Turning out the lights on East Carolina

The lights went out with 3 minutes, 34 seconds left in Temple’s 27-17 win over host East Carolina but, to borrow a famous Don Meredith phrase, the party was over long before that.

The score was 27-10 at the time but, in reality, it seemed a lot more dominant game by the Owls than that.

It seems like first-year Temple coach Rod Carey has found the formula going forward: Heavy on the run game to open up passing lanes and light on the turnovers.

That’s the lesson of the unfortunate Buffalo loss. The Owls tried to do too much up there and, as a result, had too many turnovers and put their defense in too many bad spots.

No more.

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When all is said and done, I think ECU will be a better team than Buffalo–it already owns a win over an Old Dominion team that played Virginia Tech pretty even–but that’s not as important as the Owls finding their own familiar identity.

Pound and ground and hit a few important plays in the passing game as a result of the bad guys being so intent on stopping the run. It limits turnovers, but probably doesn’t lead to some of the blowout wins we’ve seen in the past.

That’s a preview of the game plan with teams like Memphis and UCF ahead and probably the only way to win.

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Re’Mahn Davis solidified my view that he’s a big-time back. He had a career-high in rushing (157 yards) and he broke more tackles on every drive than Eagles’ tight end Zach Ertz has in a seven-year NFL career. He’s got a unique running style that I can’t quite pin down. He’s not as elusive as Heisman Trophy runner-up Paul Palmer nor as fast as state champion sprinter Bernard Pierce but he breaks tackles like no Temple running back I’ve seen recently. Maybe Montel Harris (351 yards, 7 touchdowns in a 2012 win over Army) is the closest comparison I can make.

I made a point out of watching Carey’s face coming off the field and it was the pained look of a guy who lost 27-17 and not won. That’s a good sign. That shows he’s a perfectionist and that’s what Temple football needs in the CEO spot. There were far too many penalties and the Owls are going to have to figure out a better way to keep the rush off Anthony Russo. To me, the best way is putting a fullback in as a lead blocker for Davis and Jager Gardner and also drop back to help in play-action pass protection for Russo. Ask Paul Palmer what helped him nearly get the Heisman and he will tell you fullback Shelley Poole. Wyatt Benson did the same for Pierce and Kenny Harper played that important role for Harris. Nick Sharga’s fullback blocks helped Jahad Thomas, Ryquell Armstead and teammates beat Penn State and win an AAC title. Temple has a long tradition of great fullbacks.

Carey will have to come to that conclusion for himself.

Meanwhile, winning a game in college football is hard enough and winning a game on the road is even harder so it is better to learn those lessons after a win than after a loss.

Prediction Tonight: Cincinnati getting 4.5 against visiting UCF.  Bearcats, UCF and Boise State are the leading candidates to get the G5 NY6 slot and the Bearcats have already made one statement for it by beating Marshall, 45-17, on the road. How was that a statement? Boise struggled to beat Marshall, 14-7, at home. UCF was unimpressive in losing to a middling ACC team like Pitt in OT. Bearcats win this outright, 27-21. Last week we were 4-3 against the spread (winning with ECU and Toledo as dogs and SMU and Cincy as favorites but losing on Maryland as a dog and UAB and Wake Forest as favorites. YTD: 17-5 straight up, 13-9 ATS.

Tomorrow: Key Saturday Games

12 thoughts on “Turning out the lights on East Carolina

  1. That offense looked good, run the ball and set up intermediate pass plays. Defense looked good. Need to stop the penalties and recruit a punter. GO OWLS,let’s prove we can be top dog in the AAC again over next 3 games

  2. The ECU passing game was great to watch, i’m glad they made a few mistakes or it could have been very close. Their QB has an ARM and his receivers were athletic.

    Our TU passing game was very controlled, short and choppy with few fan-wow plays. But it is how we win, maybe like old LA Rams had ‘Ground Chuck’.
    Anybody out there old enough to recall that name ?

    • 20 is running like Emmitt Smith, the OL is moving folks off the ball. Temple can beat Memphis if it plays error free for 4 qtrs. Temple is next to last in conference in turnover margin. HC must fix next week.

      The Foley Ghost is real. Hands team for onside kicks and the punt team were victims last night. Temple is LAST in the AAC in net punting average.

      Back shoulder throw was there all night for 15.., he continues to force it inside on all deep passes. Memphis D will see this on tape, read his eyes and pick him off. We need the QB coach to up his game. I refuse to believe 15 has a learning disability.

      Temple D makes plays. The DC is playing more man than previously advertised, corners are playing really well.

      Equal talent level on both sides of the ball. Why is the defense playing better? The DC has quickly figured out the difference between what he wants to do and what he can do. The OC is still searching.

  3. Yeah, so does Tom Brady. The difference is that Belichick realizes a read option is not the offense for him.

  4. Watching Cincy-UCF now. Announced attendance is 33,024 and the place looks packed to the rafters. Great visual for the conference. Temple drew 33,026 (two more) to last year’s Cincy game at LFF and the place looked more than half-empty because since the capacity is 70K that’s what it was. Pisses me off to no end that Temple is the only school in the history of college football that WANTS to build a 35K stadium on its own campus but its own hometown doesn’t allow it. If you know any other town that denied a college of a home stadium, please list the links below.

  5. Blame the Temple BOD, they let one person block the stadium. And, have elevated Clarke’s status to insurmountable heights in the process.

    The BOD are political appointees with bureaucratic mannerisms. Don’t expect that entity, or any individual member, to do or say anything to upset the status quo. Compare the BOD with the people protesting for democracy in Hong Kong. Do you think anyone on the BOD would be willing to get shot for democracy?

    Let the stadium idea R.I.P.

    • Problem is that as of today Owls have no place to play next season. it was supposed to be the second season for the stadium and instead the Owls are homeless. Really puts Lurie in the driver’s seat during negotiations.

      • If he ups the already high pricetag, BOT will have no choice but to negotiate a side deal with Penn putting every home TV appearance for Temple in jeopardy.

      • Not to mention attendance of the casual fan used to the amenities and convenience of the Linc and who would refuse to go to FF

      • Philadelphia is so corrupt. Lurie has city council in his pocket. He hands out drugs and booze to the stadium stompers. Should make a good expose someday.

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