can’t get a spring Phenom at that position, they will settle for a summer one.

Sunday: Complete Cherry and White Recap


11 thoughts on “Spring Game: What Are They Saying About The Owls

  1. I can’t make C&W. But am really looking forward to your upcoming article and comments of others who will be in attendance.

    • It’s the Good Guys vs. The Good Guys. In every good story, there are Protagonists and Antagonists and we’ll have to wait until Sept for that kind of storyline. Still, looking forward to seeing guys I haven’t seen play big-time football since high school, especially Anthony Russo and Tyliek Raynor and the Philly guys.

  2. And just why don’t they review plays that you described as a called blocking violation, especially when the result of the game hangs on it? Sounds like temple should have have won!

    • judgment calls like holding are not subject to review. Still, had the AAC refs made the right call (which was a no-call) on that play, that was the touchdown that was the difference in a 34-27 game. Don’t want the AAC refs to cheat to help us, but they sure didn’t have to hurt us. The other call (knee on the 1) was reviewable, but I guess Rhule thought that the difference between first and goal and touchdown wasn’t enough to challenge. Pretty sure he would have if it was fourth down.

  3. For too many years C and W was the highlight of the season because it was the only game TU fans were sure TU would win. Hopefully, those days are behind us.

  4. Rhule played 3-5 wideouts in the first couple of years and it didn’t work. Temple Football is 1-2 TEs, two-back set with down the field throws.

    Logan Marchi will get the nod but it won’t work as envisioned.., it will take Collins and Patenaude a year or so to get back to Temple Football…, the big question is can Marchi throw the ball downfield well enough to survive Russo’s spin when the offense returns to Temple Football?

    Patenaude is not wedded to Russo, and favors Marchi like Moorhead favors McSorley…,

    Marchi will start vs ND

  5. I saw the game today and Marchi threw two picks and his sidearm delivery makes throws down the middle problematic. Centeio and Russo looked the best but I don’t think Centeio looked so much better than Russo that it pays to burn his redshirt. That leaves Russo and Nutile. Russo, a potential star down the road and Nutile a more than adequate game manager. Of course,, just one scrimmage with a couple in the books and a few more to go in the summer. Post will be up in an hour or so.

    • if you have two quarterbacks then you don’t have one; if you have four quarterbacks….,

      classic case of trying too hard for Marchi today, Nutile seemed calm and confident, and Centeio surprised many with his pure raw talent and moxy…, Russo just has the spin…, still think Patenaude will go with Marchi…,

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