Four to score: Possible running backs for Temple

A great chart here showing yards after contact by running backs. Ball State and Carson Steele were at the top. No one was worse than Temple. The Owls need to find a RB who excels after contact in the portal to make significant improvement in 2023.

Back in the day a couple of years before the shot clock made it to college basketball, one of the more effective offenses was “four to score” designed and perfected by North Carolina coach Dean Smith.

The floor would be spread with four guys in each corner and a pivot man in the middle and the pivot man would find the cutters, usually for easy baskets. That was particularly effective before the shot clock. Not so much after.

The game evolves and ebbs and flows. Every game does. Four to score spread the floor in basketball. A balance between running and passing does the same in football.

There’s nothing more fluid in college football than the transfer portal.

Here today, gone tomorrow is the mantra but as of 12:53 a.m. today, there are four intriguing running backs remaining who can instantly improve Temple football.

Our favorite, Carson Steele, committed to UCLA two days ago but there are still four left who can take Temple to the next level.

The chart above is particularly revealing when it comes to Temple football’s offensive production both last year and in the future. Temple was the worst team in FBS football in yards after contact. Ball State (upper left) was near the top. Surprisingly, Navy and Buffalo were right above Temple and Cal, LSU and Florida were near the top. Those teams had other offensive issues but those run games were solid.

Temple’s passing game was solid, but its run game was an issue.

It still needs attention, and these guys would be an immediate upgrade:

Marshawn Lloyd, South Carolina _ Lloyd had 593 yards and nine touchdowns against a top eight schedule.

Dillon Johnson, Mississippi State_ Johnson, a four-star recruit, has had a productive career with the Bulldogs but fell out of favor with the late great Mike Leach (RIP). He could immediately shine at the G5 level.

Trey Sanders, Alabama _528 yards and three touchdowns for one of the most storied programs in college football. Guaranteed he would get more than double that at Temple.

Treshaun Ward, Florida State _ Had 547 yards and five touchdowns for the Seminoles before Troy Benson took his job.

Before you say, geez, “Temple has no chance for guys like that” you never know until you try. Before Temple recruited the preseason ACC (not AAC) Player of the Year in Boston College’s Montel Harris, no one ever dreamed the Owls would get him.

What happened?

Harris ripped off a school-record 351 yards and seven touchdowns in a 63-32 win at Army. He finished with over 1,000 yards his only season at Temple, got his degree and is doing well in life.

Temple not only has that to sell to potential recruits but Stan Drayton’s history of being a “running back whisperer” and a guy who was considered for many years to be the best college running backs coach in America.

That’s not Stan saying that. It’s his pupils like Dallas Cowboys’ RB Eezkiel Elliott.

Time to get him on the phone and recruit for Stan.

Nothing would make the E.J. Warner passing game more lethal than to add a running threat. It would be scary to see how good Temple would be with a balanced attack and just one of these “four to score guys” would make that happen.

As of Jan. 6, Temple has no running game to get excited about. That can all change with one commit.

Monday: The Definition of Irony