We will know by about midway through the second quarter on Thursday night if Temple made the most of its bye week or frittered it away.
By then, if Temple “gets it” the Owls would have tried:
1) at least one so-called trick play (halfback pass, reverse, double-pass, flea-flicker, Statue of Liberty, a shovel pass, jump pass to the tight end in the red zone, etc.)
2) a short passing game in lieu of establishing the run;
3), a fake off a fourth-and-two punt at midfield;
4) a run game based on sending multiple blockers to the point of attack (i.e., a tight end in motion);
5) a “passing series” for so-called running quarterback Quincy Patterson.
That’s what we know at this point, six days before a vital league game at UCF.
Central Florida has scouted the Owls. It knows when Patterson is in to defend the run and when E.J. Warner is in to defend the pass.
It would be prudent for Drayton to screw up those preconceived notions by sending Patterson in for a passing series. Just a thought.
Making Gus Malzhan throw that scouting report in the trash by the end of the first quarter should be Priority No. 1 with the Edberg-Olson brain trust this week.
Oh to be a fly on the wall the past few days at the $17 million Edberg-Olson Complex.
I have my hopes but I also have my doubts.
Hopes, because first-year head coach Stan Drayton so far has pushed all the right buttons on the key decisions a CEO needs to make. The film from last year indicated to a lot of Temple fans and, ultimately to Drayton himself, that he needed to bring in a quarterback to compete with D’Wan Mathis. Six touchdown passes against four interceptions is not the ratio any winning team is looking for but that’s the ratio Mathis had last year. The same film also indicated that the Owls needed a serious upgrade at running back and Drayton brought in portal transfers to beat out the holdovers and they’ve shown more promise than the holdovers.
Doubts, because for the first five games Temple has done the equivalent of banging its head against the wall on offense.
The same failed schemes and the same failed game plans. Zero points against Duke was nauseating, 31 points against Lafayette was not good enough and 14 points against Rutgers was putrid. Toledo put 55 on UMass and Temple struggled for 28 against the same team. Three points at a Memphis team that gave up 32 to that power North Texas was telling.
There has been a notion circulating on social media that this is the best we can expect from the offense because “the offensive line is not good enough” and “as soon as Drayton recruits his people” the Owls will start to move the ball.
That assumes next year the Owls will get two offensive linemen as good as Adam Klein and Isaac Moore who will not be here next year. Do you know who might dispute that? Current offensive line coach Chris Wiesehan who coached those two when they were, along with second-round NFL draft pick Matt Hennessy, the best offensive linemen on Geoff Collins’ 8-5 team.
They were also the best linemen on a Rod Carey 8-5 team.
They are the best linemen on Drayton’s first team.
Getting the most out of their talents means scheming plays behind their blocks and sending a good blocking tight end like David Martin-Robinson to help jump-start the running game. Logic dictates if you send three good blockers to an area where two good defenders are, there will be a hole to run through.
Establish a run game and Warner’s play-action passing game becomes that much more effective. Toss in a wrinkle or two and a defense that plays Temple will have its heads spinning. No need to have trick plays on every series but would it kill Temple to have a couple of “trick plays” in a game?
We haven’t seen that so far in a 2-3 season.
If this season is going to flip from bad to good, we will need to see things we haven’t seen while the Owls were banging their heads against a wall. That’s a good way to send a once-promising season to the Emergency Room and it’s an awful habit that can easily be stopped right now.
Monday: Temple-UCF Preview