Game Night: Wright Time to put best feet forward

Forget about baseball for a moment since just about all of the ratings indicate much of America has, even in the postseason.

This is football season and there are two games on nationally Thursday night.

One is an NFL game.

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The other is Temple football. Believe it or not, a large swath of the country doesn’t care much for the NFL but instead prefers college football and, for those folks, this is Temple’s chance to shine.

Maybe one or two times a year the university has a chance to put its front porch on the national stage without significant competition and one of them is Thursday (8 p.m., ESPN) at East Carolina. They won’t be seeing Temple as a chemistry class or a library or a band, but Temple as a football team.

So logic follows that maybe the Owls should put their best feet forward.

Or at least the best two feet they have: Isaiah Wright.

If there’s a common thread to the statements that Matt Rhule, Geoff Collins and Rod Carey have made about any Temple football player it’s various forms of this quote:

“We have to find a way to get the ball more to Isaiah Wright.”

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As a freshman under Rhule, Wright caught 8 passes for 74 yards with zero touchdowns but was more involved as a runner by carrying the ball 42 times for 232 yards, including a touchdown at Tulane.

As a sophomore under Collins, Wright had 46 receptions for 668 yards and four touchdowns and 25 carries for 188 yards and another touchdown. Those numbers regressed to 33 catches for 368 yards and three touchdowns and 19 carries for 84 yards a year ago.

This year: Wright has 22 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns but just four carries for 42 yards.

What do those statistics tell you?

When the guy’s number is called, he delivers but his number has not been called nearly enough–particularly on running plays. This is a coaching problem, not a player problem, and has been for some time. Carey isn’t going to run Wright out of the Wildcat (and that makes sense because he doesn’t throw from it) but more jet sweeps after faking inside to Re’Mahn Davis could be just what the doctor ordered. The film shows a lot of movement–mostly with wide receiver Jadan Blue–on running plays, but not a whole lot of use with a handoff off that movement. Get Wright involved on a few of those jet sweeps and chances are everything else opens up.

No better time than Thursday when the university is putting its best figurative foot forward on potentially the biggest stage of the year to put its best literal two feet forward.

Friday: Game Analysis



19 thoughts on “Game Night: Wright Time to put best feet forward

  1. Temple is a better team and should cover the spread vs ECU.

    October is the month Carey finds out just how much better the AAC is vs the MAC. Not sure he has ever coached against three ranked teams in a row.

    Give him credit, Carey has shown he won’t get out X’d and O’d.

    However, he will see first-hand how well Memphis, SMU, and UCF have recruited, and stockpiled talent from the portal the last three years. Those three teams are bigger, faster, stronger, and deeper. Temple is still living off the 2016 MR recruiting class.

    2019 will be Carey’s most talented team unless he and the staff amp up recruiting, and snatch three or more top level starters off the portal. Is Infante going to get any local kids?

  2. Its Football Tonight on ESPN and we will be watching.
    What I expect to see, really who knows, especially after Buffalo.
    What I hope to see is a solid win, where we look good on TV, with a nice combo of running and pass plays.
    On D I hope to see few penalties and no stupid TARGETING calls.
    As some wrote here already ( KJ? ) the refs will be looking for this all the time.

    Go Owls.

  3. Show me a wishbone with Wright and Davis!

  4. Wright On Brothers! All good comments.

  5. Temp is Hot Hot Hot at ECU today. I saw it as 95F at 3pm today and the LOW will be 78F. Weather will be a factor I guarantee, hope we are prepared.

  6. 2nd and five and they throw three passes. Unbelievable.

  7. Centeo QB is IN its about time, WE ALL saw Russo GAIN throw into close cover – lets hope it gets better

  8. another turnover in the red zone, stunning. Things you can’t do in the red zone: throw a pick, stare down your primary receiver forever, etc., etc

  9. Coaches must have read my post about Isaiah Wright today. 🙂

  10. To beat Memphis, Carey should watch the film from the USF game from 2016, and see how Rhule beat them with a ground and pound clock control offense. Navy ran on Memphis last week but could not stop their offense or special teams guys.

  11. Way too many penalties.

  12. Temple is 4-1, plenty smiles. 21 is having a Kenny Harper type senior year, and #20 is looking more and more like Emmitt Smith. Keep running the football.

    98 did a good job in filling in for 6. Defense is stout.

    Red light: Penalties after 5 games, 54 – 415 yards. Can Temple beat Memphis with 10 penalties for over 80 yards? No.

    Overwhelming number of penalties this season, makes it hard to predict future outcomes. First game w/o a targeting call or INT, amen.

    How good is Temple after 5 games? Really dunno, record may be deceiving in either direction.

    Plenty of time to get ready for Memphis. Temple must play their best game of the year to beat Memphis. Carey was smart getting Centeio in the game. It gives Memphis something extra to think about.

  13. Procedure penalties are drive killers and so easy to avoid. Every team has them, but the Owls seem to get a lot more. Focus guys!

  14. Ironically it was a solid, fairly dominating, win but obviously should have been better. There’s a lot of bullet holes in the player’s feet. What is it with the penalties for gosh sakes. It’s ridiculous and costs the team more scoring and allows the other team extra breaths. ECU’s last TD never should have happened. The announcers said Temple ranks in the mid-teens nationally as most penalized teams. And then the lights go out – only for Temple, huh? Well, at least they won. The penalties have to stop tho. I’m putting it more on the players, not so much the coaches.

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