It’s officially game week and the focus is on Vanderbilt.
Err, maybe more Stanford and UCLA.
That’s because while the Temple Owl coaches are looking at Vanderbilt film to get an idea of personnel, the real film study is Stanford and UCLA and that’s probably a smart thing to do. Stanford, because Vandy head coach Derek Mason was the DC out there and runs a 3-4; UCLA, because that’s where current Vandy OC Karl Dorrell was in his last college football stop and he runs a West Coast offense.
To me, the biggest news out of Temple camp this summer has been the emergence of Jahad Thomas at running back. That was an unexpected development between the end of last season and now. He’s been described as a “one-cut runner” and the last “one-cut runner” Temple had was Baltimore Ravens’ starter Bernard Pierce.
Meanwhile, the Temple kicking game is in a state of flux and, unlike last year, that’s a good thing, not a bad one. In the video above, head coach Matt Rhule said the indecision on which kicker to go with is a product of all the kickers doing a good job. Last year, the indecision was because of the opposite reason. Temple made only three field goals all of last year and was killed by kickoffs that often reached only the 10 or 15.
If they are all even, I’d go with the kid with the highest upside and that appears to be true freshman Austin Jones, who is able to boom kicks through the end zone in addition to being an accurate placekicker. Temple hasn’t seen that since Brandon McManus, which only seems like 100 years ago now.
In reality, it was just the year before last.