Saying Goodbye is Hard to do

Fortunately, despite all of the turmoil in one section of the Edberg-Olson Football Complex, the coaching offices, Temple avoided it in the larger part of the facility, the locker room.

Until the last few days.

First, the Owls got the news that kicker Aaron Bouhmeri was leaving and then, on Monday, wide receiver Sean Ryan announced via Twitter that he was leaving for West Virginia.

When you go to war, you want to go to it with all of your soldiers and those were two POTENTIAL starters. In both cases, though, there were reasons that deserve some illumination here.


One, Boomer–as responsible for the 2016 American Athletic Association championship as anyone on the team–was perpetually injured with a nagging hip flexor. He played a couple of games in 2018 but could not go on and there was a school of thought that he would be ready to kick in spring ball.

He was not and that did not make the new staff comfortable that he would be able to go in the fall so they are in the hunt for another kicker. I must admit when Austin Jones was the victim of a cheap shot at Memphis, the Owls were cooked for that season but who would have known that Boomer would hit 15 of 17 field goals and be just as good as Jones?

Boomer will always have a special place in Temple lore.

The Ryan case is different.

Isaiah Wright says he will carry the ball in the backfield this season and I think he will be turn out to be so valuable there that this coaching staff will have no choice of keeping him there even though they are talking about moving him all over the field. That, plus the star of last year’s spring game (Jadan Blue) returns to catch passes with the breakout star of the regular season, Branden Mack. Add to that the fact that Randle Jones and Freddie Johnson need receiving reps and that wide receiver room is so crowded they might have to knock down the walls.

As a certain government official says about the country, we’re full there and there is no more room.

I think Ryan saw the handwriting on the wall and left for West Virginia. I don’t know what he expects to find when he gets there, but he knows what is here and he decided he did not want to fight for reps. One thing I’m certain of is Troy’s Neal Brown is every bit the head coach Rod Carey is and will give him as fair a shot as Carey would have.

Anytime players leave, though, you wish them well and hope that they don’t regret the decision.

Meanwhile, it’s going to be harder to find a kicker with range than a backup wide receiver so we’re hoping Rod Carey and his staff have someone in mind.

Friday: Cherry and White Preview

Monday: Spring Camp Roundup


Boomer: The One Who Got Away


Boomer started his first season helping students into dorms here.

You cannot go back in time and say for certain one thing would have happened under different circumstances, but Temple let a good one get away at the kicking position the other day.

We’re not talking about Austin Jones, the graduate transfer who we will be watching kick for Alabama next season, but about our own Aaron “Boomer” Boumerhi.

What’s that you say, Boomer is still here?

Yes, for next year and for 2019 but except for some incredibly botched handling of the kicking situation by the current coaching staff, he could have been here in 2020.

Hindsight is 20/20 and that just so happens to be the year Temple could have had the services of Boomer until. Like many things on this site, the coaching staff did not need the benefit of hindsight; they just could have read this blog and would have saved themselves a lot of heartache. Jones, in a two-kicker system, got hurt in 2017 but who knows what would have happened in the injury department had he been awarded the job on his own? He might have gotten injured, but then again he might not have. He deserved the chance to prove either way.

This is what should have happened and what we outlined in a post in this space way back in August and here is the proof in black and white.

Jones should have kicked his senior year here, using up his eligibility, and Boomer should have been redshirted, saving a year of his.

That was the King Solomon Solution: Split this kicking baby right down the middle like a Jones/Boumerhi field goal and keep the good times rolling at a very important position for another year.

Why did the staff choose the two-kicker solution, you ask? Good question. As all detectives can tell you motivation is a tricky thing to determine, but my educated guess is that this staff did not think they would be here in 2020 so why do they give a flying fuck about Temple having a serviceable kicker in that season? (Excuse my language, but this is the college football world we live in today.) I do. Maybe other Temple fans do, too. You could give me $7 million to write a Baylor blog extolling virtues of Baylor football, but I’d have to say no thanks. This is my school and the the Temple football team is the sports team I love above all others, including the Eagles, Phillies and Sixers. Coaches come, coaches go, I and a great many Temple fans will be here forever. Not all coaches burn redshirts like the Steve Addazios and others. Say all you want about Al Golden but he promised Temple he would “build a house of brick, not straw” and he delivered on the promise by redshirting 10-15  guys every season. Golden would not have gone with the two-kicker system, if he had two kickers who were even because he felt his word was his bond. Collins has made no such promises and that’s his right, as it was Golden’s right to reward Temple with solid assurances. Golden gave Temple five good years and the uni is indebted to him forever for that.

Coaches with one eye on the door don’t make the promises Golden kept.

Who knows if Jones had been allowed to kick this season by himself he would have gotten injured like he did? We cannot say for sure. Nobody can, but it was a plan that needed to be executed first. Kick Jones this season, save Boomer’s redshirt.

Instead, they tried the two-kicker system and that’s never a good plan.

There is no guarantee that Collins—or Al Golden or whomever succeeds him—is going to be able to recruit a kicker near the ability of either Boomer or Austin in the future and there’s quite a lot of evidence to the contrary.

From 1991 until 2009—which so happens to correspond to the longest period of futility in Temple or any other kind of football—Temple had a lot of nondescript and comically ineffective kickers.

There were exceptions to the rule, of course, such as when Cap Poklemba kicked for Bobby Wallace, but the rule pretty much held firm until Brandon McManus came to town. When Steve Addazio was running Montel Harris into the middle of the field to set up for an OT win at UConn, he said: “We were going to put it in the middle of the field and let the best kicker in college football win it for us.”  Before that, it was just an embarrassment at the position. After that, an embarrassment of riches.

Like the stock market and a ball that sails off a foot, what goes up must come down and it would have been nice to have a blue-chipper in the portfolio for one extra year.

Monday: Temple’s Super Bowl

Wednesday: Signing Celebration Primer

Friday: Signing Celebration Recap

Monday: The New Transfer Rule



King Solomon’s Kicking Solution


Austin Jones kicks arguably the most clutch FG of the last 10  years of TUFB.

Other than the quarterback dilemma, probably the toughest decision facing Geoff Collins in these weeks before the Notre Dame game is the kicking position.

Both Aaron Boumerhi and Austin Jones are, by all accounts, even this season.

One is a senior and one is a sophomore.

For the solution, Collins only needs to open the Bible and look for the story of King Solomon.  Two women claimed to be the mother of the same child and the King ordered the child be split in two so that the women could share him. One of the women objected, saying she’d rather see the child live with the other mother than be killed. Solomon saw that and declared her the real mother and awarded the child to her.

Collins should, in reality, split this baby this way: The senior, Jones, should get to kick this season and he should redshirt Boumerhi so he has him two years after that.

That’s the logical way to do it. All things being equal, the guy who put the blood sweat and tears into the program longer should be given the benefit of the doubt and Jones seems to be that guy. It was not Jones’ fault that he was the victim of a cheap shot at Memphis and probably should not lose his job because of it. Boumerhi is good, but I don’t see this as a Wally Pipp/Lou Gehrig-type situation where Pipp lost his job because of injury. Jones is not as bad as Pipp nor is Bourmerhi the Lou Gehrig of kickers.

Of course, if the reports are wrong out of camp and one is, err, kicking the crap out of the other than that guy should get the job and the other guy should be redshirted but, according to special teams’ coach Ed Foley, that’s not the case. Foley said that both are outstanding and both are doing well.

On the surface this is a tough decision.

King Solomon, though, would beg to differ.

Friday: The QB Dilemma

Owls Turn To Boomer Sooner Than Expected

Aaron Boumerhi now unexpectedly gets forced into the spotlight.

At opposite ends of the Commonwealth (yes, it’s a Commonwealth and not a state) of Pennsylvania reside the worst and best names for a starting kicker in the long and storied history of college football.

Pitt has a guy named Chris Blewitt (pronounced BLEW IT) as its placekicker.

Temple now has a guy named Aaron Boumerhi and it is the very best kicking name in the country because it is pronounced BOOMER-EYE.


                               Aaron Boumerhi’s community duty included helping his fellow students move into the dorms.

After starting kicker Austin Jones was the victim of a cheap shot in the middle of the field at Memphis (not called), he is out for the season and Boomer is your new kicker. All we know about Aaron is that he stroked one right down the middle for an extra point. While at Philipsburg-Osceola High, he did not have many chances for field goals but he later became a camp warrior, going to numerous kicking camps and scoring high enough to earn a shot at Temple.

Owls’ coach Matt Rhule speaks highly of him, saying at one time that he considered using Boomer as his kickoff guy this season because he has a “Brandon McManus” leg on kickoffs. We all know McManus, err, boomed many of this kickoffs not only through the end zone but once or twice into the seats in his four years at Temple and now is a NFL star.  Rhule “ruled” against it because he wanted to preserve Boumerhi’s redshirt so he could kick through the 2020 season.

The best-laid plans often go astray due to things coaches cannot control like cheap shots.

The bottom line on Boomer is that he’s got a good leg, but is he as accurate as Jones was? Probably not since Jones hit a NCAA-best 17 in a row before missing two at Memphis and, in reality, we don’t know if he’ll perform at a high level. His extra point was fine and, if the Owls can rely on him in that area and the short field goals that Jones made routinely, that is really all they can expect.

If however, he turns out to be another Brandon McManus, that will be a bonus no one expected. We should find out for sure before long.

Saturday: Game Day Preview

Sunday: Game Analysis