A year ago around this time, Juice Granger threw four times, completed 50 percent of his passes, added 85 yards on the ground and orchestrated an offense that produced 63 points.
Former Temple head coach Steve Addazio left the blueprint for beating Army on the field at Michie Stadium last year.
Run the ball. Run it again and run some more.
Matty Brown started it all with two touchdown runs, then he got hurt and Montel Harris added a game for the ages: 351 yards, 7 touchdowns. Even Kenny Harper added a touchdown run.
Mostly, though, it was Interstate Highway-sized holes being opened up by several members of the current offensive line, with the exception of Martin Wallace who has gone on to the Cleveland Browns. They can open those holes up again for Harper and Zaire Williams, if this coaching staff permits it. While Harper and Williams might not be as talented as Brown and Harris were, they can certainly negotiate their way through those kind of holes.
It’s all right there on what former Temple football coach Bobby Wallace used to call the “fill um.” Current Temple head coach Matt Rhule was in attendance that game but he can check the film if memory of how it was done escapes him.
Or he can ignore the evidence, do things his own way, and join Wallace in Alabama as an assistant Division III offensive line coach next season.
We’ll know if Rhule learned from his mistakes against Fordham and Idaho as early as the first quarter. Army is at a size disadvantage against a Temple offensive line that includes at least two future NFL players in Kyle Friend and Cody Booth and quite possibly a third in Pete White.
If at least 12 of the first 15 plays are not runs, you can leave at that point and head to the parking lots because Temple will lose.
If the Owls run a clean (penalty-free) dozen, they will win and maybe handily no matter how successful those plays are because it will set the tone that will enable Temple to wear down Army on the ground over four quarters. There is an ancillary benefit to running the football against a team like Army: Chewing up the clock and keeping the ball away from a team that scored 50 points a week ago.
If the Owls do what they’ve been doing so far in an 0-6 season–throwing 10 long bombs of about 50 yards–they are opening themselves up to turnovers and a loss. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Hopefully, sanity returns to Lincoln Financial Field in the form of a pound-and-ground Homecoming win on Saturday afternoon. If it doesn’t, we’ll have to find a new guy to draw up the blueprints.