Great question from Shawn Pastor here about tackling in the spring
On the same day the Sixers and Phillies got embarrassed, Temple football won.
The Owls always win on Cherry and White Day. Since 1894 or thereabouts, the Owls have never lost on the middle Saturday in April. If they had an opponent who wore some color other than Cherry or White, it would be the most impressive streak in sports.
For the past 40 years or so, I’ve been to just about every one of these days and I can not remember walking away thinking the Owls did not look good. Some of the days were bitterly cold and a couple of recent ones featured driving rain.
At least the weather (78, sunny) this time was good.
This time, though, was a little different. I got that vibe early when the public address announcer said the Owls would “simulate” a punt return–with the returner catching the ball and evading two guys who did not even attempt to tackle him. Then they went to a drill with the quarterbacks throwing the ball into the end zone to wide receivers. The only thing missing were defensive backs trying to knock that ball down.
New head coach Rod Carey certainly has his way of doing things and it’s way too early to know if this is a good way or a bad one. It certainly limits the number of injuries the team has in the spring but, at some point or another, the players are going to have to put on the pads and start hitting and punt returners will have to evade guys with ill intent and quarterbacks will have to thread the needle over the outstretched fingertips of safeties and cornerbacks.
Hopefully, they will get enough of that done in the summer practices.
Put it this way: Former head coach Geoff Collins had a much more “game-like” Cherry and White experience last year and lost to Villanova in the opener. Whatever he did, it did not prepare the kids for the opening day. If the guys who were playing a glorified version of pitch and catch on Saturday get off to an unbeaten first month, Carey’s way will be a better one.
That is the litmus test of how good this team will be, not what happened on Saturday.
Unlike the Sixers on South Broad Street, there was not a single boo to be heard on North Broad.
Wednesday: Recapping Spring Ball
Friday: Checking the boxes