UCF is still having nightmares about Ventell Bryant
One of the mottos of Temple football is to be 1-0 every week.
That’s hard to do this week since it’s a bye one.
That doesn’t mean what happens this week can’t contribute to being 1-0 next week.
Let’s think about it. Both Temple and UCF have a “bye” week this week, which means both the Owls and the Knights are spending extra time pouring over the other team’s tendencies in an effort to gain some kind of advantage in preparation.
The team that both changes up what they do and attacks the weakness of the opponent will probably come out on top.
I don’t have any game film on UCF but, according to the NCAA stats, UCF’s rushing defense is ranked No. 91st and its passing defense 46th. I’m not a math major, but it would seem to be easier to beat UCF with a steady diet of runs versus passes.
If I was the Temple OC, I would be devising a game plan based on attacking the Knights via the ground. That usually means running Ryquell Armstead (who will be 100 percent a week from Thursday) behind fullback Rob Ritrovato but current OC Dave Patenaude is stubborn to the edge of insanity in his refusal to use a fullback as a lead blocker. Still, running the ball against a weak run defense has to be the focal point of any game plan. It worked for Memphis. It can work for Temple.
Did Temple learn anything about running the ball against a weak run defense when it failed to attack the Achilles Heel of Buffalo? Geez, you’ve got to hope something good came out of that disaster.
Patenaude’s been banging his head against a wall all season so maybe it’s too much to expect that he puts some ice on it. I know that. You know that. He doesn’t know that and I don’t think even Geoff Collins knows that. If the light bulb hasn’t gone on yet, they are still using kerosene lamps at the EO.
What Patenaude has shown he is willing to do–just in the Maryland game–was to run tight ends in motion as lead blockers for Armstead, opening up the entire offense with play-action. We can only hope he is willing to do the same in Orlando. He must if the Owls are going to have any chance.
That’s the No. 1 thing to work on this week and next, establishing the run, controlling the clock and keeping the ball out of Heisman Trophy candidate McKenzie Milton’s right hand.
Here are four more:
Attack the center of the field. UCF game film almost exclusively has the Owls attacking the perimeter on passing routes, primarily fades. Pump faking those routes and throwing over the middle to tight ends Kenny Yeboah and Chris Myrick is something UCF won’t expect.
Use trick plays that work. Since Patenaude’s almost never do, take a page out of Matt Rhule’s playbook and line Toddy Centeio up as a wide receiver. Have Centeio catch a double pass from Anthony Russo and then throw downfield to either Isaiah Wright or Ventell Bryant, who usually catch everything within their zip codes. A variation of this play worked for Rhule at SMU when he used Jalen Fitzpatrick–a former Big 33 quarterback– on an end around touchdown pass to Robby Anderson for a long touchdown. Other tried and true Temple trick plays have been Adam DiMichele’s jump pass to TE Steve Manieri for six in a Tuesday night game against Ohio and another jump pass to the tight end from Chester Stewart (for Al Golden) at the Fake Miami. Maybe even allow DiMichele, the QB coach, to draw those up. Another was ADM’s fake kneel down at Navy. If the Owls have the ball with the clock winding down in the first half, that’s always a good one. Navy got suckered and Bruce Francis was 20 yards behind the nearest defender for an easy six.
Shore up the perimeter run defense. For some reason, Temple has susceptible to the perimeter run for the past three games. From my observation, it’s been smaller defensive ends being too easily being sealed off on edge blocks. Change up the personnel and replace those smallish ends with more athletic and harder to move ones like Dan Archibong (6-5, 295) and Karamo Dioubate (6-4, 265) and trust Michael Dogbe and Freddy Booth-Lloyd to handle the middle of the 4-3. UCF knows it can attack the perimeter. Having Dan and Karomo there will disabuse it of that notion.
Make good use of the holder. For many seasons, the Owls’ holder on field goals has been the punter. This year, it’s Anthony Russo. A fake field goal–something the Owls have not shown all year–won’t be a high priority for UCF. Since Will Mobley isn’t a long-distance kicker, this might prove to be a better option than punting on the UCF 35 or so.
Also, ditch the Centeio packages. They don’t work because they telegraph Temple’s intention to run Centeio. You could hear the Cincinnati players yell out “watch the run” and point to No. 16 in Section 121 at LFF last week. It doesn’t fool anyone.
Might be a good idea to brush up on 32-second, no timeout, drill, too. There’s a good blueprint for that at the top of this post.
Thursday: Shallow Owl