If one play turned around the Temple season, it was a Keystone Cops’ like extra point that was not only blocked but taken back all the way for two points at Cincinnati.
That miss was in no way the fault of kicker Will Mobley because careful review of that replay showed a guard missing his block that allowed a hand to get through.
Still, those two points were the difference between a Temple lead in a game the Owls had to win. They really should have won that game in Cincinnati because a lead would have dictated the approach in the fourth quarter.
Whatever, it highlighted a problem with the Owls that needed to be fixed. The Owls have not had an impact kicker since Aaron Boumerhi helped save the 2016 season. That was the year Austin Jones busted his leg on a cheap shot at Memphis. Going into that game, Jones–who transferred to Alabama and obscurity (Quincy Roche take note)– hit a Temple record 17-straight field goals.
Why do we bring all of this up?
First, placekicking has pretty much never been an area to worry about. The Owls have been blessed from guys like Nick Mike-Mayer to Don Bitterlich to Cap Poklemba to Brandon McManus to Jones and Boomer.
Not so much.
Mobley is a pretty reliable extra-point type kicker but do you trust him with a 44-yarder with 30 seconds left in a big spot?
He’s never shown that deep leg threat.
Two kickers Rod Carey is bringing in this year, though, do. Carey watched the same film you and I did and is doing something about it.
Rory Bell of Wilmington (Ohio) is outstanding as is Souderton kicker William Leyland.
Bell was ranked No. 2 in the nation by one of the scouting services, Game Winning kicking.
Leyland was named the kicker for the East squad for the Big 33 game that unfortunately will not be played due to the pandemic.
Both have big legs and can win a game and both will come as PWO (preferred walk-ons).
May the best man win, err, a scholarship. The Owls already have won getting both on the roster.
Now let’s hope the Owls can tighten up all the loose ends on their special teams to give these guys a shot to shine.