Observations from the Cherry and White game

Matt Rhule’s observations after the Cherry and White game.

Long day in the sun at the Cherry and White game.

I left the sunblock home and got sunburned.
When I left for the E-O, it was chilly and cloudy.
Who would have figured?
Live and learn.

These passing stats would not have been possible in Daz’s offense.

I was talking to a couple of good friends in the second row of the end zone stands and mentioned that we have no placekickers.
Then I said we are going to go from zero placekickers to two real quick.

This is what Nick Visco looked like to me before yesterday.

“Jim Cooper Jr. is coming in July but, watch out, this Nick Visco kid is really good,” I said.
Just then, a kid sitting in front of me turns around and says, “I’m Nick Visco” and shakes my hand and says thanks.
His mom and dad were sitting to his right and left.
“Geez, I’m now glad I didn’t say Nick Visco sucks,” I said.
Now I didn’t know what Nick Visco looks like, but I saw Nick Visco kick for Archbishop Wood in his full uniform and he’s got a big-time leg.
Now I know what Nick Visco looks like.
Also saw the two Jim Coopers (father and son), but I knew what they looked like beforehand.
Other observations:
  •  Matt Rhule went around Lot 10 and glad handed everyone. He’s very genuine and not at all a phony. If he’s as good a coach as he is a person, Temple has a shot against Notre Dame.
  •  Paul Layton is a great punter, the Montel Harris of punting. That said, I hope we don’t have to use him.
  • Connor Reilly is the real deal. He reminds me of the Cincinnati quarterback who was so accurate against Temple last year. 
  •  Zaire Williams better get on the field. Don’t think any of the current running backs are on the talent level of Harris/Brown/Pierce. Williams might be.
  •  I had the White as a 3 1/2-point favorite and they covered easily, 34-28. Not impressed with Phil Snow’s defense. He held the White to 34 points, four below his average last year with Eastern Michigan. It STILL scares me to have him as DC. I hope he proves me wrong. Make that, I PRAY he proves me wrong. Signs that could happen: An improved pass rush.
  • Seemed odd watching the best blocking fullback in Temple history, Wyatt Benson, starting at middle linebacker. Maybe he can be Temple’s first two-way player since the 1950s. If Owls run a sweep on goal-line offense, I hope he’s in there leading the way.
  • The Chris Coyer fullback experiment is going to work. He’s in a spot where it is conceivable  he gets 5-10 carries a game and throws 5-10 passes a game and catches 5-10 passes a game, but three of each would suffice. I smell a Jalen Fitzpatrick reverse, a throw across the field to Coyer and a Coyer pass for six to Ryan Alderman or Khalif Herbin. I hope for at least one to two trick plays a game. Heck, Toledo made Chuck Heater look silly in 2011 by hitting on three trick plays against an over pursuing defense. 
  • Averee Robinson had four sacks and helped control the Cherry running game from his defensive tackle position. He’s only a freshman. He’s probably better suited as a nose guard in a 5-2.
  • Speaking of Herbin, I really feel he’d help Temple more at running back than as a slot receiver. He’s got to get the ball more than the five times a slot receiver gets it during the game. At the very least, I’d use him as a Matty Brown-type third-down back in addition to his first- and second-down slot responsibilities. If he works as a third-down back, use him as an RB on other downs as well. Herbin is just as fast as Sweet Feet Lucear, Keith Gloster and Travis Sheldon and that’s some pretty fast company plus he’s got stop and start instincts at the line of scrimmage those guys never had. Think a slightly taller, slightly faster and slightly heavier Matt Brown describes Herbin’s game perfectly.


5 thoughts on “Observations from the Cherry and White game

  1. wow, how do you compare this team at this stage to what you saw at last year's C/W game? does Reilly have a stronger arm than Juice? my guess is this team may be better but we'll play two top ten teams plus another two top twenty teams this year

  2. Reilly has a stronger, more accurate, arm than Juice, who is more mobile.Coyer reminds me of Tebow, Reilly reminds me of the Cincy quarterback (Brendan Kay?) and Juice reminds me of a hybrid between the two types.Juice looks SOOOOO much better than he did in last year's spring game, so it's saying a lot that there is some separation between the two (and there is).The whole team's look, feel, experience and enthusiasm level is up from last year's spring game.This kids have been beaten down losing two of their coaches in the last four years and Rhule seems to have gotten their mojo back quick.ND game will prove nothing.The big test is the Houston game. They've got to win that and I think they will.

  3. These kids, I mean, not this kids.The Rhule hire was made for the stability of the program. While Mike McIntyre, Dave Clawson and Mario Cristobal might have been "sexier" names (and Jessica Cristobal certainly is), I think Rhule is the best choice.Even if they go 12-0, I don't think he'll leave and that's the kind of stability they needed.(They won't go 12-0, unfortunately. You read it here first. I hope I'm wrong on that prediction, too.)

  4. My biggest concern is the sieve-like defensive secondary we put on the field last year. Any indications if that situation will be any better?

  5. I was hoping for something drastic like Newsome being thrown back there but that's not going to happen.Everybody says you can't make Newsome a defensive player, but the kid was first-team All-State on both offense and defense one of the three greatest areas for high school football (Texas, Florida and the Norfolk, Va. area) so I think the time involved in readjusting to the other side of the ball would be minimal. That said, Nate L. Smith (the Wood kid) has had a very good spring at free safety, according to Rhule, and that along with an improved pass rush (Averee Robinson-led) should have an effect on the pass-defense game.

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