If you’ve listened to several of the interviews Dave Patenaude gave over the offseason, included in his comments are several references to wanting to keep the Temple offensive identity, which is to run the football behind the fullback and keep defenses honest with play-fakes to the halfback resulting in explosive downfield plays in the passing game.
So far, so good.
Then the new offensive coordinator throws in a curse word: Spread Offense.
Actually, that’s two curse words but who’s counting?
If there is one thing Matt Rhule learned after his first two seasons (8-16), he said it was that the spread was something that rubbed against every fiber in his football body but indicated he was intoxicated by watching the big-time teams play that way.
“That’s just not the way Temple plays football,” he said before the 2015 season. “The sooner I came to realize that, the better off we were at the end of last season. Under Al (Golden), we were a run-first, utilizing the fullback type of team and we forced the linebackers and safeties up so we could make big plays in the passing game. That’s who I am. That’s the way I coach and I got talked out of that.”
Rhule would not say who did the talking, but the speculation squarely centered on offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield. Once Rhule put his foot down, the Owls had back-to-back 10-win seasons.
With the run established,
linebackers and safeties
freeze for a split second
with that kind of fake and
Owl receivers would be so
open Russo won’t know which
one to pick out. With a
fullback like Sharga and
tailbacks like Ryquell Armstead
and Jager Gardner,
that’s the only way to play
Temple’s identity as a team which sets up explosive plays in the passing game off the fear of the run is as much the school’s own as Navy’s triple-option is today. To mess with that is to play with fire.
Plus, the Owls have the best fullback in college football, Nick Sharga, for one more year. While they have him, they should use him as another offensive lineman to open up the running game and occasionally running over linebackers with the ball in his hands. Under that scenario, the linebackers and the safeties inch up to the line of scrimmage to protect against the run and are susceptible to the kind of deft play-fakes a quarterback like Anthony Russo makes easily. With the run established, linebackers and safeties freeze for a split second with that kind of fake and Owl receivers would be so open Russo won’t know which one to pick out. With a fullback like Sharga and tailbacks like Ryquell Armstead and Jager Gardner, that’s the only way to play.
If they are really thinking about uttering curse words like “spread offense” 2018 might be a good time to tinker with that concept.
Monday: 5 Reasons Why Owls Will Win AAC Title
Wednesday: Power 5 Misconceptions
Friday: The Big Cheese