A couple of special additions

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.

rory

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.

Lately?

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?

bellster

Gotta love that all of Rory’s family and friends already have their Temple swag.

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.

 

23 thoughts on “A couple of special additions

  1. I’m getting the impression Coach Carey and his staff have now settled in and realized the AAC will require a different strategy than what he used for the MAC. He’s had a year now to familiarize himself with the lay of the land here and understand what and who they compete against for players.

    His style though isn’t with a lot of flash bangs. Very methodical approach to recruting and probably softly selling how Temple players succeed at the next level.

    Would like to see more DL and OL recruits commit.

  2. Curious no big time schools went after theses guys as good as they look. Carey messed with the kicking game last year and seems to be fixing it now. But what about this season, same ‘ol, same ‘ol? Hope not.

    • Recruiting itself is an inexact science and in terms of kicking, it seems like many teams go the walk-on/PWO route along with the scholarship route as well. Heck, Rutgers had a somewhat ‘high-profile’ commit at kicker when Ash was hired back in December 2015 (the kid was ranked high by a few different kicking services) and the kid ended up flipping to PSU I think in January 2016…think the kid lasted 2 years before transferring to a D-II school in his home state (I think Georgia).

      I wouldn’t sweat ‘no P5 offers’ for kicker; I think this kid will have just as good of a chance as any to play well.

      Joe P.

      • Know what you mean. Jim Cooper came in highly touted and seemed a shoo in to follow in his dad’s footsteps and the kid got the yips. It cost the Owls big time especially because they had to use the punter on a couple of occasions for extra points.

      • I hear you John; the teeth-gnashing that occurred with that 2016 decommit at kicker was a bit ridiculous; people were acting like Adam Vinateri had just walked out the door…I think his stat line at PSU was like 3/5 FG’s with maybe 2 or 3 missed XP in limited duty over 2 seasons before the kid transferred out. I can also remember solid kickers at Rutgers getting the yips seemingly out of nowhere and then getting beat out by fairly solid if unspectacular walk-ons.

        Joe P.

      • Hardin went to legendary Temple soccer coach Walt Barr and asked him who had the best leg on the team. Barr gave him Nick Mike-Mayer and Don Bitterlich and both became NFL kickers.

  3. And Don’s in TU’s Hall of Fame.

  4. Never saw Mike-Mayer (the Temple one). Saw the brother at Maryland. Recall Bitterlich kicking XP’s over the net.

    Kickers are a crap shoot. Ask Saban. Somehow though, Auburn always seems to have a good one.

    • Plus, Austin Jones great here; terrible at ‘Bama.

    • I do recall seeing Don Bitterlich later up at West Point in the stands with the Temple crowd. He was doing his best to get our TU people rooting in the game vs Army.
      And as I’m also a big fan of his Accordion work, we sat close to him just so I could hear the Temple Fight songs he was pound out there!
      Yea go Don. Now that’s Spirit .

      • Love Don. He sat behind me at the bowl game in December and we were both disgusted with the attitude of the players in the third and fourth quarters. I left because of the laughing and the joking down like 100-0. Carey’s got to fix this shit right away.

  5. 7 QBs and only 6 RBs…, when is the last time QBs outnumbered RBs on a college football roster? Uniquely odd.., but probably the new status quo for the AAC.

  6. Here’s a question for everyone, sparked by this morning’s announcement of Dunphy resurfacing as “interim-AD”. I’m not too sure that there are any defenders of Pat Kraft on this site, but what is undeniable is that he has been looking to get out of Temple for the past year or two (likely more). Why, then, is it a surprise that he is gone to the BOD? Why in God’s name is it going to take a 90-day process to locate his replacement? Why are there no candidates already lined up and ready to be interviewed?

    I can’t just help but think it is a total disaster down there and that both the BB and FB programs will be in the toilet for years to come.

    • Should have grabbed Ingram when the getting was good. Don’t see this helping football at all and I like Fran. We need some one who will rip up contracts with Lafayette, Norfolk, etc.

  7. 2 things: it’s conceivable he could get the job permanently and, as is typical at Temple, we’ll have to wait and see what kind of directions he takes the athletic department. If it really is interim he’ll just try to hold things together thru this pandemic stuff and help look for the permanent replacement. Gotta say, his resume is pretty spectacular. His real fault was a horrid post-season record as coach, otherwise except for a couple seasons here, he did a good job on and off the court. IMO, the BB program slipped some under him but was not totally ruined as some think. He had some very good seasons, but those tournaments were so disappointing. Hopefully he’ll support Aaron and we’ll see some solid improvement. His familiarity with all the HCs and BOT members should help a lot too.

    • Given Dunphy’s age, I can’t see him agreeing to be hired permanently. It’s a 12 hour plus a day job most of the year that’s hard for a young man to do right. On any given day there could be more than five teams playing and everyone expects him to make an appearance. Couple that with scheduling, player problems, meet and greets for dough, and a dozen other responsibilities, Dunphy likely doesn’t want the job.

      • Interesting. Gotta wonder if they are paying him Kraft’s $500K on top of the $2.1 million guaranteed pay he’s getting now or that Fran is doing a Trump and working for free?

  8. Happy Happy our present will be a football season.😎🏈🏈🏈

  9. Why is Dunphy getting 2.1 mil guaranteed? Did the school buy him out for not finishing his contract or something? These salaries are ridiculous – coaches make much more than their bosses (ADs) and the school presidents.

    While I’m ranting, the Inq. articles for PSU and Nova not only far out number Temple’s coverage but are much more detailed (longer) too, often about minor topics. I realize those 2 schools are higher up the ladder than TU right now in the major sports, but c’mon – Temple is Philly’s major college football school.

    • Penn State is still 250 miles away. A lot of people in the Philadelphia newsrooms don’t realize that. Might as well be covering Maryland.

      • “Might as well be covering” Temple better than they are. Narducci gives the Owls brief mention on some outstanding stuff but they go on and on about who-cares stuff for PSU. As I said, I realize PSU has been the biggest name in eastern football for decades (not just PA) and they are PA’s football school, but a bit more love, in Philly at least, for Temple would be nice.

  10. I recall an article in the then Chester Times (now Delco Times) that featured my fifth grade gym teacher who had been hired to the Maryland staff (he formerly had been HC at PMC (Widener)).

    One of the quotes in the 1968-69 story was “Maryland is the closest major college program to the Philadelphia area.” Temple had not yet moved to the higher level. Rutrgers wasn’t much better.

    Perhaps as Mike muses, those same editors are directing coverage accordingly.

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