Temple offense: Time to take off the gloves

Temple running back Trey Blair throws a couple of damn good passes in this 2017 video.

There are three major computer-simulated websites that supposedly put in all the known data and come up with a final score for your weekend college football games.

The most accurate one beats the Vegas point spreads 9.6 percent of the time and has made a lot of, err, investment strategists big-time money.

That one has the final score of tomorrow’s Temple at Memphis game (noon, ESPNU) 37-26 in favor of the bad guys.

Must admit that one has me scratching my head a little bit because I’ve watched all eight games involving both teams and I don’t see: a) Temple scoring 26 points OR b) Memphis scoring 37 points in this one.

First, Temple’s defense has shown signs of being ahead of the offense. Holding Duke to two field goals in the second half was impressive and the 14 points against Lafayette were off turnovers. In addition, holding a Big 10 team to no offensive touchdowns indicates that the Owls might have something here and could hold Memphis in the 20-point area.

Or less.

That’s where the rub comes into play.

Our picks this week

The key point is all of the “known data.” What we don’t know, at least from a Temple perspective, is how willing Stan Drayton wants to show a hand he has not so far this season.

The so-called trick play.

Drayton alluded to as much in his AAC pre-game press conference Monday when he said “outside of the gadget plays” he doesn’t know what former quarterback D’Wan Mathis’s contributions could be to the offense.

Just by saying “outside of the gadget plays” indicates that the word “gadget” has entered Drayton’s mind. If you are Memphis right now, you are probably thinking this: E.J. Warner tosses a backward pass to Mathis, who draws the corners inside so much that Adonicas Sanders is running free down the sideline. Mathis tosses it and Temple gets six.

If you are Memphis, you might think that.

What might Temple think that Memphis isn’t?

How about this?

Warner tosses a backward pass to Mathis, who throws it across the field to Trey Blair–a former damn good high school quarterback–who finds David Martin-Robinson wide open over the middle (because the free safety bit on the fake) for six.

Memphis probably doesn’t know Blair was a quarterback but certainly knows Mathis was. That would involve thinking one step ahead of the bad guys.

Memphis has no idea that Trey Blair can throw a pass. That’s the best reason for him to do so tomorrow. (If you are a Memphis coach, he’s wearing No. 10.)

It would also involve taking the gloves off both figuratively and literally.

First, Blair has worn gloves on every single one of his plays as a running back this season. He needs to come in for at least a few plays before the gadget without wearing those gloves and run a couple of times to sell the play. The reason is simply that you can’t throw as good a pass with gloves on as you can with them off.

It’s worth a shot.

In a game where I see in the 24-17 range either way, a trick play–what Drayton calls a “gadget” play–might make a difference. We know what gadget play Memphis might be expecting. We guess they aren’t expecting double-trickery.

What Temple’s offense did not show anyone, including the simulated computers, has been innovation on offense.

This game might be a good place to start.

It’s time to take the gloves off and throw the computer for a loop that could blow a fuse or two.

Picks this week: Like four favorites and two underdogs. The four favorites are Fresno State to cover the 23.5 at UConn, NIU the 3.5 at Ball State, Ole Miss the 6.5 against visiting Kentucky and Kent State the 11 against visiting Ohio. The dogs are Navy getting 15 at Air Force and UMass getting 20 against an EMU team that gave up 50 to Buffalo last week.

Last week: 2-3 against the spread. Update: A 2-3 week (missed a push in the Kansas game by a point). Won on JMU and Rice and lost on Memphis, Duke and Eastern Michigan. That puts us at 7-7 for the season.

Update: Went 2-4 ATS as UConn not only covered the 23.5-point spread against Fresno State but won outright, Ball State won in overtime against NIU and Kentucky covered the spread while Kent State failed to cover. Won on Navy at USAF and UMass at EMU. 9-11 ATS on the season.

Late Saturday: Game Analysis

Monday: AAC Reaction

4 thoughts on “Temple offense: Time to take off the gloves

  1. PJ played 9 games as a frosh in 2013. He threw 20 TDs w/8 INTs.

    Let’s see what the coaching staff can do to accelerate Warner’s maturation. Temple will go to a bowl game this year if Warner can match PJ’s first yr stats.

    Makes you appreciate PJ just a bit more. Temple’s D that year only ranked 90th in the country.

    Imagine if PJ had the 2022 Defense, or if Warner could match PJ’s stats this yr?

  2. Today, our Temple played wonderful defense until they were finally gassed in the 2nd half. Now we all know the issue is NO OFFENSE, so when there is 0 Running game then their D can stop our passing game . At least we all know for sure now. Doubt we can fix the O this season any more…. BUT I enjoyed the first half and then some.

  3. Defense racks up five sacks on a conference opponent (a rival really at this point) and we still somehow get blown out.
    Please, please show me a two tight end power running setup… Jose Barbon can block as well as catch, right?

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